Adopting a Former Stray Dog

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
3014 posts
Sugar bee

@trainergirl:  small dogs and kids don’t generally mix. Also this dog sounds older, which may be nice for gram but also not great for kids. 

Post # 4
Hostess
11469 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@trainergirl:  Almost all stray/abadoned/shelter dogs are food agressive, this isn’t a big deal and can easily be addressed. This is especially true if this will be the only dog in the actual household. A sticking point would be to ensure that the dogs eats on a schedule, do not free feed a food agressive dog.

I highly doubt this dog is 2-4 years old, I’m going to guess between 8-10 or so based on cataracts and tooth decay. Just a guess of course. Cataracts and tooth decay are to be expected of senior dogs, especially those without constant care. Tooth decay can be dealt with by a dental cleaning and possible extractions which will likely cost about $500 estimate, can be more depending on the number of extractions. Cataracts are another issue that I haven’t had to deal with as of yet but they are not a deal breaker, just means the dog has difficulties seeing that’s all.

Senior dogs are awesome and they are worth every bit of love and effort you put into them. If you grandma is willing to work with the dog regarding his feeding schedule and health issues I definitely think she should adopt him. Socialization with the other dogs and the kids will help him come out of his shell, just be sure that grandma is comfortable being the authority figure to set boundaries. This should be true of ANY dog she adopts.

 

 

Post # 5
Member
812 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo

@trainergirl:  Has the rescue had him around kids and other dogs? They should be able to tell you how he reacts. A reputable rescue will “test” dogs around kids, other animals, etc. They should also be able to tell you what they mean by food aggressive–like does he just not want someone near him when he’s eating, is he ok with people but not other dogs, etc etc. Dogs can have similar “issues” but very different reactions in different degrees, so it’s hard to generalize. I would recommend asking the rescue these questions–if they cannot tell you that’s a red flag and I would find another group. I’ve always had rescue dogs, nearly always rescued as adults, and being a stray doesn’t immediately mean a dog is a problem. It just means you want to ask some questions (and maybe see if they will do a trial visit) before your grandma commits. Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

A member of my family and her husband adopted a former stray from Battersea Dogs’ Home in London. He’d been on the streets for a few weeks before being picked up and while a nice dog in many ways, he has been a real handful so far as territoriality and aggression about food. He’s bitten at least one member of the family because she inadvertently stood too near to his bowl (which the dog himself had hidden under a chair) and is not entirely safe with visitors. They have had him for about 10 years now and despite consulting a good dog behaviourist and being experienced dog owners themselves, it has been very difficult to overcome the damage done by him being abandoned and living as a stray. It’s such a shame because underneath all this is a fine dog.

I would be very wary of recommending a dog with similar behaviour to an elderly person and I’d also avoid a Yorkshire Terrier with the health problems you describe. Your grandma is going to be spending an awful lot of time at the vet. Also, while Yorkies can be very cute and certainly fit the small dog requirement, they can be on the snappy side and I’d want to be a deal more sure of the background of one before recommending the breed to someone who may well not wish to do a lot of training. 

It might be useful to see if the rescue will allow a home visit so that your grandma can get to know the dog first before committing to taking him on.

 

Post # 7
Member
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

@Treejewel19:  Just FYI I also live in the Bay Area (Berkeley/Emeryville) and tooth cleanings were $650-900, and extractions with that started at around $1100, and that’s with us calling every vet in a 30 minute drive radius to get pricing. Maybe it’s a bit cheaper up in Sonoma, but I just wanted the OP to know that it can get vastly more expensive on the tooth front. Our rescue dog (5 years old) needed a toothe extracted and a thorough cleaning and it was $1100.

Post # 8
Hostess
11469 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@crayfish:  Many vets offer a dental cleaning month, I know of four in the Marin/Sonoma area. There is typically one early in the year and later towards the fall. This is when we got and it is $500 for teeth cleaning, more for additional extractions. We just had it done in March.

Yes, otherwise it would be MUCH more expensive. Humane Socities are also slightly cheaper as well if you have one nearby. We have two and both were cheaper than the normal vet pricing.

Post # 9
Member
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Small breed dogs are notorious for having dragon mouths. You have to be diligent about oral care both at home and with the vet.

Are they sure he has cataracts? Is he blind? If he is not blind and his lenses are a smokey blue colour instead of white it is probably nuclear sclerosis. Many people confuse nuclear sclerosis for cataracts, but it is a normal aging change that starts around 7 years old and doesn’t cause blindness. Sounds like this dog is much older than what the rescue is estimating.

Post # 12
Member
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I would personally hold off on this specific dog. Are you in a place where small dogs in need of homes are a rarity?

I would wait for a dog that is the correct age (agree with a PP- caracts and teeth problems are evidence of a dog much older than 2-4), a less yappy and high maintenance breed (or perhaps a small mutt), and one that has lived in a house before.

Food agression can be extremely difficult to train out of a dog. My family had a food agressive cocker spaniel growing up. She was the runt of her litter so she had lifelong food agression problems, and it was impossible to break her of them. She had to be fed by herself, twice a day, in a closed off space. We put the food in, opened the door, let her finish, opened the door, then closed it again with her out of the room because if she came back in and saw you touching her bowl she would snap and attack. It was so shitty, not to mention dangerous! If a kid is around that can be very bad news.

After she passed away, we got a mutt from a lady who lived down the street from us. This dog is the sweetest, most friendly amazing dog. Zero agression and not an unkind bone in her body. She has originally owned by a couple who then divorced and neither wanted the dog.

The right dog is out there, and it’s better than this yorkie!

Post # 15
Member
812 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo

@trainergirl:  We have a dog who was so traumatized by whatever happened to him before that he’s terrified of new people. He barks, growls, does anything he can to scare them away. He’d never hurt anyone though, he’s just trying to scare them off. My parents’ dog bit a kid when they first got him–he’s better now, but it took a lot of training and working with him. And I agree with PPs, that kind of health issues, particularly the eyes, might mean he’s much older than your grandmother thinks. Random: has she thought of a slightly larger dog. Like 30-40 pounds, nothing so big it’ll pull her down or anything. Larger dogs tend (this is a huge generalization) to be calmer and more passive/lazy as they get older. Fewer Napolean complex issues or something. 🙂

I feel your pain. I can’t go to shelters because I leave sobbing guilty tears that I can’t take everyone home with me. One current furball came from a foster mom off Craig’s List, the other was a friend’s.

Post # 16
Member
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@trainergirl:  Dragon mouth is just what I call really rotten, horrid smelling teeth. The worst mouths I see are always toy breeds. Obviously a lot of tooth problems come from lack of preventative care (brushing or appropriate chew toys) but toy breeds in general are prone to very bad dental disease.

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