Adopting a Rescue Dog: The First Seven Days From Shelter to Home

Adopting a Rescue Dog Front Cover

Click book to open (PDF).

Right click book and select “save as” to download.

Rescuing a dog from a shelter is a wonderful way to give a dog a second chance at life, and find yourself a new best friend. But, how do you help start this new relationship off on the right paw? Dog Fence DIY, the premier resource for Dog Fence information, presents this FREE Guide walks you through the first seven days of adopting a rescue dog.

Veterinarian Dr. Susan Wright and Editor Misty Weaver take you through the first seven days, from selecting a dog that will be a good fit with your family (Chapter Four) through to establishing routines (Chapter Seven), and socialization (Chapter Eleven). Each chapter ends with a real story from a family that adopted a rescue dog, sharing with you the joys and the challenges that accompany any adoption.

As you and your dog work together to find a new rhythm together, this guide provides you with the tips and tricks that will make your adoption a little easier and smoother for both master and dog. With some work, a bit of good advice, and a lot of love we know you will change two lives for the better.

To view Adopting a Rescue Dog: The First Seven Days, click here (PDF). To download a copy of the book, right click here and select “save as”.

To Link to This Page: Code
Adopting a Rescue Dog Front Cover This free book guides you through the first seven days of Adopting a Shelter Dog. With seven simple lessons, the book helps you ease the transition from shelter life to home life for you and your pup. You can download your copy here.

OR (without picture)
This free book guides you through the first seven days of Adopting a Shelter Dog. With seven simple lessons, the book helps you ease the transition from shelter life to home life for you and your pup. You can download your copy here.

Excerpt: Chapter 1: A Month Before – Should You Get a Rescue Dog

There are so many good things about owning a dog: companionship, protection and unconditional love. Dogs are also good for our health, with research indicating that people who own dogs have lower blood pressure and lower levels of stress hormones in their blood. But, owning a dog is also a tremendous responsibility.

If you’re considering sharing your life with a dog, it’s important that you stop and think before you leap into this commitment. A dog should never be an impulse buy, even though it’s hard to resist those soft brown eyes and wet nose, you are adding a living being to your family, a family member that relies on you for their every need. The average lifespan for an American dog is 12 years, and you will need to meet your dog’s every physical, mental and emotional need for his entire life.

Use the month before adoption to consider what you can comfortably offer a dog that joins your life. Spending a bit of time to figure out what kind of lifestyle commitments you can make will help you decide whether a dog is right for you at this time of your life, and will help you make better decisions on what type of dogs make sense for your family.

Time Commitment

The first step in deciding whether or not you can care for a dog is to review your time commitments. Do you have very young children, elderly parents, a needy boss, or some combination therein that take up your every living moment? If so, perhaps it would be better to wait until you have a little more time that you can devote to caring for a dog before you take on the extra responsibility.

You need a minimum of an hour a day to provide basic care for a dog. That’s an hour every day, not just on weekends! And remember that figure is a minimum, some dogs will require much more time.

Exercise – there is truth in the old adage, a tired dog is a good dog. A dog with too much energy and not enough to do will find things to do and these will typically not be things that you want them to do. A medium energy dog will need at least a half hour brisk walk once a day. Higher energy dogs will need longer and more frequent exercise to stay happy.

Training – one of the most common reasons for dogs being euthanized is a “behavior problem”. Most behavior problems can be prevented by appropriate socialization and training, under the guidance of a qualified trainer. This takes a heavy investment of time, particularly if you own a puppy. You cannot let your dog raise himself, be proactive and teach him how you’d like him to behave, and he’s much less likely to develop behavior problems that are difficult to resolve. Training also helps you establish leadership with your dog and gives your dog the mental exercise that they need to thrive. Plan on training a puppy for at least half an hour each day, once you have established the basics you can reduce the amount of time spent training or move on to more advanced exercises.

Grooming – the beautiful coat on many long hair dogs requires extensive and regular grooming to avoid knotting and to keep clean. As well as frequent visits to the groomer, you will need to establish a daily routine of brushing your dog’s coat to keep it shiny and tangle free. In some breeds this can take a full hour every day.

