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NFT: Thinking about adopting a dog...any advice?

Vin_Cuccs : 6/5/2021 5:44 pm
So...my family and I are looking for a new addition.

We have three children in our family (7, 5, and 10 months) and my wife also has three cats.

We live in Somerville, New Jersey, and we have a pretty large yard, but no fence.

My wife has never owned a dog, and I haven't had a dog in about 15 years, but we are really excited about a new companion. We put a moderately active family, and love going for long walks in our neighborhood.

We have been looking on Pet Finder, for about 3 weeks, with no luck. We’ve put it a decent amount of applications, but we keep either missing out, or not being a match due to the kids, cats, or fence. We may end up just walking into a shelter and taking a look.

We want to adopt and adult dog, because people only adopt puppies, and we want to give an adult dog a nice home. We don’t have a preference male or female. We’d like a mutt, but looking for a medium sized dog, potentially mix with either beagle, lab, Australian cattle dog, or some sort of hound.

Any tips, info, or advice?

Thanks in advance!


If you're willing to travel a little,  
JayBinQueens : 6/5/2021 5:52 pm : link
The place we got our guy from is called Barrk LI and I know they just rescued a whole shipment this past Thursday ( June 3rd). You can try fostering to see if it's a good fit for your family or not.

Regarding the fence, I've seen places that have an electric border to yards that dont have a fence. That may be an option for ya
We actually put in an application for a dog at Barrk LI recently  
Vin_Cuccs : 6/5/2021 5:58 pm : link
We are still pending.
Be careful about the kids.  
robbieballs2003 : 6/5/2021 6:11 pm : link
What I mean is it is easier to get a gun than adopt a dog. I tried to adopt a dog and they wouldn't let us because my wife was pregnant at the time. They said when it comes to children, parents will always choose their children, especially newborns. They don't want to uproot the dog multiple times. I'm sure people with kids adopt all the time. Just understand their mentality.
We got a rescue American Foxhound about  
rebel yell : 6/5/2021 6:11 pm : link
10 years ago and love her to death. She was used for hunting and it took a while for her a while to acclimate to a home environment. One thing about hounds--they're always on the go wanting to walk and sniff. I did the math and estimated I've walked that dog about 600 miles a year, or 6,000 miles over her (our) lifetime. Good for my fitness--but a major commitment of time in rain or shine.
We are practically neighbors  
Mark from Jersey : 6/5/2021 6:23 pm : link
you can have my beagle mix. She looks like a little yellow lab puppy. She is about 7. Great with kids!
My wife is yelling at me  
Mark from Jersey : 6/5/2021 6:28 pm : link
now...lol.
We adopted one in Feb...a mountain curr  
rnargi : 6/5/2021 6:29 pm : link
She is a great dog but was abused. Our children are grown so no issues there. Most rescues take time, patience, and lots of love. Remember, you are most likely adopting some one else's problem. Someone didn't want them and there was a reason. It's all in or not, imho
Dogs are expensive, medical issues are inevitable  
Jim in Forest Hills : 6/5/2021 6:36 pm : link
so have a plan for that.

Other than that, no complaints, just wished lifespan was longer.
search the archives  
D HOS : 6/5/2021 6:55 pm : link
bunch of dog threads...

Quick advice is to understand that you won't see a new dog's personality for maybe 2 weeks or more. Especially if the dog has been fostered. It may not realize for a while that it is in its new forever home, that it belongs.

At first the dog may be friendly, may be fearful; may be shy, may be outgoing; may be perfectly behaved, may be destructive. Just be patient and keep working with the dog and see how things go. In about a month your dog will be comfortable with the change and let it's true personality come out. In other words, don't worry too much if things don't go well at first - assuming no serious issues are evident. Also don't become overconfident at first if things "seem" to be going great.

I had a dog that for the first few months was fairly calm and friendly but after that gradually became more and more protective and aggressive. I guess once she became confident that we were her permanent family she decided it was now her job to defend us.

One other piece of advice, when you get a dog, talk to it a lot. Not baby talk or doggie talk, talk to it just like you would a 2 or 3 year old child. Give it information about it's world. Use simple and consistent vocabulary. Accompany your words with clear body language and actions. Never use a word for more than one meaning (esp 'down' or 'off', decide how that word is used and stick with that).

You will be amazed how easily your dog can learn your "language" and start acting in sync with you.
RE: Dogs are expensive, medical issues are inevitable  
D HOS : 6/5/2021 6:56 pm : link
In comment 15280582 Jim in Forest Hills said:
Quote:
Other than that, no complaints, just wished lifespan was longer.


Amen to that. One of the great tragedies of our existence.
RE: Dogs are expensive, medical issues are inevitable  
D HOS : 6/5/2021 6:56 pm : link
In comment 15280582 Jim in Forest Hills said:
Quote:
Other than that, no complaints, just wished lifespan was longer.


