The decision to bring a dog into a family isn’t a choice to be made lightly, as it’s a commitment that may last 15 years or more. Of course, this long-lasting choice may very well be the best decision ever made, as dogs bring affection, unconditional love and devotion to a family, along with teaching responsibility and patience. Though dogs give much to their family, it is important that they are trained, so they can be enjoyable members of the family.
When beginning the search for a dog, some start at pet shops or searching classified ads. Of course, it is possible to get a dog that way, but one of the most fulfilling ways to add a dog to the family is through a rescue or animal shelter. Most of these dogs have not had an easy start in life. They may have been lost, abandoned or cast away by their owners. By rescuing a dog it not only saves their life, but gives them a new beginning. Though all dogs aim to please their owners, many people feel that an adopted or rescued dog seems just a little more appreciative of the chance they’ve been given and want to please their owners just a little bit more than the average dog.
When bringing home a new dog, it’s important to give them their own space. A crate is usually preferred as it gives the dog a secure area of his own. Contrary to what some believe, well trained dogs enjoy their crates. When training a new dog, he should be in his crate if he can’t be observed. This avoids accidents and bad habits from forming. Always follow a schedule with a new dog. Housebreaking must be done consistently. Following the pattern of eat and go outside, play and go outside, nap and go outside is usually a fast way to housebreak a dog. All dogs need praise and rewards, but for rescues it’s even more important. They may be unsure or nervous at first. Heaping praise helps them feel secure and understand what they are supposed to do to please their owner.
There’s no doubt a dog is a big commitment, but by adopting a rescue dog, not only is it saving that dog’s life, but it’s making space for another dog to be brought in and saved, too.