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
Is an Oldie dog right for us?(7 Posts)
Bit of back story as I don't want to drip-feed and happy to be told if this option doesn't suit us.
Last year as our first dog we adopted a large 2yo dog who was supposedly cat and child friendly from a local adoption centre. I have an 8 year old daughter and 2 cats. We saw the dog 'cat tested' and all was fine for the first 1.5 months of having it. Sadly I was caught off guard when the dog nosed out of the door and into the garden while I was on the phone and distracted. There was no muzzle on and sadly one of our cats was killed while I tried to pry them apart. I got the cat to the vet but it died on the table which was traumatic. I realised this was completely my own fault and doubled up security to ensure our other cat would be safe. Unfortunately around a month later the dog bit my dd's arm. It was defensive and I had been telling her not to 'jump' around the dog for a good 5 minutes beforehand - she really isn't a jumpy girl and a lot of it was excitement but I had gone over and over why she couldn't do this and reprimanded her seconds before this event, so when the bite happened I was cross with her not the dog (obviously looked after her but in no way blamed the dog). I had a behaviourist over (more for dd than the dog tbh and it seemed to work - although now I feel dd just retreated from the dog to be on the safe side). I figured the dog wasn't using the crate to get away from her when she was being a bouncy child so doubled up efforts on that which seemed to work. A month later and he's managed to get into some unopened biscuits which my dd points out to me. I'm lifting the heavy bag out of his reach and she is about 2 meters away when the dog turns on her, jumps up and tries to bite her nose. My vet said this was related to the food being close and the dog seeing dd as another do; competition. Sadly for me this was the final straw (dd had a big bruise on her nose and cut under her eye - too close for my liking). So with a lot of sadness we returned the dog to the re-homing centre and explained that other than these events there had been no issues with toileting after the first few weeks, generally behaviour had been wonderful and if it had just been me the dog would have been fine as they had become very attached to me. I was a complete mess about this for months tbh and dd was also sad, although she did confide that she felt safer around the house
So, sorry for the long back story, but we are both still really hoping to give another dog a home but one who has been tested properly with cats and children. i.e an older dog who has previously lived with a family. Our dog hadn't ever been in a family environment and I do think they hadn't fully known it's character as they only had them in kennels for 1 month.
Am I being deluded? We still have one cat and I don't want to jeapordise her. I have seen so many Oldies who need homing who have lived with cats and children that I am sure we can offer a lovely life to. I work from home and was doing a 3 mile walk daily followed by a 30min evening walk after school with dd. There is a part of me that is still grieving for our old dog and another that is worried if similar happens again.
Any advice would be helpful.
Also forgot to add that our old dog was re-homed a month later and the kennel said that him having lived in a house had helped him there.
No you're not at all deluded and you are right that there are so many older dogs that are overlooked in favour of the younger ones.
Equally, many older dogs are just wanting a quiet life and a quiet home but if you use a reputable re-homing centre you should get the right advice especially if the centre knows the dog's history, and some centres allow a home trial before you finally decide.
It was very laudable of you to be so responsible with your old dog and return him for re-homing, and I am glad to hear there's been a happy outcome.
Good luck with finding a new family member!
Don’t let your previous experience put you off getting another dog. It is hard with rescue dogs as they are often accessed before they have really settled into a foster home and it’s hard to access if they are in kennels. I brought my dog home just over a week ago and he’s a totally different dog to what I saw in his foster home. I was told he was cat friendly but since my cat stood up to him he now wants to eat the cat and my cat has now moved out (hopefully not for good), the dog was very quiet when I visited and now he’s totally bonkers at times, he’s still a lovely dog but needs a lot more training than I imagined.
I would consider a older dog, it’s rewarding knowing you have given them a good last few year after they have had a bad start, they don’t need walking as much and are generally calmer (depending on breed). Just learn from your experance when looking at rescue dogs. You could always foster before agreeing to adopt?
I don't know if this is maybe where you've see some older dogs but Oldies Club is a wonderful rescue organisation.
Thank you all! I have to admit I was bracing myself before I came back but you've all been lovely. I have indeed been looking at the Oldies site - which is why I picked this username . Unfortunately the one we like is in Fife and we live in SE! We are heading near there for a holiday (booked months ago) but I think perhaps an 8+ hour car journey might be a bit much with an old new dog IYKWIM!
I had a few friends recommend getting a puppy but I think for now I am a little too worried about training and would rather gain some 'real dog' experience.
I adopted my Rescue when she was 8. She had been with the same loving family since a pup and she was around children and a cat.
She is lovely and I adore her, but I don’t let her have free range around my grandchildren. She is unpredictable. I would say that you gave the previous dog too many chances and just by luck avoided a disaster.
I don’t think an older dog will necessarily be safe around your child. My dog does not like the constant movement of children or the noise.