Socializing – dogs are social creatures and need interaction to thrive. For most dogs a few moments throughout the day where you share a pat and a few kind words, plus a few longer sessions where you give the dog some serious attention, and a few hours spent just laying at your feet are crucial to create a deep bond with your dog. Be prepared to spend a lot more time with the dog in the first few weeks as you establish a relationship.

Lifestyle Commitment

If it looks like time is not going to be a problem, think about whether a dog complements your current lifestyle. Think about what you are willing to compromise and what changes would not work with your lifestyle.

Home – is your home one that can accommodate a dog? You will need to understand your neighborhood’s rules regarding the type of dogs you are permitted to keep. If you rent, look through your rental agreement, many leases specifically forbid pets and having to keep your dog hidden away is no fun and can be stressful. If the dog is going to spend time outside, you are also going to want to make sure you have a yard that is securely fenced or a wireless dog fence.

Allergies – do you have any family members who suffer from allergies? A dog may make them itch, sneeze or worse! Consult with your physician to find out if you can comfortably have any breed of dog, and to get some recommendation on the types of dog that are least likely to trigger your allergies.

Routine – dogs need to be exercised, and fed every day. That means you need to think about whether your family’s routine is conducive to having a dog. Can someone get home every day in time to feed and exercise the dog?

Activity – all dogs need exercise, some more so than others. Are you a marathon runner or a channel surfer? Think about what kind of activity level makes sense for your family. Many people get a dog hoping that they will become more active. While this is a good aspiration, it is generally more advisable to become more active before getting the dog!

Keep in mind that your lifestyle may change over the years. You may move to a different home, a different state, or a different country that might make it difficult for you to have a dog. You may have a family. Every dog deserves a forever home, so plan ahead for such changes, so you can be sure that you are able to keep your dog no matter what happens.

Cost of Owning a Dog

Rescuing a dog from a shelter is a wonderful thing to do for you, your family and the dog. But, one big misconception is that adopting a shelter dog is cheap.

Most shelters charge a modest fee for adoption. This fee covers only a small percentage of their costs for food, healthcare, facilities, rehabilitation, and care giving. Adoption fees also help shelters find new owners that are more responsible and prepared for the commitment of adopting a dog. The dogs that are in animal shelters have been examined to make sure they’re in good health before being made available for adoption. The dogs are usually vaccinated, wormed and neutered. In many cases, their temperament has been assessed so that staff can make sure they’re a good fit for a prospective new owner. I know of no breeder in the country that does all that! All that is routine and for a fraction of the price you would expect to pay a reputable breeder.

But, the cost of adoption is only a small fraction of the total cost of dog ownership. According to a 2008 survey by the APPA the average dog owner spent $2,185 per year on dog related expenses. Here are some of the most significant costs:

Food and Treats ($323) – you will want to feed your dog a good quality dog food in a quantity appropriate for their size and activity level. Costs are of course lower for smaller dogs and higher for larger dogs. In addition you will want to supplement their food with bones, rawhide, and the occasional treat.

Travel and Boarding ($495) – when you vacation you are either going to want to take your dog with you or have someone take care of them for you. If you don’t have the luxury of having a trusted friend or family member nearby that will take care of your dog, a good boarding facility will be a godsend. But, costs add up quickly with daily rates running from $30-60 per night.

Medications ($137) – most dogs are on medication to protect them against internal and external parasites like worms and fleas. Most of these products are usually dosed according to your dog’s bodyweight and will be more expensive for bigger dogs.

Routine Veterinary ($225) – a yearly checkup along with vaccinations are important preventative care measures to ensure your dog stays healthy and to catch small problems before they become big.

Non-routine Veterinary ($532) – the biggest surprise in these statistics for most dog owners is the cost of non-routine procedures. When illness or accidents strike the costs can add up very quickly. A few x-rays and treatment for a broken leg or your dog swallowing an object can quickly surpass $1,000. You won’t get these costs every year but when these costs strike they can be very sizeable. Non-routine veterinary costs tend to be higher for older dogs. A good dog health insurance policy will help you absorb some of those expenses, but all policies have caps and deductibles so you still need an emergency fund for health care.

Grooming ($87) – costs associated with caring for your dog’s coat vary significantly by breed. Some short hair dogs need nothing more than an occasional brushing, while some long hair breeds need a standing appointment with the groomer.

