Where to get a rescue dog when you have young kids?

(34 Posts)
Rejectville Fri 14-Feb-20 15:59:10

We really want to get a dog and I’d love to adopt a rescue (don’t really want to have to deal with a puppy and would like to give a rescue dog a loving home).

We have a 4 and 7 year old and I work 4 days a week. I’m out the house for 8 hours but we’d get a dog walker.

All the rescue centres I’ve looked at won’t rehome if you have primary aged kids and and a lot say the dogs shouldn’t be left alone for more than an hour or 2.

Does anyone know any rescue centres that would let us adopt? We’re in the North West.

OP’s posts: |
RoseDog Fri 14-Feb-20 16:04:54

Breed specific rescues who use foster homes to assess their dogs will adopt out dogs to families, we have adopted Staffie's, the rescues we've used don't let families with under 3's adopt or foster.

DogInATent Fri 14-Feb-20 16:18:45

Get a cat.

Honestly, squeezing in a dog as a lifestyle accessory 3 days per week isn't benefiting anyone involved. The children aren't old enough to walk it or be responsible for feeding it. You're going to resent it within a few months because it's all falling on you, and on top of that it's getting in the way of socialising and holidays.

hotstepper4 Fri 14-Feb-20 16:21:55

It doesn't sound like you have an appropriate lifestyle for a dog.

I'd like to have a dog too, but I too work long hours and it isn't fair on the dog to be alone that long, even with a walker. Plus, what if the dog is lonely and barks when you aren't home? I had to move house once because ndn got a dog which barked constantly everytime it was alone. It nearly gave me a breakdown.

I second the cat idea.

whatsleep Fri 14-Feb-20 16:22:02

Have you thought about a retired great hound? They make lively family pets, can be left home alone for a few hours at a time, don’t need long walks (longs walks are not good for them). Try looking on greyhound trust website.

whatsleep Fri 14-Feb-20 16:22:29

Lovely not lively!

fluffyrice Fri 14-Feb-20 16:32:11

Slightly off topic, but if you are looking for a rescue I would suggest going somewhere that the dogs have been fostered first (ie looked after in a home environment and assessed before they are put up for adoption) or where you can foster before deciding whether to adopt.

I think having a rescue dog is a brilliant thing to do but it's easy to take on something that you were not expecting- so the fostering route might help avoid that. Dogs that have been through the upheaval of rehoming can often shut down and be sort of on their best behaviour in the shelter and their issues etc only come out when they start to get used to being in your home. I speak from experience as I am currently trying to train my rescue that I was assured was friendly with everyone and loved other dogs (this was definitely how he seemed in the shelter and for the first few days at home). He is actually very anxious and as a result barks and lunges at any dog and most strangers who come near him, and is a nightmare if any man other than DH comes in to the house. Fortunately I work from home so can do all the walking etc as the local dog walkers (understandably) will only walk dogs who are happy with other people/dogs. We were planning to put him in a boarding kennel when we go on holiday in the Summer but are having to rethink that and will probably hide out in a cottage by the sea in the UK instead.


LoveNote Fri 14-Feb-20 16:35:19

we just got our pup but started off with intention same as you! our kids are older and teens but i noticed on the site we used lots of families re-homing their family pets due to 'change in circumstances"

life happens....people move house,break up etc but theres some lovely house trained dogs just looking for stability and most are used to children from their own home

could be an option?

LoveNote Fri 14-Feb-20 16:36:28

i think with a rescue you do need to be prepared to put the time in. a traumatised dog will need you there

and many are from rescue based abroad so need a bit extra

Catsrus Fri 14-Feb-20 17:01:42

Sorry, but you are not in a position to have a dog right now. No sensible rescue would let you have one if you are out of the house for 8 hrs for 4 days a week. You need LOTS of time to settle a new dog - months not days.

