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« Dog #4 | Main | Why making laws for everything is dumb »

April 06, 2007

Comments

Marjorie

You've successfully navigated both sides of the issue, so there's not much to comment on.

I'd only add that each shelter/rescue has different adoption rules, which are often the result of past experiences. People usually have the option of trying elsewhere.

By the same token, shelter workers are not cat or dog experts...in any way. (Actual experts are...well...experts. And only a few, if any, of these experts work at animal shelters. For the most part, they gained this expertise outside their duties as shelter workers.)

As such, a tragic number of myths are perpetuated through individual shelter workers, and the policies they have enacted. (That could be anything from breed-specific policies, to minimum adoption standards, or theories about behaviour, such as the 'same sex' policies at some rescues.)

I know of one man who can't adopt from any of his preferred breed's rescue groups because his current dog is an intact male. He's looking for another male, but all the rescues in his area have policies of not adopting out to homes with intact dogs.

Now, I don't know this guy, so I'm not too broken up that he might not get a dog. But I will say this: most of the time I was successfully re-training aggressive dogs for shelters and rescues, I didn't have a fenced property. So while the dogs were actually dangerous and poorly-trained, it was fine for them to be in my unfenced yard. But after I re-trained the dogs, and made them safe and reliable, they could only be adopted out to homes with fully-fenced properties. It's ironic.

Caveat

Good post.

There is no 'perfect' home, something a few of the rescues I know realize. There will never be a perfect home.

I have three males at present. I had two in the recent past, one large, one small. I have never owned a female, just by chance. Since my dogs are neutered, they get along beautifully.

If someone has an intact male and takes in a neutered male, it usually goes smoothly. Gee, when I was a kid, nobody neutered the males, they only spayed the females. While it's true that multiple dog households were rare back then, there were no more fights on the street than there are now, which by the way is very few.

The SPCA that I know well doesn't insist on a fenced yard. They do physical property checks though. When I adopted my big guy, now gone, I told them honestly that my yard was not really a 'dog yard' as I am a keen gardener. I had a partial, inadequate chain fence that would not hold any dog determined to escape.

I told them I walk my dogs daily for at least an hour in the morning, usually an hour at night, unless it's pouring rain. This was the truth, they believed me, and placed my beloved Monty with me.

If anything, a fence can lead to laziness and problem barking. You just turf the dog into the yard, let him back in the house, etc. A lack of a fence can actually benefit the dog, if the owner cares.

That's really the nut of it, caring about the dog you adopt. If you do, it will work out - they are pretty darned adaptable after all.


Marjorie

Oh, my goodness, Caveat... :-)

I say that all the time! Does a fenced yard equal a better home? My position is that it doesn't, for more reasons than just the fact that I, too, have never had a property enclosed with anything resembling a "dog proof" fence.

I caution that many people seem to think, because the fence is sturdy, they can just dump the dog in the yard, and leave it there for any amount of time, unsupervised.

Conversely, if you don't have a well-fenced yard, you physically have to join your dog in the yard, to supervise it. Dogs generally prefer being outdoors WITH their owners. Plus, supervised dogs get into significantly less trouble than their unsupervised counterparts.

I'm not saying this is written in stone. I'm just agreeing that good dog owners, for the most part, do what's best for their dogs, in their individual circumstances; whereas bad dog owners will always do what's most convenient for themselves.

Few dog care measures are entirely good or bad. (A leash can be a helpful tool, or the implement of torture.)

Caveat

Not as dumb as I look :}

A well exercised, well socialized dog is a happy dog. Happy dogs are a pleasure to live with.

The get desensitized, ie, socialized, by being exposed to things on outings such as traffic, other dogs, people, etc - not by sitting alone in a fenced yard.

A dog can be neglected and unloved or cared about regardless of the physical property, financial means or social standing of the owner. This is proven time and time again.

Look at the truckers who travel with their little dogs, two happy chums on the road together. No fence there.

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