Adopting a dog - advice needed

(20 Posts)
Fr0ggy Mon 18-Jan-16 15:34:11

DS (7) has ADHD suffers from low self esteem. He is fab in a one-on-one situation but struggles a little in social situations. Having done some research, it looks as though having a dog has a positive affect on children who are in a similar position to DS so I'm opening up to the idea.
DS has always wanted a dog but I've never been keen as we work & have a cat.

I would rather adopt a dog than buy a puppy as I think there are so many dogs out there that need a home. Whilst there are never any guarantees on an animals temperment, if a dog has been in a shelter the staff are usually pretty good at spotting which dog would not suit a family with DC.

I'm open on which breed etc - I want the right dog for DS (although completely aware that although it will be DS's dog, I will be doing the walking, feeding etc the majority of the time).

My only concern is that we might not be approved for a dog as we both work. There are 2 days a week where the dog would be on it's own for 8-10 hours so on those days we would pay a dog walker to take the dog out. The other days of the week we are out of the house for about 6 hours. In addition to this, we also have a cat (aged about 16, been with us for 11 years & from a rescue centre). We also have 2 DS aged 9 + 7 (although the 7yo will be 8 in the next few months). We would be able to take a dog out for 20 minutes in the morning & 1 hour + if needed in the evening.

Does anyone know the likelyhood of us being approved to adopt a dog? If we are not likely to be suitable to adopt (I do understand they are looking out for the dogs best interest), does anyone have any suggestion on what breed we should look at if we were to get a puppy?

chickensaresafehere Mon 18-Jan-16 15:44:32

It is unlikely a rescue/rehoming centre would let you adopt, if the dog is going to be left for that amount of time.They usually say 3-4 hours is the most a dog can be left,even with a dog walker coming in.

Fr0ggy Mon 18-Jan-16 15:51:49

Thanks Chicken. I thought that might be the case although I know a number of people who do leave their dogs for the day so some dogs are OK with it but that might be because they've had them from puppies.

Floralnomad Mon 18-Jan-16 16:20:17

There are lots of people who say their dogs are fine while they work but the point is it's not fair on the dog ,they are social creatures . Personally I wouldn't inflict a dog on an elderly cat . If you do go ahead you need a dog walker everyday and if you get a puppy you need to have someone at home full time for at least a few weeks if you want any hope of getting it house trained - and you can't leave a dog in a crate for 6 hours a day if that was part of the plan .

Fr0ggy Mon 18-Jan-16 16:26:43

We may look at getting someone to walk the dog daily. A neighbour has already offered to walk a dog 2 of the other 3 days as she doesn't work those days and walks a lot for exercise herself so it's not a huge stretch to get the dog walker in for the other day.

I might be being a bit naive but I dont like the idea of crates for dogs full stop and regardless of whether we had a puppy or older dog, we were planning on taking some time off and then building up the time we are out of the house (even if it was only popping next door for coffee!)

The cat is more of a barrier for me. I think a rescue dog who has been homed with a cat before might be OK but I think a puppy would be a no no whilst the cat is still with us.

CamdenTownie Mon 18-Jan-16 16:32:24

If you won be using a crate be prepared for the dog to be somewhat destructive if it's going to be left for a number of hours on its own. I couldn't leave my cocker spaniel for more than 30 minutes without him getting bored.

honeyroar Mon 18-Jan-16 17:26:19

Could you find a local dog sitter that would take your dog on those two days?

Speak to a few rescues, ask their advice? Good luck.

chickensaresafehere Mon 18-Jan-16 17:31:21

A lot of rescue/rehoming centres have cat friendly dogs,but I agree with floral,do not have a dog if you are not going to be in for a large part of the day,even if its only a couple of days a week.Dogs need company & left alone can develop destructive behaviour & basically its really not fair on the dog.

Greyhorses Mon 18-Jan-16 19:48:27

I also agree that most rescues won't rehome to someone who would leave it for more than 4 hours.
Some dogs are fine and to be honest mine proberbly would be but I think it's really unfair on the dog and I wouldn't do it.

BagelfortheNewYear Mon 18-Jan-16 20:32:02

As a general rule, smaller rescues are more flexible/realistic regarding working/young children etc if you can show them that you have plans in place to deal with those situations.

They usually don't have kennels, so dogs are often into foster families, which is good for you as they can be assessed with children, other dogs or cats (dep on foster obviously).

Do some research, join FB groups of any appropriate rescues, get homechecks done by them and be prepared to be patient. You have to be proactive, by checking FB groups - popular dogs will be snapped up quickly and won't usually even appear on rescue website - hence suggesting the FB groups. Or call up every now and again to remind them about you.

I don't know where you are but take a look at:
Balkan Underdogs
Silver Fox Dog Rescue
Black Retriever X
Help Pozega Dogs
Heathlands Animal Sanctuary

Will give you a good idea of smaller rescues.

