Rommie rescue puppy experiences?

(43 Posts)
MumtherofCats Sun 23-Aug-20 15:36:31

Can anyone share experience on whether a rescue puppy from Romania might be appropriate as a first time dog? We are looking to rescue rather than buy a puppy from a breeder and I have found a rescue in Romania that often has puppies and looks very reputable. Currently an adult only home so we will have plenty of time for socialising and training but may want children in the future. My husband thinks for a first dog we should go with a reputable breeder for an "easier" dog, but I've always rescued all of my animals and seems a shame to do that when so many are dying for lack of good homes. Just wondering if any less experienced dog owners have gone this route and how it went? We are well researched and invested in training and raising properly, just haven't had a dog before.

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nachthexe Sun 23-Aug-20 15:42:06

My friend has a Mexican street dog. It’s a nightmare.
I wouldn’t adopt a rescue that you haven’t met yourselves, but if you are an adult only household and are willing to put the time in to work on any personality quirks and training, then it’s a known risk.

Bergerdog Sun 23-Aug-20 15:44:34

Personally I wouldn’t.

I’m sure some of the Romanian rescues are nice however the vast majority have been nervous, aggressive or not suited to UK life. Not the mention the risk of disease that isn’t tested or quarantined for.

It’s been proven and studied that lots of temperament is genetic. I would always check out both parents and make sure they are happy well adjusted dogs before committing the next 10 years to a dog. I’ve had a rescue with aggression issues and honestly it’s the least fun thing possible.

Im not adverse to rescuing but I think you should meet and see the dog in person before committing to any pet.

DarkDisquiet Sun 23-Aug-20 15:47:20

For first time dog owners, I'd recommend that you go for a UK based rescue first, so as to have backup in this country, ideally locally too.

We have rescued dogs from abroad (not Romania), and it has worked well, but we are experienced dog owners. Even then, we were aware it was a risk we were taking, as there is limited UK backup. And it's definitely not always an easy road!

There are UK charities with puppies available - try Many Tears for starters.

Bunnybigears Sun 23-Aug-20 15:51:15

We have a Romanian rescue dog although he ws bought to the UK before we rescued him. He has been a dream. He doesn't indicate when he wants to go out but we have learnt to read his subtle signs, walks on a lead (pulls a bit), generally not reactive to dogs but we can't let strangers stroke him just in case. HOWEVER some people have ended up with nightmare dogs and thousands spent on behaviourists and classes and lives turned upside down. If you can find a rescue that brings them over first before adopting them out and who are willing to take back a dog you are not coping with then go for it but I would absolutely not adopt a dog you have never met.

vanillandhoney Sun 23-Aug-20 15:53:18

I wouldn't adopt a dog I'd never met. I think you're potentially setting yourself up for a lot of hard work and heartache.

You have no idea of the dogs background, how well socialised they are, what experience they have of humans, whether they're toilet trained or have lived in a home before, what they're like with other dogs...

It's a big risk imo. Why can't you go to an English rescue?

squeekyclean Sun 23-Aug-20 15:53:53

I have an overseas rescue dog (rehomed via a UK rescue centre) and it's been harder than we thought. We were able to meet him before we adopted and all seemed well but after a few weeks with us he started to react to strangers/other dogs etc. We now know that this is quite common as he would have been basically 'shut down' in the shelter (so very compliant/quiet/accepting) and as he started to unwind his anxieties have shown themselves. Apparently the stress of their background plus transport/multiple kennels etc makes this more likely for overseas rescues. We are working with a behaviourist and making progress but it's not the experience we expected. If you have young DC I'd say don't do it- otherwise be prepared to have some work to do


ItsLateHumpty Sun 23-Aug-20 15:57:19

Might be a really stupid question, but why a Romanian rescue? It’s brilliant you want to rescue a dog and offer a forever home, and as you know the rewards when it works are well worth it, but aren’t there enough UK (assuming you’re uk based) dog / young dog rescue programs?

PermaStress Sun 23-Aug-20 16:02:41

Please don't. Romanian rescue dogs are DIFFICULT and there are strong moral reasons to try to find a rescue from your own country first. Of course they are all individuals and that's a generalisation but there's truth in it.

As an adult only household you've got a strong case for being accepted by a lot of the UK charities.

DogInATent Sun 23-Aug-20 16:19:53

Presumably this is to get around the rules the responsible UK rescue centres use because you don't think you'll pass the home check? No need to rescue from abroad when there's thousands of dogs in the UK needing homes that will be killed if homes aren't found (yes, we euthanize thousands of unwanted dogs every year in the UK too).

Read this recent thread for someone's experience..

