14 Ways to Love a Rescue Dog

Many rescues have been through a lot. Here’s how to help them get past their trauma.


About a third of all pet dogs in the United States are purchased from breeders as puppies and therefore haven’t gone through being dumped, homeless, sent to a shelter, forcibly taken from a home in which they were mistreated, abused in a puppy mill, or all of the above. A number of them also come from family and friends. Many of the rest are rescued. Some of those rescues, no matter what they’ve been through, are amazingly resilient and quickly accept the love and comfort of their new household. But others are just too traumatized. They are afraid for their human family even to stroke them gently or to come near them to attach a leash so they can have a pleasant walk outside. They need time, and they need your patience. Here are 14 ways to earn your new dog’s trust. These strategies work to keep all dogs feeling secure but will prove particularly reassuring for a scared one.

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