My rescue terrier looked to be very settled very quickly, but he was very traumatised. He had clearly had a loving home (with an older man, based on his behaviour towards old men with walking sticks, and the fact he tried to take me into a pub the first time I took him out into town!) but then two lots of kennels, one failed home then me.

This meant he attached to me and howled when left, even though he was with our other dog, or another person. Building up his confidence that I would come back was a slow process.

I've had dogs for over 30yrs, but someone was always a SAH parent/worked from home during that time. If no one was home they had to go into day care, not just a dog walker.

Dogs are a total tie, you can't take them everywhere with you (though one small one is reasonably portable) and you can't go away until you've first organised their care.

Catsrus Fri 14-Feb-20 17:06:09

oh yes - forgot, the rescue is also reactive to SOME other dogs, not all, just entire males, so after a year of intensive training, ££££s on one to one trainers, training classes (he got his Bronze!) he still has to be walked on a lead because he can spot a boy with his balls across the park and will go for him.

Bridgetspants Sat 15-Feb-20 20:51:56

There are breed specific rescues that will assess dogs for families with children because we have a 5 year old daughter and now an almost 2 year old dog that we have had for 5 months.

We personally wanted to teach our child the ‘moral’ side of dog ownership and being able to look after someone that needs our help. We did look at puppies but like you, the back-breaking work of raising a puppy didn’t interest me.

The plus side:
He has completed us a family since losing our last dog but you don’t mention previously owning one.

He was fully assessed in absolutely every possible scenario and we were made aware of all the conclusions, his personality, his likes, dislikes, characteristics, what made him nervous and so on.

We had to trust the feedback given from the assessors because we weren’t allowed to meet the dog unless we committed to taking him that day. We paid £350 but that was because he was young.

The fact that you are already talking about a dogwalker is making me nervous. It’s highly commendable that you’re being pro-active but the reality is that you will have to earn the recall and one-to-one relationship with the dog first and foremost before entrusting him with anyone else.

It takes them at least 3 months to get to know you. It’s like you living in one country then moving to another for 6 weeks and learning that language then moving to another and learning another language for 8 weeks....

8 hours a day even with a walker is a long time. Initially we didn’t leave him at all fir the first 4 days. After that it was for 10 minutes at a time, then 20, 45 then 1hr15, 2hrs over 2 weeks. It’s a real commitment.

Put yourself in the dog’s position. New smells, new faces, new sounds. 8 hours a day on your own sad.

As lovely as your intentions are, please reconsider for now.

squee123 Sat 15-Feb-20 20:57:07

Given tour working hours I imagine the only rescue that would consider you is a greyhound rescue. Guide Dogs rehome to young families, but they won't allow dogs to be hine alone for more than four hours in a twenty four hour period, in keeping with most the major welfare charities' recommendations

Hoppinggreen Sun 16-Feb-20 02:21:31

I Homecheck for a couple of dog charities and I would probably not approve you for a dog given your circumstances I’m afraid

Friendsofmine Sun 16-Feb-20 02:49:43

You are very well intentioned but naive and unprepared when you say you'd rather not deal with a puppy. I have only ever had adult rescues (from Kennel Club and charity rescues) and I have toilet trained them, taught them to walk on a lead, taught recall and had help for separation anxiety and other behavioural issues caused by the trauma of losing their first owner and or other life events. It is not always plain sailing but if you have time to read the books and energy and money for a behaviourist if needed it's amazing to see them come on!

mnthrowaway202020 Sun 16-Feb-20 02:55:43

Agree with the others who said that your lifestyle doesn’t suit adopting a rescue dog, at all.

Unfortunately rescue dogs aren’t automatically adorable and perfectly trained, just because they’re cute/older or whatever your reasoning is. Rescue dogs may have been abused or have other residual trauma, eg you may get a dog that isn’t house trained or pees when scared etc so instead you’ll have to train extra hard with them than you would with a puppy. You might get a dog that doesn’t get on with your children. If anything, rescue dogs need MORE care and attention than a puppy.

