Novice questions re rehoming

(26 Posts)
TeenPlusTwenties Sun 29-Mar-20 09:37:39

Yes, I know a dog is for life not just for lockdown.
Yes, I know most rehoming places are closed.
No I would not be jumping into this whilst lockdown is still ongoing.
Yes we can afford a dog and have am adaptable lifestyle.

Animal mad DD 15 has wanted a dog forever, I have not been so keen. But (even prior to all this) DD's mental health was deteriorating, and I am getting more convinced that, if we could make it work, a dog would help her.

We would be looking at an older rescue dog, possibly something like a Jack Russell.

Reading rehoming pages I have a few questions:

1) If a description says 'adult only' (as opposed to adult & teenagers) is that likely to be a firm rule? Or would 1 quiet 16 year old perhaps be permitted.

2) What is a 'good sized garden'? We are on a housing estate... (But live opposite a park).

3) If a dog 'can't be left alone', does that mean you can't tie it up outside a supermarket even?

4) We have a holiday booked (if such things become possible) in a pet free place. How soon after rehoming could you reasonably leave a dog for 2 weeks in kennels? (Yes I know how long is a piece of string, but ballpark). I suspect it might need to be after the holiday.

5) What questions haven't I asked?

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Sun 29-Mar-20 09:46:42

1. I would have thought a 16 year old is an adult.

2. Is there a place to toilet and is it enclosed with good sized fence? I would have thought that would be sufficient but I suspect it's down to each individual rescue.

3. This sounds to me like they have severe separation issues. I personally wouldn't take on a dog with these known problems, others would though. I would read up on it. And no way would I leave ANY dog tied up outside as some people are awful and you risk theft or worse.

4. The bigger rescues I have seen ask that you have no holidays booked for 3 months minimum after rescuing.

peoplepleaser1 Sun 29-Mar-20 09:47:54

1) If a description says 'adult only' (as opposed to adult & teenagers) is that likely to be a firm rule? Or would 1 quiet 16 year old perhaps be permitted.

2) What is a 'good sized garden'? We are on a housing estate... (But live opposite a park).

3) If a dog 'can't be left alone', does that mean you can't tie it up outside a supermarket even?

4) We have a holiday booked (if such things become possible) in a pet free place. How soon after rehoming could you reasonably leave a dog for 2 weeks in kennels? (Yes I know how long is a piece of string, but ballpark). I suspect it might need to be after the holiday.

OP please do tread carefully. Yes absolutely a dig can be a huge help to someone with mental health issues. However, a dog with complex needs that you struggle to meet will make everyone feel worse and add strain and possibly heartbreak.

1. Yes a 16 yo would be considered in some cases. However think about why the dog has been flagged as not suitable for homes with children, and what this means for your wider family and friends set up in terms of shielding the dog from small children.

2. This is hard to say, and does depend on the dog. I think secure fencing and boundaries are important too.

3. 'Can't be left alone' suggest a problem known as separation anxiety. Google this. It is a huge issue and not one for hen faint hearted. Depending on the severity you may not be able to go to that toilet without striking fear into your dog.

You should never never ever leave a dog with OR without separation anxiety tied up outside a shop.

4. Different dogs cope in different ways with kennels. My labrador is happy and content. My mums labrador is unable time cope. A rescue dog may well struggle. A dog who cannot be left alone Connor go to a kennels as they spend a large proportion of their day alone in their kennel. A dog sitter is a more sensible option.

I'm sorry, I know I sound negative. I'm a professional dog walker and dogs are my life, they keep me sane. Sadly though I meet many people who have dogs with issues that negatively affect both the dog and the owners quality of life enormously.

