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by Joe Chanda February 20, 2015 3 min read

Adopting a dog from a shelter is an act of love. You’ll never find a dog more grateful to have a good home and a loving family, and chances are you’ll have found a lifelong companion. But adopting a shelter dog isn’t always as easy as taking that cute canine home and living happily ever after. Many shelter dogs have been abused or have lived on the streets, and it may take your new pet a while to become accustomed to living with you or even having any positive relationship with humans.

If you have fallen in love with a mutt that is skittish or fearful of you, there are a few steps you can take to calm him down and help him learn to trust. Eventually, even the most fearful dog will come around if shown nothing but love and kindness.

Give Your Pooch a Safe Place to Sleep and Hide

Before you bring your new dog home, prepare a space for him where he will spend a lot of time for the next month or so. Kitchens are a good choice because the hard floors make accidents easy to clean up, but a dry basement or clean garage can also work. Make sure there is nothing on or near the dog’s level that could hurt him, such as appliances, items on shelves, electrical wires that might get chewed, etc. Lay out blankets and a bed under a table or in a quiet corner where the dog can feel safe and secure.

Let Him Acclimate

Social, happy, and well-adjusted dogs will have an easier time with this stage. A quick sniff around the house might be all he needs to start feeling comfortable. For anxious dogs, however, have patience for the days or weeks it might take for him to feel safe and at home. Allow him his space, but always be available for a pet and cuddle whenever you get the chance or he indicates he’s learning to trust you. Keep things as quiet as possible for the first few days, gradually introducing new sounds and new people over time. For the first few days, stick to the feeding schedule and dog food brand he was given at the shelter. A quick change of schedule can be terribly unnerving, and a sudden switch to another dog food brand might make him sick, which will only make the situation harder for him to deal with. Only gradually introduce a different feeding schedule and new food.

Training Classes Help You Bond

Once your dog has started to feel more comfortable and secure, consider signing the two of you up for training classes. These classes teach humans and dogs how to interact with each other, and as you go through the steps for effectively training your dog to follow commands or perform fun tricks, he will learn to trust and love you. You will also be able to really start seeing your dog’s personality begin to shine.

Dogs are some of the best companions humans could ever hope for. The undying love and devotion of a dog who has been shown kindness and mercy is the stuff of poetry and movies that make you cry. Are you ready to get your dog settled in? Visit our Home page for top quality products and classy dog kennels that will allow you to pamper your pet in a stylish way.

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