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Sadies Guide for New Families

This is probably one of the most important information sheets you will ever read.

Compiled by very experienced people within this complex area of dog rescue

Please read it carefully and apply the advice to your new rescue dog.

Offering a home to one of our rescue dogs is just the beginning of an amazing journey



The Sadies team microchip your pet before transportation for identification purposes, we pass this information to a UK company called PETtrac.

You will receive an email or letter from PETtrac confirming that the details have been added to the database. In April of this year the government made it compulsory by law to microchip your dog, therefore If you do not receive an Email or letter it is very important that you let us know and we will take the appropriate steps to ensure you and your dog is on their system.

Your dog might be afraid and unsure of his new surroundings. If he appears to be scared, keep him in a small, quiet area to start, and take it slow. Don't allow children to bother the dog if he is afraid; fear can result in nipping. Instead, give your dog plenty of time to adjust to his new surroundings, taking it one step at a time.

We recommend until your dog gets to know you better they are walked in the garden on a lead for at least 24 hours this is a vital time of bonding and getting to know their surroundings, if they feel insecure or scared you run the risk of them escaping. They can be very skilled at finding a way out.
Also many rescue dogs are not used to a collar and lead and this is a great opportunity for them to get used to being walked in a secure quiet place.
We do not recommend you walk your dog for at least one week and suggest when you do start walking them, for the first week or two you go to the same place and follow the same route, as close to home as possible. 
If your dog is spooked and somehow manages to escape, it gives them a better opportunity to find their way back through scent and previous knowledge. During this time please continue to use both harness and lead + slip lead.
Remember to shut the door tightly behind you. If you live in a multi household, please speak to everyone about the important of shutting internal doors before opening external doors, so that your dog does not accidentally slip past you.



Your new dog may have been abandoned, found as a stray or abused. The dog has had to adjust to a new life. Kind of scary if you think about it! Being gentle, considerate, kind and patient will help ease your new dog into his/her new life with you. Some rescue dogs may be very friendly at first while others may be reserved until they get to know you. Let the dog come to you; don't force him/her to do anything until you better understand his/her personality and behaviors. No dog is going to be "perfect" and due to their past history, rescued dogs require special consideration. They might be reserved or submissive at first due to their past history, but then tend to come out of their shell within 1-2 weeks. We know moving is stressful and your new dog feels the same way! Give him time to acclimatise to your home and family before introducing him to strangers. Make sure children know how to approach the dog without overwhelming him.
Your new dog does not know they are safe.  They do not know you.  Many have endured severe abuse from humans so do not know if you will hurt them. Please keep them safe and give them time


For the first few weeks, remain calm and quiet around your dog, limiting too much excitement. Not only will this allow your dog to settle in easier, it will give you more one-on-one time to get to know his likes/dislikes. Don't leave your other pets or small children unsupervised with the new dog until they are used to each other.
If you plan on crate training your dog, leave the crate open so that he can go in whenever he feels like it in case he gets overwhelmed. From there, start your routine of feeding, toileting and play/exercise. From day one your dog will need family time and brief periods of solitary confinement. Don't give in and comfort him if he whines when left alone. Instead give him attention for good behavior, such as chewing on a toy or resting quietly.



Even a potty trained dog can make mistakes in a new home! Expect this to happen. He doesn't know which door to go to or how to ask his new family what he wants. Keep a very watchful eye on your new friend and confine him when you can't watch him. The worst thing you can do is to physically reprimand a dog. This teaches the dog that he must go someplace you can't see him to be safe. A firm "no" when you catch him in the act and placing him outside or on papers will teach him where it is appropriate to go. The main thing is to reward good behavior and use firm verbal cues for bad behavior. **It is not advised that you let the new member of your household free reign of the house when you are away for longer periods of time. ** Use crate training as a positive way to confine your new dog for short periods of time or have one room they can settle in.



Allow several weeks to adapt to his new surroundings and up to four months to fully adjust (older dogs may take longer than young ones). Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment. We assume that you will make a patient and concerted effort to achieve a successful placement. Sometimes rescued dogs may exhibit behavioral problems that could include house soiling, destructive behavior, mild aggression toward other pets or humans, submissive urination, clinging behavior, licking behavior, and hiding or cowering in bed. Most of the time, bad behavior is of very short duration as the dog becomes used to its new surroundings. Please give them time to acclimatize to your home, your expectations of them.  They might never have been inside a house before, they don’t understand our language and your existing beloved pets are strangers to them, all introductions should be made ideally in the garden, if you have more than one dog/cat to introduce them to, bring them out one at a time.

When you change a dogs diet it can cause some gastric distress, start with bland foods, chicken and rice for example is excellent and gradually introduce different foods. If the dog is underweight feed small meals at regular intervals, rather than one or two large meals, allowing their systems to cope with the change. Don't feed pets in the same room together until they are showing no aggression or jealousy at mealtime. A dog that has been starved, or forced to give up food to other dogs in the past, may be very protective of the food you give it.

Please remember these dogs have a past and might not trust new people, do not rush to walk them or expect then not to have experienced traumas, they need time and patience, and they need to see the world in small steps.  Some might be fearful and want to hide in corners, some lived in the streets for a long time so their instinct is to escape, so for those first few weeks with you, focus to keep them close, do not put pressure on them and within time they will become the most rewarding, wonderful and loving dog ever.

We hope this advice is helpful. For the majority of adopters after an initial few days of adjustment they find that they have adopted a truly wonderful dog that wants nothing more than the touch of your hand, the sound of your voice, and the love of your heart. You may find it hard to believe that someone in the past treated your new friend with cruelty and malice it is difficult for us also but because of you that will never happen again.


When collecting your dog from kennels or transport you will need to bring the following items.

  1. Collar/lead with disc, please ensure the disc has your contact number on it.
  1. Harness with a disc attached
  1. One slip lead.
  1. A crate

    Where possible we will be able to advise the size harness/collar required for your dog, most however come in x small, small, medium and large and can be adjusted to fit your dog.If the dog is small enough we advise taking them still inside the crate into your home, finding a quiet spot to place the crate and leave the door open so that the dog can come out in their own time.

If the dog is large we advise you use a slip lead, plus normal lead attached to harness to take your dog into the house, or carry them.

We have trusted you with one of our dogs please give your new family member time and patience and they will reward you.