Choose the right dog and you will be fine!

peoplepleaser1 Sun 29-Mar-20 09:49:10

Sorry OP I posted your post before my comments by mistake, my comments follow your post 🥴

Pipandmum Sun 29-Mar-20 09:53:54

Well don't get a Jack russell for a start. They are quite hyperactive, nippers and bark quite a bit. I think for your purposes you want a gentler dog, though from a shelter you are more likely to get a mix and they will be able to help with suitable temperament.
Adults usually does mean over 16.
Good size garden - say at least 30ft but depends on the dog and your willingness to take it out a lot if it doesn't have a place to get some exercise.
Left alone - obviously any dog will be left alone at some point. I think most of the time they do not want a full time worker to have a dog. But some do suffer more than others from separation anxiety so if they state that's a problem then avoid unless you really do have someone at home 95% of the time.
The dog needs some time to settle with you so I wouldn't want to put it in kennels before six months at least, and maybe put it in for a day or two to get it used to it. And pick your kennel carefully they aren't all the same.
Be prepared that you will be doing 80% of the dog care, if not all of it. Yes some kids do step up but anyone I have ever known who has heard the 'I promise I'll walk it' from their kids and believed it are now - walking the dogs themselves.
If your child is 15 what are the longer term plans? If she is planning on going to uni or moving out at 18 then the dogs is yours full time.

TeenPlusTwenties Sun 29-Mar-20 09:55:52

So, what do you do with a dog when you go to the supermarket? (naïve question)

Do dog sitters literally move into your house like a house sitter?

We are not 'jump in feet first people', promise. smile
It took us 15 months from properly considering (child) adoption to applying. Then 15 months for the training & approval, then a further 15 months to find our DC.

(Cannot be left alone sounds too much for us. I had it with my DC when placed.)

OP’s posts: |
TeenPlusTwenties Sun 29-Mar-20 10:01:09

DD has 1 more year of school, then probably 3 years at 6th form (planning to do animal care) and won't be going to university. So that is 4 years minimum. I am 'at home'. I have been the main 'blocker' on a dog up to now, I have to be pretty confident it will work for me before we go ahead.

Maybe not a JR then. But that sort of size, or a bit bigger. Not as big as a lab.

OP’s posts: |


BiteyShark Sun 29-Mar-20 10:07:30

* So, what do you do with a dog when you go to the supermarket? (naïve question)*

I had my dog from a puppy and we had to gradually build up the time he was happy to be left alone. For many weeks I had to have things delivered.

The risk you get with not slowly building the time up that they can be left is that they howl and are destructive. Mine can be left alone now for about 3 hours but any more than that and he is restless. Thankfully he has never been destructive but my parents had one that used to destroy items when left.

Separation anxiety is on another level and again not something I would take on with a rescue as it would severely limit us and I say that from a position of being limited anyway by having a dog.

Palladin Sun 29-Mar-20 10:12:45

Great that you want to rehome an older rescue dog, OP!
Smaller rescue organisations tend to be more flexible with their criteria as long as the interests of the dog are not compromised, although bigger organisations can also be sensible e.g. when it comes to a garden etc.
A dog that "'can't be left alone" sounds like it has massive issues and literally can't be left alone.
I would never tie up a dog outside a supermarket because sadly there is always the chance of someone taking it, either to sell it or for dog fighting, even in areas with a low crime rate. I'd simply leave the dog at home.

Some dog sitters take the dogs into their own home for boarding, others are like house sitters.

The Rescue Review website lets you search for rescues in your area:

Good luck!

Kordelia Sun 29-Mar-20 11:20:48

I've had a number of rescue dogs over many years, am retired so not normally out for many hours at a time, and I still hardened my heart and did not adopt dogs with known separation anxiety. There may be issues with any dog of course.

I've avoided terriers, great though they are, in case they're too high energy for me.

I would think a sixteen year old would be considered an adult.

I only have a very small garden. This has never been considered a problem. Some outside space makes life a lot easier, but I always walk my dogs well. I also happen to live on the edge of a common which also makes walking easier.

My dog is left at home when I go shopping, meeting friends etc. No separation anxiety so not a problem.
I have an excellent dogwalker who walks my dog if I go out for the day or just a bit longer than usual.
As above, do not tie the dog up outside a shop. Many years ago I did do this now and again, but not now.

I also worry about when to put the dog into kennels when they have come from a rescue centre. Some dogs like to sleep and cope with it fine. I would get a dog just after the holiday if possible so that you have the maximum amount of time before the next holiday. Then maybe try a day to start with or just a night or two.

Some rescues foster the dogs first. That would give you a better idea of the temperament.

Hope you find a suitable dog when the time comes. My present one was hard work for the first few months but has a lovely nature and I have no regrets!

peoplepleaser1 Sun 29-Mar-20 13:19:19

When I go to the supermarket I leave my dog at home- because he doesn't have separation anxiety. OP, id advise against a dog with this type of problem, it really is terribly hard for most people to cope with- have a google....

