How to Train a Rescue Shiba Inu

Regardless of the reason why they ended up in the shelter, rescue dogs can be the sweetest companion you’ll ever have. However, since we don’t know much of their history, training one really requires patience and extra consideration. 

Are rescue dogs harder to train? This depends if they had, at least, basic obedience training from previous owners. Also, remember that there is a reason for their behavioral issue, that’s why it is important to gain their trust, take time with training, and socialize with them. 

Remember, your household is a new environment for these dogs. And as they are creatures of habit, new surroundings, new scents, sounds, and sights can bring about new feelings that they need to get used to. 

How to Train Rescue Dogs? 

Every dog has different needs, especially rescue dogs. If they have a history from their previous home, they might have unique needs you need to cater to so they’ll regain their confidence. 

Here are a few things you can do to train your rescue Shiba Inu. 

Expect an adjustment period

Rescue dogs have a history; before you adopt one, you must ensure you’ll be able to handle that. In most cases, they are less trusting and less confident. So when bringing them home, you have to expect they won’t be the most enthusiastic dog just yet. 

This is normal as the dog needs an adjustment period. Your home is an entirely new environment and it needs to decompress first. 

Decompression in dogs means little to no training, not too much handling, such as petting or picking up, and giving them space and time to themselves. 

Decompression time depends on age, past experiences, and how long they were in the shelter or foster home. In most cases, the average decompression time is two weeks. 

However, you can still set boundaries for certain behaviors, such as eliminating on the carpet or chewing on furniture during this time. And once they are comfortable, then you can start the formal training. 

Start with the basic

If your rescue dog had basic obedience training from their previous owners, training them might not be as challenging. But if they haven’t, then you need to start from the five basic cues: 

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Heel
  • Come

Keep the sessions short (10 to 15 minutes) and do it two to three times a day. For rescue puppies, sessions should be shorter (3 to 5 minutes). 

Use positive reinforcement

The best way to train a rescue dog (or all dogs) is through positive reinforcement. 

Positive reinforcement is rewarding your dog for doing what’s right instead of scolding them for doing something wrong. Rewards can be their favorite treat, food, praise, or their favorite toy.

It is “force-free” training and encourages your dog to repeat the same good behavior so they’ll have treats or toys. 

This gentle approach lets your dog understand that you love him and discourages punishment. 

Establish a routine

Establish a routine and stick to it. 

Dogs love routines, but when put into a shelter, they can be quite stressed as things can be unpredictable. So when you bring him home, set a routine to establish feeding, walking, playing, and bedtime. 

Getting into a routine will also help your dog get used to its new home. 

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