Friday, April 19, 2013
Rescue Dogs - Their Unknown Past, Your Future With Them
Many dogs I run into are rescue dogs including Jewel's dad's dog, Dexter and Michelle's dog Gin. I've been reading a great book, How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend by The Monks of New Skete. It's a fantastic read.
From this book, I found so much great information on rescue dogs. It talks about how novice dog breeders do not know how to properly care for their dogs and their litters, and thus the litters and parents many end up being taken to shelters. The book says, "Since there is usually no way animal shelter personnel can socialize the great number of youngsters they receive, the puppies are usually neglected at a critical time." It goes on to say, "...this makes for a very risky situation if you opt for selecting a pet from a shelter."
In the case that one decides to follow through with a shelter adoption, the book advises, "First, inquire with the shelter personnel about the background of the animal. Did it live in a family? Has it been exposed to children, noise, stairs, city life? When you view the dogs themselves, try to 'read' each dog individually. Remember that many dogs react aggressively if confronted with any barrier, such as a cage. If you are interested in a particular animal, ask to take it for a walk on a leash, in a controlled area. Remember that even though you may not get an accurate reading on the dog, since it is in a strange environment, with a strange person. If the dog is overly aggressive, or shy, reconsider taking the dog. Try to remain coldly objective."
The book also suggested ways to spot potentially positive signs when looking to take on a rescue with an unknown background, "If you are looking for a female and find an appealing one who has been spayed, chances are good that she came from a situation where the owners felt enough responsibility and concern for the animal to get her spayed. This applies to the neutered male also."
I personally believe that all dog owners should read books to further educate themselves about dogs. I also think those looking to get a dog should research breeds to find which would be most compatible with their lifestyle. This includes things like knowing what type of job each breed is genetically designed for, and whether this instinct would be satisfied by what you can provide them. Dogs that need lots of running are not good breeds for city dwellers that cannot get them the extensive exercise they need. Ranch dogs need space to roam. All dogs need different levels of mental stimulation, and providing this to them is vital!
**Quotes all pulled from the book How To Be Your Dogs Best Friend, by The Monks of New Skete; Published by Little, Brown & Company; pp. 19-20