Q&A: Making a rescue dog feel at home


I am adopting my first shelter dog tomorrow. She is 8-10 weeks old. They found her and 3 other puppies when they were maybe 4 weeks old. She isn’t very timid or anything like that but she is VERY shy. Is this because she hasn’t had much human interaction and she doesn’t know how to react? Also, are there any tricks to get her to warm up to me and be her puppy self?

Hi Bri.

Some puppies are naturally very shy. Your new puppy may be more so in that she has had little contact with humans in the first few weeks of her life. Regardless though, you really will just need to give her time to warm up to you.

The bonding process takes time, and she will ‘come out of her shell’ the more she gets to know you and feel comfortable in her new environment.

Many 8 week old puppies are calm and sleepy, but typically by the time they have been in their new homes a few weeks they become much more lively!

If you give her love and affection, a good routine, and start doing some basic obedience with her right from the start, I am confident she will be fine. The transition from a kennel environment with her litter mates to a new home can take a bit longer for some pups, just be patient.


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Beth Jeffery

Beth Jeffery is a Dog Trainer and Behaviorist with over 15 years experience in the field. She spent years in the Service Dog field, training both Guide Dogs for the Blind and Assistance Dogs for the Disabled, as well as many years working with pet dogs. Beth current runs her Dog Training business in San Diego, working with dogs of all breeds, all ages, and with all issues, from puppy training through to aggressive dogs.

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