Amen to that. One of the great tragedies of our existence.
It sounds like your family is just a wonderful ...  
DonQuixote : 6/5/2021 7:55 pm : link
... opportunity for a dog to have a great home.

Sometimes going in for a mature dog, while noble, has some baggage. Are you concerned about the work it takes for a younger animal?

I would start with some breeds that are good with young kids, doodles, golden, collie and look for mixes of that ilk or contact the rescue sites for those breeds which often foster mixes.

Good luck!
Don't do it  
Stan in LA : 6/5/2021 8:03 pm : link
You're welcome.
We've rescued before  
upnyg : 6/5/2021 8:41 pm : link
We got a standard poodle that was only 6mos, supposed to be a show dog, got caught up in a house fire. It was a little rough at first but she just passed 13 years later at Christmas...my wife's favorite dog.

Not a perfect girl, but a great companion and fought cancer for 2 years.

We lost our second dog last month. Both were buddies for 13 years.

Ive always had a dog, always worth it to me ...Good luck.
I’ve volunteered at a shelter for the past couple of years  
Ned In Atlanta : 6/5/2021 10:01 pm : link
We’ve adopted two dogs dating back to 2016. Our first dog Lexi had a lot of issues. She was great with people but had issues with other dogs and had horrible anxiety that we spent a lot of time and money trying to manage. She made strides but spent the majority of her waking hours hiding under our bed and was terrified of loud noises.

She ended up getting cancer in 2019 and in spite of surgery surprised us and ended up getting sick and in the ER Easter weekend of 2020. We had a miserable Easter Sunday as she was peacefully euthanized at hour home on Easter Sunday last year.

We ended up adopting Winnie May 2020. I reached out to my contacts in the volunteer community. We had a 5 month old daughter at that point and with all of our issues with Lexi we really wanted to find a dog we could adopt that would be great with our daughter. We were referred to a local rescue coordinator who knew our situation. She said Winnie was a “bomb proof dog.” She had been fostered with other dogs and had done great .

Fast forward a year later and Winnie is the best dog I could possibly ask for. She’s the sweetest dog I’ve ever met. She and my one and a half year old daughter are best friends. Winnie is the most patient dog I’ve ever encountered. Our daughter is all over her and Winnie is as cool as a cucumber.

My recommendation would be to find someone fostering a dog. Interview them and find out how the dog is in terms of temperament, their background, how they do with kids/other animals.

Im the worlds biggest proponent of adoption. Shelter dogs are the best. But I know that dogs straight out of the shelter can be a wild card. IMO with a dog from a foster that has been in a home you get the best of both worlds. Good luck and good for you for adopting
I just adopted a foster  
SLIM_ : 6/5/2021 11:19 pm : link
My kids, especially my daughter, have wanted a dog for a long time but my wife wanted no part of having one and I travelled too much for work to push the issue. My travel has been eliminated and I was pushing for one.

We decided to foster a dog as a trial to make sure my family's allergies would be ok with a dog and to see if my kids would take ownership (not going to say where that ended up).

Anyway, my local humane society lets you foster sick dogs. We brought one home that had kennel cough and he was the best temperment in a dog that my wife ever experienced. I had never planned a keeping the foster but we did end up adopting after a week as they only allowed us to keep it until the kennel cough was gone.

If you are allowed to foster before adopting I would highly recommend it. I think another poster mentioned that you may not see the dogs true personality for a couple of weeks. The dog didn't bark at all in the week that we had it. It still has a great temperment among people but does bark when someone is on our property and he doesn't know it. It is also aggressive with some other dogs when walking.

All in all, I would highly recommend it.
Serious advice, if it has a history of biting, don't adopt it  
sb from NYT Forum : 6/6/2021 12:48 am : link
...My brother, for some insane reason, adopted a 1 year old golden doodle that the previous owners gave up because it chased and bit a jogger... "but otherwise he's a great dog!" the owners said. Yeah, right... everyone with a great dog just gives the dog away.

The freakin dog (60 lbs.) would bite any house guest they had. Bit my dad in the freakin stomach! Bit my mom. I went over to watch a Giants game and it tried to bite me but I pulled my hand away in time.

They had to medicate the thing, put up all sorts of fencing, had special dog walkers... finally it bit one too many people and they had to put it down, which traumatized the kids. But really, the dog was just vicious and crazy and would have bitten one or both of the kids at some point... or worse.

