Expectations: Adults versus Puppies

leaping lamb

Karen London and I are working on our edits to the new booklet on adopting adolescent and older dogs, and something hit me as I was writing that I thought was worth talking about. After considering my own experiences bringing "non-puppies" into my home, talking with folks in rescues and shelters, and working with clients for so many years, it strikes me that one of the biggest problems people have when they adopt an "older" dog (not old, but not puppy either) relate to unrealistic expectations. I don't mean that in the usual sense, say, for example, expecting a dog to behave perfectly on day one, but more in the sense that we have certain expectations of adults that we don't have with puppies. Take house training, for example. Everyone expects puppies to have "accidents" in the house Read More

Your Dog on A Book Cover?

wille close up

As many of you know, Karen London and I are writing a booklet for people who have adopted an adolescent or adult dog. We're hoping it will be useful not just for individuals, but also for shelters and rescue groups, and ultimately for the dogs themselves. Right now our first draft is out to readers, looking for feedback about how to make it as good as it can be, and we're working on the cover. That's where you come in. We've been looking at commercial photographs, trying to find just the right one, and so far nothing has struck us as THE picture. And then I thought of you  . . .I know that many of the blog's readers have dogs they've adopted as adolescents or adults, and how cool would it be if we could put one of YOUR dogs on the cover? So here's the deal: If you think you have a Read More

Fall Colors, Rescue Booklet II

fall color 1 2010

Thanks for the great comments on what's needed in a booklet for people bringing home adult dogs from shelters or rescues.  Keep 'em coming, either on this post or the previous one. A lot of you will be gratified to know that the points at the top of my own list are similar to many of yours:  1) patience patience patience, 2) do not expect the dog you bring home to be the dog you end up with in 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months and 3) don't try to make up for past neglect or abuse (or the perception of it, which common but often not accurate) by coddling a dog such that she becomes emotionally overloaded by you and finally, for now,  4) no, love is not enough... love doesn't mean much if you are totally confused about what is expected of you. You simply have to teach your dog what you want, Read More

Booklet For Dogs from Shelters or Rescues

melted tomatoes

Karen London and I are planning on writing a booklet for people who adopt dogs from shelters or rescue groups. We're both aware that often it can be intimidating to sit in your living room with a new family member, whose background you may not even know. Over the many years that we've worked with people who have adopted dogs, and with our own dogs that we have taken in from difficult circumstances (5 between us), we know that these dogs can present challenges, and generate questions that are not often answered by standard training books. We have our own ideas about what to include in the booklet, we've already written an outline, but we'd love to hear from you too. If you have a dog that you obtained from a shelter or rescue group, or adopted an adult dog who might have had a difficult Read More