Chapter 5
How To Know The Best Source For Your Dog
Tips for Getting a Dog from a Rescue Group. Rescue groups are typically composed of people with a very specific mindset about their dogs. These are volunteers who are committed to helping dogs find good homes which means they're very selective about who can adopt a dog. Be prepared for scrutiny when you fill out an adoption application with a rescue group. Full disclosure is your best approach for successfully adopting a dog from a rescue group. If you work 10-hour days don't try to hide that from the rescue group. Knowing as much information as possible about your lifestyle can help a rescue group match you with the right dog instead of a random dog you happen to fall in love with simply by seeing its pictures on the Internet. Rescue groups can and will provide feedback on your choice of a dog. If you want to participate in dog sports but have never done so, work long hours, have family commitments and other demands on your time, a rescue group might advise against adopting a working or sporting dog. They may recommend that you start with a dog that is less demanding. If it turns out you do have the time and do enjoy dog sports, you can still enjoy these activities with a less energetic dog and if you don't enjoy dog sports, after all, you're not left with 'too much dog' for your lifestyle. It can be extremely helpful to have this outside feedback by experienced people who are committed to placing their dogs appropriately. It's far too common for people to have an unrealistic vision of what their life will be like with their new dog but not to have that vision become reality. When this happens, a dog owner can be left with a dog that is too energetic. This leads to boredom and then destructive behavior simply because the dog doesn't get enough exercise or attention. This then leads to another dog in the system. Having knowledgeable guidance can help you avoid a potential mismatch between a dog and your needs. However, for people who are committed to owning a specific breed or participating in specific dog-related activities, the tendency of a rescue group to offer unsolicited advice may be viewed as obtrusive. In some situations, you might find that you want to adopt a certain dog and are committed to the lifestyle that the dog requires, however, the rescue group is not convinced you'll be a good match for their dog. When this happens there is generally very little you can do to change a rescue group's mind; it's up to you to decide whether to wait for another dog or look elsewhere. Some rescue groups or individuals within rescue groups can become very focused on their vision of finding the perfect home for their dogs. These individuals may have unrealistic expectations of dog owners that may make it difficult for potential dog owners to adopt from a specific rescue group at all. If you find you have encountered an individual like this within a rescue group, find out if you can work with someone else in the group. If the entire organization is composed of like-minded individuals, you must decide whether to continue to work with the group or find a dog from a different source.