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We're finally in a position to get a dog. What do I do now?

(7 Posts)
Pernickety Fri 01-Jul-11 09:29:01

We've been stuck in rental for a few years but we've found a house to buy that is going through fairly rapidly. We hope to move in August.

We're now at a better time in our lives to get a dog anyway, as our youngest is nearly 6. The only drawback is I work 3 days per week.

At what point do we approach rescue centres in lieu of moving? or wait until we have moved and dog-proofed the garden? (A front gate is needed)

Which rescue centres do we contact? Local ones only? How do I get a definitive list? Will any dog even be suitable for us if I work 3 days per week. DH is a teacher so around all holidays so maybe we could find a term-time dog walker?!?

We'll be looking for an older dog, past the puppy stage and we're keen on whippets/lurchers/cross combinations with those. Any advice at this initial stage would be highly valued.

mistlethrush Fri 01-Jul-11 09:35:55

My experience is that rescues might be concerned about placing a dog with you if you work. However, if you're willing to take an older dog they might be able to suggest ones that might be OK. There are specific whippet/greyhound/ lurcher rescues.

However, I'd wait until you're moved in and settled in.

Elibean Fri 01-Jul-11 10:05:40

We're hoping to do exactly the same as you (but not necessarily lurcher/whippet cross) in September, after holidays and building work.

I would say wait till you've moved before contacting a rescue - if they have The Dog, you will want to start the process straight away and won't be able to as they can't do a homecheck till you're in your home!

For myself, I've bookmarked local rescues but also a few further afield that re-home in the SW London area...and I've looked for rescues with a good reputation (ask the experts here), with a no-kill policy, who will always be available for advice and, in an emergency, would take the dog back. Hopefully never needed, but just in case.

GOod luck with the move, and happy searching!

Scuttlebutter Fri 01-Jul-11 12:23:57

Get yourself settled and in your new home before you approach any rescues, and that includes making sure your garden is absolutely secure with a minimum 6ft solid fence, especially if you are interested in greys/lurchers. The charity will want to homecheck you before placing a dog with you, and an unsecure garden would rule you out immediately. Greys and lurchers are VERY fast, and can jump so that needs to be resolved.

If you would like to say roughly where in the UK you are we can help by pointing you at some reputable greyhound charities. You could start by having a look at these gorgeous dogs or these are good or [[ here (but an awful website!) ]] for greyhounds in Wales - links to the main Welsh groups. Taking a look at these sites will also give you lots of food for thought on adopting a pointy. Be warned, they are incredibly addictive. grin

Pernickety Fri 01-Jul-11 12:40:36

Thank you. We will wait until we move in then. I believe the garden fencing is high and secure but will be able to check that for sure once we get the house. Is there anything else that would be good to do in preparation?

I'm in East Anglia.

Scuttlebutter Fri 01-Jul-11 13:09:45

Once in, the priority is to check out local area for good vets and find a dog walker for the days when you are out at work. Homechecker will ask you about this, and may even be able to recommend a good vet, especially if they are greyhound-friendly.

Scope out local parks and areas for dog walking - this will be a really enjoyable part of settling in to your new area. Depending on the group you adopt through, you will probably find that they will have a good range of events. Many greyhound adoption charities run regular greyhound walks, greyhound playdates (off lead play in a secure area), fun dog shows, social events and so on. These are fab for you to be able to get to know other owners and for your grey to socialise with others.

The only other preparation I'd recommend is to find out as much as you can about greyhounds/lurchers/whippies. Sighthounds are wonderful and addictive (as you can tell, I'm completely besotted) but they do have characteristics to be managed. Not even their dearest friend would say they are particularly intelligent and recall is at best a bit patchy. You may find it upsetting to read some of the stories about how the racing industry treats and discards dogs - generally adoption groups are aware of this and try to make sure their websites dont' dwell on this side of things too much and that sites can be suitable for family viewing. However, be aware that this is very much out there and if you do decide to adopt an ex racer, you are literally saving their lives. Sadly, some of the cruelty cases dealt with by charities for "working" sighthounds are pretty shocking too.

If there is anything at all I can do to help, or you want to know more about greys please feel free to ask any questions, or PM if you prefer. They are gentle, beautiful, healthy dogs, with so much to give.

Ephiny Fri 01-Jul-11 13:22:01

I would definitely try to find a potential dog-walker for the days you work, before even approaching a rescue, as that's likely to be one of the first things they ask.

As well as local rescues, you could see if there's a Dog's Trust centre near you. Our rescue dog came from there, and I think they did a fantastic job of assessing and matching us with the right dog.

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