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Where to start - adoption(7 Posts)
We’re looking to adopt a rescue dog in the next year or so (we have a 3 year old so may have to wait longer as a lot of rescues locally understandably only rehome to houses with kids over 5, unless their history is well known)
We haven’t owned a dog before and want to go into this as prepared as possible. Do you have any advice on where to get started - choosing the right dog for our family, introducing the kids and dog, training, etc.
We’re out any about most days, but not walking long distances at present due to the kids ages. There are a couple of days a week the dog would be home alone during the day with my partner popping home for some company and a walk at lunch.
I have 2 DDs, 3 and 10. We have recently rehomed two dogs together. From my experience I'd say...
The dogs who are suitable for rehoming with children tend to get reserved very quickly which can lead to pressure to make quick decisions. I'd say have a good idea of age range, breed and size etc you want and be strict about sticking to it. One shelter was trying to encourage us to have a puppy. This wouldnt have worked for us at all and would have been a disaster.
If possible, try and meet dog a few times with DC. Not always possible but very difficult to make judgements on a 20 minute meeting.
If the dog has known history (as opposed to a stray).. Find out as much as possible! The dogs I've rehomed haven't been walked /socialised well and so family walks are very difficult at moment. If I'd known the extent of one of my dogs nerved I'd probably have decided she wasnt right for us at present time. (she barks and gets agitated at people approaching her and other dogs and I live in an urban area with lots of people and furry things! )
Be clear about follow up support you'd get. My rescue have been hopeless
Not trying to put you off, our dogs are lovely in many ways but hasn't all quite gone to plan even with months of planning and thinking about it..
I would say don't do it until your kid is nearer 7 or 8. I say this as someone who had a dog at that age and one who has a dog now with a toddler.
We haven’t owned a dog before and want to go into this as prepared as possible.
Do you know anyone with a dog or dogs? If you do, I'm sure they'll be happy to have company on walks from time to time.
Thank you for the advice.
We’ll have a more detailed think through what we’re looking for, we know we want a medium/small sized dog, that can settle wth us both out at work (popping home at lunch) for a couple of days each week Hopefully that should help us come up with some more specific questions for the rescue.
We’ve had a couple of local rescues recommended, but would have to wait another couple of years as they only rehome with over 5’s (although this may work out better in the long run, as you say ginger1982)
We do have a few friends with dogs and enjoy having them to stay or heading out for a walk with them, haven’t felt brave enough to offer to dog sit yet, but I feel like that might be a good step to take next.
Any tips on training - are there any good websites/ books you would recommend?
I’ve had rescue dogs before and during our 4DC. At the moment, we’ve got one very easy girl and one (adorable) fucking nightmare
Do have a Really Good Think about what you need as a family. You have to be brutally honest with rescues about dogs that will work for you and be prepared to wait for them to find the right one.
Rescues appreciate this. No one wants a dog to be bounced or worse.
Also, look for local rescues that foster dogs to families instead of using kennels. As you’re a first time owner with young children, this takes all the guesswork out of bringing home a puppy you might not manage to train properly or a dog with unknown history.
@sleightofmind completely agree. A local rescue with dogs in foster will give you a great deal of knowledge about the dog and how they behave in a home environment.
I know you said small to medium dog but worth looking into greyhounds. Yes they can be quite large but they are calm dogs and sleep at least 20 hours per day. Full disclosure I am hugely biased as we have 2 rescue greyhounds, they are amazing. The breed you choose needs to fit your family in terms of demands so that is where I would start. Really research the traits of the breed, of course individual dogs can be different but just so you generally know what to expect.
Good luck. I don't have children so can't advise on the best age but again when you know what breeds suit I suggest talking to breed specific rescues to find out more. xx