Are you thinking about adding a second (or third, or fourth) dog to your household? Will your current dog be thrilled with a new friend? Will the dogs play with each other, romp together, and keep each other company in your absence? Or will adding another dog to your home create disharmony, chaos, or worse?
How you prepare for your new dog’s arrival and how you pass the first few weeks together may well determine whether your relationship works out.
The fact is, purebred dogs are everywhere. You can find them at shelters, in rescue groups, free in the newspaper, running loose in the streets, for sale by breeders, and, unfortunately, in pet stores. There are pros and cons to acquiring your next family member from any of these sources; you can find good dogs from any one of them, but each venue can also supply you with dogs with minor to severe health and behavior problems. Much of the dog breeding industry seems to subscribe to the caveat emptor" philosophy. The average dog owner is very much on her own when it comes to acquiring a new canine companion
You’re getting a dog from the shelter? Good for you! We’ll tell you how to choose the best dog for your family. There are a number of steps you need to take before you even set foot inside the shelter door. Doing some pre-visit homework can greatly increase your odds of finding the perfect pup. Caution: If all dogs on a particular shelter’s website are described the same way (sweet, friendly, loving) then the shelter probably doesn’t know the personalities of their dogs very well, or chooses not to be forthcoming with the information. This would be a good shelter to avoid.
I have a serious problem with my six-year-old neutered male Vizsla. He was a high strung, but good tempered dog for the first three years of his life. Something seemed to snap after that. He is loving and affectionate most of the time, but he gets aggressive when family members leave the kitchen (he and our other dog are limited to the kitchen and family room). He barks, snaps at them, and snags clothes with his teeth. He has never chomped down and bitten anyone, but he has scratched people with a tooth.
Read any good puppy contracts lately? Probably not. Health and placement guarantees, spay and neuter requirements, limited registration and other legal details are important, but they can (yawn) put you right to sleep. Well, that used to be true, but today some breeders are writing contracts that leave people rubbing their eyes in disbelief because they contradict everything mainstream veterinary medicine recommends. These contracts require puppy buyers to feed an all-raw diet, avoid routine vaccinations, and use holistic therapies instead of conventional veterinary care.
So you want to adopt an older dog. Rescue a homeless hound. Save a life. Fantastic! Gone are the days when everyone wants to start out with a baby puppy – and that’s a good thing. In the last decade, as pet owners have become more responsible about spaying and neutering, shelters across the country have noticed a marked decrease in the numbers of puppies they receive. Instead, they now find that the preponderance of homeless dogs in their kennels are adolescents – six months to two years old – who haven’t received the training and direction they needed to become good canine citizens.
A long-time dog lover, Marci Boothe volunteers at the Santa Cruz (California) SPCA walking adoption dogs. She had assumed that her landlady wouldn’t approve of her keeping a dog in her small rental unit, so she got her “dog fix” by giving love and attention to shelter dogs. But then came Stella, a year-and-a-half-old Border Collie mix. The winsome young dog arrived at the SPCA in July of 1998.
By volunteering at an animal shelter, you can directly increase the number of dogs that win" the contest of their lives. Shelters are almost always under-funded
establishing safe spots for them on either side of the bed; they were compelled to stay on their own cozy beds with a six-foot leash fastened to an eyebolt in the wall.
Dr. Bain also suggested that we use muzzles on both Jasmine and Sassy when they were together. She recommended basket-type muzzles
My husband and I acquired two (temporary) canine foundlings last week. Julie is a five-month-old purebred Akita puppy that we rescued from our local shelter, where her cage card identified her as a Shepherd/Husky mix. Her prospects for adoption were dismal, given that the shelter euthanizes 85-90 percent of incoming animals. Our second castaway, Princess, is a three-year-old Beagle mix. My husband and I were driving down a busy highway when we spotted her, hunched in the middle of the road, defecating while cars swerved around her on both sides. Princess was wearing a collar and tag, but her owners had moved, and she ended up staying at our house for several days while we tracked down their new phone number and location.