ADOPTING A RESCUE DOG WITH ‘PROBLEMS’

The homing profile picture that melted our hearts with Pearl

Why do so many rescue dogs get overlooked in kennels?

I find it heart-breaking to see so many rescued dogs in need of loving and committed forever homes that get overlooked for one reason or another.

Every pet most definitely deserves to have a family of its own, to be loved and cherished, so each one that gets the opportunity is incredibly lucky. However, there are numerous issues that can go against a dog when it is waiting to be adopted and these will lead to a longer stay in kennels and a lengthier wait for a happy ending.

Tyler said please pic me!

Pretty, well behaved, young, healthy and particular breeds often seem to get snapped up quickly, which is completely understandable as not everyone is in a position to be able to take on anything else.

But when you look at why certain pooches simply don’t get the chances it can be anything from the simplest to the most complicated of reasons, including:

  • *  Size (usually too big)
    *  Breed (possibly a bad reputation)
  • *  Colour (considered boring)
  • *  History (something has previously happened that may be off putting)
  • *  Health (an existing condition)
  • *  Appearance (maybe scruffy, a deformity or ‘odd’ looking)
  • *  Age (too old)
  • *  Behaviour (challenging)
  • *  Length of stay (people may think a long stay dog is still there for a reason)
  • *  Reactivity (reactions to a situation/environment)

This list can go on and on, and as you can imagine probably endless.

At Dogs with Probs we would encourage anybody looking to take on a dog from a rescue centre to be open minded and look at all options, but please be sure to:

  • *  Do your research on each rescue centre and look at their reputation, make sure they are legitimate and registered.
  • *  Check the rescue centre adequately assesses their dogs.
  • *  Ask lots of questions about any dogs you are interested in, including any known history, health, behaviour, likes and dislikes.
  • *  Be aware that a dog may come across differently in a kennel environment to that of a home – the two are very different.
  • *  Identify what it is that you are looking for in a dog and if there is any flexibility.
  • *  Carefully consider your own circumstances and what kind of life you are able to offer a dog.
  • *  Spend time with the dogs and learn about them from the dogs themselves.
  • *  Make sure the rescue centre offers continual personal back up support for after a dog is adopted.
  • *  Research the breeds and any typical behaviour, traits and potential health issues.
  • *  Think about what ‘problems’ you may be able to take on from a dog and how you can help them.
  • *  Look at support groups and professionals that can open up possibilities.
  • *  Speak to the centre staff and find out which dogs are most in need of adoption – are you able to step in for a dog needing a home sooner rather than later?
  • *  Do not allow yourself to be put under any pressure by the staff at the centre, you need to make your own choice, take your time and be confident with your decision for the sake of yourself and the dog.
  • *  Ask the centre staff to allow you to spend time with dogs in different environments ie street walking, with men and women, indoors, outdoors, around other dogs etc to see for yourself any behavioural changes – a good rescue centre will offer flexibility and want you to be satisfied with what you see and feel to avoid any repercussions ie a dog being returned to the kennels.
  • *  Ask yourself if you really need a perfect pooch or are you able to adopt one that isn’t quite spot on and help it through life with a little extra understanding, patience, and commitment?

I know from personal experience that I have always found a certain level of self-satisfaction in adopting dogs that have got issues and feeling that I have played a part in helping them overcome so much to become that much more confident and happier in themselves. The proud mummy in me steps in and I glow at my babies with complete admiration that they have been through hell, but now could not wish for more and give so much in return. It brings tears to my eyes to see them playing, enjoying the sun, trashing their toys and even curled up in cosy beds fast asleep, feeling safe and very much loved. Basically, I am a soppy mare!

If I can play the slightest part in helping others to give a ‘problem’ dog a home by educating, providing support and encouragement to be open minded then I will have fulfilled my dreams.

I would never persuade or push someone into making a commitment they are not fully comfortable with and cannot guarantee successful results, but what I can promise is that no-one is ever alone, there is always support available for both the dog and the dog owner.

Before I finish, please remember there is always the possibility that you adopt a dog that you believe to be perfect and everything you wish for yet develops or reveals unexpected problems. Should this be the case, if you are able to do so, please stand by your dog, seek professional advice and don’t give up.