German Shepherd Adoption From SPCA or Animal Shelter
Adopting a German shepherd from an animal shelter can be a bit like buying a used car, there is no way of telling what you are going to get.
First we need to understand that just because a shepherd is in a shelter, doesn’t necessarily mean he is a bad dog. Quite the contrary a lot of dogs end up in animal shelters purely because the family’s circumstances changed and they were no longer able to care for their dog.
Every day people hand in unwanted pets to animal shelters, it could be due to a death in the family, a move to another area, downsizing into an apartment or simply because they have no time for the dog anymore, his cuteness has worn off.
Millions of homeless animals are presently housed in animal shelters. These poor animals are confined in small cages or pens and many are on “death row’ anxiously waiting to see if someone will come take a look and save them from their doom.
It isn’t easy for the shelter workers, they do this job purely for their love of animals but will far too many pets being brought in daily they are under tremendous stress to home or destroy these abandoned pets.
When you decide to adopt a German shepherd from an animal shelter you have the choice from all ages of dog from puppy, adult or senior. Purebred dogs are an exception, they tend to get adopted out quickly but there are generally many mix-breed dogs, thousands of mix breed German Shepherd type dogs available.
Usually you have a choice from many beautiful mixed-breed dogs, happy waggy tails, alert eyes, pleading eyes, the quiet reserved dog or the active excited ones. All patiently are waiting for that special someone to take them to their forever home.
If you just want a purebred German Shepherd, then I highly recommend you contact your local German Shepherd dog rescue society or a registered breeder.
How to Choose an Animal Shelter Dog
When it comes to choosing your new dog it’s important to opt for a healthy dog that has all of the following:
- A shiny coat free from bare patches. The dog’s coat is a good sign of overall health. A dry scaly coat means the dog is ailing in some way. Bare patches are an indicator of more serious issue maybe mange, or he is itching so badly he is scratching his fur off.
- Eyes bright and alert, no discharge. Look into the dogs eyes, they should be bright and alert. A sad downtrodden look could mean some health issues.
- Nose cold and wet with no discharge. Generally we look to a dog’s nose for signs of health. A warm nose could mean a temperature.
- Examine the dogs stools, it should be nice and firm. Diarrhea again is not a good sign.
- Check to ensure he is not coughing or vomiting.
- Look at the dog’s weight. Unless he was found abandoned and starving he should be of normal weight. Run your hand along his spine and when you come to the area between his hip bones see if you can feel the spine there. If so he is underweight. Some conditions can cause the dog to be underweight despite eating healthy amount of food, it’s an enzyme problem which can result in expensive medications to correct.
Next you need to interact with the dog to see whether you feel a connection. Most shelters will allow you to walk the dog or take him to a sectioned off area to play and interact.
Ask about his history, if known so you can get information on what the dog has gone through.
Finally, there is no guarantee when you take your new dog home. If you have given it some clear thought, carefully examined the dog with your head and not your heart and he has passed all the criteria then you have made a good choice.
The next step is to settle him into your home which is an entirely new environment for him. Remember this as he is getting used to living with you and your family. He may show signs of insecurity and confidence, just give him lots of attention and affection without going overboard.
Allow him time to get to know you and soon his memories will fade and he will be the perfect pet for you and your family. Spend time to start training him and the bond will grow. Be gentle, you don’t know what he has been through in the past.
Saving a dog from an animal shelter is truly a commendable act and we dog lover’s than you from the bottom of our hearts.
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