Rescue dogs make some of the best companions. I believe the reason why is that they are truly grateful that they have been given another chance in life. If they were in a shelter, they are elated to be out of the shelter and in a loving home. Even if they were in a foster situation, once they find their forever home and form a bond with their new human, their life is complete. Dogs who come from a rescue situation often have some behaviors that need to be corrected. This is not because the dog is bad, but because it was never properly taught, socialized, or in some cases experienced abuse. We often do not know their life story. Consistent basic obedience training can cure a myriad of behavior issues. Basic training is also a great way to bond with your dog and reinforce your position as the pack leader. The first step with training your rescue dog is to run him through the basic commands on a leash. Sit, down, heel, stay, come. Training should be a fun experience for you and your dog and should be based on positive reinforcement. When you are first starting out, food is a great reward and should be paired with praise. The best training treats are soft small bits of goodness, so that they can eat them quickly and want more. When you praise your dog, your tone is important and should be a bit higher than your normal tone. Also, don't forget to pet them frequently. Between the yummy bits of food, your fun, happy voice, and the loving pets...your dog will be fully engaged in the learning process. Consistency is the most important aspect of training your dog. We are all busy, between work, kids, household responsibilities, etc... But all a dog really needs is 15 to 20 minutes per day for training. Many dogs start to lose interest if you go beyond that. If you have more time, great.. spend time with them playing ball after the training session so that receive another reward. The small investment of time in your day will do wonders for improving your dogs behavior and you will enjoy spending quality time with your dog.
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