(Please read before considering a Dog for your family)
We would like to thank you for your interest in adopting a dog. It is very important that you know the pros & cons about the Dog Breed you choose. Please research the breed completely. We want a re-homed dog’s next home to be their forever home. Please make sure your entire family is aware of the risks & rewards. Suggestions: Take your time, research the breed and make sure it is right for everyone involved. Here is some information to get you started.
· Visit the AKC website to research the breed http://www.akc.org/index.cfm
· Visit the Animal Planet Breed Selector Site http://animal.discovery.com/breed-selector/dog-breeds.html#apl_nav
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
· Is everyone in the household ready for a new dog?
· Is the entire family ready to commit to a pet that can live up to 18 years depending on the breed?
· Are we financially secure to care pet food, vaccinations, license, & possible illnesses?
· Will you be able to keep a Dog? Can you make that commitment no matter what your circumstances are? Please think about your future. (New Relationship, Marriage, Divorce, Children, New Job, Time/Schedule, Moving, etc)
· When you own a Dog you get back exactly what you put into it the relationship with them. If you work hard and use positive training methods you will get the best friend you will ever have. Think of them like children. Can you imagine what your home would look like if you arrived after leaving a child for 8 hours without rules, TV, games, computer, or education/training?
· Dogs also can get destructive when they are board. So be prepared for this. Favorite pastimes when left alone in the backyard are digging, eating dirt, ripping up plants, destroying water systems, & jumping fences. Eating drywall is a favorite inside activity. We suggest using a metal Crate/kennel indoors until a trust level can be established when you are not at home. This way your Dog will feel safe in their “Cave” and your home will not get destroyed. It is a lot easier to clean up a kennel that cleaning up drywall. If you have other pets they should be kenneled in the own kennel during times that you are not home as well. All the kennels should be next to each other. Kenneling should NEVER be used as a punishment. (Agility, Hola Hoop, Clicker Training)
WHY YOU MIGHT ADOPT AN ADULT DOG
Dog puppies, as cute as they are, are notorious for causing havoc as they go through the housebreaking, chewing, and basic learning stages. Rescued Dogs make wonderful companions. They seem grateful for a new life. Puppies can also grow into behaviors that might not be a good fit for your family. This is another reason that we receive Dogs into the rescue. Buying a puppy does not guarantee that it will grow up to like small animals, other dogs, children, loud noises, etc. Just like when having a human child everyone is different and has different likes and dislikes. When an adult Dog is turned into the rescue we get information about their likes and dislikes from their original owners. This includes information about if they are cat friendly etc. We do sometimes get a dog that is cat friendly. We try to match those dogs with people that own cats and would like a Dog in their life.
INTRODUCING A DOG TO YOUR HOME
It is a good idea to plan carefully before introducing the Dog to your home and those living there. Many animals are territorial and may respond differently to the introduction of new animals. You know your pets best, so if they need to be introduced to the newest household member on neutral territory, plan to provide it. Meeting on the sidewalk or in a park is a good idea and is generally better than the front or back yard.
Plan to have someone on hand to help you when you introduce your dog to its new home and family. An adult family member, friend, or neighbors are all good choices.
Talk to family members beforehand about the Dog and what they should expect. Children especially should be made aware that the Dog might initially behave differently than their dog. The Dog does not know them and may be shy or very boisterous every dog is different. Children also need to know that they play a part in the experience what they see and experiences are very important. As with any new non-human addition to your family, you should monitor your children’s interaction with the dog at all times. It should also be explained to your children that this is a temporary home and that their new dog could go home to a forever home in the future.
Start a file folder for your Dog with all of the paperwork you received and medical information. You should also be aware of what the dog needs medically so you can make plans. If you are not sure of the documentation, ask the owner/veterinarian for assistance to interpret it. It is probably best to put off vacations until your family and Dog have had time to bond.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CRATING
Crating is essential training and should be started immediately. The goal is to have the dog remain happy in a crate for up to eight hours for an adult dog and four hours for a puppy. While some Dogs have had very difficult backgrounds regarding crate training, it is important to take crate training slowly as to not frustrate you or the dog.
We suggest taking your newly adopted Dog as a family to obedience class; this will help your entire family bond with your new Dog. Please only positive reinforcement when training. Most Dogs are highly treat motivated, so that is a good starting place. When teaching the basics (sit, down, heel, and come), use short training sessions. When leash walking, if the dog is proving to be too strong, a head halter, no-pull harness, or prong collar may be needed to help teach the dog how to heal and not pull on the lead. Please do not use slip chains (aka choke collars). In the hands of someone who is not a professional trainer, these collars can prove devastating to the dogs.
LEASH, COLLAR, & HARNESS
Pick up and put out of reach any chew bones and toys that could be considered food. You need to know more about your Dog before you introduce these items.
