Am I mad to consider adopting this dog?

(20 Posts)
OhThisIsJustGrape Sat 18-Jul-15 16:49:50

A rescue local to me had a staffie up for rehoming, this is not a breed I've ever considered before as I have to admit I believed the stereotyping and thought they were too risky to have with a young family.

However, something about the dog reeled me in and I really fell for him. He is 7yo and had been given up due to circumstances which were not to do with him, his owner was distraught apparently.

Anyway, shortly after I saw the Rescue centre's plea for a home for him I lost my internet for a few days and by the time I got back online he had gone to a potential new home. I was quite upset as by this point I had tried to find out as much as I could about the breed and had changed my uninformed opinion and realised he could be perfect for us.

By chance this week I have found that he is back for adoption. The rescue have told me that it is because his new owner had tried leaving him for around 3hrs at a time straight away before he was settled in and they had also wanted to confine him to one room whilst out which he didn't like. He was fine with the run of the house whilst left though. This reassured me that he wasn't necessarily a problem dog and the issue was one that I could get around and as I'm a SAHM it wouldn't be a problem anyway.

He has been with a foster family for a number of months and they have young children similar in age to my own (5 and 7yo) and he is absolutely fine with them. Loves them in fact. He is good on/off lead, well behaved and just wants to be a lap dog apparently smile

So, this all sounds perfect. However, DH has concerns that he must be a problem dog hence why he is rescue (I have no reason to believe there is any truth in this) and is naturally worried about taking on an older dog and any potential issues with the children. I spoke to my dad last night about it and he was horrified and said the dog could turn on the children etc.

This has really knocked my confidence in the dog, I'm certain that he is fine and im going to see him tomorrow (alone for the first time as I don't want to get the children's hopes up until we've at least passed the home check).

I've had dogs all my life but only ever from a pup where I've known both parents' history - am I crazy to want to take on a dog that there is possibly little info about even though he has been an angel in foster home?

Would really appreciate any thoughts, I obviously don't want to put my children at any risk and even so I won't leave him unattended with them and they will be taught not to touch him whilst sleeping/eating and not to take anything from him.

Thanks!

aginghippy Sat 18-Jul-15 17:22:22

I have a rescue staffie, she is lovely! Why does your dh think the rescue people would lie to you? That doesn't make any sense.

My dog was picked up off the street (she had been dumped angry ) and honestly she is completely fine with children. In fact, she is very tolerant of little ones, sits quietly while they stroke her.

There is no reason to think a staff will 'turn on' children. My dd was 7 when we got ddog. They love each other to bits. Yes do supervise the children around the dog and make sure they understand the correct way to treat a dog.

BagelwithButter Sat 18-Jul-15 17:23:26

No, I don't think you're mad smile

You should ask to talk to the foster family and insist they be totally honest with you. The very fact he's been in a home with young children is a massive plus point.

At 7 yrs old, he's perfect, IMO. He's lost the very bouncy nature that younger Staffies often have. If he's anything like my friend's Staffie, he'll sleep a lot, not like going out in the rain and enjoy lots of cuddles.

Your children are a perfect age too, old enough to understand when told to gone the dog his own space, not pester etc.

You will get tons if negativity from people, 1 he's a rescue and 2 he's a Staffie. But you can ignore them!

You could even ask the rescue if possible to have him on a home trial basis. Good luck!

OhThisIsJustGrape Sat 18-Jul-15 17:35:03

Ah thank you for reassuring me.

DH is the most cynical man to ever walk the earth. He is not particularly fussed about getting a dog tbh and in all honestly would be quite happy not to get one. However, he appreciates how much I and the children would like one and is happy for us to find one to join our family. He just always sees the negatives in everything and is understandably wary about getting a rescue dog - he, like me, was brought up with dogs that his family had from pups - he just struggles to believe that a dog would end up in rescue through no fault of his own.

I'm ridiculously excited about going to visit the dog tomorrow! He is in kennels at the moment as there was no room at the inn when he was returned from his potential adopter. I have spoken to the lady who previously fostered him and will speak to her again on Monday to let her know whether we wish to proceed with a home check. I am prepared to ask lots of questions about him but I felt reassured by what she said when I asked why he'd been returned back to the rescue.

CheeseandPickledOnion Sat 18-Jul-15 17:49:20

Our dog is a staffie rescue and one of the kindest, gentlest, loving dogs I've ever met!

babyboomersrock Sat 18-Jul-15 18:15:07

The rescue have told me that it is because his new owner had tried leaving him for around 3hrs at a time straight away before he was settled in and they had also wanted to confine him to one room whilst out which he didn't like. He was fine with the run of the house whilst left though

So you'll be happy to let him have the run of the house from day one? I'd ask why the new owner didn't just do that too? How did he behave when he was confined? Was he destructive or did he wee and poo everywhere? Would there ever be a time when you might have to confine him (say, when tiny children or non-dog-lovers visit), and would you cope with the resultant behaviour? Is he dog-friendly or will you have to watch him around other dogs? This could impact strongly on your pleasure in outings and your children's ability to walk him themselves as they get older.

