Top 13 Reasons to Think Twice Before Adopting a New Dog
1. You already have a dog who is unstable. Wait at least 1.5 years between dogs to adopt a second, and make sure dog #1 is stable and balanced before you bring in a second. Dog #1 will by default be the role model for dog #2, with #1 teaching #2 his/her temperament, habits, beliefs, behaviors.
When you adopt a 2nd dog, get the opposite sex to increase the likelihood of peaceful co-existence.
2. You are not going to be with your dog, or have him in the company of a pack leader, at least 90 percent of each and every day he is awake. Dogs are pack animals, they are not meant to be isolated and contained while owners are at work all day, grabbing a walk here and there to poo/pee while the owner lives his or her life. If you work and cannot afford to hire a dog walker or better, excursion service, DO NOT ADOPT A DOG. And NEVER LEAVE A DOG ALONE let alone crated for more than 4 hours at a time -- period. If you would routinely violate this, get a cat.
3. You are not willing to walk your dog and socialize him/her each and every day. Once or twice a week is not enough. Just like humans, dogs need to get out in the world every day, experience the positive mental and physical exercise of our surroundings, and return safely back home at the end.
4. You are not willing to give your dog rules, boundaries, structure and discipline as a way of living together daily. This is what love is for a dog. The human form of affection is for meeting your needs.
5. You intend to isolate and contain your dog inside your home on most days or even as a way of life. A big back yard is not heaven to a dog, it is a large boring bathroom.
6. You insist on prioritizing your selfish need for giving the dog coddling and humanizing over satisfying the dog's needs for first exercise, socialization and discipline, and only lastly affection. This leads to creating an unbalanced, unstable dog.
7. You insist on dumping your negative emotions of being rushed, stressed, tense, insecure, and pitying on your dog. You must wake up as dog's leader and provide him instead with calm assertive leadership energy every minute of every day. In the animal world, a leader never clocks off the job. Neither must you!
8. You insist on worrying about the past or projecting into the future instead of living in the minute as animals do. You make excuses based on the past plus the dog being abused, being young, or breed instead of focusing on the dog as animal #1 and canine #2. De-prioritize the breed and experiences as secondary.
9. You believe it is the job of the dog to protect you ahead of you protecting your dog. Dogs naturally know the cues and routines of home. Most will become protective in lieu of you having to teach them this. It is our job to protect dogs. It is not their job to protect us.
10. You are in grief over a past dog still. Wait for the grief to ebb, don't make new a replacement.
11. You cannot afford. Dogs are expensive with food, care in or outside of home when we're away, medical basics, nutritious food, unexpected surgeries, and more. You can be hit with bills of $2-5000 in medical very unexpectedly, while routine diets and sitting care costs quickly mount. If you are short on funds as a way of life, wait to adopt a dog until you are in a stable place. The number of owner surrendered nice pups at every shelter will break your heart. You do not want your dog to become one.
12. You're going to leave the dog outside/"in the back" largely unattended round the clock, only seeing him to "slop food" and not making him/her part of your family inside your home. Dogs are social animals and this is beyond inhumane. This is particularly important if you have other dogs "out back" who you are letting duke out on their own the pack hierarchy with blood and injuries resulting. It is your to set the rules with multiple dogs under your supervision whenever they are together.
13. No support system or back up. There are times when you are ill or injured, may even be out of work. If you are thinking of being a "pack of two," just know this is very risky and difficult. Just go to any animal shelter and see the sad, woeful older dogs to learn how prevalent this problem is.
We hope you can make it work, but appreciate the difficulty when you have no back-up and an emergency hits. This is something to think hard about in front of adopting without having a solid back up plan for your dog.
Adopt a Rescue ... "Take my leash, not my life."
"People who breed dogs and cats profit at animals’ expense. There is no such thing as a “responsible” breeder, because for every puppy or kitten who is produced by any breeder, an animal awaiting adoption at an animal shelter loses his or her chance at finding a home—and will be euthanized. Breeders kill shelter animals’ chance to have a life. Since virtually no breeders require every puppy or kitten they sell to be spayed or neutered, these animals can soon have litters of their own, further exacerbating the overpopulation crisis and denying homes to animals who already need them. In fact, purebreds make up at least 25 percent of the dogs in animal shelters. Virtually any breed of dog can be found in a shelter or in a breed-rescue group. Petfinder.com is a great resource." - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals