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Owning a Rescue Dog

Considering adoption?


Many people love the idea of adopting a Rescue dog as it makes them feel happier than the idea of purchasing a dog or puppy from a Breeder. However, it is a large commitment and shouldn't be taken lightly. 


Any prospective rescue dog owner needs to consider whether they are ready to commit to a rescue dog which may need ongoing support, socialization and training. Chihuahuas also have a very long potential life span compared to other breeds. So a prospective owner needs to be ready to commit to the dog for 10-15 or so years. We also recommend any prospective owner should research the breed thoroughly before deciding to commit to a Chihuahua. They have specific breed requirements, personality quirks and ailments and it is important to be knowledgeable before you welcome them to your home.


How often do you get dogs in to the Rescue? 


We are often overwhelmed with requests from people who want a Rescue dog that is to fulfill very specific needs. Please remember, we are not dog breeders or a pet shop, so we cannot confirm when more dogs will come in to the Rescue. We recommend you submit your application to be placed on the database if there are no dogs that suit your circumstances currently. We consult this database for prospective adopters when new dogs come into care.


Will they be perfect pets - toilet-trained, friendly, social with people and kids, happy to be home alone, great with cats etc?


Primarily, we take in dogs that need help and have often been through a lot in their lives. Just the same as humans, certain experiences leave an imprint on their behavior or personalities. This can be changed with dog behavioral knowledge and commitment to training in most cases. But Rescue dogs sometimes require more work then say, the "blank slate" of a puppy. If you are looking for a dog that needs to fit specific requirements, please do consult an accredited breeder. Receiving a puppy will ensure you will be able to train it to meet your specific needs.


Do you work with the dogs prior to adopting them out?


Owning a "true" Rescue dog is not for the faint of heart. Of course, we work with dogs prior to adopting them out and ensure to the best of our ability, that they are safe to adopt out. However, a percentage of the work with each dog always needs to be completed by the person who will be having them in their house full time (ie. The Adopter). We can only assist so far in foster care and need the Adopter to ensure they stick to any guidelines we give them and create a loving, stable household for our rescue dogs.  We explain any essential terms of adoption and expect that the Prospective Adopter is able to commit to these. 


Nothing good comes easy. If you want a Rescue dog, you need to be willing to put in the effort required to make it a balanced, stable, family pet. It is often useful to consider WHY you want a rescue dog and then if a rescue dog fits yours or your families' needs. Yes, it is a great feeling to adopt a Rescue a dog that needs a home - but you need to ensure you are a great fit for one another, so that you do not become another failed home for the dog in question. 



To be a successful owner of a Rescue dog you need to ensure you have:


  • Patience and understanding of the dog - Sometimes the dogs have been through a lot and may take a bit of time to come out of their shell and be comfortable. Don't overwhelm them by introducing them to family and friends within the first month or so. Remember - you are a stranger to them. Wait to introduce anyone who is not immediate family. They need to build a bond with you and be able to rely on you if they need support or comfort. Go at their pace. Take care not to over-stimulate dogs too early.


  • The ability to set (and stick to) boundaries, provide training and create routines - Dogs value routine, it makes them feel safe. Do not feel sorry for the dog, they will interpret this as weakness and it will lead to behavioral issues later on. Start as you mean to go on and ensure you have the time to devote to working with and training a dog! 


  • Think about WHY you want a dog and whether you have the time and financial means to devote to a dog - You cannot simply get a dog and then return to a full time working schedule and expect the dog to be content to wait for you at home. Bored dogs are destructive dogs and destructive dogs find themselves being re-surrendered. Don't set a dog up to fail. You need to have time to spend bonding with the dog and working with/training the dog. Financially, all pets are expensive - consider their daily, weekly, yearly costs and what happens if something goes wrong medically, you need to be able to commit to their care.


  • Understanding of dog knowledge, their body language and behaviors - This assists our Rescue dogs greatly as Adopters will know once the dog is uncomfortable and how to rectify this. Sometimes Adopters reinforce or support dogs in naughty behaviors then don't understand why the dogs don't listen or behave poorly! Usually the cause is human-driven.


  • The ability to be firm and fair - Do not feel sorry for dogs based on their past. You need to remember that now, they are safe and live a great life with you. Do not let them get away with anything you wouldn't allow a normal dog to do. Again, your dog needs to respect you and if it senses you feeling sad, guilty or sorry for it, it will feel you are weak and behavioral issues will arise. Dogs are like children, they need a careful mixture of love and boundaries.


  • The ability to commit, regardless of what it may involve - Be in it for the long haul or not at all! If you cannot see yourself committing to the dog for 12-20 years, please don't get one!  Also, be aware - Some rescue dogs can regress slightly, once placed, due to the fact that they are adapting to the change in household. Sometimes they even develop issues that we have not seen in foster care. Of course, we are always happy to work with Adopters and provide support and advice, but we need people who will commit to working with dogs through anything that may arise.