It is the responsibility of a dog owner to look after their dog’s health and happiness by providing a safe and nurturing home. Sadly, for some dogs, this does not happen and these pups end up in animal shelters across the UK.
To prevent this from happening, we are going to share some important dog adoption tips that’ll help you make a good decision. Every dog trainer around the world follows the three P’s – Patience, Practice and Persistence.
So, if you are looking forward to adopting a dog, you should start practising these.
1. Match with a Dog and be Patient
A rescue shelter takes care and provides a nurturing home for dogs who are in need of a loving family. So, when a family the adoption centre, the shelter uses their own matching criteria and chooses a dog accordingly. The process to match a dog with a family is different for families (and dogs as well) and is based on – the right family, the right environment and the right home.
The volunteers at rescue shelters do their best to understand a family’s needs and match them with the perfect pooch. But, it will also be better for a family to do some research of their own and find out whether a dog is compatible with them or not. For this, families need to consider the following:
- Think about your lifestyle
- Get to know more about the particular dog’ temperament
- Review dog homing criteria
After assessing all the information, you would get a profile of your family’s lifestyle and existing commitments. The profile will show how much time you will be spending with your dog, activities you can enjoy with them (running or hiking) and the dog you want.
A family has to be patient during this time to make sure that they choose the right dog based on activity and temperament and not just their appearance.
2. Practice Loving a Dog
It is essential for first-time dog owners to practice dog ownership in a lot of areas. Existing dog owners know how their dogs can be mischievous at times and they themselves have to partake in these hilarious adventures. To learn and eventually master new tricks, dogs need a lot of practice and dog owners need to be patient.
A lot of families return their dog to shelters. Therefore it is necessary that a family start practising responsible pet ownership before they adopt a dog. By making sure that the whole family is ready to adapt to this change and welcome a new member to their family, you are more likely to reduce the chances of returning your four-legged friend to a shelter.
A lot of families are not aware of the fact that they can volunteer to take a rescue dog on a trip for a day and return it to the shelter by the evening. This way, a dog can spend a day away from the shelter and have fun.
Moreover, the family also gets a first-hand experience on how to care for a dog. A family can also explore the option of fostering a dog for two to three weeks to see how ready they are for a new member.
3. Be Persistent with Training
A family will raise a happy and well-trained dog if they socialise with it well right from the start. Normally, the socialisation period for a puppy lasts from 3 to 20 weeks. The pup will explore different environments, sounds, places and people to familiarise itself with its surrounding and build its confidence.
Now, rescue dogs that are more than two years old, the standard window of socialisation has passed already. You can determine a dog’s socialising skills by conducting an aptitude test, but it will be best if a family visits the shelter with an open mind. But that doesn’t mean that it’s too late, as dogs can be socialised at any age.
In case of rescue dogs, a family has to understand that they have to re-train, re-socialise and re-housebreak them all over again. The family will have to take special care of their dog by feeding them a nutritious diet, taking them to the vet regularly and spend a lot of time with them.
The family will also have to give special attention to their grooming needs as rescue dogs are not looked after well and shelter volunteers have a lot of animals to care for. A pair of quality dog clippers will get the job done and give the new family member a great look. Doing so will require a lot of persistence and commitment, but with enough effort, a family will harbour a loving and strong bond with the dog who will have a home where it feels safe and cherished.