If you feel the rescue is giving you the whole story and you are prepared to work around the dog's needs, then that's great news for the dog. If you are even slightly suspicious that they're glossing over things, take care. Unfortunately a few rescues are so keen to rehome dogs that they make light of any off-putting issues.

Finally, be completely realistic about who will be caring for the dog - it'll be you, always. Your children may help out while they're interested but your dh isn't keen, so you have to assume he won't help. What happens when you're unwell, or need to go out, or whatever?

I know I sound negative, but if there's one thing worse than a dog languishing in rescue, it's a dog being returned again and again because the prospective owners haven't fully considered potential problems. I hope it all goes well, OP.

OhThisIsJustGrape Sat 18-Jul-15 18:46:16

I have no idea why she didn't want him to have the run of the house, the rescue told me he was shut in the kitchen but managed to break out (I don't know how??). He was found snoozing on the sofa when the owner came back, I'm told he didn't do anything destructive. Yes he could have the run of the house here and my eldest son (I also have two teenagers aged 15 and 19) finishes work at lunchtime so if I had to leave the dog eventually then it would be for a couple of hours at the most. Tbh there are very few places I go to that I couldn't take the dog with me, at weekends there is almost always a teenager at home if the rest of us want to go out for longer. I have really thought about this and I'm as certain as I can be that I could make it work. My dad, providing he can get over his horror at the thought of me rehoming a staffie, is a dog-lover and I know would look after the dog for me if needed for a day if I had to be out for any significant period although this would obviously depend on whether he and the dog got along ok.

I know the work will all be on me, I certainly don't expect the youngest children to help much if at all and the eldest two are likely to help but only if it fits around them! However. If I were ill then I know the teens would walk him etc for me. I would like a dog mainly as companionship for myself, I don't work and I'm lonely if im being brutally honest. I'm happy to take on the responsibility alone for this dog, I just need to ensure as much as possible that he will be suitable for the family as a whole.

He has been in a foster home with a number of other dogs, they didn't expect him to be at ease with this as he was an only dog previous to being put up for rehoming but they say he loved the company of the dogs. There are many photos of him running off-lead with the other dogs so I assume he has no issues there.

I don't feel the rescue lady was glossing over anything but it was only a short conversation we had on the phone yesterday. I fully intend to ask further questions when I speak to her on Monday, if all goes well tomorrow when I meet the dog.

Are there any questions in particular I should be asking?

triballeader Sun 19-Jul-15 16:56:28

I have a rescue staffy x bully. They can be deeply loved family pets whose families circumstances have changed so they end up in rescues.
Not everyone bothers to read up on their needs - they love their families more than their homes and need to be with their families. They need to be gradually built up to being left for periods of time not simply left suddenly for long periods. The poor dog was in a new home and had no way of knowing people would come back. A dog who has been loved will often have had past owners who have bothered to write details about their dog to help the rescue and new owners to find the right new home.

All bull terriers need to have things to do or they will find things to do - stuffed frozen kongs, puzzle balls and similar all help. Having a safe space to amble about in is less boring so I am not surprised the dog worked to get the door open to head for the sofa. The sofa would smell of family. If I go out I leave the radio on, something in a kong, chew toys and access to water and I come home to find she has nabbed the spot where I would normally sit till I get back. I have no issue of her moving- she just wants to be in a space that smells of me till I get home.

Before I rehomed her, and especially as she had been a cruelty case, I spent a lot of time getting to know her and her getting to know me before I did take her home. The Rescue home also gave a three weeks easy return policy in case we were not a good fit for each other.

I also signed her up for the KC good citizen classes with a very good dog club who offer special needs classes for rescued dogs who need a bit more TLC and help to learn new things. I do recommend them as Staffy's love to learn and love to make their owners happy. I now have a dog who does not do mornings, who likes ambling in meadows, will jump in the car and go wherever we want to as a family and will play ball all day with anyone daft enough to join in.

SunshineAndShadows Sun 19-Jul-15 19:57:26

It sounds as if you have a great opportunity to rehome a well socialised dog that is known to have good experience with kids - don't underestimate this - he sounds like a gem.
Of course there will be work, and a settling in period - that would be the same for any dog. More importantly if you have DC, ensure that they are well trained grin
drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/kids-and-dogs-how-kids-should-and-should-not-interact-with-dogs
But def don't buy into the staffy bad press - I'm a vet and work in behaviour. I've met lots of reactive/snappy collies/mongrels/terriers etc and in 12 years never met a nasty staffie, I'm sure they do exist but please judge on Deed not Breed

Floundering Sun 19-Jul-15 20:07:29

Keep reminding your Dh this is a REHOMED staffie not a RESCUED staffy. The rescue staff will have his details as well as the assessment from the foster home.

Totally different kettle of fish, regardless of the breed, with young kids you do have to be careful as a damaged/ abused dog, whilst always potentially able to be rehabilitated can be very hard work as part of a family unit.

