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Thread: Would you get a dog without meeting it first?

  1. #1
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    Default Would you get a dog without meeting it first?

    A friend of mine is thinking of adopting a dog. She saw one she really liked on petrescue, but he is a 4 hour drive away.

    His foster carer offered to bring him when she comes here next week, but only if my friend commits to taking him.

    The more I think about it, the more dodgy that sounds. Who would get someone to commit to adopting a dog without insisting that they meet him first? The write-up about this dog sounds really positive and in the phone conversation they had, the carer didn't mention any negatives either. Not that I'm saying that isn't possible, but I know some foster carers will do anything to get their pets adopted and some are more committed to making the right match than others.

    In fact, Banjo was a bit like that. Her carer had not mentioned anything at all about her jumping up and being so extremely over-excitable. Not in the listing, nor on the phone. So meeting her was a bit of a shock. I'm very glad that I adopted her anyway, and I would've still gone to meet her if they had told me about the jumping beforehand. But I kind of feel lucky that it was her only bad trait. Because they clearly embellished the truth and were happy to not mention the negatives and I could've ended up with a problem dog, which was what I absolutely wanted to avoid because I didn't/don't have the time nor experience to deal with any serious problem behaviours.

    I think my friend did decide to not make the decision now but wait till she can drive over there to meet him. Would you ever adopt a dog that you had not met?

  2. #2
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    I have committed to dogs I never met...but was also made aware of all the problems before. Sort of last call for the dog.

    But maybe from the carers point of view, she has been taken for a few rides, you know the people who say they will and even if the dog is perfect do maybe not quite like how they look.

    So she might have had a few useless trips in the past. Mind you if your friend did not want the dog, all she had to do was walk away. No carer would just leave the dog surely with someone who did not want him. I think she just wants to make sure before another long trip.

    I have been there and done that...Now if they cannot be bothered to drive down to see a dog, I just think they do not want the dog enough. Mind you I also like to see where the dog would be living, so I am in a catch 22.

    I might be too fussy to place dogs
    Pets are forever

  3. #3
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    I nearly did, but due to her looking totally different from the photo, I was not sure she
    was even the same dog.
    I sort of put my foot down and said hey I will just foster her and get her vetting done etc.
    Getting weary of the "cattle cross" description being pasted on every dog with an eye patch, a few
    spots, flecks etc.
    So the ad said - desexed yes, obedience yes, walks well on lead, good with kids etc.
    The reality - not desexed, lunging beyond belief, extreme jumping up etc etc.

    I just had to start training immediately and she is actually adoptable now.
    If she had gone to a family with young children, I shudder at the injuries she would have
    inflicted on them. A sweet dog with a loving nature but just so exhuberant and strong.
    She is actually a bull arab/dalmation.

    I did not want another hunting dog, Snoopy is bad enough with his prey drive.
    They need to be more careful, one day someone will have a "go" for misrepresentation.

  4. #4
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    Other rescue organisations I know would've never let Banjo go to a home with young kids. Fortunately my daughter is a trooper and coped with the regular scratches, pushes and nips in those first few months. A 6yo with less of a passion for animals might not have coped as well though. We still call Banjo our little snappy crocodile because she had the tendency to just full on nip your nose without any warning if you brought your face too close. A love bite, not aggressive, but bloody painful and scary! And she was 8mo, not a tiny puppy. Again, no regrets and she came good, but if she would've gone to another family with less patience (or less masochist, lol) she might have well ended up in care again.

    The foster carer of this other dog just happened to be coming to Canberra anyway, so she is not driving up just to bring the dog. She would bring him with if my friend would keep him, but doesn't want to subject a young dog to an 8 hour car ride, which is fair enough.

    Anywho, my friend is getting her car fixed this week so she can drive over there next weekend, so hopefully all's well. Will report if she does adopt him, because there's a link to my old dog Luna and I'm very excited about the prospect of another friend with a dog.

    ETA: And now I'd better stop posting about her because if she does adopt him, I am so going to convince her to join the forum for advice on all things dog.

