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Article Title:
==============
7 Dog Adoption Tips I Learned From My 2 Dogs

Article Description:
====================
Adopting a dog? I'm not a veterinarian or a dog trainer, but 
I've enjoyed two successful adoptions. Here are some tips 
I've picked up along the way.


Additional Article Information:
===============================
503 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Tue Apr 18 02:39:45 EDT 2006

Written By:     Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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7 Dog Adoption Tips I Learned From My 2 Dogs
Copyright © 2006 Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Arf! Dog Health Comes Home
http://www.dog-health.org



Adopting a dog? You want a special dog, perhaps just a full-grown 
adult. Maybe your code of ethics calls for saving a dog's life -
not buying an expensive purebred.

I'm not a veterinarian or a dog trainer, but I've enjoyed two 
successful adoptions. Here are some tips I've picked up along 
the way.

(1) Clarify your requirements ahead of time.

Once you're standing in front of a cage, it's easy to say, "Well, 
he's a lot bigger than I expected, and I really wanted a female, 
but oh he's so cute!" No amount of love or training will help if 
your dog needs more exercise than you can provide.

(2) Consider a rescue group.

Most cities have humane societies where you can view dogs and 
choose your new friend. But if you're not finding your canine 
soulmate, consider rescue groups, which tend to be more loosely 
organized. Some focus on specific breeds ("corgi rescue") while 
others just supplement the local shelters.

Instead of shelters, rescue groups work with a loose network of 
volunteer foster homes - which is good, because you can ask the 
foster mom all sorts of questions. My dog's foster mom was able 
to assure me, "This dog lived with two cats so you know you can 
trust her."

(3) Be prepared to pay.

Shelter and rescue dogs are not free, but you do get value for 
money. Expect to pay a fee that may include spay/neuter costs, 
licensing, and/or veterinarian visits. 

(4) Consider an older dog.

By the time a dog has turned three or four, she's as big as she's 
going to get. No surprises! You'll also have clues regarding his 
temperament.

(5) Plan to confine the dog during a period of transition.

Your new dog doesn't get it. She was in a loving home (or left 
alone in a yard all day or even abused). Then she spent a few 
weeks in a cage, feeling lonely and isolated. Maybe she's been 
passed around to multiple homes.

Bottom line, she's stressed. She may chew, dig, bark, or even 
lose her house training the first few weeks. 

Crating the dog prevents destructive behavior. My adopted dogs 
both looked visibly relieved as they retreated to their crates 
every day. "Time to relax," they seemed to say.

(6) Invest in training.

Most dogs are turned over to the shelter because of behavior 
problems. If you're new to the world of dog behavior, take a 
class or hire a professional. Most behavior can be corrected, 
even among older dogs. But if you're not sure, ask a 
professional. Some behaviors can't be "fixed."

(7) Incorporate large doses of exercise and walks into your day.

A tired dog is a good dog. Walking together will help you bond in 
a new pack, but that's probably not enough. Most dogs need to run 
and jump at least three times a week. Begin immediately so you 
can gain a sense of how much exercise the dog needs - an 
important factor in the dog's adjustment.




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Dog Fanatic Cathy Goodwin wrote Arf! Dog Health Comes Home: 
Tips and resources to care for your sick, injured and senior 
dogs, based on her experience with her own dog. 
Download your copy at: http://www.dog-health.org


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