Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Pooches: New Dog Owner Advice
Here are some things I thought of, but I was hoping to hear everyone else's input and advice as well:
Know Your Dog Beyond a Pretty Face/ Look into Fostering:
New Leash on Life, has a great Foster-to-Adopt program where they allow potential adopters to foster the dog for a few weeks, to make sure it's a good fit, before going through with the actual adoption. Since they gave me the physical resources, and the help of an 'adoption counselor' at this time, it helped me work through issues and become more confident that she was a good fit for life. And they actually have very few adoption returns because of this program. I think even if rescue groups don't have a foster-to-adopt program, it would also be a good idea to try out fostering with a group to get a sense of what dog ownership entails before committing to a full adoption.
Be Prepared for Problems and/or Training:
knock over their tepees.
Training can help, but sometimes training can't fix everything completely, so if there is something that absolutely won't work with your lifestyle, then you should probably consider this before adopting. We liked choosing adult dogs because their personalities were already developed, so we knew exactly what we were getting. We also think it's so important to spend the time on training because it does create such a good connection with your dog.
Your Lifestyle will Change:
hire a dogwalker.You will be going on walks in subzero temperatures and during 'monsoons'. You will pick up dog poo with your hand in a little plastic bag. I can't just go off on weekend trips anymore, but I have to either find someone we trust to take care of the dogs or spend money on boarding. We wake up early (by 7:00 on weekends!) and need to make sure we're back in the evening to feed and walk the dogs. We've become accustomed to spending $150+ each time we go to the vet. Not to mention all the miscellaneous dog items I suddenly feel compelled to buy.
Pitbull Specific: What to Know Before Adopting a Pit Bull:
a more complete post about things to expect when adopting a pitbull, to summarize we would say:
1)When adopting a pitbull, know that you are now representing all pitbulls. Many people will judge the entire breed based on what they see from your one dog. You have to be that much more responsible, you need to be that much more diligent in training, and your dog needs to act that much better, because any misrepresentation from your dog will impact the entire breed.
2) Be aware of BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) laws in your area and areas where you may travel. Know that your dog may not be allowed in places that allow other dogs.
3) Have a thick skin
So this is what we've thought of...what did we leave out?