Top 10 Behavior Issues In Rescue Dogs

rescue dog cover

Take a step to make a difference in a dog’s life. Karen Davison, a Canine psychologist, and an author says,

Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”

You might be thinking to bring a little difference in a dog’s life; a rescue dog. You might be thinking to play a positive role in that dog’s life by aiming to build a constructive, friendly, and comfortable environment. Or it might be the case that you have already adopted a rescue dog quite recently.

Whatever the case, the behavioral issues in rescue dogs are additional to their genetic issues. Here are some typical behavior issues that have been observed in rescue dogs:

1. Housebreaking Troubles:

Housebreaking issues should always be kept in mind before adopting a rescue dog!

First, find out the real cause before curing it! The dog may have spent his life outdoors or on the streets for a long time. Gradual training will only be a workable solution. If he has not been spayed or neutered, get it done as soon as possible. If either separation anxiety or submissive urination is the cause, try to give more love and confidence to your new family member.

2. Aggressive Behavior:

rescue dog aggressive

Aggression in rescue dogs can be genetic. Excessive aggression indicates that a real problem exists!

The dog owner may have been aggressive and abusive towards the dog.  To a dog breed like German shepherd that fights the situations, the aggression of the owner had reinforced his genetic behavior. The owner positively reinforced his genetic design to fight every new situation, person or environment.

Aggression in rescue dogs often results due to their possessive behavior for the owner. The dog dislikes new guests, new pets or new children who take all the attention. Out of insecurity and fear of being thrown out or neglected again, the dog tries to push everyone else away from the owner.

3. Shy or fearful Behavior:

If the rescue dog’s owner was abusive, harsh and aggressive, the dog might have developed a habit of fleeing such situations as Labrador’s do (its genetics). He might have developed a fear of people.

If he was bullied by other dogs in the previous home, he would shy away from other dogs. He may fear noises because he associates them with some worse incidents in previous home/shelter.

The lack of socialization skills depicts a lack of proper training at an early stage. Time and patience are required to change fear and shyness of rescue dogs. But, you cannot change the genetics entirely!!!

4. Anxiety:

rescue dog scare

Hyperactive streets dogs may feel anxious inside homes as they love moving around places. Fear and trust issues are other factors behind anxiety in dogs. Anxiety can be curbed down by building trust and love in a dog’s heart.

5. Resource Guarding:

Resource guarding is a behavior where a dog tries to guard his food, toys, owner, food bowl, kennel, etc. from other pets inside or outside the house. The dog may have faced a competitive environment in the past, so he thinks of other dogs to be attempting to steal his resources.

Replace his insecurities with confidence and the dog will be all set to have fun with.

6. Destructive Behavior:

rescue dog destroy

Separation anxiety and hyperactivity often leads to destructive behaviors. The dogs attempt to calm their nerves by chewing hard on everything in the room or messing things up.

Dogs want to be kept engaged with some fun. They love your moving around them to appreciate and encourage them.

7. Anti-social Behavior:

Out of shyness or low-confidence, the rescue dogs often display an anti-social behavior.

The previous owner may not have trained him well, when he was a puppy, to socialize with other dogs. He may have reprimanded him when he was barking at another dog in an attempt to communicate.

If he was a street dog, he might have had bad experiences with other dogs, so he attempts to avoid other dogs.

8. Lack of Discipline/Obedience Training:

rescue dog training

Rescue dogs do lack discipline; when they are treated similarly as their previous owner did. They stop to obey you because of some trust issues.

The more love you’ll give, the more love they will return. They only need to be understood before being trained.

Tip: What works and what doesn’t work; draw the lines and then train.

9. Separation Anxiety:

Dogs that were neglected in their previous lives fear that their new owner will do the same one day. They will be left alone or would be given away to shelter homes some day.

Rescue dogs have trust issues. They need “a lot of love and attention”. Their confidence in you will shoo separation anxiety away.

10. Food Aggression:

rescue dog food

Food aggression is a specific type of resource guarding behavior. A rescue dog avoids sharing his food with other pets. He thinks his food will end then and there, and he may have to look for more food for a long time.

All in all, a rescue dog gives you an irreplaceable amount of love after you understand him, pay attention, and care for his needs.

Fiona Appleton is a Labrador owner. She is the manager of Ultimate Homelife that has been developed to help people solve the troubles of pet ownership. She is an active advocate of animal protection campaigns. She wants people to understand that dog-behavior is reflective of our behavior.