Last week you met my two lovely fur babies and learnt how I came to be their lucky human.
Both, as you know, were rescue dogs, however both were at very different stages of the process in that Mylo had just turned 1 when we adopted him and Charlie, barely 3 months old.
Given this, Charlie was a lot less work. He was still young enough that we could help mould him and the dog that he would become and he was much easier to train. However, this is not to say he doesn’t still have some deep seeded issues from his time before he came to us.
Charlie still suffers from quite severe abandonment and anxiety issues. We often joke that we should have called him Shadow, as you cannot move from one room to another without him following at your feet, I’ve fallen over him many times. He does not like to be alone at all and always needs company, preferably of the human kind; but Mylo will suffice when this isn’t possible!
How cute is baby Charlie?!
Mylo... Mylo was an entirely different story. He was a lot older and was used to being an outdoor dog. He had no concept of furniture, he couldn’t grasp why he was not allowed to stand on tables or knock the Christmas tree over or use whatever tickled his fancy as a chew toy (including the contents of my wardrobe – never my husbands!)…..the stories I could tell you!
The first few months of bringing Mylo into our home were incredibly difficult, to the point where I genuinely wanted to give up on him. Being brutally honest, I entered into paw-renthood without fully considering the responsibilities, which, more than anything, is not fair on your pets. Thankfully, I powered through and I cannot tell you how glad I am that I did. I can’t imagine life without this clever boy. He’s a different dog now and I’m most definitely a different person. He has taught me just as much as I’ve taught him.
This was a regular sight while Mylo adjusted - anything & everything chewed up!
Ultimately, if you are thinking of getting a rescue dog, please realise that it will be really hard work and that you will need to exercise a lot of patience. But if I can do it, being the most impatient person in the world, anyone can and I can honestly tell you that adopting a rescue dog is one of the most rewarding experiences.
I’ve included some tips below to help you and your new rescue dog adapt to your new normal:
Spend time together: This is so important. You may not have the full history or knowledge of your dogs experiences before they came to you and it’s vital that you take the time to learn their behaviour and personality. What do they love? What frightens them? If it all possible, I would strongly recommend that someone in the household is off work or is able to work from home for at least a few weeks to help settle your new addition.
Patience: As I already touched on, this is key and this is definitely where I struggled the most. It’s easy to get frustrated, especially if you have no experience with dogs, which I didn’t before Mylo. Losing your temper or snapping may cause fear or anxiety in your new dog which could lead to further behavioural problems. Positive reinforcement is the best way for your pup to adapt and learn their new house rules!
Be proactive: Rather than trying to correct bad behaviours in your rescue dog, learn the patterns in their behaviour and put in place measures to prevent it from happening where possible! For example, if your new dog takes a liking to chewing your shoes, ensure that shoes aren’t left in a place that your dog can access.
Lots of Love,
Mylo, Charlie & Gemma x