Adopting a dog from the shelter is one of the greatest and coolest things you can do. Not only do you save a dog’s life, but you are also giving that dog a second chance and an opportunity to have a good life worth living.
Of course, it’s always easier to buy a new puppy from a reputable breeder and train him according to your needs and requirements. However, adopting a dog bring certain risks and issues. Some dogs have suffered immensely, gone through torture, mistreatment, and abuse. Some dogs were simply abandoned by their owners, while some dogs have behavioral issues.
Of course, all these factors leave emotional scars that are hard to treat and overcome. Therefore, it takes a special kind of owner to care for these dogs and give them a new chance. Luckily, the world still has enough of these angels to help our abandoned and mistreated furry friends.
Why Do Dogs End Up In A Shelter?
You may think that most of the dogs that end up in a shelter are there because of their bad behavior or aggression. However, this is not the case. In fact, most dogs end up in shelters when their owners are moving or changing cities and can’t bring them due to pet restrictions or unfavorable legislation.
However, the behavior still plays a role, but it’s far from the top cause of returning the dogs to shelter.
What Is The Most Common Breed Found In Dog Shelters?
The most common dog breed found in shelters is Pit Bull Terrier. Bad reputation and stereotypes paint the picture of aggressive and dangerous dogs, but the Pit Bull Terriers in an unenviable situation.
Studies have shown that aggression is not a breed-specific characteristic and that Pit Bull Terriers are actually less aggressive than Chihuahuas. However, it’s quite hard to fight stereotypes and change mainstream opinion. As a consequence Pit Bull Terriers are viewed as dangerous, aggressive, and bad dogs.
What To Expect When You Adopt A Dog From Shelter?
The first thing you need to understand is that the dog from the shelter has been through a lot. So, any new change in environment or daily routine can really stress them out.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance to take it easy. A dog from a shelter may be shy or scared. This is normal behavior, a dog needs some time to get used to the new environment and new family members.
You need to make that transition period as easy and stress-free as possible. Show affection, love, and be kind, but don’t constantly shower your dog with love as that can scare him even more. Respect his pace and do everything to make him feel safe and comfortable.
Also, notify other family members, especially kids how to treat your dog.
Ask Questions About The Dog
Before you adopt a dog from the shelter ask the staff questions about that dog.
- Why did the dog end up at the shelter?
- Was there any abuse or mistreatment by previous owners?
- How does he behave around other dogs?
- Is there a history of aggressive behavior?
- What food was dog eating in the shelter?
What Not To Do?
Don’t change the dog’s food too fast to avoid stomach upsets. Check with the shelter staff if your dog has any food allergies, to prevent any unnecessary issues.
It’s understandable that you want to make your shelter dog feel loved again. However, don’t overdo snuggles, kisses, and hugs as your dog may develop separation anxiety.
To prevent this from happening leave the room for a few minutes several times a day. Don’t make a big fuss about leaving the room and coming back in, act normally and don’t pay attention nor greet your dog. By doing this your dog will get accustomed to you leaving, but it will also know that you always come back.
You probably want to show off your new dog to friends and neighbors, and take him for a walk or in the dog park to make new friends. However, this is not a good practice. Wait until your dog completely settles and feels comfortable and confident in your home before introducing him to other people, dogs, and animals.
Do Shelters Put Down Dogs That Don’t Get Adopted?
There are two types of shelter, kill and no-kill shelters. Kill shelters will euthanize aggressive dogs and dogs no one wants to adopt. On the other hand, no-kill shelters try to save every animal.
Therefore, if your dog ends up in a kill shelter and doesn’t get adopted within 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be euthanized. However, some dogs that are of desirable breed and good behavior will be spared, but not for long.