Signs That A Rescue Dog Will Make a Good Pet
Dogs come in all different shapes, sizes and temperaments and if you’re looking to adopt a dog rather than buy a puppy from a pet shop or breeder you’ll need to look carefully and do your research to make sure you choose the right dog for your home and family.
There are more dogs than there are homes for dogs in the UK so it makes sense to rehome a dog rather than buy a new one, which only perpetuates dog breeding for profit. Dog rehoming is not something to be taken lightly and if you’re searching for a dog to be a loyal and loving pet for several years then it’s very important to make sure you choose the right one.
People put their dogs up for rehoming for a variety of reasons – very few people give their dogs to rescue centres willingly and many are heartbroken at having to do so. But perhaps their circumstances have changed in a way that they couldn’t envisage at the time they bought their dog: maybe they’ve lost their job and can no longer afford to care for their dog; maybe they’ve divorced or for financial reasons have had to move into a smaller home; or maybe a member of their family has developed an allergy to the dog’s fur,
All of the above reasons are understandable causes of having to give a dog to a rehoming centre. But some dogs are given to rescue or adoption centres because of their temperament or personality. Given that there are both types of dogs living in a rescue or adoption centre (a loving family pet or a potentially aggressive or dangerous dog) then how do you, as a potential adoptive owner, separate the good from the bad?
There are a number of tests you can do to get to know a dog (as much as you can in the limited time and the rather artificial surroundings of the rescue centre). For example:
- Take the dog somewhere separate from the other dogs. Don’t make the first move to interact with it – let it come to you. If the dog comes over to you and tries to get your attention in an affectionate sort of way, take that as a very good sign. If the dog ignores you or barks, backing away, take that as a bad sign.
- Let the dog sniff your hand and see if the dog will follow your hand around when you move it (never do so in a way that the dog might interpret as aggressive on your part). If it will, it is a social dog and may make a good pet. When you pat his back, see how he reacts – if he moves away or nips at you then he may not make a good pet (check before you pat whether the dog has any medical conditions that might make patting his back painful).
- Try giving him some food and, after he’s started eating, pat him gently on the back. If he wags his tail or stops eating to look at you in friendly acknowledgement then you’re onto a good thing – if he guards his food and growls then he may not make such a good pet.
- Walk him on a lead to see how he reacts. Pulling on a lead doesn’t mean he won’t make a good pet – he can be retrained. But if he snaps at the lead or at others whilst on the lead out and about then his behaviour problems might be too much to handle.
Once you’ve chosen a potential dog for rehoming, bring the rest of the household to meet the dog and see how everyone gets along.
French/Irish and Londoner! Love reading and TV shows….