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Shelter dogs come with too much baggage and behavior problems, do you agree?

  1. #1

    Shelter dogs come with too much baggage and behavior problems, do you agree?

    I have a couple of friends that want to get a dog, but they want a puppy that they can train so it has a good chance of being an obedient normal dog. They're not interested in a shelter dog at all because they say most of them have behavior problems that put them there, I have to agree with that. They don't want dogs that already have set in issues. I tell them that it's probably true, but some dogs are there because the owner died or moved somewhere they couldn't take a pet. What do you think about dogs that get put in a shelter, is there a good chance that it behaves bad or isn't housebroken? Do people like this have a legitimate concern when adopting a pet from a pound or shelter? Some people don't want to help a dog overcome its problems, they just want a good pet. What do you think?

  2. #2
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    I believe that these dogs need and deserve a second chance at a happy life with someone who cares about them. There's no denying that many dogs are dumped off at shelters because their original owner never bothered to properly train them, so they have barking, housebreaking, fear, antisocial issues, etc.

    I've met many dogs that were adopted from shelters that are very sweet, with owners who are happy with their new family members. A man at the park adopted a female Doberman who was very shy and fearful. She was literally his shadow, and would not go more than a few inches away from the man at the park. Now she enjoys her walks, fetches the ball for him, and has a brand new life for herself.

    My neighbor adopted a Chihuahua mix from the shelter, I don't know her past history, but she was the sweetest and most well behaved dog ever. Unfortunately, the man passed away suddenly, and we took the dog for a couple of weeks until one of his family members wanted her for their own. Even though we had little contact with the dog before that, she fit in well with our pets, and was a delight to have around.

    Not everyone has to adopt from a shelter, but they should keep in mind that even if they get a dog from a breeder, if they don't take the time to properly train it and care for it completely, it can easily be worse than a shelter pet when it come to behaving badly.

  3. #3
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    Posts like this are SO damaging to rescues and the amazing work they do.

    It is 100% NOT true that ALL rescue dogs come with "baggage" - a rescue dog (if you choose the right dog for YOU and your family) can be no more work than what it takes to train a puppy to grow into a well behaved and confident adult dog. If you are not prepared to put in the work that ANY dog requires you should not own one.

    My current foster is a perfect example. He found himself in the pound one year ago as a stray, was re-homed and then one year later returned to rescue as the family who adopted him no longer had the time to have a dog (any dog, not just him). He is perfectly house trained, beautifully behaved and all round perfect. He has zero behavioural problems. This dog makes me smile every day & is going to bring untold joy to the lucky people prepared to give him a chance.

    My own rescue dog came to us house trained and loving, his only issue that he ate dog poop (the reason he was handed in) and would eat anything and everything left around. 2 years later, with a little help and hard work on our part, we have been rewarded with a bond and relationship with our boy that I cannot put into words. I love him like a member of my family, as that is what he is.

    You will not get a "good pet" without any work - pup or older rescue. Every single animal needs work and input from their owner.

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    IMHO, the people in the OP's post don't need a dog - not even a puppy that "doesn't have a set of problems". The "set of problems" is already in their head and I believe sooner or later THEY will become the problem the poor new puppy has.

    I can sit here and say that because I rescued a dog that I firmly believe came from just such an environment. The neatly dressed woman in her well kept Jeep Grand Cherokee was seen dumping the dog one morning, except the witness thought she was just letting the dog out to do his business ---- until the witness came back thru from work that night and the dog was on the corner waiting for its owner that never came.

    He was about 18 months old (NATURALLY not neutered) well fed, house broke, knew basic obedience, loves a bath and was just about the most nervous wreck of a dog I have ever taken in. He was scared to death of me and would only listen to Mr. TWH for the longest time. It was obvious it was that miserable b**ch who dumped the dog that did all the head whapping and demeaning.

    That was in 2009. Mason got taken to the vet and neutered as soon as we could catch him - that took nearly a week. Mason was trained to robotic perfection and it made him such a nervous wreck that he was a chewer well beyond the time puppies chew.

    So to reiterate, these people don't need a shelter dog --- they don't need any dog except a stuffed one off the WalMart shelf.

  5. #5
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    I actually feel bad for all those dogs in the shelter without owners.But, I wouldn't want a dog that has really bad problems or some kind of disease.
    So I think it depends on if you have time to help out a dog or not. If I saw a really cute dog at the pound without many problems I probably would get it!

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    As for your friends, it is a wonderful gift to have a dog-- even a puppy for that matter. However, it comes with great responsibilities and this includes dealing with behavioral and medical issues. The question is, how much effort are your friends willing to put into honing this dog's behavior. As right now, it seems that their assumption is that puppies coming from a breeder won't grow to have any behavioral issues at all. Remember, dog behaviors are honed by their owners just like how most children grow up under their parents' influence.

