During Part 1 of Picking a Rescue dog we spoke about choosing the right rescue group for you, from specific breed rescues, to big shelters and even foster programs. The rescue you choose should stand by their adoptions and give you a trial of several days or even weeks to see if the dog you choose works out for your family. Many dogs will behave quite differently in a new environment so it’s important to have options if it doesn’t work out. We hope that with the information provided in part 1 and 2 you will be able to find a great match for your family.
Discuss what kind of dog will be best for your family. Are you a very energetic family that loves to go hiking (then a more athletic dog is a good choice) or would you rather hang out around the house most of the day (we recommend an older dog or a dog that is lower energy). Does anyone in the household have allergies? Some dogs don’t shed and that can be helpful to reduce allergens and it also makes cleaning easier. Do you have a big budget available for your dog? Giant breeds will be more expensive to keep than miniature dogs, think about grooming, feeding and boarding costs. A great resource for specific dog breeds is the AKC, where you can search different dog breeds and learn about them.
Read through “Meet Your Match: Ten Tips for Choosing a Shelter Dog” by Karen Pryor Clicker Training. This article will walk you through step by step things to look out for while at the rescue, shelter or foster home. Including observing from a distance, introductions, basic training assessments and things to look for during playtime.
After you have gone through the 10 tips suggested above. Do a final check with yourself and your family. What does everyone think and feel? Is there anything that doesn’t feel quite right? Then keep looking. Are you all instantly in love with this new dog? Do you get all giddy when you think of this dog in your life? This is a big decision and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. A new dog is a big commitment, for the life of the dog, which in good cases will be at least 15 years. Are you ready to make that commitment to this dog in particular, can you imagine him or her growing old with your family? If the answer is yes then, you are ready to doggy proof your home and then bring the new addition to the family.
For the most successful adoption we always suggest doing some training with your new dog. It is a great way to get to know each other, as well as establishing house rules to provide a happy and healthy home environment. Good luck with your dog search, may you lead a happy life with your new dog.