Top tips for getting a rescue dog, please!(24 Posts)
After very nearly getting a puppy and changing my mind at the last minute (a previous thread - thanks MN for good advice) I now am considering looking into rescue.
We've been looking after a friends dog and I've absolutely loved it!
So what are the best tips for getting a rescue? Are national, well known better than local ones? Obviously my biggest worry is getting a dog with behaviour problems, as I'm not an experienced dog owner so don't want to take on something that we can't do justice too. I really want to be responsible. Is it better to get a dog that's been fostered?
I love the greyhound/lurcher breeds but my DH is worried they are too big. But a lot of the smaller breeds seem to be JRT, which I'm not overly keen on (I love them but think they are not the right breed for us).
Go for a lurcher! They do come in a variety of sizes, and look bigger than their weight. What is his concern about a 'big' dog?
I think a rescue where the dogs are fostered rather than in kennels is preferable as they know more about the dog, and how it behaves in everyday situations than a dog in kennels. I've just fostered some puppies for EGLR who are where both of my dogs came from, and by the time they went to their new homes we knew how they slept, house training, how they were with cats/chickens/children, and they'd been in the car, cafes, in town and so on. Turned out these sisters would be best suited to quite different homes.
Be very honest with the rescue (and yourselves) about what you want, and what you can offer a dog. If you want a very bright dog that needs to be busy and stimulated all the time, a terrier, spaniel or collie is great. OTOH, if you are more looking for a dog whose idea of a great morning is snoring in the sun, a lurcher is perfect
Look at smaller, local rescues. They are usually more flexible if you have younger children (don't know if you do). These rescues often have their dogs in foster homes, so you can get a good assessment of how they are in a family environment.
Join lots of rescue FB groups. They are usually much more up to date than websites. More popular dogs won't even appear on a website, as they'll be snapped up beforehand. I think the FB groups also give you a feeling for the rescue - how they respond to adoptions that don't work out, what advice do they give, how much do they assess the dogs before adoption, will they cat test for potential adopters. It will show how willing/flexible/realistic/proactive they are.
Be proactive but also patient. Be proactive by building relationships with rescues. Volunteers won't have the time to ring you every time a suitable dog comes in, they are usually working or so busy, they just won't. So ring them every now and again, go and visit if you can, even volunteer to walk the rescues a couple of times a week. That way, they will keep you in mind.
Be patient so that you find the right dog. Like CMOT said, be honest about your lifestyle: do you like a lie-in, do you go on long weekends away, what about school holidays/half-terms (if applicable). Do you work? If so, how many hours a day/weekend/nights? Do you spend a day in town and then spontaneously stay for a meal/cinema/theatre. All need to be thought about when you have a dog that can't be left for longer than 4/5 hours at a time. Do you have a friend/neighbour to help out on such days? Do you spare cash for insurance, vets, boosters, kennels etc?
You could also offer to foster - many rescues are crying out for fosterers and it does allow you some flexibility before you make a decision, although you would need to commit to foster until that dog found a home (if it wasn't to be with you).
Whippets are smaller... I told my husband that the rescue dog I selected for us was a small dog with long legs! He was really tall, able to scrounge off the workshops and put his feet on your shoulders, but he weighed next to nothing...
Thanks for the tips.
I've already started to
obsessively look at the FB pages, will join and start talking to them. I would love to volunteer to walk dogs, but didn't know if this was an option. But I guess I can ask. I hadn't realised that some dogs wouldn't even be advertised, but of course this makes sense.
CMOT I saw your pups, so cute and now watch EgLR website/FB. I used to work at stables with 3 lurchers and just adord them, so gentle and loyal, but also up for a play. My DH is worried that a bigger dog will take up too much room in the house, though we have a good sized garden and actually good sized house. I think he over estimates how active lurchers/greyhounds will be at home, they seem to just sleep a lot and look at you adoringly.
I've already contacted one rescue and been very honest about working and children. I would love to say bagel that we went out for spontaneous meals out but those days are long gone! But we would be solely responsible for dog and this is why I have thought long (very very very long) about having a dog and have now had a friends dog stay with us for a number of times to check out our lifestyle with a dog. But the pros way up the things that need to be sacrificed.
