Adding to a family means crying, clinging, insomnia…and that’s just the dog

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“They’re past chewing, nipping, digging to play, all that juvenile baby behavior, gnawing on furniture. They could better understand how to walk on a leash. Puppies are happy and glorious – but not easy.

Shenton Park Dogs’ Refuge Home president Karen Rhodes says they frequently get smaller dogs, but never have to advertise them because they go to people who are already on the books.

Ollie (3 year old Staffy mix) and Jack (6 year old Shepherd mix) were returned for escaping and chasing sheep. They are affectionate and seek a home together as they are the best of friends. They are friendly with other dogs, easy to walk, well-behaved, and suitable for full-time working owners. Credit:Shenton Park Dog Shelter

She said many larger dogs (kelpies a notable exception) were couch potatoes who needed daily walks but not a large yard.

Rhodes recommended people fill out a questionnaire and speak to an adoptive person at the shelter for personalized advice and a call when a potentially suitable dog arrives.

And the greyhounds?

Toni Donnelly, president of Greyhound Adoptions WA, told me that while a greyhound would sometimes perform the odd “zoom” on the whole, they were “essentially couch potatoes once they settled in. “.

They liked to be indoors and were not prone to barking, although some males tend to have some level of separation anxiety.

She had rehomed greyhounds with young adults and octogenarians.

“They adapt and train quickly, they are disciplined dogs who have been to training camp before, and they are extremely affectionate,” she said.

Glen Guelfi, Maureen’s husband and also a trainer, echoed the fact that each breed had its quirks – for example, huskies tended to run away when left off leash.

He had discovered that some small dogs were very lively while large dogs tended to be more easy-going, but he believed the behavior came from training, not size.

Curly is affectionate, friendly, good on a leash, and good with other dogs and older children (but not cats).  He can be shy with new people but warms up quickly.  He is still learning good manners around human food but responds well to advice and training.  He is playful and loves squeaky toys.

Curly is affectionate, friendly, good on a leash, and good with other dogs and older children (but not cats). He can be shy with new people but warms up quickly. He is still learning good manners around human food but responds well to advice and training. He is playful and loves squeaky toys.Credit:WA Greyhound Adoptions

Being small and cute, small dogs fare better; a small Maltese running up to guests and jumping and barking tended to be excused, whereas a Rottweiler would not, he said.

A reader emailed photos of her Rottweiler rescue crossed with her 70-year-old mother’s Rottweiler rescue. “He’s tall so she doesn’t trip over him, he’s eight so very well behaved, doesn’t bark much and is 40 pounds to cuddle,” she wrote.

What all of this suggests to me is that training and socializing a dog to be an asset, not a headache, to a family is a major initial time commitment, whether you’re getting a “new” puppy or a rescue. The first few days will be intensive for most dogs.

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So given how many innocent dogs are being euthanized and abandoned now, you might as well consider a rescue, take advantage of the shelters’ expertise on their dogs’ breeds and personalities, and spend the savings on proper training. .

I’ll be looking at training adult dogs with specific issues next week and in the meantime, if you’re in the market, why not visit Shenton Park for a chat (or complete an online questionnaire)?

You can meet and discuss greyhounds with the experts at weekend markets around Perth, details here.

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