Bringing Home a Rescue Dog

In honour of our Wilsons to the Rescues month, we've teamed up with Rosie, founder and Head Trainer at Paw Skills Dog Training Academy, to give you the best tips and advice for rescuing a dog.

Learn more from Rosie at her blog focused on What to look for when rescuing a dog.

Rosie will be providing you with her expert advice on a number of topics relevant to rescuing a dog including what to consider when bringing home a rescue dog for the first time...

Preparation - home and vets. It’s a good idea to have everything ready beforehand so that your dog can come home and settle straight away. Research your local vets and speak to them about their experience with rescue dogs and whether they do drop ins to help them build positive associations with them. A good vet relationship is essential. 

Prepare the household by making sure someone will be at home to help settle your new dog in for the first 3-4 weeks, make sure there are no holidays booked in the next 6 months and no significant changes happening to the house for the next 6 months such as building works. Something significant like building works or a holiday can cause your new addition to feel unsettled.   

Homecheck - It’s common practice for rescues to conduct a homecheck, this isn’t a test but to make sure you are able to suit your match’s needs. In preparation for this speak to the rescue and ask for advice on what they look for and how you can get your home ready. The common things they look for in a homecheck are:

• Garden security and fence heights

• How close to a main road you are

• Whether the dog will have a safe and quiet space to call their own in the home

• Details of any children and pets that live in the home

Space - it’s very important for dogs to have their own space and ideally their own room. Rest is beneficial for settling in and dogs may need help settling and resting when they first arrive. Having a safe and comfy space away from the hustle and bustle of the home will help your dog settle in. 

Routine - Regularity is a useful tool in helping a dog settle in. Get up at the time you normally would do for work etc, introduce new meal times to your dog and keep them the same each day. I’d recommend no walks for a few days while your dog settles in but at the time you’d normally go for a walk go and have a wonder around the garden or do some fun games together so that your dog gets used to that time being you and them time. 

Interactions - when introducing your new addition to your friends and family make sure they enter the house calmly, sit down and wait for your new addition to approach them. Remember we are much taller than dogs and it can be a bit scary if we approach them, even with all good intentions.