So, you bring home your dog, carefully chosen. He is now with his furever family...
Your new dog's life has been stressful. Whether he came from a good home that couldn't keep him, was rescued off the street or was seized from a hoarder..time spent in a shelter or being in several foster homes can be a hard thing for most dogs. You want to give him a good and happy life and for many people what that means is trips to Petsmart, the dog park and involvement in family and social events.
Unfortunately, your new dog may not find those things as fun as you think. It is very important for new adoptive families to understand that their dog has to figure out why he's there, who you are, who the other pets are and whether they are SAFE there.
Understanding this sets up for a better long term relationship.
Sometimes there is a "honeymoon" period..what this means is the dog appears very well behaved, calm and quiet. It is very likely that the dog is overwhelmed and possibly shut down emotionally. So don't be surprised if in several weeks to months things change, for better or for worse and be prepared to deal with behavioural changes in advance.
So some basic rules:
Do not assume the dog is not "other animal aggressive" or likes or feels safe with children. Management and careful socialization are key.
Do not assume that your dog will feel safe with men, or all men or men in hats..just because he seems to like your boyfriend/father etc.
Feed the dog separately from other pets and ensure he is LEFT alone to eat.
Do not assume that because the dog is following you around that he will not run away if given the chance.
Do not assume that playtime at the dog park is a good idea for exercise. Playtime in a stressed dog or one who doesn't yet feel safe with YOU is not going to feel safe with a bunch of people and dogs he's not familiar with.
Find a good trainer or training class that has experience with rescues or insecure/anxious dogs.
Build a relationship through good treatment..this includes exercise, good food and grooming, good veterinary care, proper training, keeping your dog safe.
And know that a rescue, even though they can be a lot of work (not unlike ANY dog..lol) will appreciate the love and care and become your heart dog.