It takes 1.5 to 2 months to bond with a rescue dog. However, it’s not easy to predict how long a rescue dog will take to bond with its new owner. Each dog will adjust to its new family and home in its own time. Don’t worry if he doesn’t adapt to his behavior right away.
That depends entirely on the dog and you, both independent, sentient beings with unique personality traits and a history of experiences that have influenced your perception of the world.
Some older dogs may take longer than puppies to adapt to a new owner, and some dogs are gentler than others.
All dogs are different. But one thing is sure: They are well worth the effort.
Table of Contents
Four Factors That Affect Bonding With A Rescue Dog
History Of The Dog
How severe are the trauma and PTSD in his past? Has he lived on the streets, in a shelter, or with another family?
A dog with a history of abuse has psychological trauma and behavioral problems. Long-term shelter residents’ dogs often experience additional trauma and related behavioral issues, such as cage reactions. A rescue dog with a history of abuse may take a bit longer to create a bond with its owner.
Dogs that have spent their entire lives as losers or scavengers on the streets have various skills.
Furthermore, like humans, dogs are born with genetically encoded behavioral qualities that influence how they will respond to the situations that life throws at them.
So there are many variables. But always remember that dogs are, without exception, loving, loyal, and trusting companions who want their basic needs met, including a loving and trusting relationship with a human.
It would be advantageous if you kept this in mind and, most importantly, if you were patient.
Dogs are not capable of vicious or spiteful behavior. So remember that anything that arises is a result of prior trauma, a deeply ingrained habit, or that your dog is not used to living with humans peacefully and lovingly. It will come.
The Dog’s Age And Health Condition
If the dog is dealing with severe physical trauma or illness, this can negatively and positively affect the bond. When a dog is very sick or in severe pain, it is less able to handle other stressors, so it withdraws emotionally and cognitively while recovering.
But grooming a dog can also be an essential bonding experience through which he learns to trust you unconditionally. This brings us to the next point.
How Do You Behave Towards The Dog?
It may seem straightforward, but it’s not. Composition and consistency are essential.
No matter what strange and undesirable behaviors your dog exhibits (and with a rescue dog, there are some unexpected things, especially if you have no experience with rescue dogs), you must always be calm and consistent.
“You must never lose your nerve!” physical and verbal abuse must never be directed at the dog. The dog needs to know that he can always count on you to be friendly, calm, and a safe place for him. Dogs are generally incredibly observant and very good at interpreting non-verbal communication. Rescue dogs are sharp.
Any inconsistency in your behavior will cause him to panic, even if it is an interaction with another person or animal in the house. He will lose any trust he had built, and you will both be back to square one.
Invest in a few training sessions with an excellent behavioral therapist or dog trainer who uses only 100% reward-based, non-violent training methods. It will put you on the correct route and save you from stress and pain caused by errors and misconceptions.
The level of familiarity you build in your relationship with your dog. For example, where will the dog live and sleep? A dog who sleeps next to or on your bed and in the family home will attach more quickly than a dog chained in the backyard.
What Kinds Of Activities Are You Planning To Bond With Your Rescue Dog?
A dog that accompanies you on fun activities like hikes walks on the beach, coffee house visits, daily morning walks, etc., will form a much closer bond than a dog left to his own devices in the backyard.
The choice is yours, but the best and most beautiful relationship is formed when you communicate openly with the dog and integrate him into your life.
Recognize that he is a whole being with high intelligence, social needs, and communication skills, and respect that.
How Long Does It Take To Bond Wih A Rescue Dog?
As long it takes to build trust may depend on whether the dog has been abused or neglected and how long it took. However, some adult dogs can bond with their owners within a few days. Each dog has a different temperament and history, so it is a matter of individual cases.