Getting a Dog from a Shelter and what to expect

After checking dog shelters near you, and before picking your dog up from the shelter, try to find out as much as possible about it. Check its background, where was he found, how long has he been with the shelter? Take the dog out and get to know him properly, before taking the final step of adoption. This is much like starting a new friendship, you would want to know about a friend to make sure it is the right friendship before commitment; it is the same for your prospective pet. Relaxing your posture sends welcome calming signals to the dog that in turn will make for a more enjoyable experience, and helps you see his potential early on.


 As the dog may have come from a background with experiences that you do not know about, it would be prudent to observe him. If you are unsure about dog behavior buy a book so that you can understand your dog as much as possible. 

You may find that you have to help him work through some issue of the past. Some dogs can be understandably anxious after a bad experience.

Your dog will generally have to pass a fitness test before being given out from the shelter. In some cases it is not possible to assess exactly how your pet will behave when you get him home. You may have to work with your dog and see how he is on a day-to-day basis. Generally it can take up to 3 weeks for a dog to settle down, after which time you may start to see old habits coming through good and bad! As the dog settles down and begins to feel at home. Most adult dogs (unless they have never lived domestically) do come trained in the basics of sit, stay etc. Dogs who have never lived inside will have to be trained like a puppy from the beginning. 

On your first few outings, be vigilant and watch your dog’s behavior this is a time to find out if when you throw a stick whether he will come back to you. If you are unsure of this, keep him on a lead.  See how he behaves with visitors; first try 1 then 2 and 3. Most adoptions of dogs really do go well, if you are fortunate you will have a happy dog who is friendly to all, loves his toys and only sits on your chair!