(Closed) Anyone adopted a rescue dog? Please come here!

posted 9 years ago in Pets
Post # 4
3076 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

@kayberry: I do breed rescue, have had about 20 dogs as foster dogs.

Mill dogs ARE very hard to potty train because they always urinated or pooped in their kennel. You can’tuse a crate to train them. That’s probably the biggest down side.

If you are up to coaxing a shy, sweet dog into living a full life with her own family, good for you!


Post # 6
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

i adopted both of my pomeranians. the first one was a puppy mill dog. she was very sweet and loving, but ended up having some health issues. we dealed with it though and i had to get her special food and give her medication everyday but she did very well. almost three years ago i adopted my second pomeranian and she was a total snot when i got her. she expected to be carried everywhere and wouldn’t listen at all. so, i just started training her like she was a puppy. crate trained her and had to re-potty train her. took some time but now she is in with the normal routine of the household. unforunately i don’t have my first pom (she was killed by a pit bull two years ago) but my Fiance and i got a lab and they are best friends!  Good luck! I love the feeling knowing that i gave an abandoned animal a second chance at a good life!

Post # 8
26 posts
  • Wedding: October 2013

I love my mutt pup! He was from a at-home breeder whose schnouzer bitch got tained so now she produces random mutts so they threw her and the pups out.


Usually adopted dogs take time to adjust. Really thinking about it. Its just like buying it from Petsmart since they are usually mill pups too. PATIENCE IS KEY! When I got Kodes I sat down with him for extended periods of time establishing rules and communication cues.When we got him he was very food aggressive so I had to hand feed him all of his meals until he got over it and recognized me as his master and not his competition. He’s my best friend today, listens extrodinarily well, and we coexist very well.

Post # 9
26 posts
  • Wedding: October 2013

Like petsmart but we all know better than to support the production and distribution of dogs through mills and other terrible living conditions.


Post # 10
1218 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@spaglitter:  PetsMart has a really firm policy AGAINST selling dogs – they in fact encourage adoption and allow humane societies, shelters, etc to show their adoptable dogs there. They give thousands upon thousands of dollars to homeless animal charities each year. Sorry, but this is misinformation you’re spreading. I used to be a trainer for them.


View original reply
@kayberry:  We have a rescue who was never a mill pup, but my parents have two rescued mill mamas 🙂 One of them warmed up right away, the other has been coming around slowly over the last year and jumped right up in my lap for the first time this week! However, I believe she warmed to my parents quickly. Potty training was an issue for the one who warmed up quickly, but the shy one got it right away. I think love and patience are the key! Thank you for saving her 🙂

Post # 11
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I adopted Bailey, a german shepherd/chow chow mix, a few years ago, she was a puppy mill dog (with the tattoo to prove it…my little badass) and was also abused at the home she was in before I got her from the SPCA. Needless to say…she was quirky. Still is, 3 years later. But I love her more than anything in the world and it’s been entirely worth it.

We also adopted Charlie just two weeks ago, she’s a 1yr old lab/pit mix. She’s had a few issues with potty training, but we’re working with her and she has been adapting beautifully. I’ve never had a dog that just freaking LOVED PEOPLE so much. Like you, we got her through a rescue organization that operates solely through fosters, and they have been a godsend. We’ve called them a few times with questions (is this normal? Did she always do this? etc) and asked for suggestions for trainers and they’ve been great. Rescue orgs are the best!

Have a lot of patience with your new little girl, she’s been through a lot and it will take time for her to be comfortable with you. And don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it!

ETA pictures because I love these ladies:



Post # 12
1213 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013


We adopted our dog who was just a day earlier rescued from a kill shelter where she was scheduled to be put to sleep. She was only 4 months old and wasn’t housetrained at all – she had pretty much spent her entire life outside.

We didn’t know it until later because she never showed any signs that she wasn’t feeling well until the day after we got her home. We tried leaving her in the bathroom overnight the first night with a bed and everything so she didnt get overwhelmed but she was crying so we let her into our room instead and shut our bedroom door. She stopped crying but started itching up a storm for hours. So the next morning we took her to the vet – found out she had worms, intestinal parasites, fleas, many ticks, and a bad ear infection. A few hundred dollars later…. We had to spray down our apartment because of the fleas and she was on antibiotics for weeks. A few days after that first vet appointment – She was acting very lethargic and she didn’t move at all for hours…. not even for food. We slept on the floor in the living room with her that night and took her to the vet first thing in the morning – they tested her for Parvo and successfully scared me half to death but thank God that came up negative – and they said she had Kennel cough most likely from her time at the kill shelter before she was rescued. Another dose of antibiotics. It took a few weeks to get her feeling healthy again but she is now healthy and happy. She warmed up to us very quickly and quickly learned to love us just as much as we love her. She’s now such a cuddle bug and the best thing to EVER happen to ME!

She was the one who rescued me. She’s my entire life and I don’t know what i’d do without her. I am 100% in favor or adopting rescue dogs. Theres so many dogs out there that all they need is someone to care for them and love them.

Post # 13
1338 posts
Bumble bee

@spaglitter:  I don’t believe Petsmart sells dogs. They do have adoption events, however.


OP, if you want a good dog forum I’d suggest Dogster! They will answer any questions with amazing expertise. I can’t tell you how helpful it was for me as a fist time dog owner with a special needs dog.

