Common Dog Behavior Problems and Causes with Adopted Dogs

Common Dog Behavior Problems and Causes with Adopted Dogs

It feels wonderful to bring a new furry family member into your San Antonio home, and it is even more rewarding when it is a dog that has been rescued. Adopting a rescued dog means that you are saving it from a life of neglect, abandonment, abuse, or sometimes all three. Because of the situations that these dogs come from, rescue dogs often have dog behavior problems that can be difficult to manage. While it can be a great challenge, sticking with your new friend will give you a lifetime of love and commitment. Here are some common dog behavior issues when it comes to dog adoption.

Possessiveness and Aggression with Food

Many rescue dogs come from situations where food and other resources were scarce. That meant when they got something they needed, they had to protect it at all costs. These dogs may end up growling and snarling when they are fed or are given a toy, and someone comes near. Dogs who act like this may not be appropriate for homes with small children. It is important to remain calm and non-threatening when your new dog has a possession that they are guarding. Over time, the dog will come to realize that in their new situation, no one will steal their food or toys.

Anxiety and Fear

Many rescue dogs have been abused, either by humans or even from other animals. This means that they are very sensitive when it comes to their fight or flight instinct. This can be very dangerous. They can become aggressive if they feel threatened. If their instinct is to flee, then they may end up causing damage, such as chewing through a wall to escape. Make sure to always use positive reinforcement to train these dogs to understand that there is nothing to fear from you. Treats and love will eventually dampen those fight or flight instinct, at least in your home. While out on walks, anxious dogs can end up slipping off the leash, so make sure to have a collar that prevents slipping, such as a harness.


Disciplining and correcting the dog behavior problems of rescue dogs can be very difficult. It is always vital to remain patient and caring. You will need to build up a trust between yourself and your dog so that they will realize that they are safe and loved in their new situation. Try to avoid using harsh tones of voice and stick to positive reinforcement as much as possible.


You may have a more difficult time of teaching your new dog things that they need to know. Prior to their dog adoption, they may not have been housebroken or been taught to play with toys. They may also need to learn at least the basic commands for sit, stay, and when to come. Teaching may be more challenging for these dogs, since they may have gotten older without any prior guidance. They will eventually learn what you need, but patience and positive reinforcement are again vital.

Dog Behavior Problems

It is amazing how rewarding it can be to rescue an animal through dog adoption. However, you may find that there are several dog behavior problems that need to be overcome to have a fully harmonious home with your new family member. With a little care and patience, your new pooch will provide you with a lifetime of love and affection.

For more information about handling dog behavior problems by a qualified dog trainer in the San Antonio, San Marcos, Austin, or New Braunfels area, visit our website at