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Pet Rescue/Adoption/Temperment in the shelter


I made my first visit to my local humane society today in search of a dog I can adopt. I've never done this before so I want to know what I'm getting into.

I met this one dog named BJ. He was about a year old and a big guy - probably 70 or so lbs. He was by far the most friendly I met in my short time there.

They let me take him for a short walk outside. This dog pulled like a horse. He was pulling my 230 lbs like it was nothing. The HS staff also told me they weren't sure about him with other dogs. I didn't get aggression at all. But then again he hadn't been fixed yet.

I've got two main questions:

1. Can my inexperience of owning a dog (pun very much intended) end up biting me in the end if I get one with a strong personality like his?
2. How much of his excitability do you think has to do with being cooped up in a cage all day and being around a bunch of other dogs?

I didn't get anything today. I just want to know what I'm getting into before I do.

OK, my answer may surprise you here... but please, do not adopt this particular dog or another like him.  Why?

You say that you are an inexperienced dog owner, first of all. It takes someone with experience and a HUGE amount of patience to resolve major behavioral issues like pulling you around everywhere. You want your experience with an adopted dog to be a LIFETIME partnership. I can almost guarantee you that if you adopt this dog, he will be a very fast turnaround shelter return. This, in my opinion, is harder on the dog than not being adopted in the first place. Your experience should be FUN and loving, not huge frustration, for both of you. You will both lose.

You were very smart to walk away and think about it. Find a companion that will be your friend. Look for a dog that is CALM, tail wagging, friendly and outgoing but NOT a dominant personality, overly excited, hyper, a jumper, etc. Think about the people in your life the dog will have to be around. Do you have an elderly mom that visits for example? Hmm. Little kids around? This dog is an injury potential to these types of people until the behavior is managed.

Be patient and the right furry friend will find you!  

Pet Rescue/Adoption

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Sheila T.


What can I expect when adopting a rescue dog? Why should I adopt a rescue dog instead of buying a puppy? What types of problems are commonly seen in rescue dogs? How can I become a dog rescuer? What types of dog rescuers are there? What are the benefits and drawbacks to being a dog rescuer? What should I do if my rescue dog isn't working out?


Since starting Sheila's Schnauzies Miniature Schnauzer Rescue in 1998, I have rescued, resocialized, and/or restored to health then placed over 50 miniature schnauzers and schnauzer mixes for permanent adoption in loving homes and/or provided lifetime sanctuary for them. I have also provided dog evaluation services to individuals seeking to adopt a rescue dog.

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