MumtherofCats Sun 23-Aug-20 17:28:36


Erm..I'm really not sure what from my post made you "presume" I am trying to "get around the rules" of UK rescues or home checks. The Romanian rescue that I am considering has UK based volunteers who carry out home checks, foster in the UK, and take the dog back if it doesn't work out. Surely if I was just interested in getting a puppy via the easiest means possible I would pick one up off of preloved, pets4homes or similar like many thousands of people in the UK must do each year. hmm

For the rest that shared firsthand experience, thanks that is really helpful and gives us a lot to consider and to think about. We are considering UK rescues as well, the reasoning for our interest in the Romanian rescue is that most of the UK available are needing to be rehomed with an experienced owner, are not suitable to live with cats, etc. We are open to rehoming a suitable adult but most of the dogs in the UK that would be appropriate for us go very quickly.

The Romanian dogs just seem very much in need tbh and we thought that if we started with one as a puppy we might be able to train it carefully and get an otherwise unwanted dog off the streets. We are under no pretense that it would be easy and are happy to work with a behaviorist etc but do ultimately hope to end up with a dog that fits into our lives obviously. We don't particularly care where it comes from -- we are just wanting to ultimately end up with a pet that will fit in with our family and hoping to rescue one if possible as it seems the right thing to do. Please keep any firsthand experiences/information coming as we are still just gathering information and sizing up options at this point smile.

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MumtherofCats Sun 23-Aug-20 17:40:22


Thanks for the recommendation...we will look into Many Tears.

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Bunnybigears Sun 23-Aug-20 17:59:09

@MumtherofCats if you are based in North East England I can recommend a fantastic rescue, most of the dogs are from Romania and they have a very good system of home checks and help after adoption.

OpalExtra Sun 23-Aug-20 18:00:40

My vet and vet friends strongly advise against it.

HelloDulling Sun 23-Aug-20 18:03:31

So many people bought lockdown puppies, fairly sure in 6 months there will be plenty of UK rescues to choose from.

PermaStress Sun 23-Aug-20 18:05:31

We are considering UK rescues as well, the reasoning for our interest in the Romanian rescue is that most of the UK available are needing to be rehomed with an experienced owner, are not suitable to live with cats, etc.

The same is also true of the Romanian rescues too, even more so because they have had to live much closer to their instincts than most UK dogs ever have had to do - most Romanian rescues are street dogs in the truest sense, they've survived using fear, aggression, predatory skills and instincts and they've got used to life 'in the wild (city). Then they are caught, have needles stuck in them, operations on their genitals or major abdominal surgery, then transported hundreds of miles, quite likely kenneled at some point, and put into a strange environment with people they don't know and kept caged (even free roam of a big house and garden is going to feel like a cage to a street dog. They're the most likely type of dog to be missing in the UK because they don't want to live with humans, and will escape by any means, so many end up back on the streets but this time unfamiliar streets. They're also the most likely cohort of dogs to need specialist behaviourist help because they come with Baggage with a capital B. They've likely been scared, kicked or worse by humans pre-rescue and the whole catching them to rescue is traumatic for them. You also don't get to know a dog for the first few weeks/months. They're in survival mode, one strategy is which is appeasement. The dog in the rescue seems laid back and half to be around people, you get it home and either that change is the straw that breaks the camel's back and the dog turns on you, or they carry on appeasing until they relax enough to be themselves and their real personality turns out to be nothing like you thought it was.

We are open to rehoming a suitable adult but most of the dogs in the UK that would be appropriate for us go very quickly.

I hear you. I do, I was in a similar boat but with much more experience and I still would have had to compete to get a suitable dog. The thing is that Romanian (or any of the other imported rescue dogs) really are not suitable for first time owners. I'm a 6th time owner with a degree in animal behaviour and I would think twice about a Romanian rescue dog. They really are not suitable for first time owners and I'd be very suspicious of any rescue organisation who said otherwise.

Which leads me on to the next point- there are some seriously unscrupulous people around importing dogs. One of mine is allegedly a Spanish street dog. I didn't get her from the importing organisation (I don't support the concept) but rehomed her from an unsuccessful adoption. She's got a botched spay job (the charity did that) so her abdominal muscles are f'd and had a questionable test result for a disease that is devastating and not native to the uk (hidden from adopters). She is most likely a dog who was bred to import under the guise of rescue, and her adopters took her to be put to sleep after 2 weeks because they could see how bad the "rescue" was and didn't want to return her. They should never have passed a rescue organisation's checks. TLDR; rescue organisations who import dogs are often unscrupulous, and puppies and young dogs in particular may well have been puppy farmed in atrocious conditions, gone through bad surgery and have health conditions either not diagnosed or deliberately hidden to import under the guise of rescue.

