Force- Free Dog Training, LLC
by Jeff Holmes

Rescue Dogs

The Happy Rescue Dog!Rescue Dogs are the largest growing pet category entering our homes today. Many dogs these days start life in what they think will be home forever, only to find themselves in a concrete run behind a fence, their family disappeared.  Sometimes it's weeks, sometimes it's years with their family before this happens. Once it has happened, they are lost. Everything is foreign to them. We have all seen dog shelters - they do not resemble homes. Dogs who lose their homes experience the biggest trauma of their lives with no one they know to comfort them. They no longer have anyone they know.

When we bring a Shelter Dog home, that dog is in a state of shock. This is not figurative, this is literal. Although they may wag their tails, chase a ball and come to us, they are not yet showing us who they really are. Dogs will go through the litany of normal behaviors because those are the things they know how to do. A new rescue who doesn't know you yet will come to you, because dogs are dependent on their people, and although you may not be a person the dog knows, you are a person. It's the "any port in a storm" scenario. However, this clingy behavior is often misread. It is often seen as representative of an extremely affectionate dog, a dog who loves everyone, or bonding. In reality, it is none of these. It is desperation. You are dealing with a stranger in a strange land at this point, and possibly one who hasn't yet given up on the idea of getting back "home".

Dakota - ever grateful!When you choose a Rescue Dog, you take on a big responsibility. It will take you months to learn who your dog really is, as it takes that long (believe it or not) for a Rescue Dog to settle in to a new home enough to start relaxing into his old routines and habits. If your Rescue Dog starts digging four months after adoption, guess what - he was always a digger. He's just recently gotten settled in enough to start acting himself. This is a hard concept for many people to grasp because it is a much faster process with people. Also, we know the plan. The plan is to love this dog, play with and walk this dog, feed him good food and care for him forever. He doesn't know that. We can't communicate that to him. 

At Force-Free Dog Training,LLC, we will help you to smooth out the process of acclimating your new rescue.  Jeff Holmes is a specialist in helping Rescue Dogs adjust into a new home. He has successfully rehabilitated thousands of Rescue Dogs who continue to live happy, well-adjusted lives in their "forever" homes. Some of these dogs are two- three- and even four-home-losers before Jeff meets them. Only a trained, seasoned Animal Behaviorist like Jeff Holmes has the skill and understanding of how dogs think and why they do the things they do to identify the true temperament behind the behavior and to help shape your new dog's behavior to fit your lifestyle. Rescue Dog Temperament Testing is available upon request.
Dice started as a Rescue. He is now a Service Dog
Routine is the best thing we can do for the Rescue Dog in the beginning. In a strange environment, a dog never knows what's next. Everything is a mystery in his life now. This is highly fear-inducing. A regular schedule at first, even one you won't stick to in the long run, will be of tremendous benefit in helping your new dog relax. Looking forward to mealtimes, regular walk times and when you get home are the moments all dogs live for, and a newly adopted Shelter Dog can learn to adapt faster if the daily schedule can be kept consistent for the first few weeks.

California's Dog Shelters are overcrowded with good pets that suffer from our poor choices. The right dog/wrong time, wrong dog for the right reason, pets as gifts, and those chosen based solely on looks, size, or coat type are all at risk of spending some time in a shelter. 

Whoo-Hoo!! Class is over!At Force-Free Dog Training,LLC, we offer a training program tailor made to suit the needs of the Rescue Dog. With emphasis on adjusting to the new home and family lifestyle, and customized to teach the skill set you need from your dog, we will help to make your new dog's adjustment process brief and smooth. From the obnoxiously friendly, to the fearful dog, to the dominant dog, whatever your Rescue Dog struggles with, we will help you to solve it successfully.

            It is an enormously rewarding experience to give a good home to a dog in need.
         The gratitude and unconditional love that you will receive in return is immeasurable.

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