    No, I don't agree that shelter dogs come with too much baggage and behavioral problems. Forgive me for saying this, but the thread's title is an ignorant question. Unfortunately, I am with TWHRider with this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by TWHRider View Post
    I can sit here and say that because I rescued a dog that I firmly believe came from just such an environment. The neatly dressed woman in her well kept Jeep Grand Cherokee was seen dumping the dog one morning, except the witness thought she was just letting the dog out to do his business ---- until the witness came back thru from work that night and the dog was on the corner waiting for its owner that never came.

    He was about 18 months old (NATURALLY not neutered) well fed, house broke, knew basic obedience, loves a bath and was just about the most nervous wreck of a dog I have ever taken in. He was scared to death of me and would only listen to Mr. TWH for the longest time. It was obvious it was that miserable b**ch who dumped the dog that did all the head whapping and demeaning.

    That was in 2009. Mason got taken to the vet and neutered as soon as we could catch him - that took nearly a week. Mason was trained to robotic perfection and it made him such a nervous wreck that he was a chewer well beyond the time puppies chew.

    So to reiterate, these people don't need a shelter dog --- they don't need any dog except a stuffed one off the WalMart shelf.
    Oh wow! That was cruel. Why in the world would she do that? I hate people who think animals are like commodities... Not even the smartest computer is able to learn new things without consequences (LOL. Too many AI movies with computers going rogue).

    I am glad Mason found a new home. It's obvious that all he needs is some tender loving care from you.

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    So glad you gave Mason a good home TWHRider, that woman that dumped him off was truly heartless, she couldn't even take him to a shelter? I don't think the thread title is ignorant at all, and I feel that these questions should be addressed, as there are many people who feel that way about shelter pets. Better to have the discussion, IMO, so all can learn and see the reality of bringing these pets into their homes. If someone I knew wanted a new pet but had these types of concerns, I'd want to be able to give them the pros and cons of buying a puppy or adopting a dog from a pound/shelter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldfinch7 View Post
    Posts like this are SO damaging to rescues and the amazing work they do.
    I don't see it that way. I think it's good to educate people about rescue shelters, and give examples of successful adoptions from those like yourself, with first hand experience. I've only adopted two pets from shelters myself, a dog and a cat, and they were both fine pets, loving and well-mannered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha1 View Post
    I don't see it that way. I think it's good to educate people about rescue shelters, and give examples of successful adoptions from those like yourself, with first hand experience. I've only adopted two pets from shelters myself, a dog and a cat, and they were both fine pets, loving and well-mannered.

    I agree. I would rather see the debate raised than to keep it under the rug. It's how a lot of dogs end up in a shelter in the first place and the tragedy of that is there are more dogs & cats needing saved than there are people to save them.

    People need to honestly recognize what they are capable of, in terms of pet ownership; it would save a lot of pets, like Mason, from getting thrown out of the vehicle next to a state highway.

  10. #10
    I didn't mean to make anybody mad, just wanted to know what to say to people who feel like that. I've heard that said by good people who were animal lovers since I was a young kid, and am still hearing it. I appreciate everyone's advice and experience about this. I'm a one pet person, but in the future if I want a new pet, I'll definitely check out the shelters first.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha1 View Post
    I don't see it that way. I think it's good to educate people about rescue shelters, and give examples of successful adoptions from those like yourself, with first hand experience. I've only adopted two pets from shelters myself, a dog and a cat, and they were both fine pets, loving and well-mannered.
    I didn't mean it was the discussion that is damaging, it is the subject title and the wording used in the original post together with the overall message, which states that OP agrees with the statement that most dogs in shelters & rescues are there because they have behavioural problems. This is not true and not a good message to have out there about rescue.

    Baring in mind that in the UK at the moment the press are doing a very good job at spreading this very "fact" across the news, TV discussion shows and newspapers. Just last week there was a discussion on a morning news discussion show here titled "It is dangerous to adopt a rescue dog". The debate was one sided and ill informed and undoes years of hard word changing the views on rescue dogs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldfinch7 View Post
    Just last week there was a discussion on a morning news discussion show here titled "It is dangerous to adopt a rescue dog". The debate was one sided and ill informed and undoes years of hard word changing the views on rescue dogs.
    That is crazy, I don't hear anything like that in the US. If anything...they promote shelters and show animals waiting for adoption on local TV shows and local news stations. Why would they even say it was dangerous?? Because the dog may have a disease, or be aggressive?? That's new to me, are they just looking to euthanize shelter pets in the UK??

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    dogs in shelters are just as deserving as any dog people go out and buy. Most of these dogs are there through no fault of their own, if they have behavioral issues its because stupid people get a dog on a whim and when they don't self train they are dumped in a shelter to be someone else's problem. With a little patience and training they can be taught and make wonderful pets. Dogs are like children, they don't learn anything good on their own, they have to be taught. No such thing as a stupid dog, its dumb owners that ruin them.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  14. #14
    I think it all depends on how the pet was handled by previous owner.

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    it may be more work to work with a dog with issues but with time, patience and love any dog can be retrained
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

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