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WOULD I BE MAD TO ADOPT/REHOME A LABRADOR?

(39 Posts)
2T2T Wed 25-May-11 20:50:28

Not working at the moment as little boy doesn't start school til Sept. I am a single parent and do not intend to return to work until 2012 -probably about January I work part time when I do work so would be home for most of the day as I usually work mornings - approx 3.5hrs per day though would be out for about 4 in total I guess. I dont want a young dog - at least 1 yr old and would consider older dog if it had the right temperament. I am thinkng of trying to take on a dog September time as then I would be able to concentrate on the dog without the distraction of a small child getting over excited during training/familiarisation etc. Woul appreciate your views please. Thanks smile

LordOfTheFlies Wed 25-May-11 21:04:26

Not much help I'm afraid because I'm not a dog owner.Please bear in mind with a LO at school you won't be able to take the dog on the school run( most if not all schools do not allow dogs in the gates)
If you've got the school-run (hate that phrase,*shudder*) sorted then ignore me, I'm ramblinggrin

BooyHoo Wed 25-May-11 21:12:04

i think you sound like you could give a good home to a dog. glad you are thinking of rehoming an older dog. your work hours are good and if you rehome in sept then you will have a good 4 months to settle in and get into a great routine, stretching out it's time alone in the house. bear in mind that some older rescue dogs may have issues with being left alone although i am sure the rescue centre will do the best tehy can to match you with the right dog.

Vallhala Wed 25-May-11 21:18:26

Sounds ideal to me although as LOTF says dogs are VERY rarely welcome on school grounds and your dog will be at risk of being poked/prodded or even stolen if left unattended (dog theft is becoming rife, don't think it won't happen to you, please).

I'm a lone mum of 2 and have had dogs since before the DDs were born (they're now teenagers), my dogs are far less trouble than the kids! grin

Why a Lab though? Can I suggest that you keep your options open re breed - remembering that you are looking for a family friendly dog who suits you and vice versa - you may find that the Labs you meet are unsuitable but that you fall in love with a Greyhound, Poodle, Staffie or crossbreed which is just perfect for you both.

And, please find a decent rescue which will assess the dog, homecheck you (for YOUR sake as well as the dogs and to iron out any potential problems before pooch moves in), which vaccinates, neuters, microchips, offers lifetime support AND which will take the dog back at ANY stage in his life if you ever can't keep him.

Whatever you do, don't take or buy a dog from free ads/Gumtree or whatever. People LIE - they do it to rescue, they'll sure as hell do it to you, and you'll have nowhere to place him if the rehoming doesn't work out.... rescue is so full you can't just roll up at their gates and say "Please take my dog because I can't keep him". i'm a rescuer who finds places for unwanted dogs and even I struggle like buggery to do so.

2T2T Wed 25-May-11 21:49:42

thanks for all your responses. Most helpful. I would not take the dog on school run. I plan to drive my son to school with dog in car and then go to park/seaside afterwards. I am not particularly fixated on a lab but we did have one when I was a teenager and she was lovely. I would quite like a small - medium breed but don't know a thing about terriers and feel a bit wary of their yappy/nervous temperament (from what I have heard) esp with a small boy - he will be 5 in Sept. i quite like the temprament of a Cocker Spaniel but from what I have read, they can bit unexpectedly which I donT want!!! I am not afraid of exercising the dog (could do with a reason to exercise myself!) but mroe concerned about giving it time and attention. Waht kind of smaller to medium breeds are good?

2T2T Wed 25-May-11 21:58:07

Do you think I could manage a puppy? I cannot remember much about out lab puppy as I was too busy being a teenager grin. I am shying away from puppies for a couple of reasons - primarily because I cannot bear the ide of the older dogs, who have been handed over for whatever reason, living their lives in cages - just not fair. Secondly, everyone I know is warning me off a puppy as they are such hard work! Having got my son at school full time it would be like having a baby again - definitely not what I want! I also have a teenager but have basically ruled her out of the equation as she is busy with GCSE's and socialising!

