A guide to help adopters start off on the right paw. 2000 – 2003 by Robin Tierney. The technique accustom the child to the potty illustration by Tim Basham of Sillyart.
May not be copied without author’s written permission. Count on a dog marking or having accidents the first few days, even if he was housetrained. Have pet-specific cleaning products on hand. Also be prepared for other transitional behavioral problems – read this guide cover to cover now, before problems occur. Along with the rewards of having a dog come responsibilities – daily care and exercise, medical visits, obedience training and many years of commitment. Owner knowledge and training is the key to a successful adoption. No one training approach is right for every dog.
This guide reflects a variety of approaches based on positive reinforcement – the essence of effective training and behavior modification. Keep an ID tag attached to a snug buckle collar on your dog at all times. During the transition period, a dog needs time to adjust to the rules and schedule of your household. A dog is a pack animal looking for guidance, and it is up to you to teach him good, acceptable behaviors. If the human does not take charge, the dog will try to. A dog cannot do damage unless you let that happen. Watch your new dog during the transition period.
When you can’t supervise, keep her in a kitchen, crate or other secure area with chew toys. Keep dogs on-leash when outdoors in unfenced areas. Otherwise, you’ll have no control if your dog obeys instinct and chases a squirrel into the streettussles with another dogor runs after a child. Supervise even when the dog’s in a fenced yard. If there’s a way to escape, most dogs will find it. Remember: Many adopted dogs have not had the luck to be socialized yet. Their baggage may include unacceptable behavior.
Re-educate your dog with the help of books and qualified professionals. Don’t kiss your dog or place your face at the dog’s eye level before you’ve begun obedience training and established yourself and other humans in the home as higher up in the hierarchy. Dogs often perceive a face placed at their eye-level as a threat, and then bite. Dominance-related problems often arise when a dog is on a higher physical level. Don’t issue a command unless you are in a position to enforce it. Telling a dog to do something, then not guiding him to obey if he chooses not to, teaches him to ignore you. Beware of sending mixed signals that bad behavior is cute or entertaining.