Adopting a dog is a great thing to do. These animals may be older, but they are more appreciative of the love and attention they get and they will become a part of the family almost immediately. These animals have gone through different walks of life but they are in need of a loving home and it’s wonderful that you have decided to give them one. 

However, that doesn’t mean that the transition is not going to have it’s own challenges. You have to understand that these animals need to be trained in how to function properly within your family and your family will have to do some adjusting as well. Pets are big responsibilities and it takes energy to get things on the right track. 

Challenges Of Training An Adopted Dog 

The fact is that most adopted dogs can be difficult to train, unless they were trained originally. That’s because they developed bad habits over the years and now have to be taught a completely new way to live and act. Remember, the dog doesn’t know they need to make the changes and you cannot communicate with them that easily so you need to be aware of this and be patient. If you can focus on building a routine with them, the transition will go much smoother for both sides. 

Important Tricks & Tips 

Before you get started, take some time to watch some online videos and maybe even see if there are training classes in your area. Professional help is beneficial for both of you and being around other animals may also help your dog see what they need to do and better understand the new commands they are receiving. Even if a dog knows certain commands, you need to teach them yours to ensure that you both can communicate. Here’s how to begin: 

Setting a routine: You cannot teach a dog new tricks if you do not have them on the same page. Imagine trying to help this animal adjust but they are not aware of your daily schedule. You have to go to work or run errands and they have no idea what’s going on. While you of course have freedom, the best thing to do is to come up with a routine that not only prepares the dog for your departure but helps them handle it better. This could be something as simple as turning the television on and lowering some of the curtains in your den. The animal will quickly learn that if you leave after having done this, it means you are leaving but will be back. 
Bathroom routine: Setting a bathroom routine is one of the most important things you can do when you adopt a dog. This not only eliminates messes around the house but also can help you grab an extra hour or two of sleep in the morning. This includes limiting water at night, after a certain time and also trying to get them used to waking up at a certain time to go to the bathroom. 
Crates: Pet owners frequently debate over the benefits and use of crates. Some believe that it’s a good idea for an area of punishment, like a timeout spot. Some use it as a bedroom of sorts and to keep the animals from getting into trouble. However you feel about it, it’s important to understand that it could be a valuable training tool and keep your stuff from getting chewed up.
Commands: You will have to start with all new commands. Even if the animal knows some of them, the fact is that they may not know the ones you want them to follow and therefore, in order to eliminate confusion, you have to work with them on all the commands all over again. 

The transition will take your time and patience but it’s important that you understand this adjustment is difficult on the animal as well. They are not aware that they are doing anything wrong and have to be taught how to function throughout the day. Remember, they are going to follow your commands and how you allow them to behave in the beginning. That means if you don’t want them on the furniture, keep them off of it early. 

Things To Remember 

As you are going through the process of training your adopted dog, be sure to remember some important tips that will help you handle the transition more smoothly and also avoid frustration. If you are unsure how to make improvements, you can always consider professional assistance. Here are the important tips you need to follow along the way:

Be patient: Again, being patient is so important because this transition can get annoying from time to time. Try to come up with ways to show the animal they have not behaved properly. Violence is not recommended, not only because it can hurt the animal, but because it has never been proven to be a more effective form of teaching.
You’re both learning: The dog is learning how you want them to behave but they are also trying to teach you how they want you to treat them. For example, if you get home after a long day of work and they are excited to see you and want to go for a walk or play a game, you have to remember that they have been stuck inside all day, alone. While you may want to relax, you don’t get that chance right now and you have to learn to consider that and give them time each day as you would any member of your family.
Treats: One of the most enjoyable things a dog will love each day is the time they get treats. However, dogs don’t always understand that this is a reward for behaving or doing something good. You have to teach them that and try to make them understand the behavior that leads to more treats.
No human food: Especially early on, you do not want to give them any human food. This is not as much a health concern as it is a behavioral one. Imagine trying to give the dog a french fry the first week they are there but the next week telling them they can’t eat any of your pizza. They are not going to understand and giving them human food early on can make it more difficult to have them stay away from it down the road. 

Training any dog takes time and commitment, especially with an adopted one. If you are not used to having a dog, you may want to consider professional training. It’s a great help for both the animal and you. Work with their veterinarian as well to better understand what you can do to make things easier on your new pet.