Rating is essential training and should be started immediately. If you have an old blanket, you may want to place it in the bottom of the crate. Some dogs like this, some don’t. Most Dogs like a very nice, cushy bed to lie on. A folded up comforter or a dog bed work well. Costco usually has dog beds for under $20.00. Your dog will need food and water dishes.
We recommend that you keep handy a spray bottle filled with water to use to stop undesirable behavior.
Baby gates are good tools to help you keep an eye on your new charge. During the first few days, it is wise to keep a very close watch on your. Baby gates provide a way to make your house smaller and more manageable.
FEEDING YOUR DOG
Some come into rescue with a known diet. In those situations, continuing on with that diet and slowly switching to the diet you would like to feed is important. Dogs are known to have touchy stomachs, so a slow transition in food is advised to avoid intestinal upset. We recommend a slow transition with ¾ of the original food and ¼ of the new food. Try that combination for up to a week to make sure there are no problems. If no problems are encountered, move to a ½ and ½ combination for a week. Continue with this process until the original food is weaned out.
Some Dogs will come in to rescue overweight, some may come in malnourished. If you have a question about whether you’re is over or under weight, please let the coordinator know your concern and advice will be given to provide the appropriate amount of food and exercise for dogs that do not come into rescue at a healthy weight.
We recommend at least two feedings per day. Never free-feed a Dog and never feed one large meal per day. Dogs are the third highest breed for suffering from bloat and bloat is often fatal. We also recommend that rescue dogs receive Fish Oil Caps or 3V Caps http://www.petmedstore.com/3vcaps.html &/or unrefined coconut oil.
WHAT NOT TO DO WITH YOUR NEW DOG
· Off-Leash Parks This is never a good idea until you know how the dog responds to your commands and other people/dogs/situations. It will take time to get to know your new dog and get your dog to listen and respond to you.
· Time Off-Leash Outside Your new dog may not know your voice or respond to the come command. Until you are absolutely certain your dog will respond to your commands, in ANY situation, do not allow the dog to be out of your control or off-leash.
· Alone in the Backyard Dogs need to feel secure with their new owner and home. Simply leaving the dog unattended in the backyard may make the dog feel abandoned, neglected or he/she may get bored and become destructive. Some dogs feel the need to wander in search of something to do or merely chase the squirrel/cat/bird out of the yard. The dog needs to be familiar with his/her surroundings and this takes time. Walk your dog through the neighborhood to familiarize it with the area.
· Roam the House Initially; dogs need to be taught where things are in the new home. This means that you need to show the dog where food, water, crates and bathroom areas are and reinforce these areas with words and treats. A dog left to roam the house, whether you are there or not, is never a good idea. The dog is not familiar enough with this new territory and new rules. The dog should be crated when you are not present in the house.
· Grooming although you think your new dog needs some grooming, most dogs are not comfortable enough with you to allow this. So, during the first few days, refrain from baths, nail trims and ear cleaning. Just wait until you think the dog trusts you enough. Simple brushing should be approached with caution and positive reinforcement (treats).
· PetsMart Along the same lines as the off-leash parks, pet supply stores that allow other dogs are never a good idea until you know how the dog responds to your commands and other people/dogs/situations. It will take time to get to know your new dog and get your dog to listen and respond to you.
· Free-feeding Sometimes rescue dogs have been deprived of food. Do not fall into the temptation to free-feed them. Dogs are very susceptible to a condition called bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV). This is where the stomach twists on itself and without prompt diagnosis and surgery, the dog will die a very painful death. The best action is to feed your new dog twice or three times a day small portions (1-2 cups per serving, depending on the age/activity level of the dog).
· Introducing New Food if you know the brand of dog food your new dog was fed; continue to use that food exclusively for at least a few days. The stress of a new home is enough to upset a dog’s stomach, so keep them on what they know. If after a few days, stools are solid and the dog appears to be in good health, slowly introduce the new food. We recommend ¼ of the new with ¾ of the old for a couple of days. Then half and half, and finally ¼ of the old and ¾ of the new. If all is still well, you can cut over to the new food completely.
· Crating Even if you know for sure your new dog is crate trained; do not start by putting the dog in the crate for the full eight hours you are at work. If you can put the dog in the crate for five minutes while you get the mail that is a perfect start. Then for 30 minutes while you run to the store, and so on. Make sure that the dog will not harm themselves or can escape from the crate before leaving for an entire day.
· Rule Breaking As wonderful as it is to have a new dog that was in need or didn’t have the best life, you will not want to start your relationship by breaking the rules you plan to live by in your home. A Dog will take its first experiences and count them as the rules. If you say, just tonight well let our new baby sleep on the bed, it will be very difficult to ever have your bed back to being just for humans. If you start out with how you expect the dog to act in your home, it will be a much smoother and more understanding transition for the dog. Within the first two weeks you have a new Dog in your home; they will push all of the rules. It is their nature to see how far they can push and it is bred into them to learn from that experience (that’s one of the reasons you wanted a Dog, isn’t it???).
We hope that this information is helpful in your journey to bring a dog into your family.
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