After giving it a lot of thought, you have finally decided to adopt a rescue dog instead of buying one from a breeder.

Wise choice, but now you are wondering how to go about choosing one. Do you look for a puppy, a fully-grown dog, or what? Where do you get it from?

Hmmm, this is starting to look a bit more difficult than you originally thought.

Actually, it isn’t. The first thing is to find an animal rescue centre in your area, most of them have Web sites and you can have a look at what they do and how they go about their business. They also often have pictures of dogs available for adoption.

Like anything, look around and see what’s out there before deciding.

The next step is to actually go to the rescue centre and chat to them about your needs – their staff is used to strange requests and are normally very good at matching dogs to new owners. Be honest with them, tell what other, if any, animals you have, your likes and dislikes.

If you already have another dog at home, discuss taking it along to the recue centre to meet its prospective new friend on neutral territory. Many rescue centre have special socialising areas, specifically for this purpose.

You will then be taken to have a look at the dogs they think is the best match for you. Be prepared, this is where it gets tricky. You are going to want to adopt every dog you see!

In my experience, it is not the owner that chooses the dog, but the dog that chooses the owner.

Don’t be fixated on your preconceived ideas – be flexible. We’ve gone to find a medium sized, female dog with no Spaniel in it and went home with a small, male half-Spaniel! It chose us and that pretty much was that.

The rescue centre will do a property inspection to ensure that your premises are suitable for the dog and that the conditions are what you told them. Do not take affront, they have the dog’s best interests at heart and there are unfortunately a lot of unscrupulous people out there. They have to be careful.

Once you get home with your new dog, be patient with it, it is new surroundings with a lot of new smells and it will need a bit of time to get used to it - Just as you are going to have to get used to having a new dog in the home.

When you introduce the new dog to an existing resident, do on neutral territory, preferably in a close by park or at least outside your property which your dog thinks is his or hers. The chances of an “argument” is much less if neither dog is on their previously “marked” territory.

One thing is sure, you are going to have a lot of pleasure from it – no dog is as grateful and has as much love to give than one rescued!

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  • Mathilda on

    And don’t forget. Rescue dogs are not housetrained. Our Greyhound after 6 months still sometimes messes in the house.

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