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Old 10-05-2009, 07:39 AM
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Default Selecting Shelter dog 4 House Dog

What characteristics do you look while at the shelter when selecting a HOUSE dog?
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:22 AM
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A house dog as opposed to...?

When we got Lucy, I wanted a companion dog first and foremost, so I wanted a cuddly, friendly dog. Second, I knew I was living in an apartment (and will likely be renting for a while), so I needed the dog to be small (under 30 lbs), and not on the typical "banned breeds" list. Third, no puppies! My schedule didn't allow for spending hours house training a dog--Zach and I are gone 8 hours a day.

Lucy fit the bill on all of those things. Bonus points for being absolutely adorable!
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
A house dog as opposed to...?
Sorry, I should clarify. A house dog that lives most of their lives in the house.
This is more about demeanor at the Dog pound I think than anything else.

My first inclination is one that is calm at least in the pen. Maybe there is something else to watch for as I cruise past each kennel.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeLacy View Post
Sorry, I should clarify. A house dog that lives most of their lives in the house.
This is more about demeanor at the Dog pound I think than anything else.

My first inclination is one that is calm at least in the pen. Maybe there is something else to watch for as I cruise past each kennel.
I train service dogs with an organization that gets all of our dogs from shetlers/rescues, so I have done my share of shelter evaluations. The number one thing we're looking for in shelter evaluations is a dog that wants to be with people more than anything... in the run, he does whatever he can do to be with you, whether that is jumping up and down, following you as you walk past, pressing against the gate so that you can pet him, etc. When we take dogs out of their run and put them in a yard, we want them paying attention to us no matter what else is going on. Of course there are many more tests than that, but for your purposes I think that's going to be the most important.

As far as what they are like in a home, IMO that's anyone's guess. We've had dogs that were destructive and active in their kennel, but are perfect angels in the home; we've also had dogs that are perfect in the kennel but have no house manners.

Another thing to consider is that most dogs in shelters have kennel cough. Probably about 90% of dogs that we adopt are sick, and that definately affects their behavior in the shelter, usually making them more lethargic and "calm." A lot of dogs also have kennel stress, especially if they have been in the shelter for a long time (which is one reason why my organization adopts very few dogs from no-kill shelters and sanctuaries, the dogs have usually been there longer and are very stressed out).

Usually I suggest getting a dog from a rescue group who had evaluated the dog in a foster home if you have very specific needs.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:54 PM
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I'm a little surprised in a way, the Aussie was about 2 years old and the BC was 3-4 months. My 18 month old Peyton was like a kid out there and they acted like a bunch of grumpy old men. It didn't really surprise me on the other hand because Peyton only plays with dogs much larger than her. They are the only ones that can hold up, wants to play with her and not feel threaten. She's 45 lbs but plays like she's twice that. She's never met a dog she didn't like, but she's met many that don't like her because of her high play drive. Today she met two more.
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Originally Posted by lizzybeth727 View Post
Another thing to consider is that most dogs in shelters have kennel cough. Probably about 90% of dogs that we adopt are sick, and that definately affects their behavior in the shelter, usually making them more lethargic and "calm." A lot of dogs also have kennel stress, especially if they have been in the shelter for a long time (which is one reason why my organization adopts very few dogs from no-kill shelters and sanctuaries, the dogs have usually been there longer and are very stressed out).
If the dogs you saw didn't "call" to you, I understand that.... and I think you'll know the right dog when you see it. But at the same time you'll never know what the dogs are *really* like, when they are healthy, happy, and non-stressed.

I would probably also suggest making sure that Peyton is tired when she meets the new dogs, maybe even give her a run in a separate yard before meeting them. Do some focus work before you introduce her to the new dog, too, so that she will be more focused on you and less likely to try to play rough with the new dog. IMO it's unfair to ask a dog in a shelter to meet a brand-new dog (knowing that the only dog interraction he's probably had in the shelter is other dogs barking at him through the kennel), who plays rough and over-the-top, just after he met a new human he's still not sure of, AND he's sick, AND he's probably not had any decent food in a few days at least. No wonder they are grumpy!
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:36 AM
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what do you mean house dog?
what is NOT a house dog? all dogs should be house dogs.
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:41 AM
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I guess the same as any other dog i would look at. I have never bought from the shelter (I will in the future) I would read up on what the shelter knows about them, the possible breeds, temperment. I would probably want a dog to do somthing fun with. So a dog built for agility, fly ball or somthing. Just a dog who wants to do somthing. Im not set in stone on one specific type of activity (I think i want to test them all out lol. darn I should have started blaze earlier on with dog things)

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all dogs should be house dogs.
Not all dogs. you wouldnt want a working farm dog in a house.
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:55 AM
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I had read one time about selecting a puppy, that you should consider one that is in the middle, meaning not too hyper and not too laid back. I have my age and size requirements and it's NOT a puppy This is more about selecting which dog to consider as you walk by the pens.
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:55 AM
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I am a firm believe that your heart will know. There will be something that goes beyond reason. A gathump and certainty that this is the one. I looked on petfinder for two weeks when i saw Victor's picture. I made my mind up before i saw him which was a really good thing because for about 6 months all i could think was what have i done to myself.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by smkie View Post
I am a firm believe that your heart will know.
If that was my selection process, most of them would come home with me.
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