A great many people think the abstract idea of rehoming or adopting a dog is lovely, but that the reality of the situation would mean it isn’t right for them. This is true for many people and deciding not to adopt because it’s not the right choice is very responsible.
However, some people discount the idea of adopting a dog because of misapprehensions or false information about the barriers in place, potential limitations, or complications that can come with adopting; when in reality this might be just the right fit for them if they knew the facts!
With this in mind, this article will tell you five myths about dogs in rehoming centres, and the reality behind them. Read on to learn more.
Some rescue dogs have behavioural issues. Some owned dogs also have behavioural issues; others do not. Many if not most rescue dogs are simply normal dogs, and they’re really no more likely than any other dog to have a problem issue. The level they are trained to can be variable, and how obedient they are can be variable too, just like any other dogs.
Here are two things you can be sure of when you consider adopting a dog from a charity or rehoming centre:
A dog that is aggressive or whose behaviour in normal situations that dogs are likely to face (like meeting other dogs, being around children, and being out in public) has not been tested, will not be rehomed.
A dog with any type of behavioural problems, no matter how minor, will not be rehomed to someone who is not made fully aware of them and who has not been assessed as competent enough to handle them.
Many would-be adopters are concerned about inadvertently taking on a dog with problems, but in reality, rehoming centre staff are in their turn far more concerned about making sure this doesn’t happen.
Rehoming centres are vigilant about assessing the behaviour of every dog before they put them up for rehoming. It is of course impossible to test a dog in every possible scenario and it would be impossible to guarantee that any dog is 100% reliable in every situation. This is the case regardless of where you get a dog from though, even if you buy or adopt a young puppy with a known pedigree.
On which note, can you even find puppies in rehoming centres? Yes, definitely. It is a huge myth that you can only find adult dogs in rehoming centres, and most if not all shelters would probably tell you that puppies make up a significant proportion of the number of dogs that they rehome each year.
Puppies tend to spend less time in rehoming centres than older dogs and are generally easier to rehome as more people want a puppy than an older dog, for a huge number of reasons.
If you want a puppy and are prepared to wait for the right one, rehoming centres should be your first port of call.
If you want a pedigree puppy of a specific breed, you’d be pretty lucky to find one in a rehoming centre at the time that you’re looking, but it does happen. When it comes to adult pedigree dogs though, these are commonly found in rehoming centres and it is a myth that pedigree dogs don’t end up in shelters.
Pedigree dogs with papers are somewhat less common (but still not unheard of) but purebred or apparently purebred dogs of all of the common and popular breeds can be found in rehoming centres.
That said, some pedigree breeds are less commonly seen in rehoming centres than others; and not because they’re somehow less likely to be rehomed. Many pedigree breeds have breed-specific rescue and adoption organisations that work to rehome only dogs of that specific breed.
If these organisations are well known and operate nationally, shelters that have a dog of said breed surrendered to them are likely to call the organisation and see if they can take the dog, thereby freeing up a space for another dog that does not have a dedicated network working on its behalf.
One breed in particular that has a very proactive breed rescue service in place is the Boxer, and so if you want to adopt or rescue a dog of a specific breed, look online for breed rescue services as well as contacting your local shelter.
Many people baulk at the idea of getting a rescue dog and particularly an adult dog if they have children, out of concern that the dog will be unpredictable with the children.
However, as is the case with concerns over behavioural issues in rescue dogs in general, there is no dog that can every be certified as 100% with everyone in every situation, but a properly assessed rescue dog that has been green-lighted to make a good family dog is no more of a risk than any other dog and might even be a sounder choice!
Many rescue dogs are actually more than used to living in a family situation and some are surrendered because their owners could not cope with both the dog and the kids; and therefore you might have a head start with a rescue dog that already knows what life as a family dog is like than you would if you got a puppy.
Rescue centres will always ask who the dog will live with, and they’ll work to help you to find the right family dog.
A great many people think that when a dog hits a certain age (usually when they turn adult) or when you finish their basic training as a puppy, a switch flicks off, and that’s the dog done; no more commands or skills can fit into their brains and you can’t train them any further.
Also known as: “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” But you can, even a very old dog; and the average adult dog from a rehoming centre or anywhere else is perfectly capable of being trained for new skills, so thinking you can’t train a rescue dog if they’re an adult is another total myth!