So you’re thinking it might be a good time for you to adopt a dog. You love going for walks, and the idea of having a best friend to take around with you sounds amazing. And it is. When you add a dog (or dogs) to your life, you truly get a best friend. Your bond becomes so strong, that you can’t fathom the idea of life without them. It’s a beautiful thing.
However, I think it’s easy to forget that a dog is a living breathing animal (like us) who feels emotions, has a personality and has opinions on things occurring in its life. When you decide to welcome a dog into your world, you should only do so if you know that you are okay with changing your routines, in order to allow them to also live their best life.
You also need to know that what you are expecting, is never guaranteed to be what you get regardless of whether you buy from a reputable breeder, adopt from a shelter, or from a foster-based rescue such as Redemption Paws.
When you adopt from a foster-based system, it is true that since they are living with people and other animals you have a much stronger idea of the dog that you could be bringing into your life however, the way they are behaving with their foster is really affected by the environment they have created for the dog in order to set them up for success. The foster will have welcomed them into their home knowing that they will need a decompression period that can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a few months depending on the dog. They will have set up a “safe place” for the dog, which is an area it knows it can go to relax, and be alone. They will have created a routine for the dog so that the dog knows what can be expected in this new environment. There also will have been the understanding to not be around unknown dogs or people until the dog fully trusts them as a leader. Along with all of this, the foster also knows that in this time period of adjustment they may have to work through various behaviors that come about due to stress.
All of this to say, that when you see an adorable dog, and speak to a foster who tells you all of the progress the dog has made, there is no guarantee that there won’t be setbacks, new behaviors or fears, or unexpected events that occur in your first few months together. Moving into a new home, and living with an unknown person is a lot for any dog, especially ones who have suffered unknown traumas. But when you decide to welcome a dog into your life, you should only do so if you can guarantee to be there with them through the good and bad. They are now relying on you to show them the ropes to their new normal. So they may have accidents in the home, may be scared of a new walking route, maybe even fear you. But all that means is that you just need to step up and show them that you love them, and are here to help them.
We are also always here to help. If you come across an unknown behavior in your new family member, let us know. We can provide you with names of trainers we think could help, or provide you with other advice to help you two learn to work together. Because owning a dog is not just a purchase, it’s the creation of a new team. And trust us when we say you will never regret training/bonding/working with your dog, but you may regret giving up on them because it seems harder than you thought.
We don’t want to deter anyone away from adopting, but we hope this blog helps you create a game plan for welcoming that new buddy into your life!
With love, Redemption Paws
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