So yeah, don't be a martyr when you adopt a dog.
Yes, there are real advantages...  
manh george : 6/6/2021 1:48 am : link
of being able to foster before you adopt. Namely, you can work with a dog that seems a bit risky, and see whether the any underlying damage from maltreatment recedes or disappears over time. I know a couple of people who have absolutely terrific pets that they never would have taken home if they didn't have the chance to see whether the dog would come around over time or not. They both came around, spectacularly. But the "not a biter" rule seems right, too.
Big dogs knock things over.  
Giant John : 6/6/2021 8:39 am : link
Including kids.
some great advice here  
pjcas18 : 6/6/2021 9:05 am : link
and I love that you're looking to rescue an older dog.

We rescued a 1.5 year old (which is considered an adult dog) 6 and a half years ago and she is the sweetest, most easy going, loving, and loyal pet you could find. She was crate trained and housebroken from day 1, so it was easy for us, and I know that's not always the case.

With rescues often they don't know the dogs backrgound. And this dog (the now 8 year old) they did know - she had puppies and the owners in Alabama couldn't take care of the puppies so the Alabama shelter the one in MA works with said we'll take the puppies but we have to take the mom too. So we got the mom.

She was not our first attempt at a rescue though, we had two failed attempts. One a puppy that one of my kids had an allergy to, and the other a 1 year old who was homeless his first year of life and had what they call bite inhibition that could not be trained out of him. He bit most of the neighborhood kids - not so they needed medical treatment, but broke skin - and my kids were scared of him. It was never malicious with him, but dogs communicate with their mouth, so if he wanted attention that's how he would try and get it.

It was heart breaking for my kids to have to bring both dogs back, but it has to be a good fit.

We just rescued a 12 week old puppy (I posted a thread on this a month or so ago). and he is awesome, but a lot of work.

When the pandemic hit the number of households adopting dogs skyrocketed so the need for fosters in many areas has been dramatically reduced, but I like the idea, I just don't think they will "let" you foster (or in your case more like try before you buy) but almost every shelter/rescue I've been involved with has a 7-day orientation policy where if you determine the dog isn't fit you bring it back. no questions.

I think they try and avoid this because it's probably a lot of stress on the dog, but overall best fit for you and the dog is most important.

Good luck.
Lab mix may be a good option  
Giantimistic : 6/6/2021 5:24 pm : link
With large yard and no fence you would want more of an off leash dog. I have a part terrier now and would be in trouble without a fence. Labs are great off leash dogs and great with children. At the shelter I always went to, there were always a lot of lab mixes. Also, I have been told that the reason many larger dogs end up in shelters is because of apartment rules, too big for someone to handle, moving and cannot accommodate a big dog at a new location. Small dogs, I have been told ended up more in shelter for lots of behavior issues. I unfortunately had that as an issue with with a small dog, that I adopted that had a bite to hurt mentality.

You may also want to look at rescue leagues for a particular type of dog.

I think lab or poodle mixes make good combos.
RE: We actually put in an application for a dog at Barrk LI recently  
JayBinQueens : 6/6/2021 5:59 pm : link
In comment 15280567 Vin_Cuccs said:
Quote:
We are still pending.


Try fostering first. They'll just let you keep him/her once ya have it
fostering first  
bc4life : 6/6/2021 6:11 pm : link
with the option to adopt sounds like a great idea.

You should probably go to AKC page so you will have an idea if the dog's and your family's characteristics are a good fit.

Go to a rescue with a solid rep so you have some idea of dog's history
Not so much advice as an a suggestion  
Tyrion : 6/6/2021 6:21 pm : link
but based on your family's preferences, I might recommend trying to get adopt a mom dog who just gave birth. A lot of the times the puppies will all get adopted fairly quickly and the mother will stay behind for a few months or more.

We adopted one, and while she's not without some things to work on due to her life as a pregnant stray, she's been super sweet with children and even puppies (not so much small dogs in general though, story for another day).

Definitely adopt something that works for you and your family, but its an often underlooked group of dogs, imo.
Pick a dog you and your wife likes. The kids will love anything.  
Jimmy Googs : 6/6/2021 6:26 pm : link
And put in an electronic dog fence and get your dog trained to know where it is. Well worth it.

Good luck!
We’ve adopted a couple of greyhounds  
Section331 : 6/6/2021 9:34 pm : link
fromGreyhound Friends of NJ, which is located just up 287 from you. They are wonderful pets, but they aren’t for everyone. They are very calm for the most part, and love couch surfing. GFNJ schedules meet & greets all over, so go to their website for the schedule if you’re interested - gfnj.org.
You're really going to want a fence  
Gary from The East End : Admin : 6/6/2021 10:26 pm : link
The breed rescue we adopted our dogs from required a fenced yard. No fence, no dog. And they are pretty easy going when it comes to most other things.

Having a dog without a fenced yard is a pain. Otherwise you have to be there with them every time they want to go out or do their business.
labs are great dogs  
bc4life : 6/7/2021 9:41 pm : link
shedding is an issue though
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