If you know me, I’m very much about buying or adopting dogs from responsible breeders but I don’t mind when someone goes thru a rescue. I don’t judge them either, as we all can make our own decisions.
I want to help educate future dog owners about red flags in the rescue and in the breeding world. Because they both have it. Unfortunately, the rescue world has found great ways to advantage of peoples good wills by using a form of “coded language” in their advertisements about dogs up for adoption that will play with peoples heartstrings and sometimes then ends in heart break.
Today, I’m going to translate some of that coded language for you so that, if you are looking to adopt or buy a new dog, you can read between the lines that present that oh so lovable pooch that may turn out like cujo. Actually I have been speaking out about questionable rescue practices for quite a while because, even though it keeps me in business if dogs have issues (I guess like the rescues when they pump out dogs) my goal is to actually for people to have great lives with their future dogs and prevent the heart break I see way too often.
Personally I get so many clients that come with their dogs with some issues that they have never been told about by the rescue. They may not have been directly lied to, they just haven’t been told the truth about the true nature or tendencies of a dog and also haven’t been told the money, time and effort it will take to address those things.
. . . . . .So without further ado, just some examples of how reading between the lines can look like:
* RESCUE STATES: “He loves his toys and doesn’t really like to share them with others or part with them.”
* TRANSLATION: This dog is a resource guarder (he is protective of things that he feels he possesses) and may potentially bite you or other animals if you’re trying to take his toys or other things away. . .
. * RESCUE STATES: “He wears a belly band during the day and at night he has pee pads because he’s a little magician and wiggles himself out of his belly band.
* TRANSLATION: This dog is not potty trained and/or a marker in the house which can be sign of other underlying behavior issues. He is probably also not crate trained. . .
* RESCUE STATES: “He loves his humans and would like all the attention to himself. He prefers to be an only dog”
* TRANSLATION: This dog is dog reactive/aggressive. . . . You get the idea….I could bring so many more examples but what I’m trying to say. Be really careful when you read adoption ads with cute language.
If you are interested in the dog ask very specific questions:
“has this dog ever shown aggression or reactivity towards another animal, on leash, off leash or in it’s own home”
“has this dog every shown any aggression or reactivity towards humans”
“Is this dog potty trained”.
If you don’t get very clear answers, run the other way. It is not worth it unless you want to take on a dog that needs work AND are fully prepared to work with this understanding often the big financial investment you may be looking at. Don’t let your heart and cute words fool you! You will have to live with the consequences for 10+ years!
About the author:
Simone Krebser - CPDT: Owner and head dog trainer of K9 Possible Dog Training. Certified dog trainer, certified pet first aid instructor, member of the IACP, dog crazy and chocolate/cheese addict. “My life revolves around dog’s day in and out and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is my goal to help enhance the lives of all the adventurous and outdoorsy dog owners that crave no limits”