LordOfTheFlies Wed 25-May-11 22:05:48

Could you see your way to a greyhound? The ones we meet are sooo gentle and people friendly( I know there would be some who are a bit narky)
They are in rescue because they have retired or just not good enough to race; not due to being dumped for whatever reason.
And less hairy than a labgrin

2T2T Wed 25-May-11 22:14:44

greyhound? hmmmm. they are a bit big! I have heard that they are not as energetic as one would thnk but I haven't researched their character traits fully. I will read up tomorrow though. What about Cocker spaniels? My best friend had a Springer who was mad as a hatter but cocker's are rather less boisterous. I am not fixed on any particular breed but I do know labs so that is wehre I am starting from.

2T2T Wed 25-May-11 22:15:52

I also have a cat which would have to be a consideration - he is a grumpy 8 year old but very loyal!

sharbie Wed 25-May-11 22:17:26

go lab you won't regret it

2T2T Wed 25-May-11 22:23:30

sharbie - do you have a labrador? My only concern is the baggage an older dog may come with. Can love and attention really overcome whatever trauma they ahve suffered previously. I do absolutely love dogs but labs and retrievers are my faves smile

sharbie Wed 25-May-11 22:26:02

yes pic on profile we got him as a pup he is our first dog so not sure about rehoming older animals
but he is lovely so easy going - loves everyone inc our 3 cats
smile

UnseenAcademicalMum Wed 25-May-11 22:26:43

I would definately recommend you go to a rescue without any preconceptions regarding the breed you want.

We went with the idea of a collie cross or springer spaniel, as I've been familar with these types and in general adore them. However, we said that temperament was the most important thing. The lady at the rescue pointed us in the direction of a whippet, who is now snoring next to me. We had never considered any type of sighthound, but now, 2 months on, neither dp nor I can imagine having any other type of dog.

Go to the rescue, don't fall for the looks of the dogs, listen to the people who know the dogs and and assessed them and keep an open mind about the type of dog which might suit. (I should also add, our whippet was 12 months old when we got him. the fact he was house-trained and had clearly received some obedience training was a god-send. He now doesn't even poo in our garden, never mind the house! A definate plus with small children).

sharbie Wed 25-May-11 22:26:54

have met a couple of rescued labs though and they seem really happy and settled in their new homes

2T2T Wed 25-May-11 22:34:52

oh bloody hell! I have been in touch with four rescue centres, labs and retrievers, cockers, dogsblog (all breeds) and small dogs. I keep swaying towards medium sized breeds but am very open minded. Like you say UAM - it is temperment first! As far as my children are concerned though, fluffy and pretty is good. Ho hum! This is proving more confusing tha I had imagined - one thing I am sure of, is that I want to go the rescue route.

sb6699 Wed 25-May-11 22:54:22

Labs are lovely (but then again I am biased wink )

I assume that you are looking for an older dog so that you avoid the puppy stage but would warn you that labs are generally known to mature later than other breeds - or so I am told.

Mine was certainly like a huge overgrown pup until he turned 2 and still has his moments.

Someone on here linked to a website called "oldies" which specialises in rehoming older dogs, might be worth a look.

Vallhala Wed 25-May-11 23:05:17

2T2T, SOME rescue dogs come with baggage. A decent rescue will steer novice owner and mum away from these. Many come from family homes and are in rescue only because of divorce/homelessness/bereavement/families deciding they can't handle a dog and new baby or because of increased working hours.

Which rescue centres have you approached? Might be able to advise you or even warn you!

Vallhala Wed 25-May-11 23:11:09

I second the Oldies website and must say about Labs, my wider family had them and I spent every possible moment with them. I have a Lab X now (looks almost entirely Lab) but HE would not be suitable for you, he's a grumpy old git with little DC apart from my own when they were small!

My huge, younger German Shepherd however, would be perfect for you if I was ever to give him up (NO chance!). As I said, it's about the personality, not the breed. smile

I second Greyhounds too. Females are smaller than males, some quite considerably and even males vary in size. They don't need hours of exercise but DO love sleeping, porn star stylee, legs akimbo on sofas. Never before have I met a breed with a characteristic so commonly found... I've met grumpy Labs and soft as butter bulldogs when the opposite is rumoured to be true, but I've yet to meet a Grey which doesn't loaf with his legs in the air!

sb6699 Wed 25-May-11 23:20:34

Oh, another thing I always tell folk about labs is think about how much exercise you think they will need then double it and you'll be about right!

