Thinking of buying a new dog or puppy?

I deal with a great number of rescue dogs, in fact probably half the number of dogs that I work with are rescue or re-homed dogs.

Ignoring the outright abuse cases, which hopefully get dealt with by the RSPCA, why does any dog need to be re-housed or re-homed?

Probably for one or more of the following reasons:

I'm not just for Christmas

  • Bought/acquired on whim (e.g. Remember "A dog is for life not just for Christmas"!
  • The wrong type/breed of dog chosen in the first place.
  • Live in the wrong area, so nowhere to free run the dog/too small a house.
  • Not enough thought has been given to the size/character/sensitivity of the adult dog.
  • Was the family aware of the financial costs: veterinary/insurance/kennelling/equipment?
  • What family discussions have been made re the parameters (house rules) for the adult dog?
  • We all know the fantastic and beneficial benefits from dog ownership (when we have the match right) but has everyone in the family taken on board the disadvantages of dog ownership - walks at night in the rain and cold, possible destruction of possessions and furniture - house training - moulting - restrictions on last minute weekends / holidays.
  • Are you planning a family - what extra problems (protectiveness) might that create?
  • Do you work or are you intending to go out to work? If so, for how long will your dog be left?
  • Who is going to walk and train your dog?

If I can help you to make the initial right match of dogs and thus avoid some or all of the above problems then I guess I will be doing myself out of a job further down the road but the most important thing will, of course, have been to achieve the right dog for your family environment - which is exactly the sort of decisions that I had to make when matching (trained) guide dogs with their potential blind owners and believe me there were far more complicated issues in question then!

"A tiring day at the office"

So finding the right pet for your family should not be too difficult but please if you go to a rescue centre do not take home the first dog that greets with a waggy tail or looks at you with those appealing eyes - talk to the rescue staff, who will as much as their time will allow, will have been able to asses their ever changing charges and give you advice on the right dog for you and your family.

Do take every opportunity to talk to trainers like myself before you commit yourself to the new long-term member of the family, The Kennel Club, your local dog training club or visit Discover Dogs at Earls Court in November.

"Dogs lives are too short. Their only fault really"
Agnes Turnbull - 1888 - 1982 - writer

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated"
Mahatma Gandhi

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