Often puppies are the first choice when it comes to adopting a new pet as a family member, but the fate of old dogs are not like puppies. They have been neglected for reasons like their size and appearance, and many adopters have decided not to adopt adult dogs because they think that a great bond can’t be created with an adult dog as compared to a puppy.
It is a common misconception that adult dogs cannot bond as well as puppies. It’s true adult dogs often suffer from previous experiences, but still, most dogs are waiting for the right person who can show them a beautiful life.
Making a bond with an adult rescue dog will depend on several factors, including the dog’s past experience, their individual temperament, and their new owner’s efforts to make the bond. It may take time, but it is nothing like that if a dog is old, so he can not make a good relation, or he doesn’t have emotions. Here are some tips to help you build a foundation for an unbreakable bond with an adult rescue dog.
1. Being the most predictable person
When a dog gets into a shelter, their trust has been broken at least once. Whether it happened when they were given away by the old family dog, or some kind of the worst situation that led to a heartbreaking separation, something happened to change the dog’s life. The accident of this change in circumstances taught the dog a lesson that the things and people they love are not always reliable. Their confidence in the good has been shaken, and they need someone to change their recently jaded perspective.
You can do this by showing a dog that you will remain with him in any situation. You have to show them that despite all the unknown lives, they can always count on you to be their permanent anchor in the real world.
Make a daily routine that involves your dog as much as possible. Make them part of everything you do and keep your interactions consistent and predictable. Over time, they will learn to expect, and they will begin to trust you enough to form an emotional connection.
2. Obedience training.
Obedience training sounds like it’s all related to the dogs only, but in reality, it’s for both the dog and the owner. It’s learning to work together. It includes a two-way link that will not work if both ends of the leash are not joined together. Mo-Kan border Collie rescue wrote:
“Even when your dog seems like he pays good attention and obeys basic commands, an obedience class is the single best method to help new owners learn to communicate and bond with their dog.”
This training is an opportunity for dogs and trainers to spend deliberate time with each other. The dog gets motivated when he interacts with the owner, and the owner gives 100% of his attention. Doing such training will create a beautiful bond between the dog and its owner. And both will start to understand each other well.
3. Get Silly and play
Sitting on a chair while weakly throwing a tennis ball down the hall is not the same as playing with your dog. Dogs are smart enough to know when they have the full attention of their owner and when the owner is not committed to the game.
The game is the dog’s chance to free himself and enjoy life. When you join their favorite game, they will start to connect you with all their most positive emotions. You will have to show your dog that you do and you will begin to see them do the same.
4. Focus on touching and talking
A newly adopted dog is plopped down into a new environment with people they don’t know, stressed, anxious, and maybe even scared. It is essential to give them the space needed to configure, but ignoring them is not the way to go.
Judge your actions based on your dog’s behavior and find a balance between giving them space and do such things that make them feel that they are a part of the family.
Both touching and talking have a positive impact on the dog’s mind. Animal Wellness Magazine says:
“Dogs do not just tolerate human touch—most thrive on it. In fact, the way we touch our dogs profoundly impacts the way they view and interact with the world.”
You can pat on dog’s head before setting your lunch, a belly RUB as they lay on the floor, the occasional scratch behind ears while you do housework-every touch is a kind of unspoken reassurance. An accidental contact helps the dog to get used to the presence of its new owner.
Meantime, talking to your dog is not as crazy as non-dog people want you to believe. Studies show that communicating with animals is beneficial for both humans and dogs.
5. Lose all expectations
If you have shared an unbreakable bond with another dog or just love the stories of dogs, who are fully committed to their human parents, now is the time to forget about all such stories and expectations.
Every dog is an individual, and every bond is unique. It is not fair to compare what you have with a new rescue dog with any vision you have worked in your mind. The frustration you feel when things don’t work out exactly as you imagine will led to an emotional blockade.
Few dogs are willing to hand over their entire heart after the first scratch on their head, but that doesn’t always happen. Adult rescuers have learned hard lessons from a painful past, but that doesn’t make them any less deserving of love or less willing to give it. All they need is quality time, calmness, and compassion to feel safe to trust their hearts to a new owner.