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Can I have a bit of advice regarding getting another dog please

(61 Posts)
OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 10:04:49

I think this is the second thread I have started on here in regard of getting another dog.

I am an experienced border collie owner. They were the dogs we grew up with as children and when I got my own flat aged 18, I adopted a border collie lurcher from a very reputable rescue organisation. She had lots of problems. She had been an unclaimed stray and had been rehomed several times before she came to me. She was quite wild, an escape artist who never really was allowed off the lead. She would unlock the doors and get out of the house, open cupboards/the fridge etc. She was the kind of dog that was hard work and I don't think many people would have put up with her for very long. She was dominant and didn't like men getting near me. The list is endless really, but I worked really hard with her and she became an absolutely wonderful family pet and when I had children she was absolutely golden with them. Unfortunately just over 12 months ago at the age of 17/18 I had to have her put to sleep sad In the meantime of having this dog I got another rescue dog from Wales, another border collie, this one is now 10yo. She is a completely different dog, a bit on the nervous side but very loving, loves walking long distances but isn't playful in the same way the other dog was, but is almost a perfect family pet, wont mess in the house etc and you can really trust her.

Anyway. I have been looking at other dogs on rescue organisation websites etc and I haven't seen any suitable but the other day one came up that I thought would be ideal so I applied and they rang me, seemed keen etc and I went to see him and they said I could reserve him but the other dog had to get on with him, which I agree is important. So I took the other dog along and we got half an hour locked in a compound/grassed area and they then decided the other dog was too boisterous for my dog. My dog is extremely well trained though and isn't a dog that will run in a field unless you are walking through it iykwim If I stand still she will sit next to me looking at me. If we are with strangers she will stay at hell and walk behind but this was why they didn't think the dogs were suited together, yet I felt that with the right training the other dog could be quickly sorted out and make a good family pet for us. Instead they suggested another more difficult dog, with lots of problems because I was an experienced border collie owner confused

I don't know what to do now. I feel really disappointed, obviously. I don't know whether to just knock the whole idea on the head and just have the dog I have as a single dog. She just seems so lonely though as a single.

Thanks for letting me offload

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 10:06:26

I meant stay at heel, not hell blush grin

Scuttlebutter Tue 20-Nov-12 11:22:21

There are two very experienced collie rescues that I know of - one is Wiccaweys, and the other is Valgreys. A friend of mine is closely involved with Wiccaweys so I know them better. If you aren't already talking to them, then they would be an excellent place for you to find a dog.

All I can say is that if you don't want a high needs dog, then say so - that seems perfectly reasonable, though experienced collie owners like you are like gold dust.

I'd also say that these breed rescues are immensely experienced in matching dogs to potential owners and existing dogs - they see so many and get very good at it. Without having been there it's impossible for us to say why they don't think this match was right for you.

I'm a bit puzzled really by how this ends. So a potential match didn't work out, but presumably the rescue has no shortage of other collies that might work out for you? Are you still in contact with the rescue, or have you left it completely? Nothing wrong with having a second dog, but it sounds as though you need to be very clear with the rescue about what you want.

anchovies Tue 20-Nov-12 11:25:19

How old was the rescue dog?

We have a similar situation in that we have a very calm 2 year old lab who is generally very well behaved and calm and ignores other dogz. We got a rescue puppy who at first he just tolerated jumping all over him but wouldn't join in but now he has been worn down and enjoys a good wrestle and playing chase. As time has gone by our puppy is now well trained but she is still a different (more ridiculous!) personality to our first lab.

Maybe the rescue was worried that your dog being older and calmer wouldn't be pleased to share a home with a more excitable dog? If this is the case there will be another dog out there for you, don't give up the search smile

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 11:29:47

I have never heard of wiccaways or valgreys!blush I got my oldest dog from the border collie rescue but we have moved away from that area now and I just thought it would better to have a dog from a more local rescue centre, as like you say they seem to get a lot of collies in any way. I am glad you are puzzled because I am puzzled too. The centre have said could they please keep me on their books as they find it difficult to get experienced border collie owners coming forward and could I please keep checking the website for other collies that come up. That's it confused

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 11:31:30

They think he was under 18 months anchovies but they are not sure as he had already had about 5 different homes sad

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 11:40:07

God the photographs on the valgrays site are awful sad how can people be so bloody cruel?

Scuttlebutter Tue 20-Nov-12 11:49:01

I can strongly recommend Wiccaweys - they are nationally renowned for their expertise in collies and are also incredibly nice people. They have a national network of volunteers. I know less about Valgreys directly, but have heard good things about them from other rescue volunteers, and have seen them recommended by Valhalla, a legendary former MNetter, closely involved in rescue.

As you have found, Collies are an amazing breed, but have specialist needs, and owners who really understand them. I think they are a breed that benefits from specialist rescues to be honest.

My friend has several BCs and one in particular was a victim of horrible people but she is so happy now where she lives it is lovely to see.

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 12:04:06

so are the dogs at wiccaways based all over the country? I am a bit confused about all the references to Ireland

Scuttlebutter Tue 20-Nov-12 12:11:03

Most of the Wiccaweys dogs are based at the Northamptonshire HQ but some are in foster around the UK. If you read the How to Adopt bit, it walks you through the process. Some of the Wiccaweys dogs come from Ireland where sadly the dog welfare situation is very much worse than here in the UK.