Non Consumables ($370)
– your dog needs a few basics like a leash, collar, crate, bed, and two bowls. But, are you going to be one of those dog owners that needs to splurge on their dog. This is definitely one place where dog owners could save. An old comforter is just as good as a $200 memory foam mattress from the dog’s perspective. But, if your reality is going to be that buying your dog a new winter coat every season brings you happiness, then budget it in.

Training ($35) – this is one place where we think most new dog owners would be a lot happier if they spent a little more time and money. Especially if you are a first time dog owner, having someone with a bit more experience help you work through the trouble spots will make life together a whole lot more fun.

Rescue Dog Considerations

Finally think about whether you want a rescue dog. Taking a dog from an animal shelter saves a life. Adopting a dog that is a little older and trained will be easier to transition to your home than a new puppy. But, there are some disadvantages that you should be aware of:

First, adopted dogs can come with behavioral problems. A good shelter will do their best to identify dogs with problems, but sometimes they will only be apparent when you bring the dog home. For example, a somewhat common problem among abused dogs is a fear of men. Working with your dog to overcome these problems is rewarding, but very challenging.

Second, some dogs will have physical problems. Again the shelter will identify most problems, but often they will be latent and you will only discover them when you take the dog home or even several years later when the condition becomes visible.

Finally, expect the unexpected. A purebred puppy from a reputable breeder will show variation but will tend to have a body and temperament that are true to type. Shelter dogs have a lot more variation. As a veterinarian, I have observed that shelter puppies like nothing more than to mock the predictions of both owners and veterinarians. That little puppy that everyone thought was going to be 30 pounds will be 50. Even grown dogs will surprise you, acting in a very different way once they get settled in at home than they did in the shelter. That shy little lab mix can come out of her shell and become a fiercely protective dog once she establishes her own territory.

So take these few weeks before you make the decision to adopt to think through whether a dog fits with your situation. If you have room in your life for a dog, do consider adopting a dog from your local shelter. You’ll have a loyal companion for life, and you will feel good, knowing you may have saved his life.

Our Most Popular Pages

innotek iuc-4100 ~ dogtra ef 3000 review ~ petsafe wireless containment system ~ sportdog sdf-100a ~ dogtek ~ havahart wireless fence ~ electric dog fence training ~ innotek reviews ~ havahart custom wireless fence ~ dig dog fence wire ~ finding a break in dog fence wire ~ driveways and pathways ~ wire trencher ~ dog fence reviews ~ above ground dog fence ~ petsafe stubborn ~ petsafe little dog fence ~ innotek 5100 ~ dog containment systems ~ perimeter dog fence

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan September 4, 2018 at 5:40 pm

My wife and I adopted a rescue dog. He is 1.5 yrs old, was in a shelter for 8 months (adopted and returned twice bc of “agression”). He is quite nervous and afraid of males, has bonded quickly with my wife but his growling directed at me is escalating. I can take him for a walk and within minutes of returning he is growling. Its as though he doesn’t recognize me… over and over again.

He turns his head away from treats so that mode of behavioural modification is largely ineffective. Setting up training with him… any other suggestions?

Dee July 19, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Need some advise. My dog had a liter about 5 years ago and recently I was contacted by one of the families that took a puppy asking if I would take her back. Naturally I said yes. I have had Jayda for 8 days now. She does not know her name, does not respond to any commands, has major separation and anxiety issues. Does not like men and will bark and run from them, my sons can win her over if the sit at her level but as soon as they stand up she runs. She cry’s if she is not right beside me, her teeth are horrible, nails show signs of neglect and she is afraid of other dogs so has not been socialized. She is good with her mom and our cat.

I can deal with this and am working with her however, the previous owner has contacted me and they said they changed their minds and want her back. I am torn, I think that she has been neglected and abused. Am I over reacting? Is this normal behaviour for a dog in a new home????

ADMIN – Hi Dee. We are not dog trainers here but my instinct is to say go with your gut. If you feel that the dog was abused and is exhibiting that behavior, trust your instincts. Best of luck to you and sweet Jayda.

