Training and Care — Tip Of The Week
Excerpt from Our New
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
Adopting a homeless dog from a rescue organization is a noble thing to do. Generally, Aussie Rescue organizations will temperament test dogs before they put them up for adoption. And usually you'll be able to take a dog home on a test basis before you actually make a commitment. Even so, it's still possible that you'll end up with a dog who has a few behavior issues that need dealing with.
Some rescue dogs might seem fine for the first couple of weeks, but once they settle into their new home they start misbehaving. This is because they've become comfortable in the new environment and are beginning to test the boundaries. And temperament tests aren't totally accurate, because dogs will behave differently in a rescue shelter than they will in a new family home.
All the usual rules and principles we've discussed apply with rescue dogs – but it's particularly important to establish yourself quickly as a leader. Often, dogs end up at rescues because their previous owners couldn't handle them. And they couldn't handle them because they let the dog become the leader, and the rest is history. So if you end up with a dog who is used to being in charge, you need to let her know right from the start that things are different in your house.
It's also important to take some time to get a feel for the dog's personality before you launch into any formal training. You never know what a rescue dog's history may have been, so it's important to observe and try to get an idea of her confidence levels before you start.
Next time: The Psychology of Rescue Dogs
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