Adopting a dog from a shelter can be quite exciting, but there are instances where the dog exhibits fear and anxiety due to past unfortunate experiences.
In such cases, it’s best to slow things down, allowing him/her to adjust to the new set-up. A dog that’s overly shy, withdrawn, suspicious, or depressed, is afraid and feels threatened by the new environment, circumstance, and company. So, here’s how to help your dog acclimate to you.
Keep it controlled and non-threatening.
Keep him/her in a quiet area where they can get accustomed to the smells, sounds, and sights. Ensure that it’s stress-free and non-threatening so you’ll need to speak in soft voices and issue gentle commands.
Feed them healthy food consistently.
Adopt a consistent schedule for feeding. This way, you communicate to your dog that there will always be food without having to strive for it. Also, to ensure his/her overall well-being, provide healthy meals.
Encourage positive behavior.
Generously give verbal praise and rewards for good behavior. This’ll train them how to behave and unlearn unhealthy behaviors. Positive reinforcement also convinces them he/she will be loved and appreciated.
Provide safe haven.
Give your pet a safe area to retreat when they’re feeling afraid and anxious. Never force them until they’re ready to bond with you.
Trust-building requires patience and understanding.
Observe your dog closely and see what makes him/her afraid and eliminate it. Be patient and understanding in gaining his/her trust.