Questions to ask an onwer giving away a lab...
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Thread: Questions to ask an onwer giving away a lab...

  1. #1
    steveandginger's Avatar
    steveandginger is offline Senior Member
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    Default Questions to ask an onwer giving away a lab...

    Folks --

    I went by a convenience store yesterday, and the sign in front said they were giving away a 2-year old female black lab to a good home.

    I am not sure our family can handle 2 labs, but we realize that for Misty's sake, it would be good. We continue to think and consider. Anyway, this is why the ad caught my attention. However, clearly, I am skeptical and suspicious.

    I talked to the owner -- a lady in probably her mid 40s. She and her daughter (who owns the dog) were both there, though the mom did most of the talking. I asked if it was a purebred lab, or a mix. The mom said "I think it's purebred," and then turned to her daughter and said "right?" The daughter said "yes, she is full lab." I didn't ask specifically, but I assume this means no papers, and thus no way to even begin to check into the ancestry of this dog. I asked why they were giving her away, and they said that the daughter just does not have the appropriate space or time to devote to the dog, though it is a "really good dog." They said they just want to see the dog "go to a good home, where she will have the space she needs and the interaction with people that she needs."

    I told them I'd think about it, and we left it at that.

    I have considered going back, and asking for a chance to meet the dog -- to see her, see what she knows or doesn't know from a training perspective, see what her personality is like, and try to see if there are any "issues" which might be the "real" reason they are giving her away. IF I decide to do this, and IF she "passes" my "inspection," I would ask to take her for a couple of hours, take her home, let her meet Misty, and see how that goes. Then, I would want to take her to my vet, have him check her out, and go from there. If everything seems fine, and on the "up and up," then I'd have some thinking to do. However, in the mean time, like I said, I remain skeptical, and doubt it would ever get that far to where I'd have to consider taking her.

    My main concerns, I think, would be major health problems -- hip dysplasia, eye issues, etc. My questions are -- 1. can a vet do a simple test to check for hip dysplasia, or the eye problems? 2. What other issues should I be on the lookout for if I do decide to meet the dog?

    I feel bad for the dog, and my heart would say it deserves to be rescued and put in a situation where it can be loved and appreciated. My head says, number one, that I'm not sure our home could handle a second lab, and number two, that there are likely hidden issues with the dog which would make it even MORE of a challenge...

    Thanks,

    Steve

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    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Questions to ask an onwer giving away a lab...

    How old is Misty? Most trainers/breeders will recommend a year or two between dogs - personally, I like a gap of 5 or 6 years.. long enough to forget the 'joys' of housebreaking and teething and teenage rebellion (and seriously, so that the first puppy is grown up, well trained and settled) so that I **want** to do it all again for a cute new face...

  3. #3
    MyLabsMom is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Questions to ask an onwer giving away a lab...

    When the rescue I volunteer for, takes an owner surrender dog, we try to ask for the following:

    Vet records, or permission to contact current vet (current owners will need to contact vet first to give permission to give out info)
    Where/when the dog was purchased and any registration info, is applicable.
    Proof of hearworm treatment, as well as a heartworm test.
    Current living environment - children in the home? crate trained?
    Anxieties, phobias (not many people come clean with this info....but I always try to push the "easy" answers like, thunder? vacuum?)

    As far as hip issues, an x-ray will tell a lot, but like everything in life.....there's no guarantees when you rescue a dog. We had many dogs we picked up from pounds, or running loose and we never had any background information on them, yet placed them with families and they led a very happy life. IMO, I think addition to running her to a vet to be checked, you might also want a reputable behaviorist temperament test her.

    Good luck, keep us posted if you decide!
    Brenda from Connecticut

  4. #4
    steveandginger's Avatar
    steveandginger is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Questions to ask an onwer giving away a lab...

    kaytris --

    Misty is almost 6 months. The dog in question is, apparently, 2 years old. From the tone of your post, you might have misunderstood. In this case, the "new" dog is not younger, but older. I can understand what you are saying -- I am NOT ready for the teething/biting/housebreaking thing again, which is why I thought this (a grown dog that is HOPEFULLY trained and settled down) might be a good way to get that playmate for Misty that I really think she would enjoy. Anyway, in the reverse sense, this WOULD give me the 1-2 year age separation rule of thumb you mentioned (but not the 5 or 6 you personally prefer!)

    MyLabsMom --

    Thanks so much for your helpful info. That is great stuff, and some of which I might not have thought of.

    As for "no guarantees when you rescue a dog," I know that. I'm not looking for iron-clad guarantees, but I'd like to have the odds well in my favor. I just am concerned that some major issue happens to be THE reason they are looking to get rid of the dog. I have a feeling this is, at LEAST, an unregistered dog which did NOT come from a reputable breeder. I have NO proof of this, other than the fact that if someone had purchased the dog from a breeder, they probably wouldn't be willing to GIVE it away, and further, many breeders want the dogs back, apparently, if you wish to get rid of them in the future, right? Beyond my suspicions here, I would like to know what other issues may be lurking.

    I will keep you posted, but I think this is a long shot -- both because I'm not sure our family is ready for the commitment of two dogs (we will have to decide soon), but moreso because I think as I take slow, deliberate steps in checking this dog out, I will come across some issues which won't sit well with me. But, on the other hand, I can't help but think of the poor dog, not wanted by its owner, and the possibility that it ends up in an even worse situation...

