My boyfriend and I are considering adopting a female lab cross who was rescued from a family of heavy meth users. Apparently she has been in and out of the shelters and has just all round had a hard time.
We have never had a rescue before. What types of things should we know, consider, ask, do? OF course we are willing to provide whatever the dog needs, but we are apprehensive about taking a bite too big.
Is the dog your looking at, at a shelter or with a rescue group? Do you know what the other dog is mixed with? I would definitely want the other dog temperament tested. Does the other dog get along with other dogs? Children? Cats? Has he had any training at all? Take your dog to meet the new dog and do it on neutral territory. Watch how both dogs interact with each other. If you do this treat the new dog as if it were a puppy because its training or lack of it might be at that level. He should have to earn everything he gets. It is possible to rehabilitate a dog like this. This summer I helped a black Lab named Coco, from a similar environment. When I went to the house for the first time the people were so pathetic they didn't even own a leash. But I could tell right away that she was smart and wanted to please. The thing that she lacked was a strong leader. Coco went from the out house to the penthouse because she is now in a safe neighborhood with a family that cares about her. The old owners wouldn't recognise this dog.
All the dogs I've ever had have been adopted from an animal welfare society and I will continue to do so. The only thing that I wish I knew was what happened to them before because then I would know what might scare them. The last dog "Shaggs" was friendly and gentle "except" if voices were raised then she would protect me, by growling at the person who was yelling. My current dog "Misty" gets scared if I move my hands a certain way (I'm still trying to figure out which way causes it). She will run and hide from me, even though I haven't even touched her. If she gets along with your current dog I'd say go for it.