is a rescue dog different from one purchased from a breeder?
Rescue dogs come from all walks of life. Some
dogs are from shelters, picked up as strays, others at shelters
have been surrendered by their owner or even stuffed into
the night deposit box usually anonymously. These dogs may
well have been pampered and spoiled, allowed to sleep on the
bed, taken to dog parks and were given lots of toys, or, the
dog may have been abused, chained to a tree or an old tire,
beaten, not fed regularly, used to fight other dogs, or perhaps
he did not fight other dogs and was therefore of no use to
the owner, so he was dumped.
Rhodesian Ridhebacks are extremely adaptable
dogs. That being said, being rehoused is extremely traumatic
for a dog. So, what are you likely to experience in taking
your dog home once you have adopted it?
For the first week or so, the behavior could
be such that you wonder why anyone gave up your newfound precious
angel. The dog sits, comes when called, eats politely, stays
close to you and is generally a joy to have around. A week,
three weeks, or possibly a month or two go by and your angel
suddenly transmogrifies into a Beast of the Styx. He growls,
he barks, he guards his toys, food, your body, your bed or
anything he is near. He may shred your couch, your garden
lights, your sprinkler system, or even remove your deck. Your
angel may exhibit this manic behaviour for a day, a week or
the next month. Suddenly he reverts back to being your angel
again and all is well.
What is going on with your dog you ask? Well
this is all normal behaviour for a rescue dog. They can indeed
enter your home and be an angel from day one and never put
a paw out of place! They can also wreak havoc in the first
Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue of Northern California
places dogs in foster care when possible, where they are carefully
evaluated. This helps to identify any problems that may need
to be addressed. Most rescue dogs are wonderful dogs, but
now and then we get one who is a special needs dog or one
who has not been well-socialized. Then we may have different
problems. We may have to retrain, we may have to have the
new owner go to a behaviorist or we may end up not adopting
a difficult dog out to a new home. We take each dog in on
an individual basis and evaluate that particular dog for what
seems best for that dog.
When you adopt a dog from Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rescue of Northern California, you will always have a place
to go for help or advice.
In general, a well-socialized Ridgeback is like
having a well-mannered and polite teenage son. Everything
goes well for weeks on end and every now and then the son
kicks up his heels and wants to party, go sky-diving, fly
a kite, go scuba diving in the Bahamas. So it is with a Rhodesian
Ridgeback. Every now and then they kick up their heels and
want it all now, your bed, the couch, your sandwich, to go
to the left instead of going where you are headed, etc. Life
is NEVER dull when you live with Rhodesian Ridgebacks!
Points to consider when
adopting a rescued dog:
• Can you spend the
time to commit to on-going obedience classes with your dog?
Can you budget for vet bills?
Can you commit to your dog being a family member for
the rest of its life?
If you have to give up your dog, will you contact Rescue
to assist in placing it in another good home?
. . . . .
Points to consider when adopting an older rescue:
usually minimal housebreaking
usually minimal chewing problems
few, if any, behavioral problems
usually a history of some obedience training
few, if any, eating problems
a lifetime of love, affection, and loyalty to be gained
from the rescued dog