TeensArghhhh Sun 16-Feb-20 03:04:31

Why would you want to adopt a dog only to have it spend week in, week out on its own?

I’m so glad prospective “adopters” are vetted, and mostly, refused when they, obviously, have no idea of a dogs needs

Kirkman Sun 16-Feb-20 04:25:05

It's a difficult one.

I adopted my puppy from bredd specific rescue. She came to me as an emergency foster. Then we adopted her.

The rescue doesnt have specific rules on children. They assess you and the family before approving. Then it's a case of waiting until the right dog comes along. The other issue is that lots if these dogs go into foster and then the foster family decide to adopt. You could foster one but often the recuse will say that the owner says the dog is good with children but that is untested. It would be a risk for them and you to foster most dogs.

I have fostered many. Everyone of them has needed a fair amount of training. They domt settle for a long while. Just like with a puppy you(or you and your partner need to take time off to settle them).

I work 9 hours a day. We decided to adopt the puppy as dp was made redundant last year and has a major operation this year. So we decided he would use some of his lump sum to finance him until after the operation. So he is at home.

We also have another dog. I can work from home when needed and dp generally works nights. Also my sil is a sahp and happily has my other dog and have this one if we both need to be out.

Tbh most people I know with dogs and have a job, ensure they go home in the day AND have a dog Walker.

We can take our lunch whenever we want so one woman will take her 2.pm-3pm and her dog Walker does in at 10am. So dog is alone 8-10am. Then 11.15am (ish) until just after 2pm. Then just before 3 until 5. Not many people just live round the corner from work though.

It's difficult because lots of people do have dogs and leave them all day and claim they are perfectly happy. Some probably are. But it's all down to personality and you would t know that with a puppy or a rescue until much later down the line.

Medievalist Sun 16-Feb-20 10:49:27

It's a difficult one.

It's really not. Who would seriously get a dog and leave it alone for 8 hours a day? Broken only by a visit from a dog walker.

Typical responses to that question will be:

"I know loads of people who do it. So it must be okay"
"It will be better off than in kennels"
"My dog is perfectly happy home alone all day"
"But we want one"

And there's a reason why reputable rescue centres won't rehome to families with young children.

I despair.

Medievalist Sun 16-Feb-20 10:51:25

And please please please tell me op that you're not planning to leave it in a cage all day to stop it chewing up your house out of boredom?

SharkasticBitch Sun 16-Feb-20 10:56:58

would like to give a rescue dog a loving home

Dogs don't need loving homes. They honestly don't. What can they do with love? Eat it? Play with it? Nope. It's worthless to them.

They need homes that provide for their needs. Food, shelter, water, warmth, social contact, safety, training, exercise, the chance to display natural behaviours.

It doesn't matter how much love you have for the dog, if you cannot provide that the dog will be unhappy.

8 hours a day, 4 days a week is too much for many, many dogs. It's also likely to be more than that. On top of that there is likely to be doctors appointments, family events, parents evenings, children sports clubs etc. None of which can involve the dog.

To steal a recent quote "it's not enough [for the dog] to survive. [It] got to thrive".

DogInATent Sun 16-Feb-20 15:45:48

We had to trust the feedback given from the assessors because we weren’t allowed to meet the dog unless we committed to taking him that day. We paid £350 but that was because he was young.

What sort of half-baked rescue organisation is this? Committing to taking a dog you've not met?

Motorina Sun 16-Feb-20 17:43:28

I got a job on those working hours. Made it work for the first 5 or 6 years of her life, until I was in a situation where I could afford regular day care.

She died last year, aged 13, and much loved. Her last years were great but I still deeply, bitterly regret that her first few years were so lonely. With hindsight, I should never have got her.

Motorina Sun 16-Feb-20 17:53:42

‘Got a dog’ not ‘got a job’ in the first line. sigh

fivedogstofeed Sun 16-Feb-20 18:02:52

motorina that is really honest of you to recognise that, and wish that more people would.

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