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5 Things To Watch For When Adopting A Dog

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Pet Adoption

A friend of mine asked me to go with him yesterday to evaluate two dogs he was thinking about adopting. Adopting a dog from a shelter or a breed rescue is an excellent way to get a dog, but there are a few things to be checking.  Here are some tips on what to watch out for:

Aggression With People

If the dog shows aggression, pass on the dog.  There are just many sweet dogs out there that need good homes without taking on the burden of a dog that you know is aggressive.

The Fearful Dog

Some new dog owners adopt a dog that appears to be fearful. This may be another dog to avoid adopting. In time, you may be able to bring this dog around to be a normal dog, but it’s not guaranteed. If you have the time and patience, these dogs can become less fearful but be aware this may not happen, so consider adopting a happy outgoing dog.

Dog Aggression

If you already have a dog at home and want to add a new dog to your pack then adopting a dog that is not dog aggressive is a must. Introduce your new dog to your existing dog in an environment other than your home. The first meeting should be at the local park or out for a walk. Make sure that the adoption agency is willing to take back the new dog if he shows any aggression with your existing dog at home.

Sick Dog

You do not want to accept a sick or unhealthy dog, especially if you already have a dog at home. Some potential adopters will accept a sick dog and nurse it back to health, but for the average pet owner that may be more of a task than they want to take on.

The Unsocialized Dog

When adopting your dog keep in mind that the period of socialization is from birth to 20 weeks old. If you are considering a puppy that has been at a shelter its entire life and has not been properly socialized, it may take years to get him comfortable around people and other dogs.

If you’re choosing an older dog you’ll be able to tell if he’s been socialized properly by his attitude around people and dogs.

Adopting a dog can be a fantastic way to select a new best friend. Just take your time and find the right dog that suits your lifestyle and your expectations.


Photo source:  istockphoto



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