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  #101  
Old 23.02.2015, 19:08
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

Wakers, look through the Tierdatenbank, the database of homeless animals referenced upthread. One of the critieria you can filter on is 'Wohnungstier' - this would give you a starting point for individual cats who have been assessed as best to live as indoor cats. Note that the assessment is based on the individual, not rescue policy or philosophy.

http://www.tierdatenbank.ch/cms/tier...unschtier.html

But before you do - the indoor/outdoor cat issue does indeed seem to be a cultural difference here in Switzerland. (I'm not a cat person, know nothing about cats, have only tangential contact with cat rescue folks - therefore the 'seems'.)

As you approach rescues here, it might be a good idea to read through the 'official' stance on cat welfare, from the BLV's website. This might give you a better understanding of the Swiss perspective . Understanding the cultural difference could make it easier to discuss the issue with a rehoming coordinator. Specifically read the 'Katzen und Auslauf' and 'Wohnungskatzen' sections but also go through the rest of the cat pages. Lots of good info about 'the Swiss way' there.

http://www.meinheimtier.ch/de/katzen

While outdoor seems to be strongly preferred there are always individuals who have been assessed as indoor - these are where you should concentrate your search.
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  #102  
Old 26.02.2015, 13:13
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

One of my cats just decided one day that she wasn't going to go out anymore, and spent the last three years of her life moving between the bed and the couch!! And the kitchen, of course!!
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  #103  
Old 22.04.2015, 16:42
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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One of my cats just decided one day that she wasn't going to go out anymore, and spent the last three years of her life moving between the bed and the couch!! And the kitchen, of course!!
Teach it how to be more dog and show it the O2 advert...
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  #104  
Old 22.04.2015, 17:36
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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One of my cats just decided one day that she wasn't going to go out anymore, and spent the last three years of her life moving between the bed and the couch!! And the kitchen, of course!!
What a sensible girl!
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Old 26.04.2015, 19:54
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

And what was good about that was, the weight she put on.

She polished the parquet with her undercarriage!!!

No need for mops or machines - here comes the cat!! I could have used her like one of those robot vacuums!!

And if you use one of those feather toy things on a stick, you can get into the corners.

Last edited by Patsycat; 26.04.2015 at 20:35. Reason: Just joking!!
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  #106  
Old 31.10.2015, 20:29
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

Adoption from a rescue centre has been given a lot of press lately. It is not every day that someone rich and famous opts for a dog from a rescue. George Clooney and his wife Amal recently adopted a 4 year old Basset Hound from a shelter.


Here is a link with a photo.
https://www.facebook.com/12102726793...type=3&theater
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  #107  
Old 31.10.2015, 20:44
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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Adoption from a rescue centre has been given a lot of press lately. It is not every day that someone rich and famous opts for a dog from a rescue. George Clooney and his wife Amal recently adopted a 4 year old Basset Hound from a shelter.


Here is a link with a photo.
https://www.facebook.com/12102726793...type=3&theater

I saw that and immediately thought of you, Mrs. D. ;-)
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  #108  
Old 31.10.2015, 20:47
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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I saw that and immediately thought of you, Mrs. D. ;-)


Their Millie looks a lot like our Abby.
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Old 08.09.2017, 14:12
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

A few random questions about adopting a dog or puppy and your experiences. So reading through a dozen or so threads here I see some of you have adopted an older dog, questions:
Did you find it easer to train than a puppy?
Are dogs bilingual/ can they have 2 (ieDe & Eng) commands that mean the same thing?
Can an old dog learn new tricks?
How old should a child be before you think it is safe for them to walk the dog by themselves on a leash? Primary owner will be our 7yo son but a family pet.
Have you had any success toilet training in a garden so it doesn't end up a minefield? ;-)
Any other tips would be appreciated.
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  #110  
Old 08.09.2017, 14:45
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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Are dogs bilingual/ can they have 2 (ieDe & Eng) commands that mean the same thing?
.
That's got to be the question of the week - oh I see it's Friday.

The question should be 'trilingual' as their mother tongue is doggie...
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  #111  
Old 08.09.2017, 15:12
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Re: Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre

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Did you find it easer to train than a puppy?
In the sense that (more or less) WYSIWYG, yes.

