Selecting Shelter dog 4 House Dog

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by JoeLacy, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What characteristics do you look while at the shelter when selecting a HOUSE dog?
     
  2. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    A house dog as opposed to...?

    When we got Lucy, I wanted a companion dog first and foremost, so I wanted a cuddly, friendly dog. Second, I knew I was living in an apartment (and will likely be renting for a while), so I needed the dog to be small (under 30 lbs), and not on the typical "banned breeds" list. Third, no puppies! My schedule didn't allow for spending hours house training a dog--Zach and I are gone 8 hours a day.

    Lucy fit the bill on all of those things. Bonus points for being absolutely adorable!
     
  3. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,999
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7 (3 rabbits, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a duck!)
    Location:
    kentucky
    what do you mean house dog?
    what is NOT a house dog? all dogs should be house dogs.
     
  4. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry, I should clarify. A house dog that lives most of their lives in the house.
    This is more about demeanor at the Dog pound I think than anything else.

    My first inclination is one that is calm at least in the pen. Maybe there is something else to watch for as I cruise past each kennel.
     
  5. Tankstar

    Tankstar ~Lisa~

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,301
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 dog, 1bird, 1 rabbit, 2 rats, 1 turtlem and a ca
    Location:
    Toronto Area
    I guess the same as any other dog i would look at. I have never bought from the shelter (I will in the future) I would read up on what the shelter knows about them, the possible breeds, temperment. I would probably want a dog to do somthing fun with. So a dog built for agility, fly ball or somthing. Just a dog who wants to do somthing. Im not set in stone on one specific type of activity (I think i want to test them all out lol. darn I should have started blaze earlier on with dog things)

    Not all dogs. you wouldnt want a working farm dog in a house.
     
  6. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    55,145
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    48
    I am a firm believe that your heart will know. There will be something that goes beyond reason. A gathump and certainty that this is the one. I looked on petfinder for two weeks when i saw Victor's picture. I made my mind up before i saw him which was a really good thing because for about 6 months all i could think was what have i done to myself.
     
  7. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had read one time about selecting a puppy, that you should consider one that is in the middle, meaning not too hyper and not too laid back. I have my age and size requirements and it's NOT a puppy :) This is more about selecting which dog to consider as you walk by the pens.
     
  8. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    55,145
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Selecting a puppy is much different from selecting a shelter dog.
     
  9. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If that was my selection process, most of them would come home with me.
     
  10. Lolas Dad

    Lolas Dad New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The first thing I would do is select a breed that will fit your lifestyle. That would be how active do you want the dog to be. How much time will the dog spend alone. How much energy do you want the dog to have. Do you plan on doing any advanced obedience. do you plan on doing agility. How much grooming is involved etc. When you can answer those questions and anymore you might have then you can select a breed and then look in the shelters and rescue for that particular breed.

    If you do not do research on a breed first and just select a dog by looking at it you could wind up with the wrong dog. Having the wrong dog means that the do will more than likely wind up at a shelter again and that would not be fair to the dog. Also a dog that is hyper in a shelter may not mean the dog is hyper out of a shelter. He or she could be acting out from a traumatic situation from being in a shelter.
     
  11. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    55,145
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Lol..one will speak louder than the rest. IT's like the dog that finds you. IF i am ever superstitious about anything it is the dog that sits on your door step..or lays on the road in front of your car. When they choose you it is something extra special.

    EVen my mother told me to take Victor back, about a dozen times. I just worry that people will go into a shelter and think the way a dog behaves in there is the way it will be when you get it home. Even when you get them home how they behave maybe seriously different from how they behave a few weeks later but you know that already.

    I do believe that looking at petfinder is a good way to start the selection process. You don't have the guilt of leaving them behind when you walk through. YOur more able to start making a selection and seeing a broader range than going to a facility. Plus many have been pulled from the kill shelters and are in rescue situations so more is known about them.
     
  12. darkchild16

    darkchild16 We are Home.

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Messages:
    21,880
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Tallahassee Florida
    I go with my heart as well.

    Many on here know how I came to have Walker. I was on a breeders list to get a dog being canceived in november a breed I had so desperatly wanted. We went to see my grandfather Holloween weekend and my mom and her then boyfriend went to a art show were the City Pound has a booth. Mom called me that they had a puppy I need to see. So begged my grandfather to take us across town (me, cousin and brother) in 15 utes before the booth closed. We got there in the nick of time. They had loaded the cats, thebuns and the other dogs. All that were left were Walker and his sister. SOme kids were playing with them and all the sudden Walker shoots up against the ex pen staring at me and im a good ways off all i could tell was he was small with one prick ear and one floppy ear. I picked him up and he sighed and started to nap. They went to take him to the van (they couldnt adopt him out there)and he TORE my shirt with his nails because he didnt want to go. We went and had lunch while I filled out the app. I went to the dog area and couldnt find him, I was heartbroken. Then one of the volunteers saw me and was like your puppy is still over there he hasnt been put in a run yet.

