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5 Things To Avoid When Adopting A Dog

Adopting a dog from a shelter or a breed rescue is an excellent way find a pet, plus you’re saving a life in the process. However, there are a few things that you should avoid when adopting that new dog for your family.

Aggression With People

If the dog shows any type of aggression, no matter the age, do not adopt it. Although some may take issue with this advice, my stance is based on decades of experience. There are just too many sweetheart dogs out there that need good homes.  Your desire to rescue a dog does not have to come with the burden of caring for a dog that you already know is aggressive.

The Fearful Dog

Quite often I find new dog owners that have adopted a dog that appeared to have fearfulness.  Some of these adopted dogs were puppies. I’ve had clients tell me that when adopting their puppy, the observed the litter while seven of the pups ran up to them to play and one little scared puppy sat in the corner. You’d be amazed by how many people take home the afraid puppy, out of shear compassion.  However, my advice again would be to pass on adopting fearful dog.  Although it’s possible to help a scared dog interact like normal dogs, it’s unlikely. So my suggestion is to pick one of those outgoing puppies, one that adds to the love and overall happiness of the home.

Dog Aggression

If you already have a dog at home and want to add a new dog to your pack, then adopting a dog that is not dog-aggressive is a must. It’s always a good idea to introduce your new dog to your existing dog in a strange environment not at your home. So keep in mind that the first meeting should be at the local park or out for a walk. Make sure that the adoption agency is willing to take back the new dog if he shows any aggression with your existing dog at home.

An Unwell Dog

Needless to say, you do not want to accept a sick or unhealthy dog especially if you already have a dog at home. I do realize that there are those of you who are real rescuers and nurturers that will accept the challenges of caring for a sick dog in order to nurse it back to health. However, for the average pet owne,r that may be more of a task than they want to take on.

The Unsocialized Dog

When adopting your dog, keep in mind that the period of socialization is from birth to 20 weeks old. If you are adopting a puppy, you have to accomplish that before the five-month mark. If you are considering a puppy that has been at a shelter its entire life and has not been properly socialized that could be a mistake that you will have to live with for years, unless  there is still time to do it before the 20 week mark. On the other hand, if you’re choosing an older dog, you’ll be able to tell if he’s been socialized properly by his attitude around people and other dogs.

Adopting a dog can be a fantastic way to select a new best friend.  Just take your time and find the right dog that suits your lifestyle and your expectations. If you’ll follow this simple advice, you and you’re new best buddy will have a happy future together.