Thank you for considering this poor boy sounds like he has had a rough time & deserves a loving forever home

imabusybee Sun 19-Jul-15 22:22:56

He sounds perfect for you! I have a friend looking for a cat & child friendly dog but has turned her nose up at the staffie ones I've found for her - thank you for being more open minded smile

ClaimedByMe Sun 19-Jul-15 22:28:41

Another rescued staffy here, best thing we ever done our children were 8 and 10!

Will the rescue give him to you for a 2 week or so home trial?

honeyroar Sun 19-Jul-15 23:04:38

He sounds lovely. Fingers crossed! But keep your sensible head on and be sure. He really deserves a forever home and has been passed around enough in his life. Most good rescues will go even further to make sure the home is a good match if the dog has been returned once already, so hopefully they will tell you all..

SevenAteNine Sun 19-Jul-15 23:44:17

I'd say your staffie sounds like the ideal family pet.

OhThisIsJustGrape Mon 20-Jul-15 11:11:52

Ah thank you everyone.

Well, I went to meet him yesterday at the kennels. The rescue had warned me that I may not see the true him as he does suffer from kennel stress but as far as I could tell he seemed a lovely boy. He ran straight up to me and as I was already kneeling down he managed to cover me in kisses grin He was very interested in what was going on around him - the other dogs etc - but even so he managed to stay sat down in front of my lap whilst letting me stroke and rub him all over. Yes, I've fallen head over heels in love!

DH still wary but I love the point made above by a PP that he is a rehomed staffie not a rescued one and that really does make sense to me so will be making that point to DH.

As the dog has already had a trial run with someone then I'm sure the rescue would be prepared to take him back if he didn't suit us but I don't want to go into this thinking that that is an option really. Of course if it needed to happen then fine but I want him to find a great home that he can spend the rest of his days in and I'm hoping that will be ours.

The owner of the kennels also has Staffies and was telling me what lovely family pets they make and that he thinks this dog would be great within a family. He did let slip though that the dog destroyed the previous adopter's kitchen in his bid for freedom so I will be very wary of leaving him alone until he is definitely settled and feeling more secure. I had a long chat with DD(15) this morning and she has agreed that if I need to go out for any time during the holidays with the younger children (it occurred to me that they will need haircuts/new shoes etc!) that she will happily dogsit if DS(19) is still at work.

I will sit DH down for a long chat tonight and all being well I'll be ringing the rescue tomorrow smile We are away for the weekend next weekend, we never go anywhere on holiday that we can't take a dog to but we have a huge family party the other side of the country to go to so won't be able to take him and nor would I want to unsettle him so soon either so he won't be coming to us until we get back (have already discussed this with the rescue). I will keep you all posted!

Thanks again for the reassurances thanks

ClaimedByMe Mon 20-Jul-15 11:19:08

BTW it was my dp was insistent on getting a Staffie and I was the wary one, he wanted a Staffie foe years but I kept putting my foot down as I knew I would be left with the donkey work...she wormed her way into my heart the minute she bounded into my garden and burst a space hopper and is now my baby

honeyroar Mon 20-Jul-15 11:19:52

We! that's lovely news, how exciting! When will he come, do you think? We've got a new rescue coming in 10 days time, so I'm all excited too. I'm just organising getting two second hand stair gates so that the cats can escape to certain rooms while we all settle down.

Ps, my friend took on a rescue dog that jumped all over the kitchen units and pulled everything out of cupboards (even top ones) the first time she went to work and left it (with two other dogs). She got child locks for the cupboards and removed ornaments for a couple of weeks and everything soon settled down. It hasn't done anything wrong after the first couple of weeks. They need to settle and feel secure..

JoffreyBaratheon Mon 20-Jul-15 11:40:02

I've had staffies or bull terriers all my life. Currently have a rescue staffy cross. And my staffies/BTs always grew up with my 5 kids, no problem. They are the only dog to have it in their Breed Standard that they're good with kids (as I'm sure you've found out from your research!)

When we wanted to get our latest dog we went to the rescue with only one kind of dog in mind and would have considered no other... a staffy/staffy cross.

So many are in rescue because of the chavs who want them as 'status dogs' - ignorant people who misunderstand the breed and all it is about. They are the best dogs - bags of personality, are total clowns and fools, and the only fierce thing about them is the love they will have for you. All our BTs and staffs have adored kids, and in fact my present dog ignores us if one f the kids enters the room - she makes a beeline for them and will play with them for hours. Our last dog, a bull terrier, was the same - very child-centred. They are not always great with other dogs but the make their humans the centre of their universe. Enjoy!

JoffreyBaratheon Mon 20-Jul-15 11:43:49

ETA: Forgot to say but it is something I have observed over a lifetime of bull terrier ownership that so many people who work as rescues, vets and vet nurses have staffies. Think how many dogs they meet in the course of their work, and yet so many I have met, have also had staffies or BTs. That says a lot. I think every rescue I spoke to, when looking for our new dog, I got chatting to someone working there who had a staffy or staffy cross at home and these are people who could bring any dog home, presumably!

aginghippy Mon 20-Jul-15 18:25:01

Good luck Grape. Sounds like you have realistic plans about helping the dog settle in.

I hope your dh can be persuaded. FWIW my dp was the most sceptical member of the family before we got ddog, but is now the most devoted to her grin

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