Yes dog sitters stay at your home. Or, you could consider home boarding. This is where your dog boards on someone's home- donuts a home environment. However, both sitters and home boarders May be reluctant to take a dog with a degree of separation anxiety as it means they have to be able to devote 100% of their time to be in the dog's company.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Sun 29-Mar-20 14:27:30

As has been said, never leave your dog tied up anywhere - they can be taken in a few minutes. In my area, dogs in cars in car parks have been stolen (car has been broken into and dog taken). You can't be too careful.

I hugely recommend, if you have to go away without your dog, home boarding with someone local to you (vet receptionists usually know who the local dog walkers are and some of those will probably do home boarding) and make sure it is someone you and your dog get along with. Give yourself and the home boarder time for trial stays - the nice man we use had my dog over for the day and, when she'd "passed" that, she had to go back for a trial overnight stay before he agreed it would work out ok.

I have a rescue Staffie cross, who is very sweet and gets on fine with other dogs. HOWEVER, the rescue told me she could not tolerate being kennelled and asked me never to put her in kennels. Quite a few dogs are like this. (BTW I would recommend a Staffie - they are really great dogs). I got her when she was 4 and a half, which was a good age - not too lively (though they are rather restless at first until they have settled in and can relax) but still trainable.

Mine has some separation anxiety but I worked up to being able to leave her for a few hours at a time and I have a dog walker if I have to go to work. Lately I have been home a great deal (over winter) and she is getting rather clingy again as we are together all the time. You can see stuff on YouTube about how to deal with this, which does work quite well. Also, leaving the radio on seems to help my dog (and my parrot) if I have to go out.

TeenPlusTwenties Sun 29-Mar-20 15:12:45

Thank you.
- no major separation anxiety
- no leaving outside of shops
- don't assume we can leave in kennels for at least 6 months and maybe never

What other pearls of wisdom?

Our garden is secure (or could be with low effort).
We have ample walks from just outside the front door.

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Sun 29-Mar-20 15:20:08

Another thing to watch out for is those listed as 'needs to be only dog and walked on lead away from other dogs'. To me that sounds like they have reactive issues and I just can't imagine having to worry about every walk incase there are others dogs (and stupid owners that think it's funny to let their dog run up to those on a lead).

I admire people who own reactive dogs as I imagine it's very stressful. Again not something I would want to take on willingly.

Kordelia Sun 29-Mar-20 16:37:59

My present dog is reactive. She is not aggressive, but seems not to have been well socialised with other dogs, though is wonderful with people, including children.

The first couple of months were really hard until I got her to stop lunging and barking, especially as she's strong and bigger than ideal for me. I don't know if she'll ever be really comfortable close to other dogs so it limits where we go for walks a} to avoid dogs off lead running up to her and b} to avoid narrow paths.

One benefit of the present awful situation is that everyone is social distancing, so if I cross the road when they approach with a dog it doesn't look odd!

My mistake was not seeing her with other dogs before I adopted her. I adore her and have the experience to cope but it's something to bear in mind when you're choosing a dog - or a dog is choosing you!

adaline Sun 29-Mar-20 16:50:59

Do you have a plan for when you go on holiday? What if you want to go somewhere that doesn't allow dogs? You can't really go on an impromptu day out unless it's dog-friendly either.

It's worth thinking about and you don't realise how limiting it can be. For example our nearest big town is 45 minutes away (so 90 minutes there and back). Our dog can't be left for longer than a couple of hours so we either have to take him (which means we can't go in shops together) or we have to get my FIL to watch him for a few hours.

TeenPlusTwenties Sun 29-Mar-20 17:25:24

A lot of our holidays could probably be booked in dog-friendly accommodation.
But I would want the option to leave a dog somewhere safely.

OP’s posts: |
adaline Sun 29-Mar-20 17:28:46

But I would want the option to leave a dog somewhere safely.

Most holiday cottages don't allow you to leave your dog alone, even if crated.

TeenPlusTwenties Sun 29-Mar-20 20:22:42

Ah, I didn't mean that Adaline I meant that although a lot of our holidays we could take a dog, we would want some holidays dogless.

