Adopting 5-month-old rescue dog

(14 Posts)
Moonatic Wed 14-Sep-16 22:17:47

I wonder if anyone has any experience of adopting an older puppy?

We have been "approved" to adopt a 5-month-old labrador but I guess I am starting to wonder if we are being a bit naive? The dog's first owners were given a financial inducement to give him up because they were abusing him. Basically, his second owners bought him from them at 11 weeks because they felt so sorry for him. A couple of months down the line, the second owners have given him over to rescue because they didn't have enough time to spend with him, both being full-time workers who never really wanted a dog anyway.

The dog seems happy and friendly we are told he gets on well with other dogs, but...

But, I am wondering if his background means he is likely to have a lot of problems and difficulties? I know he seems to have missed out on the main socialisation window and I wonder what that might mean in practice.

I would be very grateful to hear if anyone has any experience of a similar situation and how it turned out. Or just thoughts in general.

The dog is with a rescue centre at the moment and we are meant to be collecting him this weekend. He is a pedigree, fwiw, so would probably be rehomed to someone else fairly quickly if we decided not to go ahead.

Thanks in advance.

MrsJayy Wed 14-Sep-16 22:27:12

All dogs are different from rescue our first rescue was a middle aged stray lurcher he was wonderful our latest rescue is a collie x we got him at 7 months and he had been living in a back garden and never walked he had/has a tonne of issues that we had to work through but his window of socialising had gone which is a shame he doesnt know what to do with other dogs he is a collie so aloof anyway labs are friendlier, you will begetting your dog just as it is entering the teen years so they are a bit loopy and gangly and have painted on ears <sigh> keep in touch with your rescue centreours was great (dogs trust) remember your dog does not know you give it space to settle in but start your routine you want to have right away

Saturn2016 Wed 14-Sep-16 22:28:08

We got our staffie at 6 months from a rescue. She had spent the first 6 months of her life in a cage and hasn't even been outside. She is such a friendly dog. Gets on great with other dogs when we are out and about. Loves my 9 year old dd. Was quite clingy to me at first, but that lasted no more than a month - if that. Biggest problem we had was with the toilet training. Can't imagine life without her now smile

PikachuSayBoo Wed 14-Sep-16 22:31:19

I got a six month old puppy, not from a rescue but from a breeder. Dog was seriously under socialised and fear aggressive. But that was a dog who had lived in a barn all his life. At least yours has been in houses.

WatchingFromTheWings Wed 14-Sep-16 22:42:56

I've had 3 rescue dogs, first one was 9ish months, second was 13 weeks, current one was about 3. Our latest took about 3 months to settle properly. She was an ex breeder. Excellent temperament but nervous of people to start. I'm sure with some tlc and plenty of patience your pup will be fine.

Moonatic Thu 15-Sep-16 09:10:57

Thanks for the responses, very interesting.

I guess I only really started worrying when I started reading some puppy training books in preparation for our new arrival. They all talk about the importance of early socialisation, yet, from what I understand, "our" pup was shut at home in a crate for most of that time, going (completely understandably) extremely "hyper" when he did get let out when his owners got home.

It seems to me, from what I read, that some dogs can get over a bad start and some can't. I don't have that much experience with dogs and am starting to wonder if I may be biting off more than I can chew.

Blackfellpony Thu 15-Sep-16 09:13:26

I got mine at 9 months. He was very worried, had been beaten, kept on a chain all of his life and had 0 socialisation but a few years down the line he is fantastic. He seemed to bounce back quickly and picked up new things after one try.

Other dog I got much younger and her early experiences made much more of an impact and she couldn't get over it as easily as dog1. This one is still fear aggressive despite having less bad experiences than dog1.

I think personality has a big influence on how much problems in early life have an effect!

PikachuSayBoo Thu 15-Sep-16 09:45:33

A decent rescue will support with advice. But be prepared to go to training classes, etc.

TheoriginalLEM Thu 15-Sep-16 09:53:04

We have had two rescues. One an 18m rottie with severe food aggression issues and very overexcited. It took time and love but in the end he was a lovely dog. His background was unknown but had been in battersea for 6 months. I work with animals and knew what i was taking on.

Rescue 2 was 6m jrt x. Again unknown background, most likely undocialised. The best behaved dog i have ever had.

They are all different.

Best approach is loving with clear boundaries. Recall is the. most important thing you need to establish.

tabulahrasa Thu 15-Sep-16 13:45:06

"It seems to me, from what I read, that some dogs can get over a bad start and some can't. I don't have that much experience with dogs and am starting to wonder if I may be biting off more than I can chew."

IMO based on my experience, a lot of it is down to the dog...

I'm on my second badly socialised dog, this one because of ill health the last one because I got him as a 6 month old rescue.

They've both had social issues...this one is reactive with strangers and other dogs and yes it's hard work and not something you want to take on unprepared.

The last one though, he had no social skills, never managed to gain any, we did improve his behaviour with training, but never the basic issue which was a lack of social skills...but how it showed itself was that he'd just throw himself at any dog or person in a gleeful over friendly bundle of enthusiasm, whether they were friendly or not, lol.

Labs are prone to that anyway, so if he has social issues you could be looking at loads of recall training to avoid him mugging random strangers and trying to adore dogs on leads who aren't so keen.

With my two, the difference is definitely mostly an innate thing and how they personally have reacted to their experiences.

A decent rescue though, should have assessed him and be able to tell you if there's an issue and if so which end of the spectrum he's on.

OCSockOrphanage Thu 15-Sep-16 21:09:33

I wouldn't have a rescue or rehomed dog at any money! You never know the parents or the history. And I wouldn't buy a puppy from a breeder either. My best dog came from friends, and we paid full retail price for the breed, but we knew his mum and of his dad; we knew there was no inter-breeding.

Only if you were rehoming an elderly dog, with an elderly person, would I think this a possibility.

OCSockOrphanage Thu 15-Sep-16 21:09:49

I wouldn't have a rescue or rehomed dog at any money! You never know the parents or the history. And I wouldn't buy a puppy from a breeder either. My best dog came from friends, and we paid full retail price for the breed, but we knew his mum and of his dad; we knew there was no inter-breeding.

Only if you were rehoming an elderly dog, with an elderly person, would I think this a possibility.

tabulahrasa Thu 15-Sep-16 23:06:16

"And I wouldn't buy a puppy from a breeder either."

You did though, knowing them doesn't make them not breeders...

JoffreyBaratheon Fri 16-Sep-16 09:25:40

Our dog is 2 now and we got her from rescue at 9 weeks. She's a bit nervous and really scared of little girls (I have a family of teenage/adult sons - who she adores). Which makes me think that even though she was only 8 weeks with the idiots who 'bred' her, some damage was done - presumably by little girls.

She is the most affectionate dog I've ever had (and that's saying something as they've all been affectionate).

Damage may be there but then again, maybe not. As others have said, it's the dog's underlying personality that is the key thing. I had a friend very experienced with rescues who told me it can take a couple of years for them to fully settle down, but of course, the rewards are enormous.

That said I know someone who had a dog who was an older puppy, rescued from the most horrendous life you can imagine. Put it like this, it was one of only two dogs found alive in a hoarder's house. There were lots of dogs there - all dead by the time rescue was alerted. It is the most calm, stable, happy, lovely dog you could imagine at 2 years old. My dog who probably came from a much less scary environment, is very afraid of certain things and both dogs need stability and ongoing tlc, of course.

Bottom line is - you won't know til you try. Sounds like the odds are in your favour, though, as that's generally thought to be a friendly enough breed.

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