You’ll need a lot of love, patience, and positive reinforcement, but I think you’ll do just fine.

Post # 14
280 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I could have written this exact post about my dog Callie (chihuahua).  We adopted her 1.5 years ago.  She too was born in a puppy mill where she stayed and had two litters at a very young age before they discarded her at a shelter because the puppies she was producing were too big.  She lived in a cage her whole life before went to her foster mom.  She was terrified of pretty much all people, especially men.  

Her foster mom had about 8-10 dogs that she owned and was fostering, most of them large like great danes.  The only way she was able to warm up was through the other dogs.  She eventually got used to them, then started trusting the foster mom a little bit.  One of the biggest ways she bonded was through sleeping next to her foster mom in bed.  She had numerous people apply to adopt her in the 5-6 months she was at her foster mom’s.  But she was so nervous around new people that either they decided they didn’t want her or the foster mom wouldn’t let her go to anyone that didn’t have a large dog since she seemed to bond through other dogs (just big dogs, though- she still snaps a other little dogs).  When we applied, her foster mom drove her an hour to our house for an in-home visit.  She threw her in my arms to see what would happen, and to her suprise Callie started licking my face.  She had never shown any kind of affection for someone she had just met before. We went in the house and she got pretty skiddish, but showed interest in our Husky/Lab mix Opus.  After a 30 minute play date, she warmed up to Opus a little, but not to me that much.

After talking with my husband, we decided that we saw enough potential to do a week long trial run, which was the foster mom’s recommendation.  She was extremely scared at first.  She would only sit on one chair in our house.  She refused to eat, refused to drink, refused to go outside.  And she wouldn’t let us touch her.  It was hard.  I tried to corner her and pick her up to take her oustide one day and she bit me pretty hard (which was completely my fault for grabbing like I did).  Honestly if it weren’t for that first little lick on the day I met her, we might have taken her back.  My husband wasn’t thrilled at having a ‘damaged’ dog that wasn’t friendly.  But slowly, she warmed up.  I started feeding her out of my hands on the chair because she was scared of her dishes.  She began to trust me first, then eventually my husband.

She didn’t understand at all that she was supposed to go to the bathroom outside, so we had to get puppy pads and put them by our door.  I would take her outside in the yard and she had no idea what she was supposed to do and she was terrified by the new place and new sounds so she would just sink into the grass and cower.   Her foster did her best to potty train, but with so many dogs around, she had puppy pads on the floors and a doggie door so they could relieve themselves whenever they wanted.  So that’s what she got used to, so she didn’t understand what we were trying to do.  She also had no idea how to walk on a leash.  She got all limp and weird.  Finally we just took her outside with our other dog on a leash and as soon as she saw him walking, she got the hang of it right away.  

Now you’d never guess she was the same dog that we met then.  She is truly the center of our universe.  With us she is bold, demanding, and so loving.  She sleeps next to me under the covers every single night.  She loves walks and the dog park (but she only gets to interact in the large dog area- she still tries to bite little dogs).  We go on runs together because she has a lot of energy (which has to look ridiculous- who runs with a chihuahua?)  She is by my side throughout the day and is constantly demanding attention.  

She still has some little flaws that we have come to accept.  She is still scared of new people, scared of bicycles, skateboards, etc.  It takes about a week of someone staying with us until she will warm up to the point that she’ll let them touch her or even come near her.  If we go somewhere, we have to board her at our vet where there are cages and a good fence to keep her safe.  Our other dog goes to our brother-in-law’s house, but we’re scared that if she’s walking on a leash and somehow gets away from him, she’d never come back.  She listens to us very well, but not to anyone else because fear completely takes over.  She’s still only partially potty trained.  We do keep puppy pads in the house at all times for her.  If we get up in the morning and take her out right away, give her a potty break during the day, then walk twice at night perfectly on schedule she won’t use her mat.  But if we stray from that schedule at all, she doesn’t have the patience to wait.  

So my advice to you is, to consider this dog only if you’re willing to take the good with the bad.  We love Callie so much that we can work with her little flaws.  She’s so worth it.  It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences for me to watch her start off as this shy, scared little thing and turn into the dog she is today.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.  But, we do have to put up some issues that will never go away.  Since the dog you are considering is with a foster family, perhaps they will let you do a trial period like we did.  Or at least an extended visit.  That way you can get an idea if she is capable of warming up to you.  I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide!  

And of course I must post pics of my little girl now:  

Post # 15
2811 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2004

We adopted our little guy, who is a Cockapoo.  He was a rescue from a puppy mill.  He was almost exactly one year old when we got him so only being in that environment for a year may have helped make his transition to our home not as bad as the typical puppy mill dog. 

He is the sweetest little guy.  We didn’t have a hard time potty training him, but then again being a stay at home mom, I just made sure I was around to let him out regularly.  We has a bit jumpy at first but it was nothing that love couldn’t fix.  Here is a picture of our Toby.


Post # 16
614 posts
Busy bee

I adopted a dog that was abused in the past. He had many little quirks (still has some) but the big one was he was fraid of men he didn’t know so he would bark and growl. He has gotten much better and most importantly Inow trust him 100% to know what he will and won’t do. It took pretty much a full year before he really settled in and completely became himself. He is now the best dog I have ever had, I absolutely adore him!

It can be hard but it is so worth it!

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