Merna olsson February 1, 2017 at 9:54 pm

We are very use to rescue dogs They are part of the family My husband shovels around the back yard in the winter for our little Dino All my dogs before we’re well looked after and had the best of care regarding food shelter medical care and most of all LOVE

Janine A. Giamatti May 14, 2016 at 9:44 am

I have had dogs all my life. I just recently had to put my Collie to sleep after 12 years. I have always purchased my dogs from breeders and had decided that I would rather give a pup that is rescued a better life that it might have had before it came to Sadie Mae. Having an animal is not to me an animal it is a member of my family and that is how it is treated. In the winter if the snow is to high I plow paths in my back yard (which is grass) so that they don’t have to attempt to drudge threw the high snow. I live in a single home and my life is my animals. I don’t go on vacations my vacation is being home with my pets.

Elsa Lehner March 20, 2016 at 12:38 am

I have 2 cats. What kind of dog is cat friendly?

ADMIN – Hi Elsa,

Cat friendliness is not necessarily breed-related. You want a dog with low prey instinct that is young and still trainable or an adult dog that has been raised with cats.

Charlene Skodacek November 7, 2014 at 6:29 pm

This is an extremely educational article.

ADMIN – Hi Charlene. I’m glad you enjoyed reading the Adopting a Rescue Dog: The First Seven Days From Shelter to Home article. Have you adopted a rescue dog?

Tips on Adopt a Dog August 15, 2014 at 7:46 am

Excellent information. I am going to adopt a dog first time. I never knew that what necessary things should be considered before adopting a rescue dog. But after reading your blog I have gained much of knowledge.

Marie June 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm

This is my view on what one should or could expect from a shelter in re: to vet bill help once someone has chosen a pet. Once a pet is adopted, it is your family member and your responsibility. If a dog had an illness, the shelter does their best to know and let you know the chosen pets health at time of adoption. So, not to be be uncaring or rude, but the pet is now your responsibility…no one should expect the shelter to provide care and treattment. It is either that you are prepared to commit to the pet or not. These shelters are not operating at a for profit level. Most are barely getting by with expenses. If a person were to adopt an ill child or marry someone with an illness they were fair warned of the consequences and the responsibility of such and will need to accept the burdon…and joys…of doing so. I am not meaning t be callouse but you must know that there will always be bills for your pet thru out their life. If one is not willing or able to cover these circumstances out of pocket, it is probaly not a good time in your life to adopt. Adoption should never be without reviewing and planning how you will be able to provide for your new pet thru it’s lifetime. They are a serious commitment…the reason why some dogs end up in shelters are due to this and it is a too common tradgidty that some people give more attention to what pair of shoes or what tool to buy than they do to obtaining a pet. Pets are not posessions they are breathing, feeling, living creatures who know and feel as much as any 3 year old at least. It breaks my heart to see owners intentioaly “turn their backs” on that devoted pet if things change…I aagree sometimes it can not be helped…but mostly I believe it is because of poor planning and commitment.

Kris January 1, 2014 at 12:57 am

I am conflicted between two dogs at the shelter. The two dogs are very different from one another the first is a 1 yr old German Shepherd mix he is a sweet heart. the other is a 6 mo Russel Terrier another sweet heart. The Russel Terrier has been on antibiotic for 2 day for Kennel cough, they told me that if I decide to get him that he is as is. I get “no” 1 free visit to the vet cause he is sick,” no” refund, and “no” exchange, as well cause I took him as being sick I would have to find my own way to get him neutered? What?? I never heard of anything like that! You would think that the dog shelter would help you help them get a sick dog some help, and a loving family.
Does that seem normal? I need advise.

David Labor March 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm

This is a great guide to adopting a rescue dog. It should be a “must read” for anyone who is considering adopting. There are a lot of things that some people do not take into consideration before they adopt. I am guilty of that myself. I didn’t adopt my dog named Baby from a shelter. She followed me home. She was a stray. She was a mixed breed, part Border Collie and very high energy. She could walk for miles and never tire out. I didn’t have the energy to keep up with her but I kept her because I didn’t want to turn her into a shelter where she could be euthanized. I did my best. Now, I adopt Japanese Chins. They can get enough exercise just running around the house. So far, I’ve rescued 5 chins, 2 of which were rescued from puppy mills. I love to help the homeless and needy dogs. I’m not afraid to adopt an older dog either.

windows 7 help and support December 20, 2012 at 4:18 am

I am planning on adopting a dog from foster care. I would like to adopt dogs which are small and cute like the Pomeranian or the dash hunt or Chinese Pug. Oh Pug! I love that dog… small round cute eyes and the wrinkles. Most probably I will be adopting a pug. Guys, if you have any opinions, feel free to suggest one.

