Archive for the ‘Dog Adoption’ Category

How To Keep Your Shelter Labrador Retriever Happy

Gemma | December 27th, 2005
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The old saying that a tired dog is a good dog never applied to any breed more than the adolescent Labrador Retriever. Labs need so much exercise! This is especially true when they are young adults.

They are not a couch potato breed, but they will calm down after a good 40 minutes or so of vigorous aerobic exercise. This is why dog parks were invented!

All young Labrador Retrievers have energy to spare, but Labs confined to shelters for long periods may be in dire need of some serious cardiovascular activity to burn off excessive energy. Most Labs at these shelters aren’t getting enough exercise at all.

Labs are bred to go through the woods and marshes and get that duck again and again and again all day long. This is an extremely active, high-energy dog and if you bring it into a sedentary lifestyle, it’s not a good fit.

Putting a Labrador Retriever in a fenced yard or taking the dog for a walk around the block isn’t enough. This dog’s exercise has to be heavy cardiovascular and it has to wear them out to the point of fatigue.

Finding sufficient outlets for your shelter Lab’s energy can make a huge difference in behavior around the house. Dog-daycare programs and professional pet sitters can offer exercise opportunities during the work day, but even without paying a penny to a professional, you can exercise your Lab by organizing play dates.

Nothing tires out an adolescent dog like another adolescent dog. Meet up with other dog people friends, neighbors or people you meet in obedience class and get your dogs together to channel that energy.

Invite them over for pizza or a backyard grill and turn the dogs loose. A lot of people become very good friends who get together for such dog-related activities. It’s an economical and fun alternative to an organized dog-daycare program.

After about 12 to 14 months, when a Labrador Retriever has finished growing strong bones, it can also begin more organized athletic activities, such as agility (a competitive obstacle course), or other higher-impact activities, such as jogging for long distances.

But never wait too long for obedience classes. This is a common mistake all too many dog owners make, and this goes especially for your newly adopted shelter Lab. Start bonding with it right away under the guidance of a professional, who can help you with strategies for introducing family members, other pets and dog-proofing your home. You’ll set a precedent for good behavior, and you’ll immediately begin building a relationship with your Lab.

Rules To Follow When Bringing Home Your Child’s First Puppy

Gemma | December 19th, 2004
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I can still remember the very first day that my Mom and Dad brought home a new puppy for my brothers and myself.

It was probably the most exciting day of my life and the very first time that I fell in love with my pet dog.

His name was Laddy and he became my very first best friend. That day happened almost 30 years ago.

Laddy is unfortunately not with us anymore, but the memory of my first puppy will live on forever.

Your Child’s First Puppy Memories

As you can tell, getting a dog was one of the fondest moments of my childhood and if you’re planning to offer the same joy and excitement for your child by giving him or her a new puppy, it will be a gift that you and your kids will never forget.

The day you present that adorable and loving pup to your children, the memory will be etched in their minds forever.

Teaching Your Children What To Expect When The Puppy Arrives

There is one word that can describe what it’s going to be like for your children as they are introduced to this sweet tiny puppy: Excitement!

All little boys and girls go absolutely crazy when they see a puppy somewhere out in town and since it is going to be their new puppy, you can guarantee this excitement to be magnified by 1000%

Your job is to ensure that your children can remain as calm as possible. Let them know that you understand how exciting it is when the new puppy gets home, but at the same time you must teach them that he is going to be extremely scared and nervous. A puppy will need some space so that he does not get overly frightened.

Teach your kids to avoid yelling and shouting. Let them know that all roughhousing and grabbing of the puppy is forbidden. In addition, declare an official rule that the siblings can not fight with each other in front of the puppy, ever.

The best way to go about this is to have a family meeting before you bring the dog home and make sure to go over all of the rules with your children. Have them repeat these rules until you’re confident that the kids can be trusted with the puppy so that he does not get harmed or frightened.

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Is It Possible To Adopt A Quality Puppy?

Gemma | January 25th, 2004
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Is it possible to find a quality puppy to adopt at your local animal shelter or breed rescue group?

Conventional wisdom says no, but representatives of both enterprises say that’s not always the case. In fact, many puppies are given up and not adopted for a while. For example, one pup named Tiger was dropped off at a local San Diego shelter when he was just 12 weeks old and is still waiting to be adopted. He is 8 months old now.

You can find a lovely puppy at a shelter. Some of these puppies come from backyard breeders or from people who find themselves saddled with oops! litters when an unexpected litter of puppies results when a female dog is impregnated by accident.

Still, the availability of puppies at a shelter or breed rescue group may depend on what breed is involved. Rescue groups rarely get puppies, let alone purebred Gold Retriever puppies, for example. In another group located in New York, there have only been three litters of puppies of the nearly 800 dogs that have been placed.

In any case, breed rescue groups and animal shelters have identical missions: To match homeless dogs with people who will love them and give them permanent homes.

Shelters generally accommodate all breeds and mixes. Many are run by local governments. Some have a policy of euthanizing dogs who are not claimed or adopted after a certain period of time; others will keep adoptable dogs indefinitely.

Generally, all adoptable dogs that come to a shelter are given health examinations and any immunizations needed, and may be spayed or neutered. Many shelters also perform special tests to determine what type of temperament a dog has, and some offer training programs to help increase a dog’s chances of being adopted.

Breed rescue groups focus on serving one breed or mixes in which that single breed predominates. Volunteers for these groups identify dogs in need, take them into their own homes for foster care, attend to their medical needs, and provide remedial training to help the dogs become more adoptable.

Typically, adoptable dogs remain with rescue groups until a permanent home is found. Sometimes, that permanent home turns out to be that of the foster care provider.

Often, shelters and rescue groups work together on a dog’s behalf. For example, if a dog’s time is running out at an animal shelter, staff workers there might contact a rescue group and ask if that group can provide foster care for the dog. Such cooperation literally can be a lifesaver for a dog who needs a little more time to find a forever home.