Should I adopt a dog?

(4 Posts)
Ohflippinheck Tue 26-Jul-16 20:33:22

An opportunity has just come up to adopt a mature dog from someone who wants to rehome because they've lost their accommodation.
I hadn't intended to get a dog while the DCs are young but this seems to have fallen into our laps.
I work PT and we have a stable home life, plenty of time for walks, garden, etc. What else do I need to consider?
I don't want to rush into it and want to ask some questions of the current owner before committing. The only things I can think of are about its behaviour with children and whether it is destructive, house trained, used to being alone for half a day.
What else should I consider (both for our suitability to the dog and vice versa)?
I'd love some advice from anyone with experience. Thank you!

Scuttlebutter Tue 26-Jul-16 21:15:00

For anyone, but especially if you have DC, I'd counsel against this type of "private" adoption. By all means, help your friend get their dog into a local rescue, and you can then think about adopting it from there.

Most reputable rescues (especially where families with DC are concerned) will insist on dogs spending time in a foster home. This gives them time to assess the dog's behaviour - with adults, with DC, with other dogs. Then, when they have a thorough understanding, the dog can be rehomed safely. Moreover, if there should be problems down the line, you, the adopter, will have rescue back up. This can range from a friendly chat on the end of a phone, help in choosing a local dog trainer, to dog fostering in emergencies and even taking the dog back if something goes catastrophically wrong. For instance, we took on two long term fosters when their owner became very seriously ill in hospital - that was six years after they had been adopted, but the rescue were willing to help.

I know personally and MN is awash with threads where people have taken on this type of private rehoming and find that they've been lied to at worst or seriously misled at best about the dog's behaviour, health and habits. Someone who is looking to get rid of a dog in this way wil be desperate to offload a problem quickly - steer very clear. You owe it to your DC to do your homework about adopting a family member who will potentially be with you for another 10 - 13 years. Plus a dog with SA will seriously alter your lifestyle in ways you can't even imagine - again, have a look at some of the threads on here for the reality of dealing with this.

Having a dog is wonderful - but it needs to work for all of you. Take your time, get to know some of your local rescues and why not start by offering to walk a rescue dog once a week? Most rescues are always keen to recruit dog walkers. This will actually be a great test for your DC and for you as a family time wise - if they are bored and the novelty wears off quickly, or you find it hard to commit to the regular time, then it will tell you that dog ownership might not be for you, yet.

Ohflippinheck Tue 26-Jul-16 22:48:10

Thank you for your advice scuttlebutter, it was exactly what I needed to hear.
I was only thinking about our ability to look after it, which I'm pretty sure we'd be ok with as we've had a dog before but I hadn't really thought about the lack of safety net with this informal relationship.
I don't know the owner, he's a friend of a friend, but we have met the dog. I'd have no guarantees that he would be honest so that's a worry.

Thank you again for your great advicestar

Lara2 Tue 02-Aug-16 20:22:42

We very stupidly did a private adoption a few years ago and it was an unmitigated disaster. We had no safety net of a proper rescue and of course the original owner couldn't be contacted. I was lucky and a friend was prepared to take the dog on ( it turned out that the original,owner had lied through their back teeth about everything and despite initially getting on, the new dog attacked one of my dogs ) and he was clearly happier as the only dog.
Sadly, our last dog died recently and we have said that when we're ready we will adopt from a reputable rescue.

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