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Need advice on getting a new dog


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Aug 5, 2012, 11:13pm   #1
l
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lho
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I am looking a pet for my kids. We were hoping to adopt a younger dog (not puppy)from a shelter, but so far every dog we've been interested in, the foster family has informed us of "significant separation anxiety" or other behavioral issues. We really don't want to get one from a pet store, but I am kind of being swayed my my friend who thinks that I would be better off getting a puppy from a breeder since we would be sure of the dog's past history. Any words of advice?
Aug 6, 2012, 8:14am   #2
gazoo's Avatar
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My only advice is not to count on a perfect experience just because you go to a breeder. My sister spent over $3,000 on her dog from a very reputable breeder that she had purchased 2 other dogs from 15 years prior. The newest addition has been a nightmare. Health problems needing multiple surgeries and aggressiveness to the point that he has bitten multiple people (including me and my little girl). It's a terrible situation for all involved as they are devoted to their investment and love for the dog, while not being able to have him interact with anyone. The dog has basically split the family as no one can visit her house anymore. He was socialized as her previous dogs have all been from 8 weeks of age but has never been an easy animal to handle. A fluke situation, they say. The breeder only guarantees health for the first period of the animals life, and after that you are on your own especially if the health issues aren't "covered" as my sister's dogs were not.

Especially because you have children, I would be patient and make sure you do your homework. Not all rescue animals have issues. Many are homeless because their owners could no longer afford to keep them due to the economy and unemployment. Perhaps emailing multiple rescue agencies and widening your parameters to include a drive of 50 or 100 extra miles may do the trick in bringing you closer to more pups to choose from. Whatever route you go, I wish you the best of luck!
Aug 6, 2012, 10:01am   #3
boxermom's Avatar
Member
Hang in there--not every dog has issues. Also, there are specific breed rescue groups for nearly every breed. If you do some research on breeds that would fit your family and kids' ages, you may be able to get a particular breed that needs a forever home. Our dog was young when we adopted him but not a puppy, and he would've loved to have kids in the family (it's just me and dh).

Mixed breed dogs are often healthier though, so keep looking. It's possible the separation anxiety comes from being deserted by multiple owners and if it's a mild case, once the dog realizes he has a safe home, he may become more secure. Good luck!
Aug 6, 2012, 10:29am   #4
buzzytoes's Avatar
Dog Chauffeur
I would say look into rescue groups, or look for pups that have been in a foster home for awhile. If the foster home and rescue group are a good one, they will be working with the dogs to overcome their issues. Don't just limit yourself to rescues in your area either. I volunteer for a rescue transport group and I have transported plenty of dogs that have made their way across the country to their forever homes.
Aug 6, 2012, 3:25pm   #5
hlfinn's Avatar
ASO The Today Show
i volunteer with a rescue and have to say- not all dogs have behavioral issues! some do but with love and patience and care they can turn around. some, as gazoo said, were already family dogs that had to be given up so they're great with kids and in homes. we have placed about 200 or more dogs this year and the vast majority of them have not had behavorial issues (outside of some normal dog chewing/ hijinks.) i do think that finding one that's been in foster for a little while (so you have someone who's loved them, cared for them, worked with them and knows their issues) is best.

any dog is bound to have some issues as they settle into a new home. everyone always asks "are they housebroken?" of our dogs but the truth is that even if they are they're bound to have a few accidents as they get used to being in (yet another) new place.

please be patient- finding the right dog can take a little time. i truly believe that the right dog actually finds you. but the reality is there are SO SO SO SO many dogs that need homes, that have been abandoned and/ or abused that it was be really great for you to keep looking for the right one for your family. i promise- he or she is out there. :)
Aug 6, 2012, 3:53pm   #6
papertiger's Avatar
Member
All my family's dogs were rescues, my sister's present dog and my cats too.

What we teach children is important. I think it's wonderful that you are teaching your kids that animals should be from rescue place, giving them a new chance at a forever home and not just something that you go and buy from a shop.

Children pick up so much and when my family had a challenging dog and my mother argued with my father that we had to keep him. I remember thinking that my mum was so great, if she wasn't going to get rid of our dog then she would always look after me too.

It takes any new animal time to settle in. Seperation anxiety is quite normal in any animal that has been abandoned (including humans). Our German Shepherd was not happy for months after we first had him but we just trained him by going out for only moments and gradually increasing the time. By the time he was a senior he could be left for hours, just because he knew we would always return.

Getting a dog after it has been fostered is a great idea
Aug 6, 2012, 3:59pm   #7
lorihmatthews's Avatar
Doberhuahua!
I also have volunteered with rescue groups. Like buzzytoes and hlfinn said, there are many dogs that will fit your needs. I hesitate to buy from any breeder because you never have a guarantee of what you'll be getting.

