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Rescue dog for a novice?(10 Posts)
We are a family with 2 teenage DC. No dog owning experience. We want a dog. It needs to be a less allergenic breed due to DH’s allergies. We are thinking about a poodle - pure bred not cross. I’d much rather give a home to a rescue dog and getting an older dog would suit us rather than a puppy.
Is it at all realistic that we’d be accepted as adopters by a breed rescue given our lack of dog owning experience? (Obviously having met all the home check requirements) We couldn’t take on a dog with ‘issues’ because of our lack of experience - does that rule out most dogs in rescue? Will rescues not want to place a dog in a family where there are allergies?
I wouldn't have thought there would be an issue with your circumstances.
Perhaps you could do a few visits and or foster to see how the allergies are impacted.
It's worth getting in touch with breed specific rescues and having a discussion. Most will be more than willing to have a chat with you.
Rescue doesn't always mean you will encounter problem dogs.
I'm totally biased but have you looked at greyhounds? They make wonderful pets and with short hair they are good with allergies. They are my first dogs and I adore them.
There's so many looking for homes x
I second Greyhounds, lovely calm natures, ideal for novices.
Having had a lurcher growing up, I then went on to get a rescue lurcher a few years ago. He was just 6months old. He has never had any problems, my youngest child was 8 when I got the dog and all get on amazingly well. My oldest dd was petrified of all dogs and from day one has been best friends with ours.
Lack of dog owning experience isn't generally a bar to getting a rescue dog. They will, however, want to know that you are realistic about dog ownership and what it entails, and have done your research.
When you say a dog with issues, what do you mean? To be clear, you'll never get a dog that's perfectly formed and perfectly trained with no issues whatsoever - puppies aren't like that and neither are the vast majority of family dogs! Even the two dogs I had growing up, who were pretty bombproof temperamentally - one would snap if you tried to pick her up, the other snapped at bouncy puppies in his twilight years, and both hated cats.
I would encourage you to think about what you would class as an issue that you couldn't cope with. For instance, limited basic training or not being housebroken are both relatively easily resolved. Reactivity towards other dogs or strangers (look out for phrases in profiles like "needs to be walked away from other dogs and people") is far harder to solve (often it's more a case of management) and frankly not for the faint hearted or first time owner.
As a first time dog owner (it turns out having easy dogs as a child teaches you sod all!) who inherited a dog with issues from a friend, I would say it's made me a much better dog owner than I would have been had I got a more "vanilla" dog. He'd already burned his way through 3 owners before he was 18 months old... A crash course in canine behaviour and training if ever there was one, but I'm glad it happened (despite the frequent public embarrassment, expense, occasional tears and a few bite marks on my lower legs!)
With regards to the allergies, I'd expect you to have to go and spend a significant period of time with the dog, and do things that are likely to trigger allergies (for instance, stroking the animal then touching my eyes is how I trigger my cat allergy)
However, speak to the breed rescue! Only they know their own policies. If you're turned down by them, keep an eye out for poodles in general rescues like the RSPCA - they do come up, it's not all mutts, staffies and sighthounds!
Thanks. The issue that I wouldn’t want to deal with is separation anxiety- I knew a lady with a rescue and the dog couldn’t be left at all without getting distressed and did things like chew carpets. I wouldn’t want a reactive dog either, I want to be able to socialise with other dog owners, and for the teen DD to be able to walk the dog.
DD loves greyhounds! But I didn’t think they were a particularly less allergenic breed so I hadn’t considered them. Ignorant question- are greyhounds all about the same size? We are looking for a dog no bigger than medium!
The idea of being able to check out allergies in advance sounds eminently sensible! It would be a nightmare scenario to buy a pup and have to return it to the breeder.
There are not many pure poodles available via breed rescue as far as I have seen (and I have looked). There are some breed rescues, but tbh, the few dogs available seem to come with various caveats which would put me off.(These would include things like not house trained, health problems, can't live with another dog or children etc) Why don't you get a puppy? If you (or someone in your family) is around most of the time while the pup is growing up, this would surely work for you. A puppy is a blank canvas to a certain extent, so you ease them in to your lifestyle, rather than trying to change the habits, good or bad, of an older dog.
I would also check the allergy thing. Poodles don't moult, but it is not necessarily the hair that causes allergic reactions.
Greyhounds vary considerably in size. I'm on a few Facebook groups for greyhound owners and fans (my favourite is retired greyhound chat) and I think from general posts on there they range from about 21kg up to 45kg. Mine are 28kg and 37kg.
Definitely good to think about what you can work through and what you can't. When we were looking we were totally upfront with the rescue about our home set up and that meant they were well equipped to find the right matches for us.
When we went to the rescue we walked 3 dogs who they thought would be suited to us and we reserved our boy that day. Having a dog who is happy with your set up makes life so much easier when you are all settling in and adjusting to life together. It can be hard at the beginning but things soon settle and being greeted by happy wagging tails is awesome.
We were first time dog owners when we got our dog from a rescue. We used Rescue Remedies at Gatwick. They were really good with helping us choose the right dog. Some on their site say that the dog is only suitable for experienced owners. A wired haired dog is usually less likely to cause allergies.
The terrier we got from them came from a very loving home, but naturally there were some issues in the first months. The rescue explained to us what they would be and how to handle them and I think all good Rescues would do this.
It is 2 years now and she has changed my life for the better.