As a trainer, I am hyperaware of the dynamics between dogs and their owners. I have watched countless human-canine teams in group classes blossom together in beautiful demonstrations of communication and cooperation. Unfortunately, I have also seen people struggle. Teaching a dog a new skill can be difficult for any owner, especially if the person has never practiced it before. A good coach can help solve the sticking points in training . . . but more troublesome is when an owner's bond with a dog seems very weak, or non-existent.
Adopting a homeless dog should be a joyful process, and the beginning of a rewarding relationship. I highly recommend it. But there are pitfalls. (You knew there were going to be pitfalls, didn’t you?) Not every animal rescuer, rescue group, or shelter that is well-intentioned can back up good intentions with self-discipline, genuine animal expertise, and the organizational and people skills necessary to do a good job of placements and follow-up.
Types of Dog Adoption Organizations and How Each Can Go All Wrong
look for puppies from accomplished parents.üBuy a puppy from someone who brings her up in such a way that you wish every puppy could be raised that way. Australian Cattle Dog puppies bred by Ingrid Rosenquist.üWe tried to simulate the classic puppymill puppy portrait - the kind with cute props and a pup that looks like it's never been handled before and is stunned by the process. But we couldn't get this shelter puppy to look that shellshocked!üA home visit to see the puppies (or to meet the parents before the puppies are born) is a must. Puppies should be living in a house
the harder she will be to rehome. Dogs who are very old
For a dog with such a demure name, Nora was, in the words of her new owner, purely awful. “There was not a thing that she got to that she did not destroy,” remembers Donna Hess of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, of the first few weeks with her newly adopted Basenji. “She ripped any pillow she could get to shreds, and then started on the comforters and blankets. She knocked over the garbage can 50 times a day. She chewed the other dogs’ collars off their necks. Tissues, toilet paper, knickknacks, throw rugs, small objects of all kinds were stolen or destroyed. Putting stuff up high did not help; she climbed all over the tables and counters. She literally could not be left alone for a second. And the worst thing was if you tried to catch her to confine her, she bit!”
The Gold Paw Program was developed by the Humane Society of Washington County, Maryland, (HSWC) to help identify and work with dogs who have the potential to be someone’s beloved companion, but need some help getting there. Gold Paw volunteers undergo extensive training in canine behavior so they are prepared to provide these dogs with the help they need.
So, you've recently adopted an adolescent or adult dog, or you're planning to adopt one from a rescue group or shelter in the near future. Good for you! It generally takes adult dogs a lot longer to get adopted than those irresistible, pudgy puppies even when they are calmer, better-socialized, house-trained, and past the chew everything in sight" stage. Shelter staffers often shake their heads as families pass up ideal
The first adult dogs I adopted after beginning my animal protection career at the Marin Humane Society was Mandy, a tri-color Rough Collie who was surrendered to the shelter by her owner at eight years of age because she was leaking urine – she had spay incontinence. I am a sucker for Collies (my childhood companion and confidante was a Collie), and I offered to foster her, brush out her matted fur, and medicate the urine burns on her legs.
There's no denying it: a new puppy is one of the world's most wonderful things. It's a cold, hard heart that doesn't get all mushy over puppy breath, soft pink puppy pads, and the fun of helping a baby dog discover his new world. So, if one puppy is wonderful, two puppies must be twice as wonderful, right? Well, not usually. Most training professionals strongly recommend against adopting two pups at the same time. The biggest challenge of adopting puppy pairs is their tendency to bond very closely with each other, often to the exclusion of a meaningful relationship with their humans. They can become inseparable. Also, owners often underestimate the time commitment required to properly care for and train two puppies; as a result the pups often end up untrained and undersocialized.
Please remember to mention rescue groups for people looking for specific breeds. We love Newfoundlands, and are celebrating the one-year anniversary of our adoption...
not just tolerate them. And if she shows signs of discomfort (such as looking away or moving away from children)