ADMIN – Hi Anna, We also love Chinese Pugs. We do not see any reason to recommend another breed. Good luck!

Debby December 13, 2012 at 1:07 am

Can you please advise, I am conflicted with the decision to find a friend for my dog a 4 year old lab poodle cross. I struggle daily, trying to ensure that I can provide a good day for my little dog. I worry on the days that I cannot take him with me that he is lonely,he defiantly look sad when I have to leave him at home alone. I have been searching for a rescue dog about the same age to keep him company but struggle with how find the right match. Obviously i know they would have to meet first but things are very different when I bring another dog into my dogs environment. Thanks for any insight.

ADMIN – Hi Debby, make sure to only put your lab mix up for adoption through a safe place where you can make sure that your dog will find a loving family. Please your local SPCA for options in your area. Make sure to avoid sites like Craigslist. Predators pick up dogs from there. Good luck to you both.

Wireless Dog Fence May 5, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Great book. I had a chance to read it and have recommended it to my followers.

Walter Hennings April 24, 2012 at 3:32 am

Dogs are sociable animals that MUST interact with their human owners and family. They cannot and should not be stuck in a backyard on a chain. Dogs crave human or canine companionship the same as we do. Sometimes, I ask myself what dog should I get? I have grown really fond of shepherds and want to get shepherds dog because I think it isn’t good to have shepherds for sport only.

Allene April 10, 2012 at 11:15 am

Hello, I adopted a Shih Tzu from a local shelter and was told she healthy and had a complete vet check, shots, and was spayed days previously. I asked if she should be wearing a collar to protect the stitches and was told no, not needed. The next day the dogs stitches were coming out and the site was oozing. Plus she had fleas and was constantly scratching her ears. I took her to the vet and the ears had to be flushed and she had to be put on ear drops and an antibiotic for the infection at the spay site. Eyes were icky and funky asked about those, said it smelled, nothing. Vet gave another flea treatment Two days later, noticed blood on her after she urinated, called the vet, said to keep eye on it and let clavamox work, give it a few days. Gave it a few days, Still there, vet asked for urine and fecal sample. Dog is still very lethargic, sleeping. She has whip worms. We have no other dogs. Had them look at eyes again, has eye infection. Has crystals in urine too. Vet gave eye drops and prescription for hills c/d dog food. Also worming medicine. Shouldn’t this all have been taken care of before I got her? She just had puppies and I am thinking she has been sick for a long time. Now her eyes have a red stain from eyes to jowl, and they still bother her. She also is still very itchy, constantly scratching and itching.

ADMIN – Hi Allene,

Seems like when you adopted her she was quite sick and you are doing a great job working with your vet to get her back into good shape. If you want to keep her, I would continue to work with your vet to get these new symptoms diagnosed and treated – they could well be related to her other health problems. If you think this is too much for you, get in contact with your shelter and in all likelihood, they will take her back. In either case, I would let the shelter know – any good shelter would want to know that you had this experience so they can see if there is anything they need to change in their procedures to avoid this happening in future. The shelter may also have resources available to help you work through these health issues if you are keeping her.

maincatdog February 4, 2012 at 3:15 am

It is probably important when listing expected fees before adopting that training will cost much more than the $35 suggested. And on that note, grooming expenses are determined upon breed type. My dog, a golden mix need regular grooming and it costs approximately $80.00 every 8-12 weeks.

ADMIN – Hi Main-Cat-Dog,

Agreed, costs can be much higher. The numbers here are just the average pet owners spent over the course of a year.

Bonnie January 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm

LOL—you need to UP the ante on EVERYTHING–that being said-nothing more wonderful then giving a “furever” home to one or more fur babies….there is much truth in the car magnet “WHO RESCUED WHO”

Narolin Acosta December 31, 2011 at 1:51 am

I am really interested in adopting a little puppy I really would like to know how I could do that. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.

ADMIN – Hi Narolin,

I would start by thinking about what kind of dog would be most compatible with your lifestyle and for whom you could provide a good home. Then I would get in contact with some local shelters or local breed associations that can help you locate a pup.

Holly Crocker December 29, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Great information thank you!

