Adopting an older dog can be very rewarding because in many ways the dog’s behavior and personality are more predictable. But Mary Lee Nitschke, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Professor of Psychology at Linfield College in Oregon, cautions that if a dog’s history is unknown, you need to go slowly and be careful.
Spend time getting to know your individual dog’s body language. Learn what the dog likes and what scares him, and then gradually introduce the dog to new experiences.
Nitschke states, “Whatever you do, do it gradually or slowly, and give the animal time to habituate to things that may be new to that animal.”
Reinforce good behavior with kibble or treats.