Rover’s Rest Stop & Ranch is all about social! Our process is longer and more detailed than most rescues, and we are really “all about the Kids!” There are several items that need to be considered when obtaining a new family member and how to constructively prepare them for success. This is the first part of highlighting some of the real concerns to watch for.
First, you need to select the breed of the new family member. The cute factor is not the first thing to consider. You need to know and research your breeds to determine if they fit your lifestyle, activity level, travel, other pets and family members, home situation, including yard fencing, etc. You need to know the inherent health issues for that breed and if you can manage their care. You need to know the temperament and any behavioral problems they may have as well as whether or not you can physically control or handle them.
After deciding on a couple different breeds, you then have to consider where you are obtaining the dog from. It is always better to rescue from a reputable and knowledgeable source. Some people prefer to find dogs from classified ads – for example, if you live in Canada, you have probably heard of LeoList, where ads for lots of pets are posted. However, there are some things to remember if you choose this route. Whether you use a classified ad or you go to a breeder, you need to check their background, visit the location, review paperwork carefully, and ask for references. If you go to the local county facility, ask for assistance in determining the pros and cons of the dog you are looking at. Be mindful that they may not have had the dog very long and do not know all the good and bad or exactly why the dog is there.
Socialization is extremely important. Ideally, the dog has been exposed to a variety of situations starting between 5 and 16 weeks of age. By about 10 weeks of age, they can start to develop the fear of the unknown. If not started correctly, they can develop behavior problems such as aggression, fear and avoidance. Many owners relinquish their dogs because they do not know how to deal with the issues.
Along with socialization is training. Repeat and repeat and repeat with consistency and do not confuse with multiple words meaning the same thing. For dogs that jump up on people, always say “off,” not down, get down, bad dog, no no, etc.; stay with one word. It is highly recommended to attend a beginning training class for your dog’s sake and to help with the bonding between you. When training, use positives more than negatives and you will get better results.
For additional information, Dr. Karen Shaw Becker – https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2019/02/11/common-mistakes-dog-parents-make.aspx?utm_source=petsnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20190211Z1&et_cid=DM271804&et_rid=541914920
And Cesar Millan at https://www.cesarsway.com/ – has a section “Help my Dog.”
Thank you all for participating in our Valentine event in February! We love seeing you the second Saturday of every month! Watch us on Facebook or our webpage for more events coming up. If you would like to volunteer, donate, adopt or need pet sitting, call 480-600-2828. Hug those necks!