I get a lot of calls from new owners of rescue dogs suddenly confronted with unforeseen behaviour problems.

When dogs change packs they behave as children do at a new school. They hang back and stay quiet until they assess who’s in charge.

They adjust their behaviour to suit the perceived pecking order.

Consequently a dog that was quiet and biddable for the first couple of weeks may become inexplicably dominant or boisterous.

If you have not witnessed this before it can be a shock.

It’s essential with rescue dogs to introduce them to their new environment carefully.

Walk your new dog around the neighbourhood on a lead so they become familiar with their surroundings then show them the area of the house that will be their new home.

Make sure you lead the way quietly demonstrating the rules as you go, eg. no jumping on furniture or going upstairs.

Rules are important. They tell your dog he is part of a strong pack.

Nothing creates insecurity like a weak pack without rules.

If you have a cat or another dog explain the rules, eg. no chasing or rough play and enforce them from the start.

That way you will avoid conflict.

Don’t even dream of letting your new dog off the lead outdoors until you have an established relationship and a reliable means of communication. However good your commands, they will vary from whatever your dog has heard before. It takes a couple of weeks before a new dog begins to understand.

Meanwhile you should be watching and learning.

Unless you have adopted an old dog, expect some behaviour problems. Quiet, biddable, well-trained young dogs don’t generally go to rescue centres.

I work with lots of rescue dogs and you have to listen to the story they tell and no one else. Every rescue dog comes with a story and those stories are rarely reliable. The dog will tell you everything you need to know.

You can contact Vic at vicbarlow@icloud.com or by text at 07590 560012.