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Rescue or puppy?

(28 Posts)
OrchidFlakes Sat 02-Nov-19 15:18:14

I’m wondering if anyone experienced with dogs could help us with this:
Generally I tend towards a rescue dog rather than buying a puppy but I’m desperate to make the right decision.
We are being homechecked tomorrow for a rescue dog (female will be almost 2 before she comes to us). She is coming from a rescue abroad and was found on the streets and now in private kennels. She has been health checked by a vet and assessed by the kennel staff. We have seen videos and she seems very docile and friendly with humans and other dogs and uninterested in cats. She appears to have no basic training.

DH and I have two DS (4 and 7 both in full time school) DH works from home 1-2 days a week and I’m a SAHM.

Would the above rescue dog be ok with us and become a good family dog (we’d do training classes and give her plenty of time to settle) or would we be better served to invest time and energy into a puppy to increase the chance of a well balanced dog?

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Sat 02-Nov-19 15:39:37

I have known people who have got lovely rescue dogs but know others where it was a terrible match.

My concern is that you haven't even met this rescue dog and observed how she is with you and your family. Whilst some oversea rescues work out I wouldn't get one simply because I would worry about them fitting into family life having been a street dog (and whether the rescue organisation would provide ongoing support if needed).

Wolfiefan Sat 02-Nov-19 15:42:48

Is she still abroad? I wouldn’t take on any dog I hadn’t met.
If you’re open to rescue then I would look for one based in your country and ideally that fosters dogs rather than using kennels. That way they can pinpoint any issues and be sure you’re the right home.
Puppies are hard bloody work and bitey little buggers.

Winterdaysarehere Sat 02-Nov-19 15:42:50

Beware from abroad imo. Just been told about a friend's ndn who's apparent small street dog rescue is now being rehomed as it is mini pony size...

tabulahrasa Sat 02-Nov-19 15:54:31

Generically I don’t think there’s a huge diffference in ending up with a great family pet between puppy or a rescue...

However...

An ex street dog that’s now in kennels and may never have lived in a house, that you haven’t met and has only been assessed by kennel staff?

That’s a bloody huge gamble tbh.

OrchidFlakes Sat 02-Nov-19 16:06:10

Thank you all so much.

We have tried the traditional rescues, RSPCA, dogs trust, blue cross etc but their rules on the age of children predominantly excludes us for another 2 years until my youngest is 6+. Ironically he is a great kid who always does as he is asked, well behaved a generally an angel dream child that we have no idea where he came from, his brother is much more typical with cloth ears and full of life!
We’ve been looking for over a year now and have also been in touch with lots of local smaller rescues and have missed out on numerous dogs with them either staying in their foster or going to friends of the fosterer hmm
We just want a loveable dog to get muddy with!

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sat 02-Nov-19 16:09:33

I wouldn't re-home a dog I hadn't met. Not a puppy, not an adult.

The overseas rescues around here:
1 shy of people but coming round fairly fast
1 still very shy of people after 9 months (dog friendly though) NB both of these great with their owners
1 legged it within a few weeks of re-home and has never been found
1 legged it within days and was eventually found after half the local countryside was out looking for it; not sure what has happened since
1 good with people but loses the plot the second he sees another dog, barking and lunging and almost pulling his owner over
1 can't be let off lead
1 great with other dogs and people, but something of a bolter/no recall (though to be fair that is partly a breed thing and if I had one of those, I'd spend hours in its early life teaching recall)

I know of other overseas rescues that have been much easier, but these have usually come through breed-specific rescues and have been properly assessed first. With DC in the equation, I would be very cautious - not an outright no, but I would want to meet the dog, be given a lot of info on it, and know that there is training/support available, to the point of taking the dog back if it all goes wrong.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sat 02-Nov-19 16:11:12

Just saw your last post. Have you tried breed-specific rescues? I have a friend who fosters for one and apart from one (which she kept) all her foster dogs have gone to people previously unknown to her.

GaaaaarlicBread Sat 02-Nov-19 16:17:04

Growing up we rescued a greyhound , who was exactly what we were looking for . She needed a little training (crying at night) but she was lovely but I know they’re an acquired taste of breed . My friend rescued a staffie and regretted it from day one , it was a really nasty and naughty dog . Another friend rescued a dog from abroad and it didn’t like her children once it settled in and became very dominant . I highly recommend greyhounds , especially if you can get a younger one (ours was almost one). They’re lovely with children too . Not sure about you having children and having a dog from abroad you’ve not met before or had around your children x

OrchidFlakes Sat 02-Nov-19 16:26:39

I’m so glad I posted. Thank you all so much.

How do I find a breed specific rescue? Our ideal is a light coloured dog ( kids with vision issues), we love doodle breeds and want a small to medium size.
The rescue dog we have seen is very light, almost white and looks like there is some lab in there somewhere but she’s smallish - cocker sized.

OP’s posts: |
GrimDamnFanjo Sat 02-Nov-19 16:32:24

I think the exclusion of a rescue due to your kids ages is something to bear in mind.
Puppies are hard work too!
I considered a dog of around 6 months from a breeder who showed/competed aa an alternative to a puppy - the dog had been kept from a previous litter but wasn't quite good enough, fully trained etc. Could be worth considering?

