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  #1  
Old 11-27-2006, 09:28 AM
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Default Rescue Advice Please

I have been waiting for about two years to add a dog to our pack. Now my son is at guarderia for half a day and has developed a lot more self control, I can visualise us adding a pupper some time in the Spring.

So, I am seriously considering adoption but...

When choosing a puppy from a breeder you have the benefit of knowing the temperament of the parents, checking neo-natal socialisation and all that. At a shelter you will not have that opportunity so you may very well end up with a weak nerved or aggressive dog due to poor breeding, genetic faults, etc.

So, choosing an adult then. You can see the dog's developed character but only within the unnatural and stressful conditions of the shelter.

Of course people with kids can and do rescue successfully so on the understanding that the dog's character may not truely show itself for some weeks after leaving the shelter, how to stack the deck in my favour that the dog I choose to rescue is not going to be child aggresive?
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Old 11-27-2006, 11:05 AM
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A good option for you would be to go through a rescue. Dogs in rescue (generally) are in foster homes and the foster home can tell you the exact personality of the dog, if it gets along with other dogs, cats, kids, exc.

You should contact your local rescues & let them know what you are looking for....

Thanks for adopting!
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:49 AM
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Take your child(ren) with you when you visit the shelter. Most shelters have a quiet place where your family can visit with the dogs. I think there are very few cases where proper socialization and training don't over-ride any bred in "predispositions", so I would not hesitate to recommend a puppy if that is what you would prefer...it is more a case of how it is raised rather than how it was bred...older dogs make great companions and many do love children...I would stay away from the smaller dogs or dogs like chows or cocker spaniels since in my experience, they tend to be a bit nippier. All in all, it is the individual dog and not the breed that comes into play...there are sweet chows, too...many shelters will let you take the dog and return it if it doesn't work out. As with all pets, I never leave small children with them unattended and I explain to kids how to approach a dog, like try not to startle them if the are asleep, etc. Adoption is a great way to find a wonderful and GRATEFUL companion. Have fun finding your family's soul mate! PS-I'm working on the article for you, but I have herniated a disk and have not been able to move around as well as I need to, so things have kind of backed up ...I'll try to get it done ASAP! Thanks!!!!!!
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:07 AM
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Thanks to you both.

I don't know that fostering is as widespread here as it is elsewhere but it is a possibility. I know the people at one of the local shelters and I guess I should give them a call and ask his advice too. I just sort want to feel like I am doing the right thing by the dog and by my kids too.

I guess if a dog wasn't 'right' it would be kinder to return it to the shelter than force it to live with an unsuitable family - but I can't imagine doing that. Ridiculous, isn't it? I am getting myself totally wound up about something I won't even have to deal with for months.

One option I am considering is volunteering to walk the dogs with one or both of the kids on a Sunday. They are always looking for people but I don't drive plus Sami's been too small so it just wasn't possible. Now, I think it may be something we could do as a family, if I rope hubby in as well. He's lukewarm about it - but we'll see...

That way we all, as a family group, get to know the dogs over time so there is not the same pressure.

I am looking forward to your article No hurry though, take it easy and rest that back!
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:36 AM
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I think the best way to stack the deck in favor of a really good family dog who loves kids and wouldn't hurt one even if they stood on her tail and hit her with a brick, is a good shelter that can steer you to a dog or puppy who would be right for your situation. I'm biased, of course, as that's the route that gave me my first dog, who was 3-5 years old when we adopted her and who we were directed to by a shelter worker who clearly recognized that her loving, maternal soul would be a perfect fit for a family looking for a child's pet. So the #1 thing to look for is an insightful, caring shelter employee who listens to you and seems to know a lot (good and bad) about the dogs in her care. Otherwise, a good shelter:

1) It should be clean (at least not filthy, though it will surely smell of dogs)

2) Kennels and cages should not be overcrowded to the point where the dogs are clearly attacking each other (look for bite marks and fights breaking out frequently)

3) The employees should be helpful and pleasant, and not respond hostiley to questions like "What happens if I get him home and he bites?" This is a legit question, and they should recognize it. They should also make it clear that if anything goes wrong, you should return the dog to them. A good shelter should stand by its dogs like a good breeder stands by its puppies, and the mark of that is the willingness to accept them back.
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:47 AM
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As with most first time dog owners, I like to recommend an older dog, in the 3-5 year old range. Most personalities are established by then and it's easier to see how the dog will fit in with your family. I know that another member on here, Bonster, has two dogs from a shelter/rescue there in Spain...I'm not sure how often he checks in anymore, but I'd definitely send him a PM with some questions.
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:07 AM
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Casablanca1, you described my perfect dog! I have visited the local shelter before, took pictures and wrote it up for my 'other' site. http://www.etenerife.com/k9-tenerife.htm

Actually, looking at that page it's about time I updated it but Ian and Sarrie are definately passionate about the dogs and as Sarrie walks down the aisle, you can see each and every dog is passionate about her too.

The other part of the equation of course, is Skye. Her best friend is a female Presa Canario but I think she'd be happier with a male. I also think it would be easier on her if it was a puppy.

I'm not a first time dog owner Zoom, but this would be the first time I have introduced a new dog into the family with kids and where there was another dog. We had Skye before the kids came along. She's accepted two babies and both kittens with no fuss at all ... but ... I feel a mature, settled dog may be better for the kids while a puppy would be better for Skye.

Thank you all for helping me think this through. First step is to call the good folks at k9, I guess, though I am sure they will think I am a nutter i to call up and ask questions now, when I am not thinking about getting the dog until March.
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:17 AM
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Best of luck to you which every way you go! As a general rule, it's best to have a pair of opposite sex dogs...so you've already got the female, I second your idea about getting a male.
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:00 PM
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A rescue should be able to tell you how they are with kids, as well as other animals. They are SUPPOSED to be temperment tested for all of those things.
But I don' tknow how they do it in Spain


So ask when you go to a shelter to look. And if one pops out at you, and you are intesrtested, have your kids meet the dog.
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