Tips for educating an adopted dog


A few days ago I published a lot of dogs that were going to expire on June 1. Well, at least one has had very good luck.

The dog Cloe, a six-month labrador crossing with a slight limp as a result of an outrage, arrives today by MRW at a friend's house. There he will live with a small child and two cats, in a great house with an even more beautiful park very close.

Whenever an adopted animal comes to us A number of things must be taken into account. Those first days are magical, they never forget, and very soon it will seem that the dog has been living in the house for a lifetime.

But it is normal for them to take some time to sing. They may be nervous and misplaced at first. It should leave them a little calm, show them where the food and water are, treat them gently, assign them a quiet corner at home.

And it is very important identify them with a phone in a spire or necklace and that they are always taken for a walk, subject to the strap until they are completely sure that they will not escape if they are loose.

In ANAA you have an article that is titled the same as this post: Advice for the care and understanding of adopted dogs that is highly recommended.

I leave a fragment:

It is vital to emphasize the lower social position of the dog at home. The rules to follow to get a correct status are the following:
• Do not feed your dog until you have eaten: the "boss dogs" eat first.
• Play with him but make sure you win: "boss dogs" always win.
• Make sure your dog lets you pass before it goes through the doors: the "boss dogs" pass first. These and many subtle reinforcement techniques will make your dog prove that humans are the "boss dogs" of the "pack."


Make the change to your new home in the least stressful way for the animal. Do not make too much noise and do not invite all your friends to admire and catch the new family member. Be sure to give him a quiet bed and don't make sudden changes in eating. Pay all your attention but don't expect too much in return at first. Puppies, like babies, need a lot of rest. Give time to develop the relationship between you and do not judge the animal for the first few days

In the photo is AIshatun, a mixed race young and medium, smart and playfula, who is waiting for a home in that shelter. If someone wants to adopt it, stop by.

The behavior of adopted dogs

While some dogs sell for exorbitant quantities, others spend years in a cage waiting for the same opportunity. Whether they are breed or not, it is currently possible to find dogs of all kinds in shelters or kennels: small or large, puppies, adults or the elderly. It is to propose and seek.

Although all of them deserve the same opportunity, adult dogs are not usually so easily adopted, for that reason, if you want an educated dog by your side and with a stable character An adult or elderly dog ​​is a good option. The center's volunteers will help you choose the best candidate.

The attitude of an adopted dog

Even going through the same experiences, not all dogs will react in the same way: in the face of abuse, some dogs become shy and scary, but others may become aggressive and distrustful. It will depend on each specific case.

However, what they do have in common is that abandoned dogs usually take some time to trust completely in your new family, so patience and affection cannot be lacking in your day to day.

Before arrival at home

Prior to arrival, we must ensure that the dog is comfortable when he arrives at his new home. For it we will prepare everything you need before:

  • The first of all will be your bed, since spending time in a cage will appreciate a comfortable place to rest. You can buy it or make it yourself by following the simple step by step of our article on how to make a dog bed. It is preferable that it is something big to too small.
  • The second will be to place a drinking fountain with plenty of fresh water in a specific place.
  • We will also need specific food for your age (junior adult or senior) and if you want to make the arrival more enjoyable, some pate or canned food, they love it!
  • Treats or prizes will be essential to work with him training and positive reinforcement, the more tasty they are, the better.
  • Some toy or teether will also be essential since some dogs may suffer anxiety and will have the need to nibble.
  • A collar or harness, a leash and bags to collect excrement will be essential to take your new friend for a walk. Remember that shelters usually have financial difficulties so take it all with you when adopting the dog, so they can use the collar they have for a new tenant.
  • It can also happen that your friend arrives excessively dirty. Have a shampoo, a pipette and a bath brush ready if necessary. You can also take him to a dog groomer and watch how they do it if you have no experience.

We recommend review the security of your home Completely making sure that you don't leave something that could harm you (glass glasses, toxic plants for dogs or direct access to garbage) within reach of your new friend. Everything you think should not bite remove it.

When we adopt we must try to find out everything about him such as his past, if he is afraid of the veterinarian or if he interacts well with other dogs. It is helpful to know all these points. If you don't have information, don't worry, little by little you will get to know him. Finally we recommend preparing large doses of affection, affection and patience.

The first days of an adopted dog

When we adopt the dog, on the way home, it will be advisable take a long walk until you notice that he barely pees and that he is somewhat tired. In this way, you will be more relaxed at home and if you try to urinate you will barely make a few drops.

