It is with great regrets that I had to turn Nathan back over to the rescue in which I got him from. (please refer to Nathans story here )

Although I encourage adoption, it is through this experience that I discovered adopting a pet is more involved than just taking one home to love and be loved.

Wouldn’t it be nice if every new member of a family, (two and four legged ones) could come with a guide on How to raise a well behaved child?  Sounds good to me 😉

Before adopting, get the facts: know both good and bad traits and habits your dog may have. Be willing to work with him, but give both yourself and your dog a period of time to adjust to the changes in your home and hopes to be his home too!

For this reason I have created a list of issues and resolutions I have observed and entailed with Nathan in just one week. I’m calling them:


(Please note:  an explanation of these steps (that follow at the bottom of the page) pertain to just Nathan and I and are not intended to be a solution for just any dog. We are all individuals with good and bad habits alike! Enjoy reading and use as just a guide if you will. )

1.)  Nathan is lovable and playful on a one on one. He does not know how to interact with other dogs. This I discovered by having two other dogs of my own.

LESSON:  Needs to adjust to his surroundings and siblings.

SOLUTION:  Give only an applicable time for adjustments. Much needs to be considered as well as the consideration and actions of other dogs in the household.

2.)  Though Nathan loves to sit on my lap, this has become a problem. When some one approaches me he will growl.

            LESSON:  Possessive.

            SOLUTION:  immediately put him down, turn your back to him and ignore this bad behavior.

3.)  Before Nathan came to our home, it was known that his previous owner would give him a Kong (a rubber toy that holds a treat inside for them to work at getting it out of it’s center.) the treat may have been difficult for him to get, so he would chew at the top and snap it off in a minute. She continuously bought him new ones to tear and rip apart. This action became an obsession with him. When left alone with his Kong, he would growl and snap at anyone that would come near him.

LESSON:  Again, Possessive and aggressive behavior.

            SOLUTION:  NO KONGS or any resemblance to one. (He has torn apart a small tennis ball while staying with me, and growled and snapped when I tried to take it from him.) This is not a behavior that should be tolerated. His previous owner would allow for this to happen, and just leave him alone until he wanted attention. NOT!!

4.) Nathan has been potty trained to use potty pads rather than be encouraged and brought outside. He waits till I bring him in from outside and looks for a place in the house to eliminate both his bladder and bowels.

            LESSON: for more than 4 years, this dog from a puppy at 8 months till now was left to do his thing in the house whenever convenient for him!

            SOLUTION?  I could not come up with a solution for this without having more time and patience! This issue along with his possessiveness led me to the decision to give Nathan back to Rescue.

5.)  Marking:

            LESSON: This is typical of a male dog (this I could deal with)

            SOLUTION: Belly band (at least, temporary)

6.)  Barking:

            LESSON:  This too is typical for most dogs. If not excessive there are ways to deal with it.

            SOLUTION:  A quick squirt of compressed air close to but

NOT ON THE DOG will startle them into quieting down. Let them see the can afterwards and they will eventually stop barking at just the sight of it! (I have used this method with my little Chi weenie just once. Now she just see’s the can and backs away. I tell her “quiet down or I’ll get the snake after you” because of the hissing sound it makes 😉

7.)  Nathan goes out side with the other dogs. I thought he would pick up on their scent and eliminate, but that so far is not too frequent. I feed the dogs in the morning and evening and take them outside ½ to one hour with the command to “Go Potty”! Nathan does not know yet what this means.

            LESSON: does not eliminate outdoors due to the fact he is trained and set to use potty pads indoors.

            SOLUTION:  Though I have not had enough time to work with Nathan on this, I believe keeping him outside for longer periods of time till he has no choice but to potty outside, will work. Rewarding him when he does.

8.)  Nathan is accustomed to come in and out of his crate as he pleases with toys, treats etc.

