How to Calm a Nervous Rescue Dog

How to Calm a Nervous Rescue Dog

When you just adopted a dog, it's likely that your new pet is going to be nervous and scared. This can lead to destructive behavior as well as fear-based aggression. But it’s important to remember that it may take some time for them to adjust to their new home, and that's perfectly normal. Just be patient and continue providing positive reinforcement, and your dog will eventually calm down.

In this blog post, we're going to talk about how you can calm a nervous rescue dog so they don't have any unwanted behaviors now or further down the road.

Why is My Rescue Dog so Anxious?

You're not alone, and it's okay - about 15 million US dogs live in homes the owners have previously abandoned. So it may just be that your pup had a bad experience with people in her last home, or she could have come from a shelter environment where we see dogs who've been rehabilitated before going back to their adoptive families.

Dog looking through a chain link fence at the pound.

Oftentimes these pups require more exercise and mental stimulation (games like fetch and puzzle toys) because they never learned how to play when they were little puppies. Some of these super stressed pups may require supplements like organic chamomile or CBD calming chews to help balance them out. But it could also be as simple as providing constant contact and love until they learn about good things again.

How Do You Deal with a Timid Rescue Dog?

The first step is to find out what your new dog needs and wants, in order to make them feel safe and loved. Some dogs might prefer a lot of one-on-one time, while others may do better with short play sessions throughout the day. Find what works best for you and your new pet!

The next step is knowing how much space they need at all times. If they are seeking more space than you can provide them, it could be because they are scared or unsure of their surroundings. This is also important if you have multiple dogs that live together; each dog should be given enough personal space so that they don't grow fearful of the others' food or toys.

Another aspect to consider is adding a calming CBD supplement for dogs to their diet. An all natural ingredient treat containing full spectrum CBD, L-tryptophan, and organic chamomile will aid in relaxation. This can help calm a rescue dog dealing with anxiety when they’re first introduced to a new environment.

How Can I Help My Rescue Dog Gain Confidence?

Dog that was rescued that has gained confidence in their owner.

Be patient and understanding to help your rescue dog gain confidence. Start by stopping your dog from doing things they shouldn't be doing instead of trying to force them to respond in ways you want. Be welcoming when they are tired or scared, making sure not to give them too many commands or demands at once, otherwise getting overwhelmed will make it difficult for your dog to focus on what needs attention.

Let them take their time until they feel comfortable enough with you before gradually advancing into training routines that will build trust and put together a daily routine that includes walks, playtime, grooming sessions, games with dogs around the neighborhood... whatever suits your pup best!

How Long Does it Take for a Rescue Dog to Calm Down?

That really depends on the dog. It can take from a few days to even a few weeks. The more frequently a rescue dog is exposed to new people and places, the less likely they are to feel agitated.

Rescue dogs may be hesitant to trust new people, which is why it's important to be patient and let them warm up at their own pace. It's also important not to force interaction with the dog, as this could further aggravate them.

In most cases, a rescue dog will eventually calm down if they're given enough time and space to adjust. Just be sure to provide plenty of positive reinforcement during the process, as this will help speed up the adjustment period.

What is the “3 3 3” Rule for Rescue Dogs?

To help see progress along the way, keep a journal the first few months with your rescue dog. Write detailed notes, especially at 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months. Here is what the 3 3 3 highlights might look like:

3 Days

“It's definitely not official yet, but I think that she is getting comfortable in her new home. She is starting to adjust to us (fingers crossed). But there are still some changes that need to be made before I feel 100% okay about leaving her alone for long periods of time while we're at work/away from home. Luckily one of us has been available to keep an eye on her through these early days.”

3 Weeks

Dog sleeping comfortably with its head on a pillow.

“It'll take another week or so until she completely settles in here. She is beginning to sleep multiple hours per night without stirring, thank goodness! I feel that she is showing me more of her true personality. But, there have been very few incidents where I've come home to find something chewed up or peed on. That being said, I'm feeling really positive about this adjustment period.”

3 Months

“I can’t believe that we’ve hit the 3-month mark! I think that she is probably fully adjusted to her new home and routine! You've weathered through all of the tough challenges together and are now able to enjoy life with our furry friend. Honestly, I’m patting myself on the back - it wasn't easy, but we did it!”

Why Does My Rescue Dog Not Like Me?

There could be a number of reasons why your rescue dog doesn't like you. One possibility is that your dog is not feeling comfortable in his or her new home. Dogs often take a while to get used to their new surroundings, and until they do, they may act aggressively or bark excessively.

Another possibility is that your dog may not have been socialized enough when he or she was young. If your dog has never been exposed to people, he or she may be afraid of you and see you as a threat.

Finally, it's also possible that your dog was abused or neglected prior to being rescued. In some cases, dogs who have experienced abuse may transfer their aggression onto their new owner.

How Do I Bond with My Rescue Dog?

Playtime can be great for both of you by providing an opportunity to get exercise together while strengthening your bond. Plus it's fun!

Guy embracing his dog as they bond with each other.

You should also make sure to give praise when he does something well or at least try not to scold him too much for accidents in the house. Let’s face it - accidents happen whether you’re a dog or human.

Finally, provide contact in some way by petting or hugging them so they know they are loved. Having a dog can be amazing. And by staying focused on their best interest, they’ll grow closer to you and develop a deep trust.

Give Your Rescue Dog Time to Love Their New Home

The fact that you’ve chosen to rescue a dog is truly fantastic and something to be very proud of. But just remember that it may take some time and patience before your new friend feels at home.

Here are some final things to consider that can also help:

First, make sure that your dog has a safe place to retreat to when they're feeling scared or anxious. This could be a crate or special spot in the house where they feel comfortable.

Second, make sure you provide plenty of positive reinforcement when your dog behaves well. This will help them learn that good behavior is rewarded and will encourage them to continue behaving well. Dog treats are an obvious choice here.

Third, consider a natural calming supplement that might help your dog ease into an unfamiliar environment with a sense of improved wellness.

Finally, be patient and understanding with your new pet. You’re going to grow a special bond together that starts on day one.