The moment we arrive at our home with the dog we must untie him and leave him sniff the whole house, unlimited. It is important that you know your new home, all the rooms and get used to the smells in it to feel comfortable.

It may happen that you try to mark your territory peeing a little in some corners. It is normal for him to do it especially if you have had other dogs before, do not get overwhelmed, he will soon stop doing so. Remember that it is not at all advisable to scold a newly adopted dog, choose to distract him to stop doing so.

The first days can be somewhat stressful for both. To alleviate hyperactivity, urine at home or other situations, it will be highly recommended to walk it at least 4 times a day, adding a total of 90 minutes between all departures. Don't overdo it, just let it sniff everything you want, a form of relaxation for dogs.

Never force him to interact with people, dogs or to perform obedience in certain places. Nothing that can overwhelm you. Try to guide him towards your purposes using verbal communication, hand movements and the use of prizes. It is also interesting that you learn more about canine language, so you can know at all times if you are tense, uncomfortable or relaxed.

The importance of routine and standards

Dogs are routine animals and thank the organization. Set specific walking and food schedules so that your animal can stand and predict what will happen at all times. Although this seems unimportant, the truth is that it is one of the most effective ways to accustom the dog to a new home.

It will be basic and fundamental set standards of coexistence among the whole family unit. We cannot forbid a thing and then allow it, that could confuse the animal very much. Just try be as tolerant as possible At first, remember that you may be disoriented and scared or that your previous owners were chaotic or did not set standards for living together.

Games and fun

In addition to staying at home and taking walks, your dog need to enjoy of the life. There will be time in a shelter, without stimuli and entertainment, something that can impair your ability to learn and cause behavior problems.

You must prepare yourself for activities with him whether you go to the mountains, the beach or play ball. Intelligence games or interactive toys can help you a lot when it comes to stimulating you. Making him happy will be essential for enjoy a healthy and affectionate dog. Spend time with your new pet.

Basic Training Orders

It will also be essential practice the basic orders: still, come, sit and lie down (among others). It will be essential to ensure your safety if in the future we decide to leave it without a leash. It will also be very useful in everyday life inside the home or to improve your communication. Try to be patient, constant and adapt the sessions to your learning pace.

You can spend about 10 minutes a day practicing orders. Usually, between 10 and 30 repetitions will be enough for your dog to learn to carry out a basic command. Do not abuse time, remember to offer the maximum possible well-being.

Yes, don't think about letting go of your dog if he still doesn't listen to you. You could put him at risk without wanting to. You can practice the orders at home or in some dog park fenced.

How should the walks of an adopted dog be?

Especially during the first days we must not be at all demanding With our dog during the walks. We must allow him to sniff his surroundings (that helps him to orient and relax), to walk a little wherever he wants so he can feel comfortable.

If you pull hard on the strap, do not stretch it too, it can cause damage to your neck or intraocular pressure. Better get a anti-pull harness Or teach your dog to walk with you, effective and safe ways to improve the quality of the walk.

When your dog is more accustomed to walking and effectively withstand its urination, you must determine a specific walking routine. Discover in ExpertAnimal what you should avoid during the walk or how long each of them should last.

Anxiety for food

Gluttonous dogs everywhere, chubby, obese, desperate to eat, at any time or place ... anything! And it is that our dogs, for the most part, are of good food and find any opportunity to jump without blushing or think about their strategy when nobody watches them to be able to cram without regret ... There are also dogs that do not have a great appetite, not at least.

What to do if an adopted dog does not adapt?

It is not always easy for adopted dogs to know how to treat them. Sometimes some adopted dogs do not behave as they should as a result of a bad education in the past. The lack of socialization, a behavior based on punishment or fears not overcome are some of the most common causes.

Below we explain the most common behavior problems and how you are going to have to act. Of course, remember that the most appropriate thing will be to get in touch with a professional, be it a canine educator, trainer or an ethologist. Always look for a professional who works through positive reinforcement:

