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Old 23.06.2020, 13:23
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Adopting a Dog from someone leaving the country?

Hi, We're a family with two kids under 10 who are looking to adopt a dog and I was hoping to get some advice.

I'm wondering if there is a way, or if someone can share a link for a website that connects people who are looking to rehome rather than abandon their dog with people who are looking to adopt?

Having thought we weren't allowed to have any pets, we've recently found out that we are allowed a small dog! Hurrah! We're quite open, but are thinking of getting a small dog like a Havanese as we live in an apartment but can walk it a lot, we need a friendly dog that is good with (friendly!) kids, and would want a small dog that could easily squeeze in with the team when we go camping.

We would like to adopt a 1 or 2 year old happy, house trained, dog from a family who is leaving the country. Which seems like a good idea as I read 5 out of 7 dogs and one rescue centre were abandoned by expats leaving the country.

There has to be a step before abandonment? Where people know they're going to move and have the option to rehome their pets before they leave?

People always say that if you are getting a pedigree puppy you should visit the house several times and meet both the parents.

We're happy with a small mixed breed dog, but would like to apply similar principles to adopting a dog.

We would like to to go to the home where the dog currently lives. Meet the owners and dog in a comfortable familiar environment and get to know the dog before it moves in with us. Also to understand the temperament of the family and kids it lives with now and learn about the training and vaccinations it has already had and rules it is currently expected to follow.

All the websites I have found seem to be dogs already abandoned, not loving families who are looking for a new home for a dog they can't relocate with.

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.

Any help of advice would be appreciated!
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Old 23.06.2020, 13:44
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Re: Adopting a Dog from someone leaving the country?

Unfortunately, rehomed dogs are very hard to find without some kind of behavioural problem. The family will tell you everything is ok but there will be some issue 90+% of the time, otherwise they would probably go to greater lengths to take the dog with them.

I'd suggest you speak with the Guide Dog organisations about dogs that failed out of guide dog school but if you can only have a small dog that isn't going to be much help. With young children present, my recommendation is generally to find a really good breeder who can help you along the way, or to work with local shelters who can do good behavioural evaluations for you. It's tricky business taking on a dog from another family as they can hide problems from you quite easily.

Those are just my two cents. You can find a great rescue/rehome dog, but it can take time. Speak with your local shelters, get on Facebook groups and if you do decide to go the route of taking in another family's dog, I highly highly recommend finding a trainer you trust ahead of time who can help you with a proper evaluation. Try Anibis and Facebook for these types of rehomes, but do please take your time and be careful if that is the route you go as I absolutely have seen a lot of dogs with pretty serious behavioural problems rehomed to unsuspecting families who really aren't in a situation to deal with the problems.
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Old 23.06.2020, 14:06
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Re: Adopting a Dog from someone leaving the country?

Also note there are strict rules about posting ads for rehoming dogs

https://www.englishforum.ch/pet-corn...g-animals.html

We used to get threads for rehoming dogs here, but since the new rules it's not possible for them to post any more.
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Old 23.06.2020, 16:37
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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:

Quote:
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Hi,
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.

---

ETA:

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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Old 24.06.2020, 10:43
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Re: Adopting a Dog from someone leaving the country?

Quote:
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We would like to adopt a 1 or 2 year old happy, house trained, dog from a family who is leaving the country.

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.

Any help of advice would be appreciated!
My first thought was exactly that of meloncollie. People who have put lots of time, training, effort and love into their dog will most likely not leave their dog behind but do everything to take them with.

Whether it is a rescue dog or a puppy from a breeder or you take on a dog from someone, a dog always needs training. Even if it was housebroken at the former house, when the environment changes, a dog might start peeing inside the house again or chew on furniture. You again have to train it with patience. You cannot expect the "easy route". You also must show the kids that having a dog is "work" and not that it is something that will behave perfectly and listen to you a 100% from the start.

I was 9 when I got my first dog. I was begging for one years earlier but my parents were dead set on not giving into my plea, until I showed I was responsible and would do my daily chores of taking care of it like feeding and walking. I've always kept that promise. So teaching kids that an animal needs taking care of, is also part of the whole deal.

Good luck, I hope you find your family dog that you all click with!!
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Old 24.06.2020, 14:49
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Re: Adopting a Dog from someone leaving the country?

Other than a puppy, I would say most dogs come with history. We have always gone the adoption route and no matter what you know about the dog, in your home things can be different.

In your case I would recommend avoiding private adoption. Best to visit shelters where experienced staff work to find the best fit for your family and for the dog. Usually there is a trial period which is important.

Over the years through my work I have known families who, for various reasons, could not move their dog with them. However, these have been the exception and for the most part, in my experience, I think expats will go to great lengths to be sure the family pets are part of the move.
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Old 24.06.2020, 15:20
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Re: Adopting a Dog from someone leaving the country?

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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...
Thanks for your very detailed and considered answer. I got the 5 form 7 from this forum. I'm pleased it isn't likely true.

You've given us plenty to think about, along with the other posters. We'll have a good think about what might be best.
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Old 24.06.2020, 15:43
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Re: Adopting a Dog from someone leaving the country?

I've posted before but where we got our "rescue dog" .. https://bouledogueattitude.ch/index.php

These guys run the full service of screening health, behaviour, vetting of new homes, matching correct dog to correct people, trial period, follow ups.. etc etc..

I'm sure plenty of other similar places exist.. for general breeds or other specifics.


We don't know much about the history of ours other than came from a family, new kid came along, dog took lower priority.. We got lucky, fully trained healthy dog that fits right in with us.
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