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I'm rehoming my dog, what questions to ask to prospective new owners?

(21 Posts)
Chandras Mon 01-Apr-13 23:39:46

Well, it has finally come to this. :-(

I have tried very hard but the time has come for us to part. She has been advertised in a website for old dogs and have got a handful of lovely retired people wanting to get her.

The people interested in her have volunteered information about where they live, their life style, how often she will be walked, etc etc. Someone who seems just perfect has contacted me and has offered to get a reference from the vet of her last dog to prove she will be a good owner.

It is the first time in my life I have not seen a dog to the end of his/her days (and I have had many dogs!), so I really don't know what other questions to ask. I'm satisfied that the setting is right, that the person has the time to exercise her and also has, from what she says, plenty of experience with the breed, she lives unfortunately quite far from us, what questions should I ask?

Please help, at the moment I have two people interested and not a clue on how to follow up on this! :-S

Many thanks.

Chandras Tue 02-Apr-13 07:49:22


Thumbtack Tue 02-Apr-13 08:07:53

Its a shame, BUT well done for finding a new home as rescue kennels are traumatic, particularly for old dogs. Firstly make sure that this is the dogs final home and he/she wont be shipped off to another new home in 6 months time, again 'home surfing' very traumatic for older dogs. I would obviously ask about how much time will be spent with the dog on a daily basis and what thier routine is. Make sure access to garden etc I think most important is that the first few weeks they spend time consoling and bonding with the dog, do they have time for that?

good luck to your dog I really hope it goes well for it

GoSuckEggs Tue 02-Apr-13 08:13:16

i would want to know what happened to her last dog? did it die with her?

Gregssausageroll Tue 02-Apr-13 08:33:00

I would all go out for a walk together, I would also visit their house and yes, get confirmation as to what happened to their last dog.

What is the daily routine. How will your dog fit into that etc. hopefully all of that will come out in conversation.

Good luck and unfortunately, I think you need to expect some harsh posts here.

idirdog Tue 02-Apr-13 08:33:53

Do not rehome privately. Rehome through a respectable rescue centre. Most of them will foster the dog or it can stay with you until the right home is found for it.

They will know how to assess the dog and the owners and make the perfect match. They will also look after the dog for life which is something you can not do.

You owe it to the dog to this correctly and a reputable rescue is the only way to go.

Scuttlebutter Tue 02-Apr-13 09:11:14

OP, are you in hte UK?

If you are, what website is your dog advertised on? Please be aware that any dog that is offered as Free to good home or similar is hugely vulnerable - they can be used as bait dogs and for various other unpleasant uses.

Please do not rehome privately - go through a reputable rescue. There are several who deal specifically with older dogs such as the Oldies Club. Depending on your dog's breed, there may well be a dedicated breed rescue who can help.

Private rehoming does not guarantee lifelong security and care - far from it. The point is you are rehoming her as an elderly dog - what is to stop the next person doing this? With very elderly people there can be issues over health, hospital admissions and sadly going into care - these are often reasons for owner surrender. If you go through a rescue they can maintain continuity of care for the dog's life.

For instance, two of our dogs are currently a pair of elderly dogs that were fostered by the rescue when their adopter became ill last year. While she was in hospital the dogs stayed with us, and sadly when the lady's health deteriorated further, the dogs have a secure lifetime home with us as long term foster dogs with all their vets bills paid by the charity. As dogs of 10 and 9, with health and behavioural issues, they would have stood no chance in a pound, would have been separated, and gone through the miserable trauma of being separated from their loving home and likely ended up as PTS. I shudder to think about it, honestly. But their owner had adopted the dogs some 5/6 years previously - so the lifelong support and back up really did do as it promised. No private rehoming can offer that.

Rehoming via a rescue does not necessarily mean that the dog will go into kennels hmm. Many rescues are entirely foster home based, and even rescues that do use kennels will move heaven and earth to keep older dogs out of the kennel environment.

Rescues also use a variety of means to check out potential homes - these include using independent homecheckers and a variety of vetting techniques.

Callisto Tue 02-Apr-13 11:44:53

FGS if you're going to turf your dog out do it responsibly and take her to a reputable rescue.

SnuffleTheDog Tue 02-Apr-13 12:32:51

No no no. Do not rehome on a website hmm

Let a responsible no kill rescue help this dog.

if you rehome privately there will be no guarantees that your poor dog wont just be passed around from owner to owner (or PTS if the new owners have trouble with it). At least a rescue will take them back if rehoming doesnt work out

SpicyPear Tue 02-Apr-13 12:38:40

Please please do not rehome privately, go through a reputable rescue, ideally breed specific. For all the reasons scuttle has said. This absolutely does not mean she has to go to kennels and you can direct your applicants to the rescue to apply and be vetted in the proper way. Even leaving dog fighters etc out of the equation and assuming the person is genuine, they and your dog will have no back up if things get tough or don't work out.

1MitchellMum Tue 02-Apr-13 16:08:12

Can I ask what breed she is? There are plenty of breed rescues around - the ones I've dealt with have a waiting list of good homes for dogs. I echo what others have said (seems a little suspicious that someone is prepared to travel for the dog, unless they specifically want that breed). Gut instinct also goes a long way. We privately rehomed a dog from someone in 2006. The dog was advertised for sale, so we contacted the owner. We didn't give her our details (phone number or address) but after several meetings over several weeks she knew instinctively that we were the right owners for her and we took her on. Sadly she collapsed and died at just 6 years old, from heart failure. She was a guarding breed and we thought she may end up in the wrong hands if we didn't take her on. Is there no way you can keep her yourself? Good luck, I'd hate to have to do what you're doing.

