Why You Should Not Adopt An Abused Dog
I’m not saying you shouldn’t take in a stray animal. Saving pets from the pound is a commendable and noble deed but people need to consider all of the issues before making such a major decision especially if there are children in the home.
There are cases where people have taken in a rescue dog and had great luck with them, going on to live happy lives but that doesn’t always happen.
More than 20 percent of dogs that are adopted are returned to the shelter. (Source: NCPPSP)
Abused dogs can be aggressive
Not all animals in shelters were mistreated but unfortunately we don’t know most of the pets history and they can’t tell us about their past.
Some canines are aggressive due to mishandling and could be a threat to your family especially if you have children in the home.
I’m going to tell you three stories I know of people who took in rescue dogs and regretted it.
1) Jim and Sandy had a young golden retriever that was home alone during the day. He was so excited to see them when they got home he was like a Tasmanian devil until they went to bed at night.
They decided to get another dog to keep Taz company during the day so he wouldn’t be so lonely.
They went to the pound and picked out a Labrador mix dog that sat back in the corner all alone. They felt he needed them. He fought them with the leash and they practically had to drag him to their car.
When they got home and opened their front door he lunged at the puppy attacking his throat. Jim got in between them to break up the fight but in the process had his arm sliced open.
Jim and Taz both needed stitches and spent hours at the vet and emergency room. The rescue dog went back to the pound.
2) Another situation was with a dachshund. He was adopted from the local animal shelter and brought home to Craig and Shelly’s daughters.
At first he seemed fine and there was no aggression but they soon realized they couldn’t keep him in the yard at every opportunity he dug out and ran loose. Not only that Oscar attacked and killed a neighbor’s Yorkshire terrier, he attacked a neighbor boy’s arm when he was playing ball with his brother in his own yard (he wasn’t even bothering the dog) and bit another little girl in the face.
The dog was court ordered to be put to sleep.
3) Another dog was a Schnauzer, named Woody. Woody was very high strung from the beginning attacking their cat, chewing up throw pillows and clawing doors.
They used a crate to help control his fits of anger but one day he turned on Mike and bit his finger so bad he had to have stitches.
Another time he attacked the UPS man and still another incident was with Mike’s elderly mother. Woody didn’t seem to like anyone and had a problem with men.
Research your future pet
Unfortunately, most animal shelters don’t know anything about the dogs they take in and some will even lie to you about their behavior and disposition. They are overcrowded and want to find homes for these animals.
When possible try to get an animal you know will be safe around your children, other pets and elderly relatives.
Some pets are turned in due to the owner moving to a new location that doesn’t allow pets, sometimes deployment and sometimes the master passes away. These animals make good pets if they were treated well.
You can train a puppy
Unless you are an experienced dog trainer with years of experience working with dogs needing rehabilitation you should be careful of rescue dogs. They require special care and knowledge of dog behavior.
I know the shelters are full and people are always posting pictures of abused animals needing homes but these dogs are sometimes mentally messed up and that is hard to retrain.
Hardly anyone writes about the down side of taking in a stray dog, you only hear the heart lifting stories. It would be great if it was always like that but I’ve heard too many reports of aggressive dogs causing damage to people and other animals.
Some breeds are more temperamental than others
Dogs are animals and unless they’ve been trained from early on to be domesticated you could have problems.
Some dogs are harder to train than others. Do your research on different breeds behavior, naturally if a dog is a mutt you won’t have a lot to go on.
Long nosed breeds are typically from the hound family. They catch a scent and like to follow it so these dogs are sometimes hard to keep home as well as hard to housebreak.
Once a dog has gotten in the habit of relieving himself indoors it’s very difficult to break this habit.
Some breeds are diggers. This isn’t a life threatening habit but nonetheless not a good idea if you have a nice yard or garden.
Puppies are easier to train than grown dogs
It is possible to train an adult dog but bad habits are hard to break. It’s much easier to train them early on before they learn bad habits. Unless you have a lot of time and patience you may not be able to rehabilitate your rescue dog. Dogs that aren’t well behaved often end up back in the shelters.
It’s great to take in a dog from the animal shelter but if you aren’t dedicated and willing to put in the time and effort you aren’t doing the dog any favors.
You don’t need a pack
You can't single handedly rescue every animal out there. Some people get carried away and have a houseful or yard full of dogs. No one needs that many animals. They are expensive to take care of: vet bills, flea remedy, heartworm proventative and food.
You shouldn't take on more than you can afford, have time to train or spend time with. If you don't have the time and money you aren't doing the dog any good.
- Training A New Puppy
Puppies, like children, don’t come into this world with good manners and knowing proper behavior. We as their parents or masters have to teach them.
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