Getting A Rescue Dog

Thu June 21st, 2012 @ 9:27 am

So many of us would like to save every feathered or furry, living thing -  but what we can all do is save a dog's life.  Rescuing a dog from a shelter is a truly caring and responsible action.

But first, do some homework on the breed of dog you might be interested in.  Even combinations of certain breeds will still have the characteristics of one or even both breeds.  (Be aware that it's best to have a Professional evaluate your dog.)  No one can be sure of knowing a rescue's true history.  You should go slow unless it is an 8-12 week old puppy.

Make sure the dog is healthy and has had all their vaccinations.  Take him or her to a Vet with a stool sample to make sure the dog is free of round, hook and heart worms or other parasites.  If the dog comes from the SPCA, this has been done already along with all current shots, and he/she has also been neutered or spayed prior to going to a rescue group. 

We don't always recommend spaying and neutering at a very young age.  With your "toy" sized dogs (who mature faster) it doesn't seem to matter as much as it does with your larger working breeds - they can get locked into puppyhood and we see behavior problems when they are 12-18 months of age. The males need their testosterone to develop their brain and balance their temperament.  Both male and females need hormones to fully develop the "long bones" while they are growing so quickly.

A lot of belief systems on this subject say "neuter so they won't be aggressive". I believe a dog should be well trained first and after a year it is up to you if you want to have it done.  Let them grow up and go through Puberty. The most important thing is that dogs are not sensitive to noise or afraid of being touched and that they are good around children and older people.  Study the breed - make sure it is a breed that will fit your family's lifestyle.  Be sure they are sound and friendly with other breeds. Every breed has Alpha and Bata in their genes which traits are dominant is not always apparent.  People tend to choose the dog whose appearance appeals most to them. We see dogs as cute or pretty or handsome.   Look deeper, see what positives and negatives are inherent in this breed. All breeds are cute as puppies!

The dog is at the SPCA FOR A REASON - FIND OUT WHY.  You get what you pay for.  A lot of breeds are crossed because a mistake was made; the female got out and bred to one or even several male dogs loose in the area.  Let's say a Pit Bull bred to a Chow - you may get a dog that will fight with other dogs. Make sure you get a dog that fits your family's life style. Study the mixed breeds as well as the pure breeds.  Do your research, the dog could live up to 15 years, you want to be happy with your choice.