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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Can I vent?

How can I say this in a manner that won't offend or upset any of our readers?

Maybe just by saying up front that this post is not to criticize but rather to educate anyone who comes across this page if they would happen to google puppies or dogs.

It has happened again in our neighborhood where a person has gone to a pound and adopted a puppy only to surrender it to the same pound in less then a year when the puppy has grown into all 75 pounds.

The reason? They didn't realize it was going to be so big, it wasn't obedient, it barked and they have neighbors, etc.

Did they spend time walking, playing, grooming, teaching, etc. on a daily basis? NO. Did they take it for basic obedience training? NO. What they did do was upon advise of an "expert" was to put a shock collar on the puppy that would shock the puppy when it barked. Of course with disasterous results, ie. the puppy would bark again, then yelp, then howl, etc...

I would encourage anyone who knows of someone who is about to adopt an adult dog or puppy to take the following list with them:

--Is this dog an owner turn-in, a stray dog, or a shelter save? Most likely, the shelter will have more information if it is an owner turn-in.

--Why did the owners give him up? Did the family give any information about the dog? It will be helpful for you to find out everything you can about the dog’s past so you can train him well.

--What is the age of the dog (it can be approximate)? If it is a rescue dog, he can range anywhere from 8 weeks to 15 years.

--How long has this dog been in the shelter or foster care? If he has been in the shelter for a long time, he may have some kennel-related behavior issues, and may have a need for remedial housetraining. If the dog has been with a foster family for awhile, the family may give you valuable information about him.

--Upon arrival, has he had any medical or behavioral problems? They may or may not be serious.

--What kind of medical treatment has the dog had? See if there are any treatments that need to continue or if there is any long term effect.

--While in the foster home or shelter, has the dog been getting any training or socialization? Does the training need to keep going?

--Are there any training or behavior issues that need to be addressed, such as housetraining or dog aggression? Make sure you can handle these issues.

--What is the activity level of this dog? What are the exercise needs? Choose a dog who has the activity level that is the same as yours.

--Will this dog be compatible with my lifestyle? A shelter or a rescue should be able to help you find a perfect dog for your lifestyle.

--Does the dog have any signs of aggression with people or animals? If the dog has aggressive behavior, he will need extra training. Don’t choose this dog if you have no idea how to train an aggressive dog.

--Does the dog prefer a certain type of people—men, women, kids, or the elderly? Try for a good match, even though dogs are adaptable.

--Does the dog need to have another dog in the house? When you are adopting, don’t forget about your existing pets.

--What is the return policy of this rescue group or shelter? Will they take the dog back if the new home doesn’t work out for him or he has a major medical problem? If the dog has major medical or behavior problems, a good shelter or rescue group will usually accommodate a return.

--Has the dog been altered and has he got his first vaccines and worming? Usually this will be done. However, the majority of the municipal shelters will do just the bare minimum.

or buying a puppy:

--Have I found the right breed to fit into my lifestyle and home?
--How big will this dog get?
--What are the breed characteristics?
--Will you have enough time to spend training, grooming and exercising a dog?
--Am I willing to spend the resources to ensure the best future for a dog?

While I know that there can be extenuating circumstanes that some may have to make the decision to rehome a dog, too many "cute puppies" grow up to be very large dogs or have different characteristics then what a person expects and end up in the pound or rescue.

Luckily for the dog above, he was rescued from the pound and then finally adopted. I hope he has found his ever-after home this time!

Thank you for reading, I will get down off my soapbox now.

Give your dog a hug today,


Parsley said...

I'm on the soapbox with you. I have 5 dogs that are family to me. (We had 6 but our poor boy was elderly and sick. He passed 3 weeks ago.)

Dogs are a real responsibilty and I don't think most people know that.

Rose said...

Absolutely excellent and thoughtful post. I do hope "would be dog owners" so come across it.

Rose said...

Oops ... That was supposed to be "do" come across it.

Heather said...

Thank you for this! I wish everyone considering adopting a dog would read this.

Cheryl said...

People like that make me sick, a dog or cat or any animal is a lifetime commitment :)