GrimDamnFanjo Sat 02-Nov-19 16:34:36

Contact Breed clubs - there won't be one for Doodle types so please consider a poodle or spaniel/lab etc instead!

GrimDamnFanjo Sat 02-Nov-19 16:37:05

Also Facebook groups for rescue contacts can be helpful. I belong to one for Borders and there are carefully managed requests via the group for fostering and adoption.

Meltedicicle Sat 02-Nov-19 16:49:09

Hi OP, do you and your family have any experience with dogs? We didn’t but decided to get a rescue and the rescue matched us with a dog that originally came from abroad.

We did get to meet him once before he came home but to be honest, it was the wrong decision for our family. If it had just been me and DH it would have been different but with our DD’s it was quite stressful. They got scared when he barked at them and because we didn’t know his full history, I was a nervous wreck as at the back of my mind I was concerned that he would go for them. He was a great dog, it was our inexperience that was the problem but we couldn’t take the risk.

Additionally, he too past his cat test twice at the rescue, didn’t seem to register it the first time and the second time seemed scared of the cat if anything. But when he was here, he chased our cat and seemed completely different to how he was in rescue.

We’ve decided to get a puppy. We will get a rescue at some stage but I think for our family right now, a puppy is the best thing so we can all learn together even though it will be hard work.

Just wanted to give you our experience smile

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sat 02-Nov-19 16:56:24

To find a breed-specific rescues, first find your breed and then Google. A show cocker might be a good call for you, or some of the lighter-coloured terriers (Westies, Cairns). Whippets might also be worth considering.

OrchidFlakes Sat 02-Nov-19 17:00:08

Thank you all again!
Absolutely we’d consider cockers (we love the local ones!) labs, poodles and westies. Breed isn’t that big of a deal to us as long as their light coloured hmmgrin
I’ll look at breed rescues and see how we go

OP’s posts: |
GetTheSprinkles Sat 02-Nov-19 17:08:51

Before considering an imported dog, read the British Veterinary Association's article on 'Trojan Dogs'. You can Google it. Many imported dogs carry diseases such as heartworm/leishmania. Obviously, which diseases they may carry depends on which country they come from. I appreciate he has a had a vet check but many dogs will come in with a 'clean bill of health' and it's only later that the condition is diagnosed. Not only can certain conditions be incurable and/or expensive to treat, they can out the UK dog population at risk.
Similarly, are you 100% sure it is a reliable rescue centre? Some of the lesser known ones are poorly run & not fit for purpose. There have been recent reports of these rehoming centres being shut down and the people in charge being prosecuted.
I know you're looking into this option as you've struggled to adopt from UK rescue centres, but IMO adopting a dog from abroad isn't the solution. Not everyone will agree with mewink

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sat 02-Nov-19 17:56:47

If you're considering cockers, be aware (you might be already) that the show and working lines are virtually different breeds: the lines have been pretty much separate for 80-odd years.

I love the workers, but then I love dogs that are energetic and need to have their brains engaged. The show lines tend to be more chilled and easier to look after.

Motorina Sat 02-Nov-19 19:51:14

I have a number of friends - experienced dog owners all - with overseas rescues. All but one has significant behavioural issues which mean their owners have had to work with a behaviourist. Two have been diagnosed with leishmaniasis, on both occasion months/years after coming over.

Neither of those are cheap.

It wouldn’t be a route that I would go down.

Motorina Sat 02-Nov-19 19:54:04

DoodleAid.com and doodletrust.com both rehome poodle cross types and might be worth a call. I have no personal experience of either.

Lara53 Sat 02-Nov-19 22:07:36

We have very recent experience of rescue dog failure. In our situation myself and my kids -ds1 16 and Ds2 13 had been volunteering since the start of July several times a week at local kennel that brings dogs over from Romania to UK. We fell in love with a dog and spent loads of time with him. DH met him mid September and we bought him home the following week. The first 48 hours were amazing. Then he began to guard me and started growling at DS1. On the 3rd day ds2 was sitting next to me on sofa. Dog laying on rug facing us. Without warning he lunged and bit Ds2 on the face. Fortunately it was not severe and although there was lot of blood he wasn’t badly hurt. I was straight on the phone to the rescue who told us to return him next day. To say we were devastated is an understatement.

We have since found a breeder and will be getting a pup soon.

gettingfedupagain Sat 02-Nov-19 22:15:15

Check out "a promise to felix dog rescue" on facebook. Their dogs are in foster care in family situations in the uk so you have a better idea of what they will be like.

Perunatop Sat 02-Nov-19 22:22:38

My advice would be not to get a dog at all, and give your undivided attention to your children. If you need something to occupy your days it might be better to get a PT job or do local volunteering during school hours. Lots of threads on MN show how demanding a rescue dog or puppy can be and in my opinion it is better for adults to devote their time to their children.

Wolfiefan Sat 02-Nov-19 22:45:40

@Perunatop what a stupid comment. I have a dog and my kids get plenty of my time. A puppy may be demanding but they’re not a puppy for long. I suppose you don’t think women should ever have hobbies or jobs either. hmm

Wheat2Harvest Sat 02-Nov-19 23:20:12

A thousand times NO.

You will be getting an adult dog of unknown background from overseas and putting it alongside your DC. Anything could happen, which is why reputable dogs' homes will not rehome to families with young children.

If you really want a dog go to a reputable breeder and select a puppy.

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