In our first blog post we spoke mostly of puppies however not everyone wants the problems associated with owning a puppy â€“ toilet training, behavioral training, healthcare costs etc. If you don’t want a puppy but you still want a dog I want to introduce you to the wonderful world of rescue dogs.
A network of breed rescue organisations exist and a quick call to The Kennel Club will provide the relevant numbers you may need. It’s a wrong assumption to make that rescue dogs all have behavioural problems. There are many reasons dogs get put up for a new home â€“ broken marriages, deaths, migration of the owner or simply a change of circumstances.
A large number of these dogs come from happy homes, trained, chipped + properly groomed and can perfectly integrate into any new loving family. That being said some unfortunately have been mistreated in their lives and require tender, loving care before they become confident being part of a new family.
Potential owners should be ready for some searching questions before the dog is handed over. Remember this isn’t a toy, it’s a living breathing animal that needs to be looked after. If someone selling you an animal doesnâ€™t ask you about your situation they might not be looking after the animal properly now and might indicate an untrustworthy seller.
With rescue dogs you may have to pay a small fee to cover expenses. It is also unusual for The Kennel Club documents to be made available; this is to stop the possibility of further abuse to the dog.
There are charities that will never put a healthy dog down. This is a last resort for dogs that can never have any quality of life. A couple of the largest are Battersea Dogsâ€™ Home and the National Canine Defence League (NCDL) both work hard to re home any breed of dog. They will re-train them, treat any ailments and carefully match them with new owners. The owners should return any dog that fails to fall into the new home.
How to choose a rescue dog
The hardest part of getting a rescue dog is seeing all the adorable animals that need love and not taking them all home. You have to think realistically and practically or you may end up having to bring the dog back.
It’s important to get to know the dog you’re interested in so speak to whoever feeds and walks them. Ask them any questions about their personality and how suitable they would be in your home.
Rescue dogs may be uncertain about someone new but this is natural. They should come to you after about 5 minutes. Beware any dog that shows aggressive behaviour towards you. Also if a dog is being submissive such as lying on its back urinating slightly you should avoid it, this is acceptable behaviour in puppies not in adults.
You should ask the staff to see how the dog interacts with other dogs. You should also offer it a treat and see how the animal reacts to you. Finally you should ask to take the dog for a walk to get a feel of the pairing between you and the animal.
Let me know your favourite animal charities in the comments!