  • Aggressive adopted dog: Unlike what many believe, aggressiveness is not a particularly complicated problem to deal with. They are generally related to the use of punishment methods or a lack of socialization in their puppy stage. This process should be handled by an experienced professional, since someone without experience can make the picture worse by trying to treat it with inappropriate methods. Discover tips to consider before an aggressive dog.
  • Fearful adopted dog: fear, depending on the level, can be complicated to deal with. The main thing will be to offer space to the animal and never force it to interact with anyone who does not want (whether objects, people or pets). Little by little and always with your supervision your dog will begin to open up to the world but if it is not so, it is best to also go to a professional. Take special care with fearful dogs and never leave them without a leash, since they tend to run away and get lost.
  • Dog urinating or defecating at home: If your dog makes his needs in the house, calm down, you are not the first to go through this situation. We know that it is unpleasant and that sometimes it can cause general discomfort, but you should understand that your new friend probably does not know how it is done. You will have to teach him as if he were a puppy. Pass it regularly to avoid urination at home and do not forget to congratulate him on the street every time he urinates, in this way he will remember what to do. It is always more effective to congratulate than to fight the animal, remember it. This process takes time but if you are willing you will achieve it faster than you think. Discover how to teach a puppy to urinate in the street or how to teach an adult dog to urinate outside.
  • Crying, howling and other related signs: If you notice that in your presence, cry, you simply need to be patient. Maybe he misses his brothers, his cage mate or the volunteers. Try offering sweets and playing with him to gain his confidence and distract him. Little by little you will see that it stops. It is a habitual behavior and the use of toys and your attention are fundamental.
  • Dog that does not eat: If your dog does not eat or drink water, take it to the vet immediately to rule out a health problem. Sometimes it is due to the anxiety and sadness they suffer or to be terribly scared. Try offering pate, treats or any type of appetizing food.
  • The dog cries, urinates or destroys when you are not at home: the dreaded separation anxiety can affect many of the adopted dogs. It can happen in different ways: incessant barking when you leave, crying, broken objects. Some long-lasting toys, such as kong, can help distract you for a long time. These types of behavior problems are complicated to treat and generally need a specialist's visit.

He misbehavior It can have many causes and you will not always be able to really decipher what happened in your previous life. Now it's your turn to teach him to live together and feel loved.

Remember that a dog can learn, regardless of how old he is. Although you may need more patience and repetitions, the truth is that you can get your dog to behave properly if you practice and always use positive reinforcement.

If you want to read more articles similar to Tips for educating an adopted dog, we recommend that you enter our What you need to know section.

Preparation of the arrival of the adopted dog

Before your arrival, we have to make sure thatThe animal is comfortable when it reaches its new home. Therefore we will prepare:

  • The first is the bed. If you have spent time in a cage during transport, you will appreciate a comfortable place to rest. We can buy it or make it homemade. It is preferable that it is something big to too small.
  • The second step will beenable a trough with lots of fresh water and com>

  • It may also happen thatThe animal arrives too dirty. For that situation, a shampoo, a pipette and a bath brush should be provided if necessary. We can also take the animal to a dog groomer and observe how they do it and simulate that operation at home.

Home security

  • It is advisable to havecontrolled home security, making sure, for example, that there are no toxic plants for dogs, and that they do not have direct access to litter. What should not bite, must be removed. In the same way, you have to limit the space of the newcomer at home, so that it does not get overwhelmed and prevent the dog from feeling excessively out of place.
  • It is also positive to find out all about him, such as his past, if he is afraid of the veterinarian or if he interacts well with other dogs. This will help a lot to know your customs, your behavior, etc.


Dogs are routine animals andthey assume the organization very well. You have to set a walk and food schedule so that the animal can sit and feel comfortable. We may think that it is not important, but the truth is that it is one of the most effective ways to habituate our new partner to accommodate his new home.

Don't yell at him or make loud noises

Keep in mind that, in addition to having a much more developed sense of hearing than us, you can be afraid that it is just what you should not do if you want your relationship to be good from the beginning. Likewise, you should keep in mind that your previous family probably mistreated you, so you need to trust yourself again, and for that you have to help him.

If you need advice to treat a battered dog, click here.

Educate him as if he were a puppy

Regardless of how old you are you must have a lot of patience with him and be very constant. Use the same word to indicate what you want (for example, if you want it to feel, always say "sit" or "feel"), and treat it with love and respect. You may have to train him, for which we recommend you read this article that, although it is focused on puppies, it will also be useful to have your adult dog well taught.

Take it for a walk with harness and leash

It is often thought that walking a dog with a harness will make him have a tendency to pull more, but the truth is that it is not so. If you take the dog for a walk with a collar and at some point you throw or do not teach him to go on a leash, then the animal on its own instinct will throwbecause what he wants is get as far away as possible from what has caused you harm.

Also, if you wear a harness, the pull force will fall on the chest and not on the neck, so that the risk of damage is much lower. In the event that your friend pulls too much, you can put on a sense-ible harness or a halti, which will prevent him from getting too far ahead. Still, it is necessary to teach him to walk without throwing.

