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Old 23.06.2020, 16:37
meloncollie meloncollie is offline
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Re: Adopting a Dog from someone leaving the country?

I have to say I'm curious about the statistic of 5 out of 7 dogs in Swiss shelters are there because expats abondoned them...

I've been involved in rescue work and in the rescue community in Switzerland for 20+ years, and honestly - that statistic certainly does not reflect my experience at all.

I bring this up because I fear you are looking for something akin to a needle in a haystack. While extraordinary circumstances do exist, IME the person who has raised a happy, stable, well socialized, well trained dog in a loving home is highly unlikely to give that dog away, especially when leaving the country.

Yes, there are some expats, probably the same percentage as Swiss, who give up their dogs. However, I worry that you are looking through rose colored glasses. In the majority of cases I've been involved with the ownerse, expat or Eidgenoss, who gave up their dogs did not provide the loving responsible home that you are hoping for. Far from it.

Fortunately, at present the number of dogs belonging to Swiss residents, expat or Eidgenoss, who need new homes is lower than it has been in decades past.

This is (hopefully) because the message of responsible ownership has been hammered - and hammered, and hammered home. While we have seen some backsliding since the abolition of the mandatory SKN courses, by and large the majority of owners in Switzerland (expat and Eidgenoss) still understand that a dog is indeed 'for life'.

At present, the majority of dogs in Swiss shelters have been brought here from other countries, many from EE, Spain , and Italy where welfare standares are not what they are here, where rehoming chances are grim, and where because of EU regs it's easy to get them into Switzerland. Most of these dogs were strays in their original countries, but some will indeed have had homes. (BTW, often former strays are surprisingly socialized to people, because they rely on begging to survive).

If you stick to your scenario you could be waiting years, all the more so if you are looking for a small fluffy dog.

There are many great dogs in need of good homes, certainly - but not necessarily under the criteria you set out.


Rather, if you are set on an older dog I would work with a reputable shelter to help you find a dog who fits well with your family. Work with one where you can visit many times, where you can really get to know the staff and the dogs.

If you do decide to adopt privately, are you confident in your ability to thoroughly assess the dog, the situation, the current owners?

This jumped out at me, so a comment based on my experience both of my own many rescue dogs as well as based on my experiences assessing potential adoptive familes and dogs needing placement:

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I understand that there are lots of rescue dogs in need and think that people who home rescue dogs are wonderful. We don't want to rehome a dog though if we don't know it's background. Our kids are still fairly young, and my family has taken 2 dogs in the past who have had to be rehomed with older couples for dangerous behaviour. So it's a risk we're not prapared to take at this stage in our life. It's something we would look to consider for our next dog when the kids are much older or have left home.
Please be aware that you can't rely on a dog behaving in your home, with your children, the same way the dog behaved in another person's home. You can use behavior in a previous home as an exclusion factor, say if something showed up that you know you cannot cope with. But a dog reacts to the particular situation and individual people. You have to be prepared for some degree of the unexpected. I understand that being able to 'roll with the punches' is not easy when you have young children - but it is fundamental to adoption.


So... given your situation, have you considered a puppy?*


I make this suggestion with my 20+ year old rescue hat firmly in place.

Sometimes adoption is not right for a family. Sometimes a puppy from a responsible, ethical breeder who works for the betterment of the breed and the wellbeing of each and every puppy is a better choice for a family with specific needs. A dog from a reputable rescue group and a puppy from an ethical breeder are both good choices.

With that rescue hat on, I'll say this: Whichever route you go, what matters most is that you can make a committment to the dog for his natural lifetime, no matter what the winds of fate may bring to yours.

*Of course, a puppy comes with a whole boatload of surprises. But that's a whole 'nuther thread.



Even my suggestion of a puppy assumes that the children are old enough to understand how to behave around a puppy, and will immediately obey you when you say 'no'. If the children are too young for that, then IME it is best to wait.


All the best with the search.

Last edited by meloncollie; 18.07.2020 at 01:44.
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