How to Train an Adopted Dog

Having a dog around is a rewarding experience for you or the whole family. They can be fun to have around and play with to teach children responsibilities like walking or feeding them. And while having a puppy is a fun experience, you have to start on day 1 with training like no chewing on furniture and having accidents on the carpet.

There is another answer and it will make your heart full and that is to go to a local shelter and adopt a rescue dog. 

There are approximately 3.3 million canines in shelters right now in this country and this number has fortunately been on a decline since 2011. You can help get that number lower.

False Truths

There is a falsehood that lives with us which is that if a dog is in a shelter, it was the animal’s fault. While that may sometimes be true, it is not the majority of cases. There are other circumstances that unfortunately got our four-legged friends in the shelter like the family just couldn’t handle taking care of the dog or could not afford it or had to move and could not find anyone to take in their sweet friend. It’s sad, really.

Boundaries to Get Started On

Great!! So you went to the shelter and one of them tickled your fancy enough to bring it home. This may be where you think where the fun begins… and it will. But first, you have to give the pet some boundaries to start adhering to. If a dog starts exhibiting unsavory behaviors when it first comes home and you don’t curb said behavior, it will only get harder to break later on.

Adjustment periods

Bringing a new pet home from the shelter means you will have an animal with a history, to begin with. Let the dog know that it can be comfortable in its new surroundings with its own space. A fresh dog bed in a corner with some different toys to play with or chew on is a great idea. Take a walk around the house with the dog, then around the yard and/or where it would eliminate and introduce your new friend to everything. 

Their nose is 500 times more sensitive than ours so plan on stopping to sniff a lot. Let them discover their new home and surroundings.

Adjustment for an animal can take a few hours or a few months depending on so many factors it is mind-boggling. Patience is the key.


Getting your new canine into a training regimen can be rewarding for both of you if you let it. You can go just using the treat method of meat morsels and such or you could click here and see more modern methods that have come out to help your dog be the best it can be. Dogs can learn quickly if there are no distractions to deal with first before you subject them to a more public situation. 

These are the five basic commands a dog should know and respond properly to:

  • Sit
  • Heel
  • Stay
  • Down
  • Come

Training sessions should be around 10-15 minutes long and spaced through its day 2 or 3 times with whatever method of positive reinforcement you and your canine do best with.

Some of the most annoying behaviors in shelter dogs are jumping up on people, submissive or excited urination, and excessive barking which can be alleviated if trained quickly and correctly after coming to its new home.


Sometimes, crates are the method to go to get them acclimated to a new home. There are some trainers who swear by using a crate for your animal while you are gone for the day and at night to keep them out of mischief and ensure no elimination or chewing accidents happen. Plus having a place for the canine to go to when feeling anxious is a good reason for using a crate.

Obedience Classes

So you were the do-it-yourselfer until your new Fido came along. Sometimes, depending on your attitude and tone during the training process and just any interaction with the dog, they are just not getting it. Dogs will like having predictability and structure in their lives, so a professional obedience class may be the answer in your situation. It will help you and your dog in the long run.


When your new pet is comfortable and well in its new surroundings, and you are with them, it will be a rewarding relationship for both of you as long as you take the correct steps to do so.

How to Train an Adopted Dog

You should be applauded for adopting a sheltered canine into your household. Yes, there may be challenges with taking in a new pet, as there always will be. But with the knowledge used in this article, your new friend will settle in perfectly fine. It will look to you for love and comfort and you will be happy to give the same back. 

Written by George K.

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