Love it, but don't humanize it

The dog has its own body language and its own way of living life. It should not be treated as if it were a human because it would be disrespectful to him and his species. This means that Do not take him for a walk in baby strollers or let him sit at the table with the family, neither Nor should we try to calm him with caresses when he is nervous (If so, what we will be telling you is that it is okay to be nervous).

Of course, you can sleep with him, it is more, it is something that we recommend as this will strengthen the relationship even more, but do not treat it as if it were a person.

The dog is a wonderful animal already in itself. We do not want to change anything. Let's help him be happy.

1. The Hyperactive or Problem Dog

It can present hyperactivity, any type of behavior problem (fear, aggressiveness, mistrust, excessive barking, separation anxiety ...), all linked to an excess of energy produced by stress.

Do not be scared, because as I said, this is not the true personality of the dog, it is just stressed.

In this case we must act with a lot of patience and love, understanding what happens to it, with time and proper care, stress and everything that it entails will slowly decrease.

Obviously it is not necessary that we return the dog because it does not behave well, I already tell you that it is temporary and if we do things well you will have a dog that will love you above all and you to him.

And above all and fundamental is:

Do not try to suppress, punish, eliminate or modify these behaviors, because you need them to relieve your stress, so it is not a good idea to try to educate a dog during this period of adaptation.

You can ask a professional for help to make the process easier, but what you have to ask for is to help you reduce stress and not educate the dog (which are totally different things)

The dog is neither prepared psychologically nor emotionally to receive education of any kind, since any learning process involves more stress, and remember ... Stress builds up! Therefore, it is not advisable during this period.

What does a newly adopted dog need? Put yourself in his place ...

If you felt terribly stressed and distressed, maybe a good holiday? A stay in a spa? Where to forget all the burdens and problems, rest, sleep, feel that everything is fine ..

This is what you will need the first months, peace, tranquility, eat well, feel loved, receive love, feel safe, rest ... Nothing more!

Another case that we can find is that of:

2. The Perfect Dog

The second case we can find is when it seems that we have adopted the perfect dog! and it is not that it is not, or it will not be later, but if you have just adopted a puppy that has suffered a lot and does not give any symptoms of hyperactivity, etc ... it is likely to suffer from chronic stress.

And again, don't panic because it will happen to you!

A dog that suffers from chronic stress is because he has been suffering from stress for a long time and has all his energy depleted, so we will find an animal that looks very calm, that does not bark, that does not bother, that does not ask for food, that It doesn't give any problem.

But this will last for a variable period of time (usually between 15 days to a month) since the dog is going to recover because obviously it will be better at home.

What usually happens when this first period is exceeded is that we pass a dog like the one we have seen in point one, hyperactive, with problems, etc ... Since the dog has not yet fully recovered, it will need more time, but there are people who face this change and unfortunately they decide to return the dog because it seems that they have "gone crazy" and are overwhelmed by the new circumstance.

Once again, it is normal, do not be scared because it is only an adaptation process, and many times just knowing it we feel more secure and simply wait for this stage to end so that the dog can balance emotionally.

Obviously, this is not always the case or all cases are the same, but it is important to notify adopters that this can happen so that they are prepared and know how to deal with the situation correctly.

And finally, a point that would be included in the previous two but as it is very frequent I will treat it separately.

3. The Pipis at Home

A newly adopted and therefore stressed dog will have a much greater need to pee than usual (it is a typical symptom of stress) and it is very normal for him to escape inside the house unless he goes out many times to the Street during the day.

This is not a problem of behavior, nor that the dog is not clean, again it is just stress.

He does not have a bathroom at home and can not stand ... because the urinary bladder has a limit! and after this limit the pee leaves without being able to avoid it.

What happens if I punish or scolder or get angry at peeing at home? That he will try to endure more, that he will be scared, that he will feel more distressed ... so he will be stressing more.

What if it gets more stressed? You will need to urinate even more! So we will enter a vicious circle of more stress, more pee, more punishment, which will not solve the problem but will increase it.

What is the solution? That stress be reduced, and by reducing this also your need to urinate, so you can endure better.

We can also help you in the process by getting you more times a day to do your needs and rewarding you when you do it on the street.

(Of course!) If the pee escapes at home, do not pay any attention, just clean it and fill yourself with patience, love and understanding for the situation you are living and everything you may have suffered before being in your House.

In summary, you have to have a lot of patience and affection with a newly adopted dog, you don't have to be scared we see changes in your behavior during the adaptation process because they are normally due to stress and with time and our love will all be put in place .