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Training a Rescue Dog

By: Jane Pullen - Updated: 16 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Training A Rescue Dog

A well trained dog makes a great companion and plays an important part in a family. A good training program should be a priority with people looking to adopt a rescue dog. Just a few training basics can make a huge difference between a wild and unruly dog and a well behaved pet.

The Importance of Training a Rescue Dog

There are many rescue dogs looking for homes. Dogs in rescue centres are there for a variety of reasons. Some will have been abandoned or found as strays, others will be family pets that have needed to be rehomed when a family can no longer look after them. While some rescue dogs will be well trained, many will not have any form of training. In order for a rescue dog to become integrated into his new household and play a part in family life it is important that he is well trained. Drawing up a training program will help to ensure that the important areas of dog discipline are covered. This includes:

  • Name – if a dog is being renamed, or if his name is not known, it is important that he is trained to recognise his new name as a priority. This is essential to the successful implementation of a training program.
  • House training – rescue dogs may not be house trained. Getting a dog trained so that it asks to go outside when it wants to go to the toilet is an important part of integrating an adopted dog into his new home.
  • Stop and stay – it is important that a dog is trained to stop and stay on command. This is important if a dog is to be allowed to run off the lead and is particularly important with rescue dogs as they might have a tendency to run away.
  • 'No' – the 'no' command is one of the most important aspects of dog training. This will be used to stop a dog from climbing onto furniture, jumping up at people, barking for no reason and other annoying habits.

Dog Obedience Classes

It is possible to train a dog at home. There are many excellent books available and these can be found in local libraries as well as book shops. Many people, however, take their dogs to obedience classes. There are many benefits of obedience classes. In addition to the fact that the person running the class is likely to be a professional with lots of experience of training dogs of all backgrounds, it also provides a rescue dog with the opportunity to socialise with other dogs. Another often overlooked feature of classes is that it helps to train the owner as well as the dog!


A rescue dog will have had some unsettling times before being rehomed. He may have been living rough and fending for himself before going to the rescue centre. Training will help to demonstrate to the dog that he is part of a family. A few basic skills are all that is required in order for a dog to become an important and well behaved member of the household.

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