You could find yourselves a nice UK based rehome by putting out the word to vets (who often quietly do a lot of rescue and rehoming of healthy dogs brought in to be PTS for no reason to do with the dog), friends and advertise in spaces where it's allowed. Breed-specific rescues are also often a better bet than Dogs Trust etc in terms of availability and matching dog to home. There are several labrador breed rescues in the uk for example.

OpalExtra Sun 23-Aug-20 18:06:31

You've answered your own question. Reputable charities will not re-home to inexperienced homes and suitable dogs go quickly. A Romanian rescue sounds like totally the wrong dog for your situation.

bodgeitandscarper Sun 23-Aug-20 18:23:41

I'm an experienced dog owner of too many years and I wouldn't contemplate getting a rescue from Romania, they are incredibly hard work. There are loads of UK based rescues that will have far more suitable dogs. The right one will come along if you are sensible and patient, good luck!

bilbodog Sun 23-Aug-20 18:39:53

We adopted a romanian rescue last year through safe rescue and she's brilliant! So loving and gentle. She was already here with a foster carer So we were able to meet her and they would have taken her back if Things didnt work out. This company do seem to really know their dogs and care about who adopts them. I would certainly consider another one in future.

Ylvamoon Sun 23-Aug-20 19:35:55

I adopted a "UK Street Dog" many years ago - so not quite Romania but here it goes: This dog had several issues, some of which were direct results of live on the street. And somehow no amount of training cured her. She was very timid, to the point that she only interacted with people who where "introduced". Anything smaller than adults(children) she would snap at in fear.
We lived near a school, and she knew when playtime was over = bins full of food leftovers! In order to go bin raiding she chewed herself through 3 wooden back doors, dug many holes in the garden demolished parts of neighbours fence and disappeared for several hours. She always came back with bloated tummy and totally "mad" jumpy & snappy. There is more, but this is just to give you a taste...
She was the first dog that I chose & owned. (Grew up with dogs and have always lived in a household with dogs.)
She was around 9- 12 months when she came into my life. But never again would I get a rescue dog that is known to have roamed the streets.

MumtherofCats Sun 23-Aug-20 20:37:35

We are in South East sadly!! Thanks though.

Thanks -- I do know an adult from Romania is unlikely to be a good fit. Would you have the same concerns re:a 2-3 month old puppy?

Thanks -- I will have a look at them!

A reputable rescue will not place with anyone who has never owned a dog before? That would be quite silly given we know that we can provide a great home for the right dog.

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Strawberrycreamsundae Sun 23-Aug-20 20:46:25

My dad has adopted a Romanian dog through a UK based charity. It’s the most loving and easily trained dog I have ever met.
The house and dad were vetted beforehand and followed up after it arrived.
I would definitely consider getting one via the same charity.
The dog came microchipped, vaccinated, wormed etc, with passport and certificates etc etc.

wewillmeetagain Sun 23-Aug-20 21:03:56

I adopted one 5 years ago from Romania. She was very timid and couldn't cope with my noisy chaotic household ( lots of dogs, pets and children) she spent most of her time cowering away behind furniture. We rehomed with an elderly relative and she has been absolutely fantastic with them. Really come out of her shell, is lovely company for the relative as well.

GingerAndTheBiscuits Sun 23-Aug-20 21:21:21

“we thought that if we started with one as a puppy we might be able to train it carefully and get an otherwise unwanted dog off the streets”

Be really careful about this. The socialisation window for puppies is up to 16 weeks. After that there can be real challenges in socialising a puppy. You are very unlikely to have a puppy from Romania younger than 16 weeks (factoring in the time for them to be abandoned/caught, registered, quarantined etc) and many will be in shelters, not homes, so will have missed out on key experiences that lend themselves to settling well into a home. We overlooked this and adopted a puppy (not Romanian, but abroad, via a UK rescue) thinking exactly as you did - a puppy we could shape - but as inexperienced owners we really struggled despite input from the rescue, from a professional trainer and from our vet. The rescue recently supported us to rehome her to an adult only home and they are having difficulties of their own with her. I have a newfound respect for the stringent requirements most reputable rescues place on rehoming and appreciate with fresh perspective that these are there for the dog’s benefit and nobody else’s, as they should be.

Contact local UK rescues, preferably who rehome from foster not kennels, and bide your time for the right dog to come along. Rehoming our dog broke my heart and seriously strained my marriage, I wouldn’t wish the experience on anybody who could possibly avoid it.

reindeesandchristmastrees Sun 23-Aug-20 21:24:08

We have an 18 month old Romanian rescue and he is the most lovely dog. When he arrived at 5 months he was very thin and scared of everything but he is now a confident and loving dog. He is such a lovely dog. He did need time and patience as he was so scared of everything

We really wouldn't be without him

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