Ginn Moore-Bradley November 14, 2011 at 9:45 am

Diane Ellis referred me to you about surrendering a pug. My mother-in-law has a 2 yr old male pug that she can’t keep. His name is Oscar, he’s up to date on all of his shots and he’s been neutered. We would like to surrender Oscar this week if possible. Diane said that she would foster Oscar until he is adopted. Please call me at 316-0630 if you have any questions. I appreciate your help.


Kayla November 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Useful e-book. Be aware there’s a typo on training costs! Not $35. Probably at least $350/year. Los Angeles Trainer/ behaviorist cost $55-$175/hour for a private session and over $100 for a six week course. Dog needed obedience and agility classes. Even after reading a handfull of books, the need for a trainer was urgent and immediate since we didn’t have prior dog training experience and he was a high energy puppy.

ADMIN – Hi Kayla,

Thanks for the feeback. Glad you liked the book. The $35 is the average amount dog owners spend on training per year. We agree with you that the figure is low. We think most dog owners would be better served spending a lot more (time and money) on training, particularly in the early years. As you mentioned the cost of training varies tremendously, from more expensive private sessions, to less expensive group sessions. Note that some dog clubs run free or very inexpensive group training sessions.

Donna Loveall September 9, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Our little shelter dog we called mixed bred we found in the dog book as miniture doverman pincher. Glad I didn’t know would have been afraid to adopt her with my two cats. However, they get along great and she is so sweet. At first she didn’t like my husband much, now she follows him everywhere. We have a big yard all fenced for her to run in so she gets plenty of exercise. I was afraid of training her since we are getting up in age. I just turned 67 so felt I would possissiblely have 12 years left. But felt she may not be adopted since she wasn’t a puppy. She has learned to go outside to do her business. She has already won us over she is so affectionate.

Bonnie Paiva March 22, 2011 at 10:10 am

Great book! I think the cost of “training” should be closer to $350 than $35. Classes are expensive, but worth every penny for both dog and owner.

Cara Long February 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Thank you for your efforts for so many animals. Your book is a wonderful resource for adoptive parents. Thanks again for all the love. .

Admin – Hi Cara

Thank you, we appreciate the support.

Rachel February 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Great information! We just adopted our first shelter dog; a puppy that was dropped off for being “wild and out of control”. It ends up that she just needed some consistent training and a lot of exercise and she is now making a really good pet for our family. I wish more people would realize that dogs need to be properly trained and if they aren’t willing to do it, they shouldn’t get a dog.

Admin – Rachel

Good for you, adopting a dog that simply needed the right home. And I agree, it takes the right person and the right training. Pets require some commitment. January 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Great Book- very helpful information- wish everyone would read before adopting OR before purchasing a dog! May keep some dogs out of the shelters! Thank you-
Southern Shih Tzu and Toy Breed Rescue- AL

Frieda Perry October 31, 2010 at 8:32 am

Our shelter would love to receive some free books. Is this something you can supply in quantity? If not, it would be helpful if you could send us 6 or 12. We will put the book on our website as a helpful resource. You can find our mailing address under “contact us” on our website.

Thank you for helping us in this regard.
Frieda Perry
Yarmouth SPCA

ADMIN – Hi Frieda,

We will reach out to you to follow up.

Mary Evans September 22, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I enjoyed this ebook very much! It is something that can be very useful for a first time adopter of shelter dogs. Shelter dogs are not the same as the cute little dogs in the window and do require some extra thought when adopting. They deserve a separate book about approach in bringing them successfully into your home.

This is not to say they are not the BEST choice in pets. In my experience, most of these guys are so happy to be out of the shelter and into a home again…they are more than loving to their new forever parents!

Thank you for gathering the info and putting it all in an ebook for distribution. I will refer my new adopters to this ebook!

Mary Evans

PAWS-Kuwait August 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Thanks for great book. We incorporated into our web page related to dog adoption. Best wishes from the PAWS-Kuwait Team

ADMIN – Hi Paws-Kuwait,

You’re welcome and thank you for the support!

Dogs & Cats Family Rescue August 12, 2010 at 3:07 am


We wanted to thank you for the book. We think it is absolutely great. That’s why we decided to make also a page on our website to try and promote this book. Wish you keep up the good work.

ADMIN – Hello Dogs & Cats Family Rescue,

Thanks for the feedback!

