Numerous dogs in animal shelters are longingly waiting for a new home. They are taken care of by a veterinarian, microchipped, vaccinated, and mostly also neutered. Giving a dog from an animal shelter a second chance is often the only right choice for committed animal rights activists when it comes to getting a dog. But a second-hand dog is always a dog with a past.
Dogs with a past
Dogs often come to animal shelters because their previous owners did not think twice about getting the dog and are then overwhelmed by the situation. Abandoned dogs also end up in an animal shelter or those whose owners are seriously ill or have died. Divorce orphans are becoming more and more frequent ” and are being handed over to animal shelters of these dogs have one thing in common: “Their” people have abandoned and disappointed them. A fate that leaves its mark on even the best dog. Nevertheless, or precisely because of this, dogs from the animal shelter are particularly affectionate and grateful companions when they are offered the security of their own family again. However, they need a little more time and attention to build trust and a relationship with their new owner.
Getting to know each other slowly
The better a prospective dog owner is informed about the history, nature traits, and possible problems of the dog, the faster the future cohabitation will work out. Therefore, ask the animal shelter staff about the dog’s previous life, its nature, and social behavior, and its level of upbringing. Visit your ideal candidate several times at the animal shelter before they are finally taken over to make sure that the chemistry is right, that there is a basis of trust, and that everyday life together is easy to cope with. Because nothing is worse for a deported dog than ending up back in the animal shelter after a few months.
First steps in the new home
After moving to the new home, the dog will probably be unsettled and not yet show its true temperament. After all, everything is alien to him – the environment, the family, and everyday life. Give yourself and him time to get to know everything new in peace. However, set clear rules from day one as to which behavior is desirable and which is undesirable. Because especially in the first few days, a dog is more receptive to changes in behavior than later. The more clearly you show your dog what you expect from him, the faster he will integrate into the new family pack and everyday life. But don’t overwhelm your new roommate either. Start training slowly, don’t overwhelm him with new stimuli and situations, and don’t expect your new companion to have to get used to a new name amid the changeover. If you hate the old name, at least pick one that sounds similar.
What Hans doesn’t learn…
The good news is: When it comes to training a dog from an animal shelter, you don’t have to start from scratch. housebreaking and basic obedience were taught to him by either the previous owners or the caretakers at the animal shelter. This gives you a base to build on in your upbringing. The less good news: A dog from an animal shelter has had to go through a painful separation at least once and carries a more or less large backpack of bad experiences with it. So you should be prepared for behavioral problems or minor quirks. With a little time, a lot of patience, understanding, and attention – if necessary also professional support – problematic behavior can be retrained at any age.
Sponsorship as an alternative
Buying a dog must always be carefully considered. After all, you take on lifelong responsibility for an animal. And especially with dogs from the animal shelter that have already experienced greater suffering, you should be sure of your case. If the living conditions do not allow 100% to take in a dog from an animal shelter, then many animal shelters also offer the possibility of sponsorship. Then after work or at the weekend, it’s simply: Off to the animal shelter, there’s a cold snout waiting for you!