I personally think working with rescue groups is best, because the foster family can always give you the rundown of the dog's behavior, much more so than a shelter or even a breeder. After all, the breeder is just looking to sell, and may not always give you the full truth.
Aug 6, 2012, 7:09pm   #8
Necromancer's Avatar
Member
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee you will have a good dog from a breeder. Please try and rescue a dog if you can. Do your research about child friendly breeds and dogs that will suit your lifestyle, and once you do settle on a dog, be prepared to put the time and effort in to training it properly. A well trained dog is a happy dog. People often get a dog and expect it to know what we're thinking and saying, but that isn't the case.
I like papertiger's post. It's good your children will see you not purchasing a pet from a shop, like any other consumer product. Teaching your children about respecting and caring for an animal is important, so I wish you luck with everything. Let us all know how it goes.
Aug 6, 2012, 10:24pm   #9
sharknbark's Avatar
Like a Sloth
No pet -pure or mixed breed- comes w/a guarantee. Even dogs from a reputable breeder can develop behavioral problems once they are placed w/their new owners, most often b/c of owners not understanding how to properly socialize dogs. The good news is that most pets can be rehabilitated by loving and patient owners. And really all dogs -behavior issues or not- require owners that carve out time every day to work w/them on obedience and exercise; if a dog is not mentally and physically exercised each day, they will likely become neurotic due to boredom. This is not to suggest your family take on a challenging pet they don't believe they are prepared for but more to point out that all pets need an investment of time and energy. That said, I do think it is smart to consider specific breeds/breed traits that match up w/your family's lifestyle and temperament, so research on that end will likely help find a pet that's good for your family. As boxermom pointed out, there are breed-specific rescue groups out there, and not being set on a puppy will increase the likelihood of finding a great pet soon. I don't object to reputable breeders, but I also suggest that people first consider a rescue since there are so many loving pets waiting for homes. Good luck!
Last edited Aug 6, 2012 at 10:47pm.
Aug 8, 2012, 11:21pm   #10
mpazzo's Avatar
Member
I would say it depends on what you and your family are looking for in a dog. Are you looking for a dog just to hang around with or do you want a dog for a specific purpose? If you just want a pet then I would look for a rescue.
We went to a labrador breeder because we wanted a dog who would have strong hunting genes. Our odds of finding a rescue dog with great hunting genetics would have been slim-to-none. We got a fantastic dog and every other dog we've seen from this breeder is fantastic as well, but the bad breeders far outnumber the good ones so you really have to do your homework.

The biggest advice I have is to make sure you do a lot of breed research even if you are looking at rescues. There are a lot of behavior differences between breeds and even some of the most popular breeds are not appropriate for every home. Our dog is the greatest, but he is very high drive (completely out of the ball park compared to your average pet labrador) and he would not be appropriate for most homes. Even among the same breed, individual dogs can vary a lot in their behavior.
Last edited Aug 8, 2012 at 11:30pm. Reason: add more
Aug 9, 2012, 3:22am   #11
MarneeB's Avatar
~One Day At A Time~
Originally Posted by sharknbark
No pet -pure or mixed breed- comes w/a guarantee. Even dogs from a reputable breeder can develop behavioral problems once they are placed w/their new owners, most often b/c of owners not understanding how to properly socialize dogs. The good news is that most pets can be rehabilitated by loving and patient owners. And really all dogs -behavior issues or not- require owners that carve out time every day to work w/them on obedience and exercise; if a dog is not mentally and physically exercised each day, they will likely become neurotic due to boredom. This is not to suggest your family take on a challenging pet they don't believe they are prepared for but more to point out that all pets need an investment of time and energy. That said, I do think it is smart to consider specific breeds/breed traits that match up w/your family's lifestyle and temperament, so research on that end will likely help find a pet that's good for your family. As boxermom pointed out, there are breed-specific rescue groups out there, and not being set on a puppy will increase the likelihood of finding a great pet soon. I don't object to reputable breeders, but I also suggest that people first consider a rescue since there are so many loving pets waiting for homes. Good luck!

I agree with all of this. Reputable breeders are great. Please please don't even consider buying from a pet store! Look at several shelters, don't rush to get a dog. There's one out there for you! Good luck!
Aug 9, 2012, 10:00pm   #12
dancingtiffany's Avatar
Member
Yes, please do adopt from a shelter if you can. I'm pretty sure that in time, with proper love, care and attention from your family, these dogs will learn how to trust again and resolve their abandonment issues. Just be patient and give it some time. A lot have grown to love the dogs that they have adopted and rescued.
Aug 15, 2012, 9:55am   #13
ksammon's Avatar
Member
...I have been in the works with two rescue groups ..there very strict about who they place there pets with ...they wont let ppl with kids adopt dogs which is very silly ..but i guess bc the dog come from bad homes or have problems and don't want the kids to hurt the dog and the dog fights back and the dog gets returned ...and if you dont have kids ..they wonder when you have them ? so its a no win ..am not saying ALL of them are like this and that a breeder is the way to go b/c right now am dealing with the same thing but ..get ready to Jump through hoop.... filling out alot of paper work ....being asked a ton of questions ..being asked for deeds to your home ..and a ton of questions about your kids ...and the home interview...i wish you the best of luck
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