top of page
GRRA (10).jpg

Welcoming Your GRRA Rescue Dog

You've finally been united with your rescue dog. Now what?

Picking Up the Dog

White Gradient


  • Flat Collar with GRRA tag

  • Martingale Collar or a well fitted Harness

  • 2 Leashes

  • Be sure to properly fit collars/harness prior to walking out of the vets



High Value Treats

  • Examples of high value treats include small pieces oÿ cooked chicken, hot dogs, cheese, or deli meat

  • Great for bonding and encouraging movement into a vehicle and associating positive experience with the car.

  • Treats can also be used to encourage the dog to follow you if they have no leash walking skills.


Transition from Inside the Vehicle to Outside

  • Tethering can be helpful for the skittish dogs.

  • When opening back door/area where dog is be sure to block door as you open and grab leash securely to prevent an escape.

GRRA (7)_edited.png


Your rescue dog will be trying to understand their new environment and what is expected, while likely feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Some dogs transition easier than others. Use patience, patience, patience and a soft and gentle tone with all interactions. Don’t jump into showing off your new rescue dog. Provide them with a quiet home environment for the first few days. Understand you might have toileting accidents, soft arguments with other dogs , whining, cowering, etc


Give the dog space. Do not start petting it to reassure. Allow the dog to seek interactions. Bonding time is usually best during meal times or giving them high value treats.. Follow the dog’s lead. Practice saying his or her name and giving a high value treat.

GRRA (8).png

At Home

The Magic Power of a Dog on Leash:

  • Leave flat collar with leash attached for at least 3 days. This will be helpful when

  • Introducing your rescue dog to their home environment

  • Re-directing from areas or things you do not want the dog exploring or interacting with

  • The leash can come off as you get a sense of the dog’s exploratory nature and behavior


Where will the dog’s space be? Prepare a safe place that is cozy with a crate (if appropriate) and a dog bed.


Remember, your rescue dog needs a confident leader. In your home, you set up the expectations of what the dog will be allowed to do or not do.

If You Have a Resident Dog...


Pick up ALL Toys/Chews/high value items prior to foster’s arrival


Pack walk outside before going into a yard.

Both dogs on leash attempt a sniff and exploring each other. If dogs react or are over-excited, maintain distance until calmness is evident and try intro again.


Take a walk and watch interaction.

Walk parallel and give space.


After walk bring in to yard (if you have a fenced area)

Drop resident dog's leash and drop foster's leash for interactions. If all is well, proceed inside (do not remove foster's leash)


Have a gated area ready if when indoors you need to separate the dogs.

GRRA (9).png


  • Have a designated, consistent feeding space and time.

  • Free feeding is discouraged. If foster doesn't eat within a 15-20 min period, pick up food and try again at lunch or later.

  • Feed all dogs separately in own space.

  • Consider feeding meals in crate if it's not an aversive space.

  • Consider puzzle toys/slow feeders to engage mind during meal time.

GRRA (5).jpg

Routine: Put a Plan in Place

From Day 1 begin a routine:

  • Walks/play time

  • Bed-Time

  • Wake-up Time

  • Bathroom Breaks

  • Feeding Time

The quicker the foster gets used to your home routine, the easier it is to get situated and comfortable.

Dog proof your home. What can the dog get into?

GRRA (11).png

See things from the Dog’s eyes

Many times we place human emotions on our dogs. They don't take in the world as humans do. Really get a feel for what the dog is seeing in his world, hearing, smelling. How are we exposing the dog to the new experiences? Are we pushing the dog into something they aren't ready for? Are we allowing someone to pet a dog when the dog is not showing the interest? Awareness of canine body language will help you to understand your rescue dog.

To learn more, please read:

BeATree-CANINE Communication 1_SmilingvWarning.jpg
bottom of page