Val - Yours is the most beautiful GS I have ever seen and I have a particular handsome one a few doors down. Dont think I've ever seen a white one before smile

sb6699 Wed 25-May-11 23:25:12

Have you considered a staffie. Seems about the size you are looking for and they arent known as "nanny dogs" for nowt.

Another one that's less hairy than a lab too!

I have a 6 month old Lab. Thought I was going to have an easy time of it because we were Weimeraner owners previously and they are notoriously stubborn.

Long story short, our Wei was an easy ride compared to him. He is a lovely dog, but the hours and hours (and hours grin) of work I have put in for him are only just beginning to bear fruit and I am fully aware that in a few months time he will hit adolescence and all the groundwork will go out of the window!

I second the posters that say go to a rescue with an open mind about breed - and prepare to fall in love with a pooch you would never have considered until you laid eyes on your dog.smile

Vallhala Wed 25-May-11 23:36:58

Sb6699, thank you. He's one of 2 GSD in this house - my other is a short coat black and tan. He's a long term foster dog, 8 years old and epileptic, the third I've had in my company. The first was perfect, mine from 9 years until I lost him to incurable illness aged 12 and the second a 10 yo, almost blind pound dog I saved from being put to sleep and found the perfect home for. Would have kept him myself by my then landlord was having none of it.

I didn't plan to have him at all, just discovered he was in the pound and in need of saving, called them up to say that as a rescuer I'd find a rescue place for him only to learn that he'd just been taken to the vet for PTS. The pound manager rushed down to the vet and literally got him off the table where he was being prepared to be killed. It was the beginning of the recession and Xmas, the worst month I've ever experienced in rescue for dogs being thrown out and killed in pounds before or since. I couldn't risk waiting to find a rescue place so put a shout out to rescue and animal rights contacts and got him driven from the Northern pound where Dooin lives to my E Anglia home.

He now lives with a retired couple who have another dog, a bungalow so he has no stairs to negotiate, acres of land, family down the road to help and who had a couple of years before lost to old age their blind rescued old boy. My homechecker told me to bite their hand off, that if I searched for another 25 years I'd never find a better home and she was right but how I cried when he left.

I still get updates and Christmas cards and he's much loved and doing brilliantly. smile

Sorry, I digress... OP, there's a thought... have you considered fostering for rescue? They will pay all vet bills, provide food, match the right dog to you and there is no long term commitment although of course in most cases if you are happy with your foster dog you can apply to keep him. smile

Bast Thu 26-May-11 00:17:08

OP, keep an eye on 'dogsblog' and in touch with rescues when the time comes and the right dog will find you!

A clear idea of the needs you can meet is a good awareness to have but aside from that, remain as open to all other options as you possibly can smile

I spent a long time keeping an eye out for my two (always intended to keep more than one dog together) and then they appeared within two months of each other.

Neither were breeds or crosses I would have necessarily sought though do like (and have experience of) and both have integrated perfectly into my family. If I'd had a more set idea of what I wanted, I might have missed out on them. Quite a horrific thought!

They're perfect grin ...a springer x cocker and a collie x JRT - cat, child, toddler friendly bliss on eight legs.

Val, I would second sb6699's comment but I am pretty sure I have mentioned it on every thread I have been on with you and wouldn't want to be too sycophantic grin

Joolyjoolyjoo Thu 26-May-11 00:25:54

I'm glad you've decided to look at an older dog, and second the advice to keep an open mind- sometimes you meet a dog who doesn't tick the boxes you had in mind, but ticks boxes you didn't even know you had- them's the best kind smile

Actually, I think rehoming slightly older dogs (2+) can be less risky than younger ones, as, IME, they tend to have been rehomed for more genuine reasons. Don't know why, just that lots of feckless owners get disillusioned once the puppy stage is over, and, if they haven't bothered to do any training, adolesence becomes too much trouble for them- these guys are, IMO, rehomed at the worst possible time (for the dog) With older dogs ( would you consider something 4+?) owners have generally more genuine reasons for rehoming, I think. the saddest ones are older dogs where an elderly owner has died sad sad

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