    Apperantly he cried the entire way back and only calmed down when they gave him food.

    I wasnt even looking for another dog but something told my mom to call me. And i will be forever grateful for that. Hes also bigger then we wanted LOL.
    He also decided to pee on me on the 4 hour drive home with my clothes buried.
     
  13. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I've worked in a shelter for a long time. It can be very difficult to judge a dog's true personality by their behavior in a shelter. Dogs react differently to the stress. Many labs I see go off the wall crazy in their pens but if you get them out, they'll be a lot better behvaed. I've seen many toy dogs and herders just shut down completely and they seem very calm when in actuality you get them home and they're very active dogs. So it can be hard to tell exactly what you're getting until weeks later once the dog has acclimated.

    I'd go in witha general age and weight range and know what types of breeds you get along with best. Get to know everything you can about a dog (which might not be much for some shelters). Take the dog out of the kennel and spend some time with it. That's really the best you're going to do. Shelters are somewhat of a crapshoot but there are some really good dogs in there.
     
  14. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    55,145
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Our humane society has been pulling dogs from the local kill shelters reducing the kill rate from 54 percent to 4 percent. Leaving only those that are not able to be placed due to illness, age or behavior. They are my number one charity and I believe it is a good way to select a dog to go through them. I would look into shelters like this. They want to pair up the right owner with the right dog and will be willing to give time to both to learn about each other and not make rash decisions. I did bring home one dog from a kill shelter, last box, last hour, and she was not a good fit for me or the children. My mother took Trudy Blue and gave her the kind of home she wanted for the next decade. I never made a decision based on situation alone again. I am just too emotional to make a rational decision in such a situation.
     
  15. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Maybe I should get a stuffed animal at the State Fair.

    Good suggestions all, thanks.

    I'll give myself some suggestions:

    Talk to the Control officers and people who actually feed, water and care for them. The front desk people usually don't know the dogs for more than a passing glance, the people who interact with them do.

    Check the new arrivals, they may not be up for adoption yet but be might be a candidate there.

    Quarantine also, if they will let you back there. Purell your hands, shower and wash your clothes before greeting any other pets of your own and work the Quarantine area last at each visit.

    Bother the Vet and ask any questions as a last step before electing to bring the dog home. Sometimes, they have insights that others won't.

    Ok, what else that hasn't been said?
     
  16. sammgirl

    sammgirl ACoops favorite

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hrmm...

    well, what do YOU want in a house dog?

    Some breeds are very active in doors, but are still house dogs such as Papillons.

    Some breeds are extremely large, but very lazy in doors such as greyhounds.

    Some breeds shed, some breeds have hair and need to be stripped or otherwise professionally groomed.

    As for puppies, gosh...I've never picked out a puppy for myself. I know I would avoid a very shy puppy, but anything else I'd be fine with.

    I know most people here dislike this Puppy Aptitude Test, but the breeder I'm talking to believes that this CAN be ONE good tool that you can use. It's not a be all end all, but it can be useful like anything else.

    Volhard Dog Training and Nutrition: Behavior and Training: Behavior
     
  17. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    4,381
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Midwest
    i guess it depends what you want really

    i definitely wouldn't look for calm in the cage, i like energy, lots of it. But that's me.

    Temperment is the biggest. how skittish, confident etc. How do they react, with avoidance or aggression if they react. those sort of things.

    Even then dogs change once they get in an environment they feel comfortable in, there's a difference between a shelter and your home.

    if it has the temperment I'd want then I don't care what it looks like in the kennel. if I take it outside and it will chase something, great, if not, it's not a dog i'm looking for. if the drive and temperment are in place then the rest can be trained.
     
  18. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Uh, no puppies. I have another dog and "we" have some requirements. I won't even mention it to her until I've given it my best effort.
     
  19. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    That was Lucy. She was calm and quiet and wanted to do nothing but cuddle when we took her into the run outside to play. HAHA. We adopted her, brought her home, and she ran laps around my little apartment for hours. The first time we were at the park she ran and ran and ran for the whole afternoon.

    Still, wouldn't change her for the world. We were flexible enough to change our life style a little to match what she needed.
     
  20. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    8,070
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Cats, Dog, Leopard Gecko, Gerbils, Fish, African C
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    To me you are basically saying "what do you look for in a dog?", as nearly every dog someone gets is going to be a house dog, there is nothing different between an outdoor dog and indoor dog except an outdoor dog needs to be okay with less human interaction and needs to be physically capable of handing the elements. House dogs don't need any special traits besides enjoying being inside. you look for what you like, what activity level you like, what amount of clingy personality you like, how much you like a cuddly dog or an independent dog, etc. Examine your preferences and then meet the dogs and talk to the staff.
     

Share This Page