Asked to take a rescue but recovering from bad experience

(17 Posts)
GubbinsSocks Mon 22-Feb-16 09:17:34

I'm in a bit of a pickle this morning. I rescued a dog from RSPCA last year who had some behaviour issues. After a couple of weeks at home with me, he bit me and had to be handed back. He was PTS because he couldn't be trusted in a home.

Me and DH have been round-and-round in circles about whether or not we should get another dog. We decided 'no' because (a) we're quite time pressured and (b) we were both a bit shaken by the last time. However, we said we would if the universe aligned and one fell into our lap like a friend was giving up their dog or someone we knew (and trusted) had puppies.

So, now the RSPCA have contacted me asking me if I'd be interested in taking another dog. They haven't said much about the dog and I can't call them today because the reception is closed today. Me and DH have been clear that we'd only rescue another dog if the dog was completely easy and had no behaviour issues at all after our experience last time. It feels quite a lot like an opportunity falling into our lap as we've discussed, rather than us going out and looking for another dog (making the decision) IYSWIM.

I feel really excited at the prospect of getting another dog but there are practical issues of time and effort to contend with of course.

I don't really know what I'm asking. It's a question of heart (get the dog) or head (don't get the dog) and I guess I'm after MNers experiences of rescuing, good and bad...

Sorry for the ramble!

ScattyHattie Mon 22-Feb-16 09:35:13

I suppose it depends if the practical issues that you feel made it not the right time are solvable.

Perhaps you'd be better looking for a dog that suits your needs rather than leaving it to chance & finding a dog that is already in a foster home so you feel a little more at ease regarding its behavior.
No harm finding out more information about this rspca dog though, even if its not right dog/time its made you realise its something your ready to consider.

GubbinsSocks Mon 22-Feb-16 09:56:20

Thanks scattie

I think the practical issues will solve themselves after some time (e.g. walks in the morning and at night, what to do when we travel, what to do when we're at work all day) but I realise that for a while there is going to be a lot of disruption and I think that's what put us off.

I need to find out more about the dog they're asking us to take but can't do that until tomorrow!

GubbinsSocks Mon 22-Feb-16 10:20:36

I'd love to hear other MNers stories of rescuing grin

Haudyerwheesht Mon 22-Feb-16 10:29:12

Our dog is a rescue with no noticeable behaviour issues. I wouldn't have got him if we were out all day.

GubbinsSocks Mon 22-Feb-16 11:22:27

Haudyer Thanks. What breed do you have?

GubbinsSocks Mon 22-Feb-16 12:36:47

Any other experiences?

Wolfiefan Mon 22-Feb-16 12:38:47

Are you saying you are at work all day? I wouldn't get a dog if that was the case.
How about a rescue where a dog is in foster so they know more about the dog?

sulee Mon 22-Feb-16 14:10:19

I have had 3 rescue dogs as well as non rescues. One we have now is a bit of a maverick tbh- a collie X, he is a bit chasing-obsessed and we found out the hard way he will chase cars etc, so we had to put in lots of training,not keen on other dogs when he is on the lead but OK off, but he is fine in the home. Our other two ( beagle JRT X now sadly no longer with us) and a JRT are fine, no issues. My son has a rescue King Charles Spaniel X who is also lovely. Having said that, a non-rescue cocker spaniel we had from a puppy had dreadful separation anxiety- nearly drove me insane! I think as others have said, it all depends on your circumstances. If I were you, I would meet the dog they have in mind and see whether he would be a good fit for you.

AnUtterIdiot Mon 22-Feb-16 14:10:26

Our dog is a rescue greyhound. No behaviour issues apart from once growling at me when he thought I was trying to take a particular treat away (no recurrence, no difficulties before or since taking other things away, he is not having that treat again!). He was rehomed once before us but it didn't work out. Absolute dream of a dog - quiet, calm, perfect manners, walks well on the lead, biddable, affectionate but not pushy, can be left for a few hours, sleeps happily on his own downstairs, good with other dogs and children. We love him to bits. But greyhounds are a relatively easy breed.

My mum rescued a gorgeous German Shepherd who had been mistreated - she had lived in a caravan, or rather she had lived outside the caravan that her owner lived in. She didn't know any commands apart from "bad dog", which made her cringe sad. She was a very gentle and intuitive dog. She spent the first six months or so walking around with her tail between her legs and often used to sit out in the rain, just staring into the garden. Then after about 6 months I noticed that she was wagging as she walked, the way happy dogs do, and then shortly after that I tried to let her out in the rain for a wee and she took one look out the door, turned on her heel and walked back to her bed smile. So that's quite a happy rescue story.