When I adopt older dogs I have a good idea what their character is, what their 'issues', if any, are, how they will fit into my resident pack. So I already have a good idea what training and management I need to do, I have already mentally mapped out a plan, have a good idea of what I am undertaking from the start.

A puppy is a blank canvas, a surprise, so to speak. You are starting from scratch - that can be easy or very, very hard. Much depends on you and the pup.

Because I have a resident pack, my preference is to adopt older dogs as then I can better assess how the newbie will mesh with the residents. Also, I have gathered a smattering of experience with medical issues, behavior issues - I like to think I can put that to it's best use.

And I just love oldies. Love puppies too.

As I am growing older myself I do have to think of practicalities. A dog can live an average of 13-15 years, some longer. (The Belltie is rounding on 17, Haifisch almost made it to 18.) At my age, if I am ever to have a puppy again I realistically would have to find one in the next year or two. Anything else would be unfair. But I can keep on adopting oldies until I shuffle off this mortal coil myself.

One thing that is clear, though - you will fall as deeply in love with an older dog as you will with a puppy. The strength of the bond remains the same.

---

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Are dogs bilingual/ can they have 2 (ieDe & Eng) commands that mean the same thing?
Of course they are!

The various members of the Muttley Crew past and present had as their 'mother tongues'' English, Cantonese, Putonghua, Tagalog, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Swiss-German, whatever-in-heck they speak in the Valais, and sign language. All learned commands in English and in the prevailing language of wherever we were living at the moment, and of course 'doggy sign language'.

Dogs pattern match, they learn to link a set of sounds to an action. Those sounds really don't have an intrinsic meaning, rather what you assign to them. Guide dogs in the German speaking part of Switzerland learn commands in Italian, for instance. (I would venture to guess that is so that casual passers-by don't interfere, plus the language is easily distinguishable.) I know of one trainer who uses random words, mostly fruits and vegetables. 'Tomato' means sit, 'Celery', heel, etc.

I strongly believe that one should teach hand signals as well as vocal commands. Dogs are usually better at visual learning, and given the Swiss need for absolute quiet, it's always good to have a way to communicat with your dog silently. I've had one profoundly deaf dog, and several who lost their hearing when they grew older - that they already knew hand signals made the transition seamless.


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Can an old dog learn new tricks?
Again, of course!

My oldest adoptee, Haifisch, was 12 when we adopted him. He was also the profoundly deaf dog. He knew very little when he came to us, and if anyone had bothered to teach him hand signals it didn't show. So I started with him from scratch, as I would with all my newbies. But because he was deaf I trained him side-by-side with Hooligan. He watched her, copied her movements once he saw that treats appeared when he did the same thing. Soon he caught on to the fact that when my hands waved around that meant something too and more treats appeared. And then he cottoned on to the different ways I waved my hands around. 12 years old and deaf as a post, he was actually one of my more easily trained dogs.

I take all my dogs to the Hundeschule throughout their entire lives. Whether a senior-specific course, a general Familienhund class, dog sports, etc - each dog finds his or her niche. Training is an on-going activity, never done and dusted. Hence finding a good training school is for me paramount. The activity should foremost be fun - for both you and the dog.

I have taken on some dogs with serious behavioral issues, some of that resulting from past life trauma. I'll admit it hasn't always been easy, some were downright difficult. But with all we have made progress. I firmly believe every old dog can learn new tricks... and more importantly, every dog deserves a chance.

A caveat: I don't have children in the house, and I do have some experience with dogs who would fall under 'special needs'. I carefully assess what I can and cannot give any individual dog before deciding if I am right for this dog, or not. Because I don't have children, I likely can take on more difficult dogs. If you do not have rehab experience or if you have children I'd suggest going for a dog with an easy character first. (Another reason to adopt an older dog.)

Cardinal rule - never bite off more than you can chew. It's simply not fair, to the family or to the dog.

That said, there have been surprises with all my dogs. Assessments at the shelter give you a pretty good general idea of the dog, but you have to understand that how the dog behaves in your home, with your family, with your lifestyle will play a huge part, the behavior seen in the shelter may well be different than behavior in your home once the dog feels confident with his new family and once your family's influence is felt. There are things that cannot be fully known ahead of time. You have to be able to roll with the punches.