OP’s posts: |
peoplepleaser1 Sun 29-Mar-20 23:00:21

OP as you've realised the key is to get a dog without major issues.

Most of my customers manage long dog free days out, weekends away and holidays without their dog.

For days out I'm often asked to walk the dog more than once, and / or visit the house to spend time with the dog.

For weekends away they use a dog sitter, home boarder or kennels. The latter is not suitable for all dogs.

Also a lot of people are able to leave a dog with a trusted friend or family member. This tends to be easier for small or medium dogs without complex needs.

TeenPlusTwenties Fri 03-Apr-20 13:56:41


A few questions about basic practicalities:
- how do you all 'clean' your dogs after they have been for walks so they don't spread mud everywhere?
- where do your dogs sleep?
- do you allow 'free access' to most of the house?
- what do dogs need to travel in a car safely? Do they go in the boot or footwell or where, are they restrained?

OP’s posts: |
Booboostwo Fri 03-Apr-20 15:04:09

- Nowhere. My dogs are in and out of the house and farm all the time. You have to accept a certain amount of dirt is inevitable. Having said that I would never have carpets and dogs.

- One on the bed and two on their own beds because they move around too much and annoy everyone.

- Not all the time because I have a dog with IBD who can and will eat inappropriate things when in crisis.

- Boot with divider between boot and passengers. This is a really difficult question as there aren't make options other than the boot that make things safe for the other passengers and there aren't any really safe options for dogs in case of a crash at all.

Kordelia Fri 03-Apr-20 21:44:48

My dog has her own comfy bed with fleece blankets in the kitchen diner. That's where she sleeps at night.
She also has a beanbag in the living-room and she's allowed on the chair by the window. She likes it there when the sun's shining!

I was told by someone from a dog rescue that the dog should sleep in my bedroom. That's fine if you want it but I didn't in case she got up on the bed. She's too big and strong to share the bed!
Also, she comes on holidays to self-catering cottages and dogs aren't normally allowed in bedrooms, so it's very useful that she doesn't expect it.

It took about a week to ten days for her to settle to sleep in the kitchen (she's a rescue and was five years old when she came to me) but she adores her bed now and rushes to it after her final toilet stop. She gets a treat which helps a lot!

As for travel, I would have preferred to have her on the rear seat in the car but I tried several harnesses and she wriggled out of all of them so I had to get a dog guard divider thing. To my surprise she absolutely loves travelling in the boot.

hiredandsqueak Fri 03-Apr-20 22:02:46

We rescued Bella almost two years ago. She's a ten year old Lhasa Apso.
A few questions about basic practicalities:
- how do you all 'clean' your dogs after they have been for walks so they don't spread mud everywhere? I carry Bella through to the shower and shower her and dry her after a walk so there is little extra dirt here.
- where do your dogs sleep? Bella sleeps on a cushion on the sofa. She has rejected all beds offered.
- do you allow 'free access' to most of the house? Bella isn't allowed upstairs, she did try for the first couple of weeks but soon learnt not to after being told no and sent back downstairs every time. She never offers to go upstairs anymore.
- what do dogs need to travel in a car safely? Do they go in the boot or footwell or where, are they restrained? Bella has a crate in the boot.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Fri 03-Apr-20 22:56:14

How to clean your dog? Well, this might affect your choice of dog. For easiest cleaning you need a smooth coated dog with sufficient ground clearance to not be frequently dragging hairy coat in undergrowth. Mine is medium size staffie cross with slightly longer legs than a pure staff. She does get a muddy undercarriage and legs in winter but likes leaping into streams so sometimes washes it off a bit. I run the garden hose over her to get off the worst. Then she is let in through door and has learned to wait near entrance until I have dried her with dog towel. If it is just a bit of dried mud, you can usually get it off with towel without hosing first.
In the car, dog is clipped to seatbelt (you can buy dog seat harness - various sizes - with appropriate clip and she is in back sest. It is the law to have your dog appropriately restrained in a car now.
Sleeping. Decide if you are going to allow on sofas and beds before you get the dog. Once you have allowed it on one or other there is no going back. My current dog is allowed everywhere and sleeps in my bed and sits on furniture but previous dogs were not and were quite happy. Last one slept in my room but on her own bed.

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