Getting a Dog from a Shelter or Rescue Group

Things to think about when choosing a rescue/shelter dog

There are always factors to consider while selecting a dog for your home, selecting one from a rescue involves a few more considerations. They could have psychological problems caused by stress or fear.

Do Your Homework

What traits are important to you? Do you have kids? Other dogs, are they active or sedentary? How about cats? Do you spend weekends hiking or do you stay home? What kind of activities will you require your dog to participate in?

You should still have an idea of what breeds will fit into your lifestyle and which traits are important to you. If there is a particular breed that interests you, maybe you should contact a breed-specific rescue to start your search.

Girl With Dog

Temperament Testing?

In a rescue situation many dogs may not display their true personality. It is often a stressful environment, which can cause them to hide traits that can appear in your home or over-exaggerate traits that may not appear later. Temperament testing brings them out of this environment, to see better how they will be later.

Interact with the Dog

There are several warning signs you can see yourself if the dog has not been tested. Take the dog out of the kennel to a quiet place where you can interact. The dog should run toward you when you call and enjoy our petting. If this does not happen, it is a warning that he might be fearful of all people. Pet the dog. If she wants to leave or shows some type of aggression, this is not a good sign. If she is a small dog, pick her up to see if she is comfortable with a little handling. Watch how the dog responds to loud noises or distractions. If he startles easily, this can be a warning.

Introduce the Dog to All Family Members

If you have children, a spouse or another dog, make sure everyone gets a chance to interact with the dog before bringing them home. The dog should approach your husband and children with the same excitement with which she approached you. If she seems hesitant around your children, she may not make a good family dog.

Take Time

Don’t make any snap decisions. Don’t choose a dog because you feel sorry for her. Make sure you feel a connection and the dog meets all the requirements on which you previously decided with your family.

Dog Laying Down

Resources Shelter Pet Project ASPCA Adopt A Pet Breed Rescue Directory

Posted with permission from the APDT site:

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