Selecting Shelter dog 4 House Dog

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

  1. Gena

    Gena New Member

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    My only advice, is don't automatically pass by that pathetic, gangly, skinny one in the back of the cage shivering. Get her out, give her some cookies and love on her. She may make one heck of a companion for the next 13 years...and a huge hole in your heart when it is her time to go.

    Beyond that...you'll know. I'm fairly new-again here, but you knew with Peyton. Spend some time getting to know the dog and all that. There will be trials, there will be self-doubt, but in the end it almost always works out perfectly if *you* put the work in to do so.
     
  2. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    I remember when we got Elliot (the cat) we picked him because he was quiet, older and acted it, didn't want much to do with people, didn't want to go out and use the outdoor cat run. perfect...

    We took him home, opened the cage on the ground our quiet 9 year old Siamese came rolling out if, rolling around on teh ground just wanting to be cuddled and patted. Then he set odd to explore the house, wasn't bothered by the dogs, screamed his head off constantly (and I do mean CONSTANTLY) for 3 weeks while we kept him indoors and then started pulling screens off windows and doors to go out.
    He still gets very distressed if he can;t find us in the house, his cute little meow goes into overdrive and he sounds so freaked out till we come and find him. he's happiest being carried around on our hip like a baby and has to be with us all the time, he's so dependant on his people I don't know how anyone could leave him at a shelter.
    He definetly wasn't what we thought we were bringing home though but we love him and he really does have a forever home now.
     
  3. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Well, I've never gotten a dog from a typical shelter/rescue situation (Meg was at an in-home rescue, and was only there for about 8 hours anyway). But more important to me than hyper/quiet is that I would be looking for a dog who WANTED to interact with me. One who, whether they were laying quietly in the corner or bouncing off the sides of the kennel made an effort to focus on me (or people in general). As scared and shut-down as Meg was when I first met her, all you had to do was sit on the ground and she would slink up to you and lie down against your leg. That desire to be with people and seek them out despite her situation has served us quite well.
     
  4. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I train service dogs with an organization that gets all of our dogs from shetlers/rescues, so I have done my share of shelter evaluations. :) The number one thing we're looking for in shelter evaluations is a dog that wants to be with people more than anything... in the run, he does whatever he can do to be with you, whether that is jumping up and down, following you as you walk past, pressing against the gate so that you can pet him, etc. When we take dogs out of their run and put them in a yard, we want them paying attention to us no matter what else is going on. Of course there are many more tests than that, but for your purposes I think that's going to be the most important.

    As far as what they are like in a home, IMO that's anyone's guess. We've had dogs that were destructive and active in their kennel, but are perfect angels in the home; we've also had dogs that are perfect in the kennel but have no house manners.

    Another thing to consider is that most dogs in shelters have kennel cough. Probably about 90% of dogs that we adopt are sick, and that definately affects their behavior in the shelter, usually making them more lethargic and "calm." A lot of dogs also have kennel stress, especially if they have been in the shelter for a long time (which is one reason why my organization adopts very few dogs from no-kill shelters and sanctuaries, the dogs have usually been there longer and are very stressed out).

    Usually I suggest getting a dog from a rescue group who had evaluated the dog in a foster home if you have very specific needs. ;)
     
  5. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    i usually like dogs around 4-6 months of age. other then that i look for a dog that clicks with me. everything else can be worked out :)
     
  6. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    Thanks everyone, that gives me some other things to consider.

    I'm extremely selective when shopping for anything and a new dog maybe even more so. If you happened to have read Peytons story, you'd know I spent 10 hours with her before saying yes. I don't adopt many dogs, but the ones that I do are for the life of the dog and I don't give up on them easily.

    Intelligence, and sociability are two traits I must have and in that order. Size 40-50 lbs when grown, sturdy frame and a high play drive to keep up with Peyton. Peyton loves to play with the largest dogs she can find and plays very rough.

    I'm thinking a dog 6 months to 18 months old. I'm leaning strongly towards another Aussie or Border or an Aussie Border X. Now that I have had one of these for a year it's going to be tough to go back to another breed. I prefer Females, but unsure about having two Females will work out in the house. I have heard that Male+Female is often more compatible but I guess that depends on the dogs as well.

    I spent some time on petfinder yesterday and nothing jumped right out at me. I'll start checking shelters this week. If anyone wants to follow along in my search, I'll post back what I find and considering.
     
  7. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    Btw, If anyone is in the Dallas Ft. Worth Area and looking for a shelter dog, here is the City Shelter list I'll be working.