    Steve

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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Questions to ask an onwer giving away a lab...

    One of my standard q's with owner surrenders is who is the breeder and have they been contacted? I also agree w/ getting the vet records.... I saw my share of dumped labs w/ temperament and health issues while doing rescue fosters. It could be a godsend for your pup, or just the opposite. If the dog is not trained and quite active, for instance, it could do physical harm to your pup. Personally, I'd sugget waiting until you get this one thru the first year or more of obedience training. You want your pup to bond to you... not to another dog and if that dog needs obed too, you will be stretched tight. I'd suggest an older, calmer dog given the details provided. -Anne

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Questions to ask an onwer giving away a lab...

    I really think you should wait as well. Six months is still so young. Two will split your focus unbelievably. Seriously. You need to get Misty to a really solid place before you even think of adding another. JMO

    We waited till Angus was one year, and adopted Simon, who was about five months younger than him. Honestly, we probably could have waited longer. :-\ But, I fell in love, so what's a girl to do?

    I also agree that when you rescue, you sort of have to take a lot of things on faith. You can find out as much as you can, and that's good. You should take the dog to a vet for an exam...but, still no guarantee something won't crop up later.

    You probably shouldn't rely on the new dog being trained and a good influence on the younger one Get Misty through her crazy teenage months, and then SHE can be the role model for a new dog.

    I think it's great you're considering adopting another. I love having two. When I stop speaking to one of them, I still have the other. :P But it really is something that needs to be well-timed.


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

  7. #7
    steveandginger's Avatar
    steveandginger is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Questions to ask an onwer giving away a lab...

    Anne --

    Good points. I agree with you completely that if this dog needs obedience training, and is out of control, I will be overtaxed. This is one of the reasons I wanted to take the dog home for a couple of hours. I'd get to see what she does or doesn't know, and how she behaves. Let's pretend for a minute that the dog is relatively calm, and fairly-well trained (sits, stays, recall, housetrained, etc.) Would this change your opinion?

    Just FYI, Misty has REALLY leveled out, personality-wise, in the past month or so. She is really getting the obedience thing pretty down pat, and her "insanity" has really waned. She's becoming a great dog, and she seems to have really bonded with us. All she wants is to be around us, like a typical lab. Her favorite thing is for me to plop down on the floor. She then comes over to me immediately, gets right up to me, then tucks her head under, and does a somersault into my lap/onto her back, so I can rub her belly! Silly girl!

    AngusFangus --

    Thanks for your input as well. That's two of you who say "wait." Hmm...

    Like I said, Misty is GETTING to a "solid" place, but is not quite there yet. If it would be a case where my focus would have to be split, training-wise, I wouldn't do it. I would only consider it, like I said above, if the dog seems to have been worked with quite a bit (which, I'm sure, is unlikely anyway). As for the "fell in love" part -- that's understandable , and also one of my fears as well. That's how I ended up with Misty (my wife CONNED me into going to "just see the cute little puppy!")

    I appreciate your input about "it has to be well-timed..." I am not sure about the timing here, especially given the input I've gotten here.

    Just curiously, when do the "crazy teenage months" set in? I don't think we've hit them, yet...

    Anyway...if I decide to check the dog out, I'll report back and get some more feedback from everyone.

    Anyone else have any ideas to add?

    Steve

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    myfavoritedog's Avatar
    myfavoritedog is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Questions to ask an onwer giving away a lab...

    Kudos for at least considering this dog. I have no idea what I would do in this type of situation. I do know that now another dog is out of the question because 1. Tal is only 10 months and I want to wait until he is at least 2 years old and 2. Timewise, emotionally, financially and space wise I just could not take on another dog.

    It still boggles my mind that people do not more carefully consider what they are getting into when getting a dog.

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    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Questions to ask an onwer giving away a lab...

    Well, one other thing I wanted to mention: It would be a good idea to bring her home first, make introductions, and see how things went. BUT! You won't really have a clear idea of her true behavior for at least several weeks. You can get a general idea, but I know it was several weeks (months?) before we started to see the *true* Simon.


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

  10. #10
    steveandginger's Avatar
    steveandginger is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Questions to ask an onwer giving away a lab...

    myfavoritedog --

    I hear you about the "timewise, emotionally, financially..." issues about taking on a second dog. I think of these things too...

    The tough part is, we ALMOST took Misty's black litter-mate when we got her. We wanted her to have a dog companion. Now, I can see that this would not have been the best idea (and not to mention that we likely would have gone insane), but I still have some level of longing to get a black companion for her. Seeing this ad, and thinking "gee, if everything worked out right, we could get a dog which was past the "puppy" stage, and perhaps well-behaved, while Misty could finally get her playmate..."

    I know it's a pipe dream, most likely. If the dog was that well-trained and well-behaved, they wouldn't be getting rid of her.

    AngusFangus --

    I had an idea in the back of my mind that I would not see the "true" dog in a short time like that, but I thought I could get an idea of its training level, and how well she and Misty could get along.

    Curiously, you say it took several weeks or months to see the "true" Simon. First of all, was Simon a rescue? How old? Also, what did you not see at first, that you began to see as time passed?

    Steve

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