Five Things to Consider When Rescuing a Dog

Approximately 3.3 million dogs arrive in shelters every year through no fault of their own. Giving a shelter dog a furever home can be noble and rewarding, but there are several factors to consider when adding a rescue pup to your family.

//1// Age
Senior dogs make up large population of shelter animals, and older dogs learn more slowly than puppies. Patience is a must. You may have a lifetime of bad habits to break. It's important that training starts the day the dog is brought home and should be worked on every day.

Yellow Lab Mix
Age 10

//2// Breed
Only 25% of shelter dogs are purebreds. If you are interesting in a purebred dog, there are specialized shelters to accommodate this desire. Learning as much as you can about the breeds of your mixed pooch can be helpful to understand your new pet's innate instincts. Remember - the breeds that make up a shelter mutt are often unidentifiable!

Scott Speed
Mixed Breed
11 months old
will be over 44 pounds full grown

//3// History
Learn and gather as much information about the history of the dog you are interested in adopting. Ask questions! Shelter dogs have often experienced abuse or neglect. Knowing the dog's history will help you better understand his or her behaviors. Always train your new shelter pet with positive reinforcement.

Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler)
4 years old
28 pounds

//4// Personality
Take time to learn about your potential adoptee's quirks, behavior, and what makes them tick. Just like people, each dog is an individual. Training will be trail and error, so start with a gentle approach with your new family member!

large mixed breed
44+ pounds full grown
2 years old

//5// Adjustment
Allow your new pet an adjustment period. It's normal for shelter dogs to go through a period of regression. They may be docile angels when you first bring them home and then start acting out as they become more comfortable in their new surroundings. When in doubt, seek out a professional for training and behavioral help!

Terrier/Pit Bull/Retriever/Labrador mix
Age 7
65 pounds

All of the dogs in today's post are available for adoption in West Michigan through either the SPCA of Southwest Michigan, Hearts of Hope Dog Rescue, or the Humane Society of West Michigan!

1 comment

  1. I would like to adopt a dog but the kind I would want are the hardest to find in a shelter.