    Allen Animal Shelter 214-509-4378 700 S. Allen Heights Drive, Allen TX
    Arlington Animal Services 817-451-3436 5920 W. Pioneer Parkway, Arlington TX
    Azle Animal Control 817-444-8215 724 Park Drive, Azle TX
    Bedford Animal Control 817-952-2191 1809 Reliance Parkway, Bedford TX
    Carrolton Animal Control 972-466-3420 2727 Nimitz Drive, Carrollton TX
    Dallas Animal Control 214-671-0249 1818 1818 N. Westmoreland Dallas TX
    Dallas Animal Control 214-670-8246 8414 Forney Road, Dallas, TX
    Dallas Animal Control 214-670-6848 525 Shelter Place, Dallas TX
    Decatur Animal Control 940-627-7577 2901 S. FM51, Decatur TX
    Denton Animal Control 940-349-7594 300 S Woodrow Ln, Denton
    Euless Animal Services 817-685-1594 1517 Westpark Way, Euless TX
    Farmers Branch Animal Control 972-919-8770 13335 Senlac Drive, Farmers Branch
    Flower Mound Animal Services 972-874-7274 1200 Gerault, Flower Mound TX
    Fort Worth Animal Control 817-392-3737 4900 Martin street, Fort Worth TX
    Garland Animal Control 972-205-3570 600 Tower Street, Garland TX
    Grand Prairie Animal Services 972-237-8575 1225 W. Freeway st, Grand Prairie TX
    Grapevine Animal Shelter 817-410-3370 500 Shady Brook, Grapevine TX
    Mesquite Animal Shelter 972-216-6283 1650 Gross Road, Mesquite TX
    Operation Kindness (Carollton) 972-418-7297 3201 Earhart Drive, Carrolton TX
    Plano Animal Services 972-769-4360 4028 West Plano Parkway, Plano TX
    Richardson Animal Shelter 972-744-4480 1330 Columbia Drive, Richardson TX
     
  8. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    IT has been my experience that a new dog changes the home dynamics for everyone but everyone adapts. It goes from being something comfy and normal to something exciting and different. Relationships change each giving a bit more to the new person/dog involved. I have never experienced one coming in and fitting like a jigsaw puzzle piece, more like a bag of marbles, each moves over a little and the overall weight is increased, stronger and heavier than before, but not in a bad way.

    Sometimes too the dog that won't look at you, or come to you, or acknowledge you exist becomes the ultimate challenge and seeing them open up a crack at a time is worth every second of the effort you put in. Finally you get a wonder that is twice as dedicated to you and appriciative of your efforts on their behalf. I dont' think Pepper and I could be closer now. I would not suggest anyone go through what we went through, but i will always be glad I did. I can't imagine our family without her now. She is a great comfort to us all.
     
  9. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    I expect a certain amount of that, not the the point of my latest house guest. :)

    I've called around and have a couple to go look at today. I'm armed with my clicker and treats and Peyton will go along for the ride just in case.

    One is a 3month old BC female, I'm not sure I want to go through another extreme puppy stage or not. I'm a sucker for puppies and I should probably stay on the other side of town.
     
  10. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    I would personally rather start before the terribly teen stage but that's just me. I like a baby to grow with and find the transistion easier. Victor was 5 months and a handful and a half. I would have much rather had him at 3 months...or even better at 8 weeks before the people that had him before teased him, hurt him and dumped him.
     
  11. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    Well, that didn't work out. We didn't even get to first base.

    One BC and One aussie today. Neither liked Peytons intensity. Peyton just wanted to play but they didn't seem to understand. The BC was the more hyper out of the two but when I brought Peyton in, the BC folded like a lawn chair. Growling, biting and had to separate them. Peyton had her butt in the air, then ran around the dog begging to be chased. If Peyton got close, they growled or worse.

    Peyton wouldn't hurt a kitten, squirrel, dog or person. I've had her a year and never seen an aggressive bone in her body. Peyton loves to play and it's VERY intense. Dogs her own size are either terrified or get grumpy.

    I had a giggle when it was just the BC the animal control officer and I out in the yard. The ACO said, the BC is just hyper, you know how they are don't you? I said yes, then thought to myself, that BC isn't as hyper as Peyton, when Peyton is exhausted. Hyper is relative and Peyton redefines the term apparently.

    I saw another contrast, Peyton came in well fed, sassy, shiny with bright eyes ready to get her freak on. The other to dogs seemed lifeless and dull by comparison. I threw the ball a few times for her, ran her through some basic training just to show off. The ACO commented on how focused Peyton was on me. Peyton and I shared a chicken sandwich on the way home and called it a day.

    I'm a little surprised in a way, the Aussie was about 2 years old and the BC was 3-4 months. My 18 month old Peyton was like a kid out there and they acted like a bunch of grumpy old men. It didn't really surprise me on the other hand because Peyton only plays with dogs much larger than her. They are the only ones that can hold up, wants to play with her and not feel threaten. She's 45 lbs but plays like she's twice that. She's never met a dog she didn't like, but she's met many that don't like her because of her high play drive. Today she met two more.
     
  12. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Let me repeat:

    If the dogs you saw didn't "call" to you, I understand that.... and I think you'll know the right dog when you see it. But at the same time you'll never know what the dogs are *really* like, when they are healthy, happy, and non-stressed.

    I would probably also suggest making sure that Peyton is tired when she meets the new dogs, maybe even give her a run in a separate yard before meeting them. Do some focus work before you introduce her to the new dog, too, so that she will be more focused on you and less likely to try to play rough with the new dog. IMO it's unfair to ask a dog in a shelter to meet a brand-new dog (knowing that the only dog interraction he's probably had in the shelter is other dogs barking at him through the kennel), who plays rough and over-the-top, just after he met a new human he's still not sure of, AND he's sick, AND he's probably not had any decent food in a few days at least. No wonder they are grumpy!
     

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