9 Magical Reasons You NEED To Adopt A Rescue Dog
#1 You can Watch The Beautiful Transformation
Rescue dogs given the right home and guidance can turn in to the most loving and loyal dogs, take my crazy Lilla, well if you’ve been following me you know I got her from a rescue as a puppy (initially was going to rescue her mum) so it’s not fully like rescuing an adult, but I’ve watched her go from a destructive, overly dominant and every behavioural problem apart from separation anxiety turn into a loyal, loving and caring beautiful dog that 90% of the time will listen to commands and direction.
I’ve also seen first hand through the rescue dogs and owners I’ve worked with make a massive transformation into happy forever dogs. Some have gone from having severe separation anxiety to being calm and happy to be left alone. Some have gone from not ever walking on a lead to happily walking side by side.
The thing is watching the transformation of your rescue dog no matter how little the problem is, is a beautiful thing to watch.
#2 You Learn As A Owner
There’s no better way to learn how to train a dog than to have a quote on quote “Problem dog” and the thing with rescue dogs is a lot of the time they come with behavioural issues. Rescue dogs arrive at a rescue shelter for many reasons. They could have been previously abused, neglected or abandoned, usually left on the streets and saved from euthanasia. However, more dogs go to rescue centres because the owner doesn’t know how to control the dog. Just think about that for a while.
Now as an owner you can go three different routes:
- Attempt to train your dog yourself.
- Get a dog behaviourist in an expect them to train your dog for you.
- Get a behaviourist in and work with them to train your dog, understanding it’s a long term thing, and you’ll have to learn along the way.
When I was at a loss with Lilla I chose option 3, I got a behaviourist in, but I put the work in needed and continue to do so until this day. If you know my story you know Lilla spurred a passion inside me to become a behaviourist, but even as an owner reading this you can still learn so much from a training aspect that you can keep with you for the rest of your life and any other dogs you own.
#3 Build A Beautiful Bond With The Rescue Center
In life I always give praise and gratitude to those who’ve helped me, I’ve got a great bond with Just For Dogs and the owner Maggie. I always say if it wasn’t for her and Just for Dogs, I would have never got Lilla which would have never led me on my journey to become the leading rescue Dog whisperer in Derbyshire.
A good rescue centre will never let you have just any dog, it’s in my belief that as much as you have to be a right fit for the dog, the dog has to be a right fit for you and your family. this way helps reduce the number of rescue dogs that get sent back and intern you find your forever rescue dog.
It also helps you find as much information out about your dogs history, the more you know about them, the easier it is to adapt training to help them out,
#4 You Learn To Understand Dog
Let’s imagine for a minute the dog you want to re-home was a stray dog before being rescued, abandoned and left to die, that dog roamed the street along with other stray dogs, finding food left from bins, generous people leaving out scraps or living off the wildlife. That dog was great with other dogs, he was calm around them, knew how to socialize, what he could and couldn’t get away with, he knew his place in the pack and was a happy dog and rarely ever came into contact with a human.
Now that dog is in a rescue shelter, anxious and unsure. You know little about his history, as he was a stray. You take him back home with you; he backs off, needs his own space, possibly shows signs of low aggression (remember he’s unsure of us humans) all he knows is how to be a dog and dog rules.
You try to get a collar on him and he runs and tries to hide. So, you do what most owners do; you treat him like a human. You let him upstairs in your bed, and on the sofa, and if you get him on the lead, he pulls like a train. He sees this as a sign of weak leadership, so he takes control and thinks he’s the leader now. On walks he barks at strangers or other dogs, he jumps up; when you leave the house he whines, yelps and barks. You try to get him off the sofa and he goes to snap at you.
So what went wrong?
You treated him like a human when he needed you to treat him like a dog, like the only way he knows and what dogs understand.
They need leadership; they need a job; that is to follow.
#5 You Top Up Your Good Karma
Instead of adding to the problem of puppy farming and breeders who are only in it for the money, you are making the big decision to put the time, effort and love into adopting a rescue dog and all the “behavioural issues” they may or may not come with.
The thing is everyone wants a puppy, I mean who doesn’t they are cute, fluffy and fun but that stage in a dog’s life soon ends, and then if not trained properly, you’re left with an unruly adolescent, who’s now not this small cute puppy. (The end is usually ending up in a rescue centre)
Now you decide to adopt a rescue, you train them right, give them the love BUT Leadership and consistency they need, you will have a loyal and well-trained dog for the rest of their lives.
#6 They Can Be Easier To Train
Sounds a little juxtaposed from whatI’ve previously said right?
Ok, stay with me a little. The good thing about most rescues (putting any behavioural issues aside) Are generally house trained, well minus the stray dogs never been allowed in a house. They know where to toilet, some can sit and wait already, so in this case, makes the rest of the training that much easier.
Now that being said this is not always the case, certain behavioural issues, separation anxiety, for example, can cause toileting and destructiveness in the house, so just be prepared some dogs need a lot more work than others will do. So picture Lilla ripping up brand new vinyl flooring 2 month after we got her.
#7 Find A Dog You NEED And They Need You
Remember in number 3 how I mentioned the good rescue centre that will help pick a dog for you based on numerous things. Well, this is absolutely great!
Instead of you just going in there picking purely based on breed or looks, you can truly find a dog you need and that needs you with the help of the rescue centre.
There’s no point in having a retired Greyhound for example if your plan is to go on long hikes across the Peak District. There’s no point in getting a reactive dog if you have another household dog. There’s no point in getting a dominant bitch if you already have a dominant bitch in your house. There’s definitely no point in getting a strong large breed if you are old or have shoulder or arm issues, as they’re likely to cause serious injury if not trained correctly.
Do you get my point?
It’s all about being open to the recommendations of the rescue shelter, and what they think would be the best match for your family, your lifestyle, etc.
#8 You're Saving A Life
By adopting a rescue dog you’re in turn saving their life…give yourself a pat on the back, I commend you.
#9 Not Ready? You Can Always Foster...
Not ready to adopt a dog permanently? You can always dip your toes into the water and foster a dog, see if it’s the right thing for you, you might fall in love with them and make them a permanent resident at your home.
Plus an added benefit is you get to burn off any excess calories walking your new friend for life. According to research, the overweight participants (I’m not saying you’re overweight good gosh!) felt the dogs needed us to walk them, so they got out of the house and exercised more. good for you, good for the dog.
So I hope you enjoyed this blog post and helped you on making the decision to adopt a rescue dog. If you want great training I have compiled a free resource section in my Facebook group Derbyshire Rescue Dog training Family that you’re welcome to join now.
Please share this post on your prefered social media with anyone you think it will help.
Liked this post? You’ll also like 9 Rules Your Rescue Dog MUSt Follow To Save Them being rehomed
Until next time