I would not contemplate taking the dog that the RSPCA is offering you until you've done a lot of research. My parents always had quite high maintenance working breeds - collies, GSDs, Dobermans, Belgian Shepherds or crosses thereof - and I had always assumed that I would have similar dogs. I always thought that greyhounds were a little bit silly. However, when we started looking into what breed would suit us we quickly realised that we would not be able to put the time into bringing a working dog to its full potential, whereas we would be perfectly capable of dragging a pointy couch potato round the block twice a day and cuddling it a lot. I still love working dogs but I now understand that they involve a huge amount of work if you're going to train and work with them properly, and I doubt I'll be able to do that unless/until I retire.

NB I am self employed and can work from home a lot, we have dog sitters/walkers when we are out.

AnUtterIdiot Mon 22-Feb-16 14:11:11

PS actually our dog gets at least half an hour twice a day, and more if it's not too cold/windy!

GubbinsSocks Mon 22-Feb-16 14:55:24

Thanks for all your stories. Lovely to hear of success stories.

To clarify, DH works out of the home nearly every weekday. I have weird working patterns. ATM I work out of the home 4 days a week but after Easter I'll be pretty much at home full time until January 2017 when it'll be back to four days a week again.

I wouldn't take a working breed for exactly the reasons stated upthread- we don't have the time to put in to bring them to their potential.
Similarly I wouldn't take a very young dog because we don't have the time to put in.

The dog we adopted last year was pretty much perfect- old, lazy, could be left for periods. Unfortunately, he had behaviour issues which led to him biting me unprovoked.

ScattyHattie Mon 22-Feb-16 15:49:09

I've 4 rescue dogs currently, 2 greyhounds, a lurcher that came as a foster & we adopted and a mastiff/boxer x that came for a holiday & has been on foster year since.

First pair of greyhounds we adopted whilst working 9-5 I could visit in my lunch hour to give them a toilet break. One was anxious of strangers & terrified of kids (we didn't have any) away from home but with some gradual exposure was fine after a few months & blossomed in confidence, even promoted rescue at busy county show. 3rd greyhound has a high prey drive & as she'd never met other dog breeds took her a while to realize they were ok, she's also grumpy if startled awake but its easy to manage that. I knew when we adopted them that the rescue hadn't assessed them well but we didn't have kids/pets to consider.

Lurcher we took on initially for 1-2months to help out the rescue so she wasn't really matched to us. She's great at home but is fear aggressive of many dogs outdoors, we've worked on that and she can calmly pass other dogs but I don't expect her to to mix & avoid places she'll get charged at by overly "friendly " dogs

ScattyHattie Mon 22-Feb-16 16:32:46

The mastiff x should really have had best start as was in a home from a young puppy, but I suspect they didn't socialize enough or go to training. Biggest problem we had was poor lead manners & he's a strong dog. Due to his nervous nature he's become more reactive to dogs after passing some regularly that barked at him, so something else to work through but he's great with my pack so sure with time he'll be fine. He's a great fun dog, very smart & good natured. I wouldn't have chosen to take such a young dog on long term as I don't really feel like I have enough time to devote , luckily my others are older & fairly lazy.
I suppose that's why I feel leaving it to chance doesn't always lead to the best match. Even with dogs raised from pups behavior issues can crop up.
I've had a few minor bites but more because I got in the way rather than they were trying to bitey me. Hurts & naturally that makes you a bit wary.

Haudyerwheesht Mon 22-Feb-16 17:46:45

In answer to your question above we have a lazy, food obsessed cocker. He was 4 when we got him and is 7 now.

GinIsIn Mon 22-Feb-16 21:04:41

Our dog is a rescue - our first after previously having pedigree working breeds - and I can honestly say I will never buy another dog again. She came to us by chance - we were at the rescue centre looking at a different dog - and she was none of things we were looking for, but she chose us. We went in for a medium sized, 2-3 year old staff-cross type that would come running with me, and came out with a tiny, fluffy, severely ill puppy farmed 'designer dog' puppy. And she's perfect.

Scuttlebutter Mon 22-Feb-16 22:01:53

We have four rescues currently, but I'm extremely surprised and suspicious of teh RSPCA randomly calling you out of the blue, especially after the circumstances of your last dog being relinquished. If you hadn't explicitly asked to be contacted, they are misusing your data.

Personally, I wouldn't take a dog from the RSPCA - they destroy over 50% of the dogs they receive (many of them perfectly healthy), and it sounds as though they were willing to place a dog with behavioural issues with a relatively inexperienced home. That to me raises red flags over their assessment and matching processes.

If you really, REALLY wanted a dog, you would be all over the rescues, you would be dog walking, hanging out with friends with dogs, offering to dog sit, your FB would be full of dog rescue pages, you get the picture.

Be brutally honest with yourself. Look at your diary for the past three weeks and ask yourself what activities you would still ahve done or would have to have modified if you have a dog. Your lifestyle sounds flexible and variable - great in some ways but not good for building the sustained pattern of routine, training, commitments to dog walkers etc that dog ownership requires.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh but "the universe aligning" doesn't sound to me like a dog owner who is committed. There are so many ways you can still have dogs in your life - support a local rescue and walk their dogs or volunteer for the Cinnamon Trust.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now