            LESSON: This ability to bring his treasures to his domain at his convenience has led to his possessiveness

            SOLUTION: No toy’s treats or anything should be brought into the crate on their own accord. Not only do they feel the need to protect them, a dog is at risk of choking when left unattended. My dogs have a soft cushion, a blanket, and a large stuffed animal only. I did not put a stuffed animal in Nathans crate in fear that he would tear, pull it apart and choke.  (“Little man, you were a handful”)

9.)   Nathan has been the ruler and leader of his time alone. He has had the run of the house and trained his owner to back off when he wants to be left alone and in charge. 

            LESSON: Nathan thinks he is the leader of the pack (in which he has been)

            SOLUTION:  another difficult one when a dog has been the only one and the leader of the pack as well. Nathan could not figure out just who was the leader in my home. He has determination to be the pack leader.

10.)  He has been sleeping with us in bed with no problems. I have chosen however in the past two nights before going back to rescue, to put him in his crate alone with no toys or treats. I give him only a tiny treat before going into his crate. He does well with this and sleeps through the night.

            LESSON:  Nathan is comfortable and accustomed to sleeping alone in his crate.

            SOLUTION: Leave well enough alone!

11.)  Nathan should be the only dog for awhile. He needs lots of discipline. He has been left alone to do his own thing for too long and is set in his ways. He needs an owner who will be the leader and has the time to train and break his many bad habits.

            LESSON:  Undersocialized

            SOLUTION:  given time to adjust to his surroundings, and forced to socialize with other people, dogs and activities, he will become more sociable.

12.)  He does not know basic commands, such as sit (though he has recently learned this one) off, down,come,go potty,stay,give,drop it, leave it, and other words of authority.

            LESSON:  knows words that please him, but none of which he needs to learn in order to be an obedient dog.

            SOLUTION:  teach and train to know the basic commands. This is the form of true communication to a dog and his owner.


 What are the 12 steps to rescue?

 First off, know that rescue here refers to both you and your dog. If a dog that comes into your home cannot adjust to the rules and regulations, then who needs to be rescued. You or the dog?? !!

Mr. Herzher's Decorative 3 Step Pet Step - PetSmart


1.)  Give a rescue dog a determined time to adjust.

2.)  Know if the dog is possessive of people and or certain things. Be willing to correct this habit. Possessiveness can be dangerous for you and your dog.

3.)   If a dog is obsessed with something TAKE IT AWAY! DO NOT let him have it at all.

4.) Potty train your dog to go outside. Do not use potty pads for an adult dog, unless of course there is a medical or physical need to do so. This is an issue you should discuss with your Vet.

5.)  Most male dogs will mark their territory. This most of the time is temporary. If you catch them when raising their leg you can make a quick sound or use a single word such as STOP, and they will soon get the idea. For a short time you can use a belly band in order to protect the furniture and surfaces in your home as well as others.

6.)  If continuous barking is a problem, squirt a quick spray of compressed air close to but NOT ON THE DOG. They will jump away from the sound and stop barking.

7.) Keep a strict feeding schedule and learn your dog’s potty habits. My dogs go outside in the morning before breakfast and a ½ hour to an hour afterwards. The same schedule is in the evening and one more time outdoors before bed. This of course is different for every one. The important thing is to be consistent with a routine.

8.) No toys or treats in a crate while unattended

9.) You, not your dog is the leader of the pack. This will be instilled with them if you let them know from day one, you are the boss!

10.) Just like a feeding schedule, your dog should have a sleeping at night routine as well. My dogs sleep with me but don’t have a problem with sleeping in their crate as well. This is something you can determine what will work for you and your dog. Again though. You are the boss and your dog needs to know this!

11.) It’s important that you rescue a dog that will adapt and join in with the family and other dogs in the household. After all, it is your domain and your choice to give a rescue a forever home. Make it comfortable for all. If the family is not happy, you are not doing the rescue dog a favor. He needs to find another home.

12.) Train, don’t spoil your rescue. Teach him all that you would teach your children and other dogs what they need to know to be safe, comfortable, happy, and loved.

Do this for the love of dogs today


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