Choosing a Rescue Dog

Choosing a Rescue Dog

By Debbie Green

Choosing a rescue dog can be a difficult choice -all of our Spanish strays are so grateful and lovable, and make such wonderful pets, I wonder why anybody would ever want to buy from a breeder.

If you have made up your mind to take one of our strays, or indeed, any other rescued dog, do think very carefully about which kind of dog would suit your particular lifestyle. The last thing an unwanted dog needs is to find a loving home only to discover that after a short while he is unloved again and considered a nuisance.

If you are at home a good deal of the time and are active, there is no reason not to enjoy long walks with a larger active dog providing you have the space to accommodate him.

Many large dogs such as greyhounds or big heavy dogs do not need as much exercise as smaller highly strung dogs- and greyhounds in particular usually make docile pets.

If you work part-time (you really should not consider taking a dog if there is nobody at home all day) a smaller less active dog would not require such lengthy walks although many small dogs are highly active. You should ask advice to the dog’s particular needs from the refuge where the dog has been looked after.

Don’t expect miracles when your dog first arrives. He will be very confused especially if he is one of our Spanish dogs who may well have spent years in the refuge or tied up somewhere.

With quiet love and understanding he will settle. Just give him his own time and space to adjust. So many people want to make a big fuss of the dog when he arrives, inviting friends and family to meet him – but there will be plenty of time in the future for this. Leave him be, just speaking in a friendly tone to him as you go about the house. The less fuss you make- so will he.

Another consideration when deciding which rescue dog to choose is whether you have time to spend grooming a long coat. If not stick to a dog with short hair as long coats need regular attention to keep them healthy.

Dog or Bitch?

I personally really don’t have a preference.

All our dogs are neutered before arriving in England for rehoming, and they all have distinct personalities.

If you already have one dog it is usually best to choose a second one of the opposite sex, to avoid competion as to who is going to be “top dog”.

If your reason for taking on a rescued dog is to provide your existing dog with a friend, please be sure that you have the patience and ability to persevere in the event that the first dog does not like or accept his new friend.

A couple of dogs have been returned to me for this reason, not through any fault of their own, just because the owners had not thought it through first, and all it achieve was to make an insecure little dog even more insecure.

Young or Old?

Lastly do consider an “oldie” if you can. They are usually wonderful pets and great characters. It is so sad that they are forgotten especially when

if like our Spanish strays they have been confined to a refuge for years. Some say they are institutionalised and will not settle but this simply is not true. I have rehomed several (whom were thought to be quite ancient) but am pleased to say they are still going strong after five or six years!

Whichever dog you decide on make sure you have given the matter some careful thought.

Think carefully before taking him

Do not expect too much from him at first

Give him lots of love and you will receive lots in return!

European Animal Welfare rescues strays from Spain.
Please visit we offer animal rescue stories, and Animal pictures.

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