Fr0ggy Tue 19-Jan-16 08:25:06

Thanks everyone. I've done some more research & there is a dog day care near us that seems ideal for the longer days (and actually is only a couple of pounds more for the day than an hour's walk would be!). A friend has also offered to walk the dog on 2 of the other days so we only need to book something for the third day which will be the dog day care to start with but might change to a dog walker depending on the routine of the dog day care as I would like to be able to pick the dog up to be home when DS gets back from school. Just waiting to hear back that they have spaces on the days that I need...

Getting the right dog is more important to us than getting a dog quickly so finges crossed we get approved for the list...

Booboostwo Tue 19-Jan-16 09:03:16

A smaller rescue is more likely to listen to your requirements and appreciate that although you work you have thought of solutions. In addition to doggy care/dog walker you need to consider whether you will have time to walk the dog before and after work, arrangements for when you go on holiday and training classes.

Ideally you want a dog that has been fostered (not in kennels) with a family and cats, that way you have a good sense of what the dog is like with children and other pets. The rescue should also offer you opportunities to interact with the dog before you make your mind up to make sure you are a good match for each other.

Personally I would not go for an imported dog. There are plenty of dogs in need of homes in the UK, importing risks bringing diseases and many imported dogs come from very rough conditions having had to hunt for food and survive on their own in the streets which do not make them easy pets.

It's up to you whether you use a crate, but a crate trained dog considers its crate to be a safe place and crates are ideal for easing the transition between different homes as well as protecting your home and the dog.

Fr0ggy Tue 19-Jan-16 09:15:31

Thanks Boo. I hadn't thought of a crate like that. I just saw it as a small prison!! I think I will ask the advice of the rescue centre/foster carer as they willl know the dog the best.

I've found 2 rescue centres near me - one seems to have mainly dogs in kennels & lots of volunteer walkers & one has lots of foster carers so i think we will speak to the fostering one first!

Booboostwo Tue 19-Jan-16 09:29:17

If you think like a human the crate does seem like a prison I agree! However dogs like small, enclosed spaces, they tend to feel safe in them and are unlikely to soil in them. Of course dogs have to be crate trained, i.e. you make the crate a very inviting space, you never push the dog in there but encourage them to enter and leave on their own, you feed in the crate and you do not shut the door until the dog is comfortable staying in the crate.

Good luck!

Hoppinggreen Tue 19-Jan-16 10:42:06

We crate our 9 week old puppy to keep him safe when we go out/to bed.
I didn't like the idea at first ( have banned the word " cage") but he could hurt himself if left unattended and he doesn't seem to dislike it. He cries a bit at night but that's because he wants company but if I am in the same room or nearby he will happily go in there himself during the day. In fact he's just picked up his teddy and gone in there now for a nap.
It's important for the dog to have his own space, especially with children around, my DC aren't allowed to bother our puppy when he's in his crate

Fr0ggy Tue 19-Jan-16 12:27:04

Will start thinking of the crate as the dog's bedroom then if the staff say the dog will benefit from one!

TBH I hadn't even thought about the dog needing a crate! This is why I want a rescue dog - they can help & advise before the dog even moves in so hopefully it will all run smoothly (and they will be there for support if we have any questions!)

Booboostwo Tue 19-Jan-16 12:51:50

A good rescue will work with a behaviorist so you can get help if you need it. Many dogs settle in fine but it's good to have backup if you need it.

A good fosterer should be able to give you a detailed assessment of the dog, e.g. What is its general character, how much training has it had, how does it react to sudden movements and loud noises, what is it like with children, what is it like on/off lead, how does it react to other dogs, cats and small furry animals, what is it like when left alone, etc. I would be weary of anyone who focuses purely on the emotive story of the dog's past, it may be very sad and moving but so is the past of many rescue dogs otherwise they would not be rescue dogs. What you need is practical information to assess if the dog is a good fit for your family.

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Wed 20-Jan-16 13:14:16

Is there a particular breed you have in mind? If so it may be worth contacting a breeder you like the look of. Any good breeder will sell a puppy with a contract for it to be returned if the owners can't care for it any longer. Sometimes they'll keep it but often they'll be looking to rehome.

It's how we came by our first St. She'd been returned due to a break up & had lived with her breeder for 18 months. I emailed her on the off chance because I liled the look of her Saints. We had experience with the breed so after meeting her & my girl we took her home a week later. She came with a full contract & papers & was already used to family life.

TrionicLettuce Wed 20-Jan-16 13:31:24

Another option if you have a particular breed in mind is the welfare arm of the relevant breed club. Most breed clubs do run a rescue for their breed, usually entirely foster based.

Chattymummyhere Wed 20-Jan-16 14:03:11

I personally wouldn't get a rescue as a dog for the purpose that you want.

There are however charity's that raise/breed puppies purposely for working with children which would be work looking into as they will be able to help and work out what's best for you as a family and for a dog, they will also of been temperament tested and passed to work that type of job.

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