Definitely spend lots of time visiting he rescue centres. We got both of ours from Dogs trust and have been really pleased with both of our boys. I'd definitely go with DT for another dog when the time comes, Our local blue cross centre left me completely cold - I just didn't feel the same vibe as from dogs trust. DT were friendlier and didn't seem desperate to palm any old dog upon us, unlike blue cross who seemed desperate just to rehome any dog with us.
If I were to go for a local one I'd be looking at fostered dogs rather than kennelled and I'd be thinking about spending time to get to know their carers and the dogs too.
My main advice to you no matter where you go, take your time. Don't go for the first cute face you see - make sure that you get to know that dog and research that breed too. Spend several meet ups learning who the dog is and what makes them tick.
Also, please be very aware that you almost certainly won't be getting a fully trained, well behaved dog. You will have to put in a lot of time and money to train the dog and the bond with a rescue does take longer - training will help to build that bond. The main reason thatbdigs are returned to rescues is because people expected a perfect adult dog because they don't want to have to deal with puppy behaviour, yet many rescue dogs come with ingrained bad behaviour and psychological issues. Not wanting to put you off at all!
Our first was a year old stray with major issues around food. The other had been regimes several times and was very verbal, neurotic and terrified of life. Both were given time, space and were love bombed and although neither would win any prizes for perfect behaviour, they're gorgeous, friendly boys who love snuggles and I wouldn't be without them. I think they're even more special because they've been through the rescue process and have settled well.
Good luck finding your pup!!
Greyhounds can be a bit of a shock as they are the opposite of what your DH thinks - lovely, lovely dogs but so lazy that they are mostly comatose! They are fantastic pets but if you do want a more active and playful dog, they probably aren't the breed for you.
As a PP has suggested, why not try fostering to see how you get on?
Greyhounds are lush. The fastest couch potatoes in the West!
I would go for a rescue which offers support and maybe one where dogs have been fostered so you know what you're taking on. Black retriever x do great work.
Don't know where you are in the UK, but look ....
Roo (1st pic) "Young, sweet boy Roo. About 12-18 months old Lurcher. Gentle nature and what a cutie."
Blue (2nd pic) Fostered in Berkshire but it was only short-term so Blue is looking for another foster or forever home.
NB Don't scroll down the Fall in Love with a Rescue page to 26 Dec. Saluki x whippet puppies looking for homes
We paid £80 for our pup and that included her injections and her going back to be spayed at 6 months. As well as a subsidised course of puppy training classes. (£10 a class and brilliant) and stacks of info and lifetime support if a problem should occur.
Oh and forgot to say but we got her as a 9 week old puppy. They get pups in all the time.
I'd totally second a greyhound or lurcher - our neighbours have a retired greyhound. That dog is incredible - she plods along on walks, takes her time, is happy having her lead held by our children. She sleeps loads at home, is so placid and loving. Totally shattered my misconceptions of greyhounds.
Sadly on the complete opposite side of the country to me.
I'm sorry OhDear2200 just couldn't resist They're both lovely, aren't they? Where is your general region, if you don't mind me asking?
Oh bloody hell those photos are evil evil evil!
Especially when me and DH have discussed new pointy-nose once we're back over the financial pain of Christmas so I have to wait a little bit longer!
I am currently fostering a lovely handsome lurcher /collie cross!! Desperate to get him a forever home asap. ... Sick of odd balls and weirdos replying to my ads!!
Ilove - picture?
I'm not an old ball or weirdo. But do have 2 children.
So was discussing this with my friend at work she said that she often helps out at local greyhound rescue to walk the dogs so I am going to go with her to get my foot in as such.
I think it could be v. Dangerous. No one tell my DH.
Oh my god ilove!!!!! If I wasn't due a baby in the next few weeks, I so would!!!
There's a big facebook group called Retired Greyhound Owners - they'd be able to give you the full picture in rescuing a sighthound
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