Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
getting a dog in the UK(6 Posts)
I feel like this is a silly question but I would like someone to talk me though the various options for getting a dog in the UK. We’ve previously had two dogs, but that was overseas, and they essentially turned up on our doorstep as stray puppies. That doesn’t seem a likely route for acquiring dogs here!
I’m aware the options are basically rescue, a ‘good’ breeder, and all those ads for puppies on Gumtree/Facebook. I assume the last option is the backyard breeders people talk about and not a good idea. So how do you go about it with the first two? My preference would be for a rescue dog but I’ve been told by friends they won’t rehome to a family with small children (my youngest is 4). Thanks for any advice.
In addition to those options you've mentioned, you've also got
- people rehoming adult dogs online - to be avoided as you can almost guarantee there are health or behaviour issues they haven't disclosed, and there's no independent vet or behaviour check done by a rescue
- foreign rescues, who import dogs from Eastern Europe - people often turn to them because they are more flexible with who they'll home to, but the trouble is that disproportionate numbers of these dogs seem to have serious behavioural problems that don't become evident until they're in their new home (though to some extent this can be mitigated by going through a rescue that fosters in the UK first). It's also open to less than scrupulous people - anything from the Jodie Fairbrother / 4 Paws Lincs case to people claiming they found a litter of dachshund puppies roaming the streets of Bucharest who now all need a rescue home willing to pay £££
As you've guessed, people advertising on gumtree, pets4homes etc are going to be puppy farmers and backyard breeders. At best you'll be supporting the mistreatment of mum for profit; at worst you'll end up with a puppy riddled with expensive health and behaviour problems (in some cases, they're dead in days and the owners have a four figure vets bill).
Some rescues (especially small and local ones) are more flexible about kids, and those that have a cut off age usually say 5 (is her 5th birthday soon?) so I'd have a chat to them.
I'd start having a look at what sort of breeds might suit you (remaining open minded if you are looking at the rescue route) and registering with local rescues and identifying good breeders whose waiting list you can join.
I’ve been told by friends they won’t rehome to a family with small children (my youngest is 4)
It's worth talking to rescues. Some do have cut-off ages, but most will look at individual circumstances - even the larger rescue organisations (like RSPCA which has a reputation for refusing homes where there are very young children) will consider individual circumstances but they are very cautious about matching the right dog with a young family, and may have waiting lists for potential adopters that need the most child-friendly dogs.
Finding a dog suitable for homing with young children isn't as easy as for an adult-only household or one with older children. They're also aware that young children occupy adult attention more than older children, and a rescue dog may not be always get the attention they need under those circumstances.
some rescues are ok with children, the more well known rescues such as the rspca do tend to be careful but some dogs are rehomed due to circumstances which have nothing to do with their behaviour, register with your local rspca and smaller rescues around where you live, I am a pet groomer and I have had customers rehome puppies due to not having time to look after them or not knowing what they took on when they got a puppy, it does happen and in those circumstances the dog is fine, its the owner who for whatever reason can't look after them and are giving them up to give the dog the best life.
If you were prepared to give a home to an older dog, then.Rescues might consider you. There are sites just for oldies. Smaller Rescues are more flexible and have the priority of someone being home all day.
My preference would be for a rescue dog but I’ve been told by friends they won’t rehome to a family with small children (my youngest is 4)
Not true. Dog’s Trust have a range of age groups they will asses dogs to be suitable for. First range is ‘suitable to live with children four and above’ (followed by eight and above, eleven and above and then fourteen and above). They are very good at assessing the dog prior to rehoming. It is true that you may wait a long time for a suitable dog but certainly no longer than you would have to wait for a well raised puppy from a good and decent breeder.