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Removing Unwanted Pet Hair from Your Dog

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Introducing Dogs to Each Other

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Recommended Reading Before Adopting a Dog

Successful Dog Adoption by Sue Sternberg

The Chosen Puppy: How to Select and Raise a Great Puppy from an Animal Shelter by Carol Lea Benjamin

JAVA: The True Story of a Shelter Dog Who Rescued a Woman by Stacy J. Lewis

The Adoption Option: Choosing and Raising the Shelter Dog for You by Eliza Rubenstein

Choosing & Caring for a Shelter Dog: A Complete Guide to Help You Rescue & Rehome a Dog by Bob Christiansen

Please consider these additional expenses that may be incurred with the adoption of a new pet:

  • Yearly vaccinations an check-ups

  • Obedience classes

  • Emergency veterinary care

  • Flea control

  • Boarding

  • Grooming

  • Worming

  • Food

  • Toys

  • Beds

 

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What to Expect When You Adopt A Dog
Bringing a dog into your family is a big decision, whether you buy a puppy from a (reputable) breeder, or go to your local shelter and pick a dog to adopt. Here is a list of things you should be ready to expect when you bring a shelter dog home:

Whining/barking
Your new dog has just come into a new environment, and is used to having lots of other dogs around her. She may spend the first few nights calling out to see if any other dogs answer, or call out to you because she is anxious. Although it is important not to give attention to a barking dog, you may want to avoid the scenario slightly by letting her sleep in a crate placed where she can see you for the first few nights and gradually move the crate to wherever you want her to spend her nights once she has gotten used to her new home.

Toilet Training Accidents
Even a housetrained dog may need a refresher course when introduced to a new home (this is also the case when you move house with an existing dog - all the strange smells can cause a temporary 'lapse'). Do not let your new dog have the run of the house straight away. This will help her tune in to her new surroundings.

Nervous Behavior
Are you spotting a theme here? Most of the issues your new dog will face will be due to a change in surroundings! The key is to give the dog a little time and not too much fuss at first. Shelters will usually suggest that you do not feed your dog for the first 24 hours after bringing her home to avoid her being sick or having diarrhea through the stress.

None of this information is here to scare you or put you off getting a shelter dog. You are still likely to have less problems bringing in a shelter dog than you are a puppy that has just been separated from her mom, brothers and sisters. Just be aware of what to expect and you will be fine.
Which Dog Is Right For You?

How to choose the best companion:

* Do you have a busy schedule or long hours?
Puppies and young dogs require a lot of time and attention. Puppies can hold their bladders only 4 or 5 hours. Young dogs and even older dogs of active breeds require lots of exercise every day or behavioral problems will arise. A more mature, calmer dog will be a better choice.

* Do you have children under 12 or 14? Getting a dog is like adding another child to your household. And a puppy is even harder. Many families find that with the demands of raising children and driving them to various activities, they don't have time to housebreak or train a puppy. And soon the little puppy becomes a big dog jumping on children and guests, begging for attention, and even getting into trouble. Obedience training is recommended for every household member, so everyone is practicing the same techniques (consistent practice is the key to training). We strongly recommend families consider a more mature dog whose size and temperament is known. A dog who seems happy, active, likes to be touched, and is not sensitive to handling and noise is typically a good choice for homes with children.

* If you want a puppy, why? No matter how adorable, all puppies grow up, and grow quickly. A cute, sweet little puppy can become a rough and difficult dog if not given consistent, effective obedience training. Being good with children is highly dependent on the breed, temperament and practicing good obedience training. If you have a busy household, a puppy is not the best choice. Puppies require more supervision and training, especially for discouraging common behavior such as jumping, chewing and nipping.

* What size is right for you? If you have children in the home, tiny breeds are a poor choice, since children can accidentally hurt the dog, and many small breeds are naturally wary of children. Choose a dog with whom the children can safely play. And size does not indicate energy level; some small boisterous terriers seem to take up more room and time than a large calm dog. If you live in an apartment or condo, look for a reasonably quiet dog -- and practice techniques for avoiding separation anxiety from day one. (A dog with separation anxiety will often howl and bark, as well as destroy things out of fear, when left alone.)

* What about fur? Regardless of size, certain breeds require more grooming. And if you have allergies, think twice about getting a dog. While many believe that a dog who sheds less will be easier on allergies, the allergic reactions are triggered by dander and urine. Many people with allergies do fine with their dogs, but it helps to keep the house vacuumed, keep pets off your bed, use dander neutralizers on the fur, and to wash hands after petting the dog.
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