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Helpful hints for adopting a dog that has been at the shelter for more than 21 days


All dogs are different, some will be shy, some will be scared, some will cling too much, and some will be depressed. Please give them time to adjust to a new home and new people. Many of our dogs have had homes, either they were lost, abandoned, or turned in by their owners.

These long term dogs are typically so happy to be with a family, and they will bond easily – in days in fact. Following the below tips will help transition the dog into your home.


  • House training - if not apparent right away, treat the dog as if a 4 month old puppy for a while. Put out often and praise them for going outside. They will most likely be more than happy to have the chance to go potty outside.


  • Crate training - crates are a must. Please crate in the house when you are away and at night. The only exception would be an outside only dog.


  • Inside/outside dogs - if dog has been used to being inside dog, they may never adjust to being outside dog. Please don’t make an inside dog and outside dog.


  • Feeding - feed any shelter dog separately from any other dogs. They should have their own space and bowl. After eating pick up all bowls. Be sure food is quality and 2 times a day may be very helpful to teach them that the new home has plenty of food for them. Exercise - This is so important to these guys. Wear them out! Dog parks, walks, runs, ball playing are all good. Get professional help if needed to leash train.


  • Discipline - never strike your dog. He/she may have been abused in the past. Your new relationship should be built on love and trust.


  • Coat - if you see hair loss, don’t worry, it’s common in dogs that have been at the shelter for a very long time. Ask to see the Dr or one of the vet techs for advice and medicine before you leave the shelter.


  • Bedding - a clean, soft, and dry place to sleep will make these poor guys very happy. Any old blanket or comforter will be like heaven to them.


  • Toys - get sturdy toys. They may want to chew a lot. Toys have not been allowed at the shelter. Kong, tennis balls, and twisted ropes are good.


  • Chews - chews are not allowed at the shelter. Some of these guys have been there since they were very young and need to have good things to chew on. Go to pet store and ask the staff for help finding the right chews.


  • Senior dogs - these may be the easiest of all to adopt. They are over the puppy’s need for a lot of exercise, so a little walk might be enough. They are usually potty trained. They are likely to be sensitive to simple correction about the new house rules, like whether or not they can sleep on the couch. Just be kind and firm while telling them what they cannot do.

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