  5. #5
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    I would not commit to a dog I hadn't seen.

    I might agree to look after it for a week with a return option at the end of that if we didn't get along.

    The best recuses - will want someone to check your home is secure enough for the dog they have in mind - before they adopt them out. And I think if there is a four hour trip involved - they can organise someone local to do the home check but the adopter needs to go meet the dog.

    RSPCA and AWL expect the whole family to meet the new dog, including children and cats and any other dogs. Otherwise they say you can't adopt until everybody has met and agrees.

  6. #6

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    I would NEVER commit to keeping a dog I'd never met before and I'd never expect anyone else to either. It sounds like this dog's foster carer is incompetent and doesn't have a clue about how to rehome dogs. When I scope out potential new owners I always have them come and meet the dog as many times as possible before they commit to the dog forever. And I always check their house to see if it's safe before I relinquish the dog to them.

    Tell your friend not to commit to anything until she's met the dog and spent some time with it. She could find herself the owner of anything from an extremely destructive dog to a horribly aggressive one. If your friend is honestly interested in the dog, tell her to take the time to drive up and spend a couple of hours with it - 4 hours is nothing compared with up to 15 years of incompatibility.

  7. #7
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    That rescue sounds dodgy as. To me its a great way for a dog to end up back in the pound.

    I probably wouldn't take a dog with out meeting it. You need to have the connection.

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  8. #8
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    I wouldn't commit to adopting a dog without first meeting it. I do foster Whippets without meeting them, but they are an easy breed and the idea is to move them on to a forever home.

    I have taken a 12week old pup from another state just on photos and breeder experience, but I think a pup is different, I also got a reference from another breeder before doing so.

    Does your friend already have a dog? If she does I wouldn't risk it. Can she just take it on trial and send it back?

    There are so many shelters around perhaps there is one closer to her. I always say to people don't rush, don't take the first one be really sure, a dog is a lifetime commitment.

  9. #9
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    I find picking a rescue dog very hard too. It's very different to choosing a breeder and picking or ordering a pup. There are indeed so many out there and they are all so different. You have to sift through all the listings and rule out all the ones that have issues that you don't feel capable of dealing with. Consider the breed mixes and try guess what that might mean for the dog's temperament. It takes over your life. So when you do find one that sounds perfect and whose photos make your heart melt, it is hard not to want to adopt them before someone else does. And that's always the issue. Someone can easily gazump you while you try to do the right thing and really think it through.

    Which seems to have happened now in my friend's case. A couple is going to look at her chosen foster before she can drive over there to meet him.

    But I know there will be others that she will like, it's just that you cannot predict when and where and whether she will be able to adopt the next one.

    In the meantime, it gives me an excuse to keep browsing petrescue. It's more fun if it's not for yourself! Though it's also quite depressing of course...

    And I think there are lots of foster carers without any experience and no idea on how to ensure a good match so there's a bigger chance the dog won't be brought back. But I think it's unrealistic to expect all of these volunteers to have all the skills and knowledge they should ideally have. There are also lots of rescue organisations who don't give their carers the support they need and deserve. Nevertheless, without them more dogs would die. And the dogs they care for have just as much right to find their forever home than those with more skilled carers, if you know what I mean. So I would never dismiss a dog because of that.

  10. #10
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    I couldn't agree more, I've learned heaps about just how little some people know about dogs over the years.

    For me I find it hard to imagine struggling with toilet training and digging, chewing, puppy nipping etc and do have to remind myself that some people don't cope with these things.

    Some foster carers also may take this as a given.

    I do class aggression, anxiety, serial escape artists and energy levels as important. Some foster carers are also so good that they don't experience the same problems as other people do. We currently have a whippet in foster care. We were told he had aggression issues and wanted to kill other dogs, to date he's been indifferent to the bitches, has met an entire male Iggy and a very full on cat with no reaction.

    I troll the the pounds and shelters for Whippets, that's depressing enough. Hope your friend find the perfect match soon.

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