Chandras Sun 07-Apr-13 00:11:17

Thank you all for your messages. I'm sorry I couldn't come back to the thread earlier but I couldn't get more bashing as I have been very upset for parting with someone who I have cared for very much, with lots of love and why not, a huge amount of money.

Of course I wouldn't let her go to any stranger or advertise her in the wrong site. I'm not a bitch for rehoming her, this was not an easy decision, she came to us at a time we were convinced we couldn't have children so she was the baby of the house. We got her as a 6 months puppy as she had been returned to her breeder as apparently she was not fit for breeding.

We soon realised than more than that, she had been returned because she had some terrible behavioural issues, on the first night with us alone she caused almost £1000 worth of damage, but we thought we could turn her around, started from the beginning, took her to puppy classes, and spent many hours working with trainers and animal behaviourists to make things better. It costed a lot of money but eventually it paid off, she became a lovely dog.

She had also had some bad health problems, and again, we worked hard to get her back in good health, I learned a lot about dog nutrition and started to cook for her.

But then, when we got her, I was married, had no children, and I was at home most of the time. Now I am divorced, have a full time job and have been raising a child singlehandedly without any family around, and that child has asthma and some learning difficulties which require quite lot of tutoring after school and for the dog not to be around him (yes, I tried allergy specific vacuum cleaners, air filters, became a slave of the washing machine and even believed Petal Cleanse could help). Which means the poor dog was spending all day on her own, and even when we were around we couldn't have her near us much of the time as that will trigger my son's asthma and considering how many times we have been to the hospital recently with this, I take his asthma very seriously.

I know some will think that what she had may have been good enough for her, but it wasn't. She needed more attention, and at the same time, I have a mortgage to pay and nobody around to help me out of difficulties, so reducing hours or working less was no longer an option. Life has taken a bad turn and I have had to cope with it.

I have been contacting rescues for a year, and no one had the space or considered it a priority to take her, they also said that considering her age, it was more likely than not that she would spend the rest of her life in kennels which I think would have been very distressing to her. So eventually, someone here was nice enough to point me in the direction of the Oldies website.

The dog has now gone to a lovely lady who has the time and the experience to take care of her. She is very experienced with the breed, has re homed other dogs in the past, and I got a good reference letter from her vet.

I have got some lovely emails from her updating us on how well the dog is settling down, how happy she is to have her around, and how much they are enjoying each other company. I'm very pleased for both of them.

And I'm writing all this just because I think someone has to mention here that the fact some of us have to re home our dogs doesn't make us bad people or means we don't care about our dogs. I have cried more for this dog than I cried for my ex husband when he left. So please be nice to people asking help to rehome their dogs, sometimes, no matter how much we care about them, it is not in the best interest of the dogs, the family, or both to stay together.

pinguwings Sun 07-Apr-13 10:43:32

Chandras - a really well written last post. I'm so glad your dog is doing well. Incredibly difficult decision but please do not beat yourself up about it. You did not 'turf your dog out', you made every effort you could to ensure she would be happy. I hope you and your son can enjoy happy memories of her.

needastrongone Sun 07-Apr-13 11:17:13


There is a wealth of fantastic information on this thread and it has been incredibly supportive and useful to me. Even when I lurk!

The 'experts' (I can name them in my head!) always give thoughtful, non judgemental, measured advice relevant to the posters issue. I have learned tons.

Sadly, there are a few who are (possibly) a little less experienced and (certainly) a lot quicker to judge, which is a dreadful shame. Probably not confined to The Doghouse I would assume.

Chandras - I hope you are ok and it sounds like your dog will be too. Good luck for the future.

needastrongone Sun 07-Apr-13 12:18:39

I meant section rather than thread sorry.

SpicyPear Mon 08-Apr-13 00:02:00

I'm sorry you've had a bad time, but I can only see one response that could be seen as critical or implying you didn't care about your dog. I and most other posters made no comment at all on your decision to rehome, just advised on the method so I think your criticism of the, in my opinion very balanced, responses is very unfair.

Chandras Mon 08-Apr-13 21:31:07

You didn't see the first thread when I asked for help first.

SpicyPear Tue 09-Apr-13 14:15:01

Okay then your accusations should have been posted on that thread.

Chandras Tue 09-Apr-13 21:09:56

Frankly, I think you are a bit sad. I'm sad too, but I have an excuse. I'm sad because I parted with my dog. What is yours? Do you derive some fun of sticking the finger in other people's wounds?

Enjoy, there will be many more like us who you can correct. Sometimes I think we need yet another emoticon...

Anomaly Tue 09-Apr-13 23:08:17

So sorry op that you had to rehome your dog.

I think that those of you saying private rehoming is a really bad idea need to realise that sometimes it is the only way. I had a dog who was not happy with us and had to rehome him. As he we were caring for him and he was in no danger no rescue was able to help. The only one who did put him on their website so we could rehome him privately. As it is the first couple who came to look loved him and he has a fantastic life with them.

Chandras Wed 10-Apr-13 00:52:12

Yes, I agree with you, actually the Oldies website asked me to do a private rehoming as she was not directly in risk and there was no one in my area who could foster her. Which was a very similar response I got from other rescues and organisations I contacted.

I do also believe that once a person has decided they cannot longer care for their pets, there is not much point in trying to shame them into keeping the pet. I have been feeling very guilty about parting with her for several YEARS. It would have been much easier to find her a new home and get her a better life when she was all those YEARS younger.

Many dogs that are kept for longer than they should, with owners who cannot provide the care they need, are likely to develop health and behavioural problems and are therefore more difficult to be rehomed, more likely to stay in kennels or to be put to sleep.

I got a lot of people suggesting asking for a neighbour or family to come and take dog out/walk her, this idea is totally unrealistic in the long term.

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