Bringing a new rescue dog into your home can be difficult, as shelter dogs, older dogs, and puppies often need help getting adjusted to their new home.

Typical problem behaviors that newly adopted dogs tend to struggle with are: Separation Anxiety, Resource Guarding, Shy/Fearful or Protective Behaviors, and Excessive Barking.

This is a guide to Zen Dog Training’s online resources designed to solve and prevent problem behaviors with newly adopted dogs.

Treats are essential for Positive Reinforcement Training!

Before getting started with training, it is important to mention that TREATS are CRUCIAL to training your new dog.  Just as people tend to bond over great food and shared meals, using treats during the socialization process can quickly improve the bond you have with your dog and build good habits.

Find High Value Treats, food or snacks your dog really likes, and use them to reward and encourage good behaviors and improve motivation and focus.

Why Treats are so Important for Successful Training:

  • (Training) Treats can quickly reward a behavior to encourage good habits.
  • (Socialization and Bonding) Treats can help create positive associations to new sounds, people, and potentially scary experiences. Also, having children and visitors give your dog treats speeds up the bonding process.
  • (Speeding up the Learning Process) Use treats as a reward so your dog learns to love training games and becomes eager to learn more!
  • (Helpful in Distracting Environments) Treats are portable and easy to carry, using makes it easier to keep you dog motivated in difficult situations.  
  • (Advanced Training Goals) Treats are essential in teaching new behaviors, and in situations where your dog is easily distracted. 

For example, by remembering to bring treats on walks, rather than sniffing and searching the ground, Zen Dogs look to their humans for praise, guidance, and treats!

The Power of Treats is a Zen Dog Training blog post that summarizes the importance of using treats especially with shy, fearful, or protective dogs.

Separation Anxiety Prevention

Without proper preparation, your dog may get upset when you leave them alone. Some dogs get so anxious when left alone; they become destructive in the home, can panic, and even cause harm to themselves.

Thankfully, there are many solutions to help prevent and improve Separation Anxiety. Separation Anxiety is a behavior that, with proper training, can improve quickly. If you are having trouble, consider hiring a professional positive reinforcement dog trainer.

Resource Guarding

Resource guarding is when a dog values something (food, toy, bone, water bowl, person, etc.) and will protect it at all costs.

Many newly rescued dogs might have had life experiences that have encouraged this protective instinct, so it’s important for new dog owners to know what might trigger resource guarding and know what to do when their dog starts acting protective.

Here’s a link to the Zen Dog Training online guide for solving Resource Guarding.

Shy/Fearful or Protective Behaviors

Counter-conditioning and desensitization are proven ways to help dogs build confidence and are the keys to success for helping your shy dog overcome their fears.

The key to making your shy or fearful dog less afraid is increased socialization. Exposure at comfortable levels to new people, places, and things along with a ton of treats, love, and patience.

Here is a quick guide on how to Break the Ice with your shy dog.

Regardless of your dog’s age, you can improve almost any phobia or fear — the trick is to go slowly and use great treats! Just getting your dog to learn to relax enough to eat treats in the presence of new people, environments, places, and things can do wonders in turning around a fearful situation!

Excessive Barking

Barking is an important form of communication, but excessive barking is problematic.

Zen Dog Training’s Guide on Barking summarizes several of the most common reasons dogs bark and offers a few solutions for interrupting, refocusing or ideally, teaching a barking dog to stop!

The Secret to Zen Dog Training

The Secret to Dog Training is to use the best equipment and tools to manage situations and to set-up your environment for successful outcomes.

Our Methods are focused on controlling outcomes by using all the training options available and by helping people better understand how to create situations where learning happens quickly and efficiently.

Find out more about Zen Dog Training by visiting the website.