Cindy July 30, 2010 at 2:31 am

Thank you so much for your wisdom on adopting a shelter dog and sharing it with others. Adopting my shelter dog has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I am thankful every day for this awesome little guy.
He was listed as a bite dog and not adoptable. He was defiantly labeled wrong. He has been the sweetest and most loving pet ever.
Thank god we were able to get him.
We LOVE him dearly and he now has his furever home.
I will share the wisdom I have learned from you book with others.
You are the best :}
God bless,

Australian Cattle Dog Rescue July 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

I read through some of this book and there is some useful information and advice. I would like to point out a couple of issues re statements made about between links breed to temperament. This is a key misconception which is at the heart of poor choices and people giving up on their dogs – the idea that the dogs temperament is genetic. Temperament interpreted by mainstream prospective and existing dog owners is most likely to mean personality and ability to learn. Not only is there no scientific evidence to substantiate such a claim it is extremely damaging because it suggests that if an owner is struggling with their dog that this is the dogs fault because of its breed. This myth is perpetuated by vets and yet veterinary science does not include a specialisation in genetics. This common myth is a market differentiation tool used by dog breeders and accepted without question by many in the veterinary community.

One thing is clear from our experience and that is that no matter what the dog looks like as members of the same species dogs have variations on the same basic needs and if their owners do not develop the leadership skills to provide for these needs they will become insecure and over time some will develop more serious behavioural issues not of their own making. The second misleading statement connected to the first is the idea that dogs wind up in shelters because there is something wrong with them. This is simply not true. All these dogs began as pups in the homes of people who did not satisfy their basic needs. As for dogs in pounds and shelters a minute percentage have genuine behavioural issues which are resolvable the rest only need disciplined walking everyday and a structured home environment.

We reccomend Cesar Milan to our clients and we provide 2 week structured programs on how to communicate with your dog. I have personally rescued and rehomed over 800 dogs of a variety of breeds and ages some arrived with more serious problems which required rehabilitation but most had garden variety stress problems related to having been ignored and taught nothing. Dog behaviour is not about how the dog looks it is about the skills of the human making the decisions.


ADMIN – Hi Alice,

Thanks for the comment, we appreciate hearing your point of view.

As you rightly point out some of the observed differences between breeds is due to owners treating a Pitbull different to say a Westie. But we side with the mainstream veterinary community and think there is probably a genetic component too. To give an uncontroversial example, herding dogs (e.g. Aussies) tend to be very active and many exhibit herding behavior such as bumping up against children to group them closer together. This kind of difference seems to be something bred into the dog rather than something taught. Few suburban owners of Australian Shepherds teach their dog to herding children. And, few non-herding dogs (e.g. labs) do this kind of instinctive hearding. We think it is likely genetics, but it is definitely possible that we are wrong.

Completely agree with you on the importance of training. We like Caesar Milan’s books as well.

Northern Plains Boxer Rescue July 13, 2010 at 8:58 am

Thank you so much for the time and effort you expended in putting together this much needed resource. Offering it free to potential adopters is an added bonus. We will link to our website as well.

Freeport Animal Shelter July 6, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Thank you for this wonderful book. We have posted it on our website for all our potential rescuers to see. We appreciate you time and effort..woof! 🙂

BullyWag, Inc. July 5, 2010 at 5:40 am

Thank you so much for this information. Hopefully a lot of people/potential rescuers will take advantage of having it available.

Beagles & Buddies - Hound Dawg Rescue July 1, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Excellent! Why didn’t someone think of this sooner. What a wonderful helpful book. Thank you so very very much, that you took the time and effort to help these shelter/rescue dogs.

S.H.A.I.D. Tree Animal Shelter June 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm

We wanted to thank you for ebook. It has already proven itself to be a very helpful resource for our shelter. We have gotten a couple of comments from people at the shelter praising it, and just today two dog-parents-to-be were in telling us how wonderful the book has been to help them prepare for their new pet’s arrival. Shelter dogs everywhere who are entering their new homes will be so thankful to you for providing this resource to help ensure that the homes are forever. Thanks, again!

Walt June 6, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Really helpful book! Thanks for making this available. I will be adopting a lab mix this week and found it really useful. I think I am ready, wish me luck.

Leave a Comment