No matter how old our dogs are or where they come from, they're constantly adjusting their behaviour based on what's going on around them. A puppy has a certain way of behaving with his mum and siblings and then, when he or she moves in with a human family, needs to work out how to behave there - the rules are different, the play is different, communication is different. It's no great surprise then that the pup's behaviour also becomes different.
Then you have rescue dogs - they may have been in a loving home but circumstances changed, they may have come from an abusive or neglected home. They've developed certain behaviours and coping mechanisms for THAT place. Then they go to the rescue centre and it's a very different set-up - and their behaviours also change - they may become more confident, they may become introverted...we don't really get to see the real personality. At some point some wonderful person or people decide to take them home and their situation changes yet again. Instead of an enclosure they have a house, instead of a basic bed they may have big fluffy beds or even the couch to sleep on. They have people sitting right next to them eating - which doesn't tend to happen at the pound or similar places, different play, different rules....
It takes our dogs as little as 2 days to settle into their new home and start testing what sort of rules apply and what sort of behaviours are appropriate in THIS space. Within 2 weeks you may see some dramatic changes in behaviour - not always for the better - so this is a critical time to help our dogs so that this home can truly be their forever home.
Ideally it's at this time that you make the very wise decision to bring in a dog behaviour therapist. Someone who can look at your situation, assess your dog and the evolving behaviours and set you up to have a calm, happy dog who understands what you want and respects you enough to try their best for you. This person can guide you as to the best way to engage with your dog's particular personality, the commands that you'll need to be able to control them, the rules that will help them to settle quickly into their new home. Bear in mind - a dog trainer or behaviour therapist can only ever guide you as to what you do - to give you the skills or 'tools'. By getting in early our goal is to prevent issues from developing in the first place however behaviour therapists can certainly help you to resolve any behaviours that take hold or that your new furry friend comes with. No trainer can fix your dog for you, we can only give you the tools to use if you choose to and it's then up to you to do the rest.
To support the RSPCA with their "Clear the Shelter" campaign this Friday and Saturday, and any day, and any rescue centre, Mutts with Manners is offering 20% (yes, TWENTY PERCENT) off all training for ANY dog rescued, as long as the dog is 5 months or older and training takes place within 2 weeks of the date of adoption. The more you train your dogs, the more freedom you can give them so start training early and help your dog to be the best version of him or herself :-) (Please check our "Areas we Service" page to make sure that we come to your area)