You do have to be able to make an absolute commitment to the dog, come what may. If you think you and the family would not be able to roll with the punches... think twice before getting any dog, puppy included.

(Hooligan, the cause of most of my grey hair, was supposed to have been my 'easy' dog. But I had seen that twinkle in her eye, I knew there were likley to be hidden depths... Nomen, in this case, is omen.)

But generally speaking, yes - old dogs love to learn new tricks.


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How old should a child be before you think it is safe for them to walk the dog by themselves on a leash? Primary owner will be our 7yo son but a family pet.
Entirely dependent on the child and on the dog. I know responsible 12 year olds, and irresponsible 20 year olds I wouldn't trust a potted plant to.

Legally, you, the adult and registered owner, are always liable for your dog. You may not leave a dog in the charge of someone not capable of controlling the dog or of caring for the dog. In some cantons listed breeds cannot be left with anyone under majority age, but as far as I know there is no age restriction for general dog care. But you really - and I must stress this - must take into consideration the abilities, understanding, and responsibility level of the child.

Personally, I do not allow my dogs around young children even under my supervision, and I would never allow anyone not of legal age and proven responsibility to be in charge of my dogs. But again - I take on 'special needs' dogs. A child could very well take on much of the daily care of a dog with an easy character and appropriate size and strength.

Our training school does 'Kind und Hund' classes; most of the participants are children of folks already taking regular classes. It's fun to watch the kids - perhaps consider something like that.

Of course before turning over the leash your child should walk with you for quite some time - this is how you can best assess whether the child is ready, or not. And ask yourself: Could your child handle an emergency - say, the dog running off, the dog being injured, etc?

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Have you had any success toilet training in a garden so it doesn't end up a minefield? ;-)
You always go out with your dog and pick up immediately. Simples.

Water in after the dog urinates if you want to help your grass. Simples.

Fence off parts of the garden that need to be kept dog-free. Simples.

(When house training a puppy or re-training an older dog you of course must be right there with the dog at all times, and of course go out with the dog each and every time to praise and reward.)

I find it easiest to train to piddle on command. That way we have done the necessary before starting on our walks and I can ensure that the dogs do not piddle where they shouldn't. It's also helpful when you need to make the next train and the dog needs to do his thing before you leave.


---

'How To Behave So Your Dog Behaves', by the great Dr Sophia Yin.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb...=1SQNZ3HGTK561

I give this book to all my friends new to dog ownership.

Although she has passed away, Dr Yin's website remains. Please read everything she ever wrote - she was a voice of reason, a great advocate for our dogs, a champion trying to bring dog owners to anew understanding of how we should interact with our furry friends, encouraging dog owners to leave the old, dangerous, discredited methods behind.

Start here:

https://drsophiayin.com/philosophy/

Another behaviorist I heartily recommend is Emily Larlham - again a voice of common sense, dedicated to positive reward based training. She has several videos available for free, watch them all.
https://dogmantics.com


And of course: Get thee to a good Hundeschule! And make it a family activity.


All the best to you, and hopefully a future furry friend.

---

ETA, hoping that I'm just being pedantic, but when I re-read your post this jumped out. So sermon time, just in case:

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Primary owner will be our 7yo son
No, the primary owner is you.

You will be the person listed in the AMICUS database. The ultimate responsibility and liability falls to the adults. Morally and legally.

As does all the work.

No matter that your child has promised hand on heart to pick up the poo, walk the dog, feed the dog, etc. - children cannot, and should not, be counted on to provide for the wellbeing of a sentient creature. Children's whims and fancies change. Yet the dog still needs love, care, attention, exercise, and more love - which you must provide, no matter what else is happening with the family. I sincerely hope, and fully expect, that your child will love his dog with all his heart... but a child cannot be responsible.

You have to go into this assuming that 100% of the work will fall to you, for the dog's entire lifetime. If you are not able to take this on, then please consider waiting until you, the parents, can do so.

Dogs are wonderful friends for children, I wish every child could have a four-footed best friend, companion, shoulder to cry on, cheerleader and partner in childish crimes as I did. But ultimately, the dog is the parent's responsibility. Always.

/sermon.

Last edited by meloncollie; 11.09.2017 at 11:44.
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