It is a noble cause to adopt a rescue dog. But one thing that you need to keep in mind is that the doggie selected needs to match your lifestyle. One important determining factor when adopting a dog is the temperament. Remember different dog breeds have different temperaments and so it becomes very difficult to gauge the true nature of the pooch when you first see him in a shelter house. Getting a rescue dog has various positives, but it also means that the pooch will come with a baggage so it is very important to access the doggie’s temperament and behavior before taking the final call.
- Observe the doggie from a distance and see whether he appears aloof to other passing by or friendly?
- Get near the pooch with a neutral behavior – don’t smile or speak with him and try to approach from the side. Observe whether the dog approaches you and the reaction he gives.
- Then alternatively approach the tyke by giving a big smile and a happy greeting and see his reaction.
- Monitor how the shelter worker or a volunteer walks the doggie on a leash and see how much attention the pooch is paying to the current handler. This will give you an idea of whether the tyke is good at following the orders or not.
- Locate an area to sit with the tyke alone and spend some quiet time without the leash. Observe the number of times the doggie comes back to visit you. This will give you an idea of whether you can build a great camaraderie with the pooch.
- Run your hands all over the dog. If he is ok with it examine his ears, mouth and even his paws. If he feels uncomfortable get away from him. This will give you an idea about the receptivity of the dog when he is handled.
- Give treat to the pooch and see whether he grabs it or takes it gently. If he forcefully grabs it, ask him to be gentle the next time. Then hold another treat and refuse to give it to him until he gently takes it from the mouth. If he does not understand the notion of being gentle it will be very difficult to manage him in front of children or cats.
- If you have taken the decision of adopting the dog, take your entire family along with children to visit the doggie. If he does not react positively to the children, then it shows his lack of social skills with children in which case you should think again before adopting him.
- In case you have another pet in the house, observe the tyke’s behavior in front of other pets and also inquire from the shelter employees whether they have evaluated his temperament with other animals.
After close observations you will get a brief overview of the dog’s temperament, although it may not be 100% foolproof. Remember, adopting an adult rescue dog requires as much, in fact, more work than adopting a puppy. It is a full-time commitment to work with the doggie and make him conversant with the new role in the family. Once you spend some time with him you will come to know about his behavior and then set your expectations accordingly.
Note: Once you see the true personality of the rescue dog he will be more acceptable to you in the role of your companion and friend.
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