6 Must-Dos when Raising a Rescue Puppy

In case you haven’t seen, the Furevery Founders recently adopted another dog to add to their little family. Joining Fogo as the Chief Barketing Officer is the Branch Manager, Juno. Juno is a 5 month old Besengi/Retriever mix that was found at 4 weeks old without a momma on a reserve in Ontario. Bringing a rescue pup into the home was a little different than adopting an adult dog. For that reason, we’ve decided to round up our 6 Must-Dos when raising a rescue pup!


Here are 6 Must-Dos when raising a rescue puppy:

1. House Train Your Pooch

So, this may be an obvious one, but sometimes when you rescue a puppy the rescue organization may tell you that the puppy is ‘house-trained’. They aren’t purposely lying, but in many cases these puppies have been bounced around from various foster homes and being house trained in one house doesn’t mean they will come house-trained when you bring them home. Here are some best practices for house-training your puppy:

  • Crate Training

    • For many puppy’s the crate is a safe place for them. Never put them in their create as a form of discipline, because then they will see the crate as a bad thing. Praise them when they go into the crate!
    • Puppy’s should only be left for a few hours in the crate, because their bladders are teeny tiny! Then when you open the crate, promptly take the puppy outside to relieve themselves. They will slowly learn that the crate is a comfort zone and when they are first let out of the crate, that is bathroom time.
  • Common Grounds

    • Puppies will often go to the washroom in the same place each time, because of it’s familiar smells. Find a dedicated washroom spot outside your home and try and direct your puppy there each time.
  • Praise Your Dog

    -When your puppy goes to the washroom, you better freakin reward that pup with tons of love, praise and possibly treats. We personally use praise and love, but some dogs react better to treats. Find what works best for you and your pup, and definitely celebrate the good deed!

  • When Accidents Happen

    • And, accidents will happen. Be patient and calm when house-training your puppy. They are learning and it may take time. If you catch your dog having an accident inside, we recommend finding a quick & loud sound to make, like the Cesar Millan ‘Tsch’. Then quickly take your dog to their spot outside and encourage the business to be done there!
    • If you did not witness your dog having an accident in your house, you cannot blame them. Try going back to the basics and take them outside more often and rewarding them for good behaviour.


2. Sign Up for Puppy Training

Every puppy and dog should go through professional training sessions, but especially rescue pups. At young ages, it is difficult to know what kind of trauma these pups may be holding onto. Maybe you don’t know their story or maybe you do and it’s a traumatic and sad story. You want to be sure that your puppy doesn’t become timid or turn their timidness into aggression. Enter your address in the Furevery app and find the top rated Trainers near you! Puppy training can start as early as 8 weeks! *Note, puppies and dogs are never too old to start training. Training us most effective at young ages, but if you’ve adopted a puppy or dog that hasn’t been trained, it is still worth taking them to professional training classes.

3. Socialize your Pup with other Dogs

After the first series of vaccinations, your pup is good to begin socializing with other dogs. We recommend taking baby steps. Arrange puppy play dates with your friends’ dog, take your dog to new walking trails where they learn to greet new dogs, even taking your pup into a pet store where you might run into one or two other dogs. Make it a happy experience and encourage them to properly greet other dogs, as long as the other owners say it’s okay! We recommend saving the dog park experience for a puppy that is 4 months or older. The dog park can be overwhelming for young puppies and some older dogs don’t know how to play with puppies. Use caution when integrating the dog park into your routine, and always keep an eye on your dog.

4. Introduce your New Pup to your Vet

Raising a puppy is all about new experiences and taking your puppy out of his/her comfort zone, so that they get used to a variety of sights, sounds and people. You don’t want your dog to be fearful of the vet, because that makes for an uncomfortable experience for everyone, anytime you have to take your dog to the vet. Call your veterinary clinic and see if you can schedule a quick introduction with the vet. Most vets are happy to be involved in this introduction, because it will save them time down the road when your puppy needs to actually see the vet and they aren’t nervous. Search for nearby veterinarians in Furevery to find trustworthy veterinarian and setup a first visit.


5. Socialize with Adults & Children

Many reports say that puppies should be exposed to 100 people before the age of 12 weeks. If your puppy is over 12 weeks when you adopt him/her, then start exposing to people as soon as possible. For 100 people, 20 of them should be children as well as a variety of older people, younger people, people with crutches, people wearing hats or sunglasses and so on. Try and not meet 100 people at once, but take your puppy to meet the neighbours, be pet by people at the park and invite family and friends over.

6. First Grooming Appointment

We spoke to our friends at Furever-Loved Pet Salon in Kitchener, ON and they told us that puppies are good to come for their first grooming appointment after their vaccines, which is usually around 8-12 weeks old! Just like the above must-dos, taking your puppy to the groomer gets them used to something new and prevents them from being fearful of the groomers. Depending on your puppy’s breed, some puppies have to visit the groomers more often than others, so it is important to get them used to this experience. Make sure to let the Groomer know that it is your puppy’s first time so they can take a few extra minutes of care and make it an enjoyable first-experience!


We hope this post helps you raise a happy, healthy and confident little rescue pup! As always, we encourage suggestions and comments, so please let us know what you think below!

  • The Furevery Team
Written on April 17, 2018