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 12:12:50

The dog they wanted me to look at who had lots of problems was from Ireland. Sorry for being so confused, I have just read the FAQ section and have realised they are not that far from me at all blush as we are in Beds

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 12:13:04

Thank you btw, for all your advice

SpicyPear Tue 20-Nov-12 12:37:56

Having recently gone through the process of finding a second rescue dog, definitely be clear if you don't want a high needs dog and be quite firm about it if you have to. I would go so far as to advise to stay away from any rescue that tries to push one on you because of your experience.

We have a nervous older dog and were very clear that we needed a confident second dog. We visited several rescues and the good ones said that they wouldn't have given us another nervous dog anyway. One though tried to push us towards their most terrified dogs because we have experience, for example some sisters that had been in kennels for months before being put up for rehoming because they wouldn't go near a stranger. This would have been a disaster for our current dog and the new one. They meant well, but were just a bit too keen to rehome their difficult dogs and didn't really even want us to see their confident easy ones!

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 12:44:19

It's a shame isnt it? sad in a way I can understand why they want to do it, but if you have a good suitable home and experience but have children and another live in dog it's best to have one that fits in with all of that (to a degree, I know there is no perfect) I can be a very emotionally charged person too (like a border collie wink) and I can be easily manipulated by people without wanting to be iykwim I would if on a funny day, most probably come home with a car full

Spciypear, so is your new dog livelier than the nervous one? and how has the other one reacted? Have you got dogs or bitches or a mix? The rescue place I visited said it's better to have a mixed pair but I had two bitches prior to and they were fine.

I will ring wiccaways tomorrow.

pimmsgalore Tue 20-Nov-12 12:45:46

OwlLady sorry to hijack but you got your first dog from the border collie rescue, is that the one in Staffs? We have been looking at their website, we have a lab collie cross and are thinking of getting another dog, preferably collie. DH is away right now so won't be getting one until May at earliest. Were they helpful in choosing your dog? Did you get a "nice" feeling from them, tick all the right boxes etc?

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 12:53:15

Yes it was the one in Staffs nr Hoar Cross Hall but we are going back some 17 years smile The lady who used to run it was really thorough and we were interviewed and she did a home visit and we went to visit a couple of bitches but we forgot one of their names so only ended up looking at the one. She was an unclaimed stray so had little history and had been rehomed previously but sent back (I think more than once sad) But she kept in touch after we had her, I think we had to send the spaying forms back to confirm it had been done, I think she even rang our vet to check we had had check ups etc. We had no issues with them at all but as I say it was a long time ago smile

Do you live in Staffs? It's quite a nice drive out if you don't and lots of nice walks around.

SpicyPear Tue 20-Nov-12 12:57:37

We actually ended up with a puppy from an accidental litter that a rescue called us about a few days after our visit. We found that there weren't many older dogs available that could live dog, and one we did find was far too boisterous for my older girl at the meet. We went for a boy, but she is a bull breed (staffie x) and while she hasn't ever shown any signs of having a problem with other females, we felt this offered the best chance of working out.

The puppy is very confident, loves people and toys and of course is bouncy and rude at the moment (but improving!). She tolerates him because he is a puppy and is being very patient in teaching him his manners. I do make sure they have a lot of time separate and their own space though. Once or twice a day they have a mad hour chasing, wrestling and tugging. It has given our nervous girl a real lease of life, which is a relief as she has severe noise phobia and has been too terrified to got for a walk since the fireworks started around here a month ago.

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 13:23:21

Oh bless her smile They both sound lovely

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 20-Nov-12 14:05:07

Maybe another older dog would suit yours better?

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 16:24:11

That dog is lovely smile I do loads of walking though (7 miles + a day) My 10 yo is very fit! I have rang Miccaweys scuttlebutter and they are going to do a home visit smile The woman sounds lovely

FurryDogMother Tue 20-Nov-12 16:43:46

There can be issues with an older dog and a younger, boisterous one. When I met my DH, I had a 15 yr old collie, he had a HUGE 3 yr old collie. We moved in together and my dog spent the next 3 yrs (until she died) studiously pretending that there WAS no other dog in the house - she ignored him totally, despite his best efforts to play with her. Seriously, she would turn her head away and pretend he wasn't there. So I do perhaps understand why the rescue place suggested you adopt a different dog.

Personally I would look for a dog perhaps a couple of years younger than your dog - maybe 7 or 8 years old (to avoid the situation we experienced a couple of years ago, where our 3 dogs - all of the same age - died within the same year, sending me into a tailspin of grief). They are much more placid by then (as you'll know), even if they may have some behaviour problems. I'd want a dog similar in temperament to my existing dog, a dog she engages with when they meet - and then they can build a good relationship.

Best of luck with finding the perfect dog for you and yours!

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 17:36:28

aww furrydogmother, that must have been hard, both your older ignoring the other dog for years and losing three within quick succession sad it's bad enough losing one every so many years, let alone 3 at once

I would be quite happy to have an older active dog actually it's dh who seems to disagree. I am hoping though that once we have our homecheck he will be a bit more realistic. It is me who does the main job with the dogs anyway, the walking, keeping company etc smile

pimmsgalore Tue 20-Nov-12 21:26:52

OwlLady we live some 3 hours from the rescue in staffs but it is our nearest border collie one. We have walked there a few times but are more accustomed to the Snowdonia hills

OwlLady Wed 21-Nov-12 14:06:00

Do you live in Snowdonia? I love it there. We go on holiday to Barmouth (like everyone else who was originally from Staffordshire grin)

Have you spoken to the centre on the phone?

I have my home check this weekend btw smile things are moving fast!

Scuttlebutter Wed 21-Nov-12 17:17:25

grin Squee!! This is so exciting, OwlLady. Please keep us posted on Operation Collar-a-Collie.

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