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Valued Contributor
Posts: 726
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I've been looking to adopt a three to six year old dog. Because of my age I opt not to adopt a puppy. 

 

The shelter close to me has a chihuaha mix who was a stray. I don't know that I can help this poor little guy. They told me it could take a long time to put the dog at ease. I lost my sweet girl in February and really miss having a dog. 

 

I'm really torn about this adoption. Does anyone have suggestions? 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,733
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: On adopting a fearful dog

This is going to sound awful but you may find it very difficult to retrain or deal with a shelter dog.  You may be

better off buying an older puppy that has been potty trained.

So sorry about the loss of your pup.  It is devastating.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,624
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: On adopting a fearful dog

@DjP   I agree with @hopi .  I think if the shelter told you it would take a lot of work with that dog that you can expect it to be even harder than they said.  

 

As far as potty training, I know I would have a hard time potty training a dog.  You need to think long and hard before adopting that dog.  I'm sorry to say that.


Day after day the whole day through, wherever my road inclined, four feet said 'I'm coming with you!' and trotted along behind. Kipling





Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,374
Registered: ‎08-04-2013

Re: On adopting a fearful dog

@DjP   Will the shelter let you foster him? Maybe all he needs is one special person to love him.  I have seen so many hard luck stories on the instagram page for "The DODO" which is about all types of animals that have turned from sad to happy by just a loving home.

Super Contributor
Posts: 388
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: On adopting a fearful dog

Bless you on the loss of your dog and wanting to adopt another dog.  If you have the time and patience you can make a difference in the life of this shelter dog.   But if you are not willing to make a commitment to this dog please do not adopt him.   He needs stability in his life.  The last thing you want is to return him to the shelter.   

Super Contributor
Posts: 451
Registered: ‎05-01-2020

Re: On adopting a fearful dog

You're probably having doubts for a reason. Trust yourself and find one that's a better fit.

T.H.I.N.K. before you speak.
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 726
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: On adopting a fearful dog

@hopi @NickNack @grandma2pkmh   Thank you all for responding. I think it would be too difficult to ease the fear and retrain him. If I was younger I might give it a try. 

 

@grandma2pkmh  I didn't ask about fostering. They probably don't want to move him from place to place.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,989
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: On adopting a fearful dog

My sister-in-law adopted a chihauhau/dachshund mix dog (about two years old at the time).  This dog had been abandoned in the southern states and was relocated to our local shelter (northeast).

 

She saw the dog online and was first in line at the shelter the next day.  This little dog was so nervous and timid and she didn't lose that overnight.  But I wish you could've seen her after less than a year.

 

She wouldn't leave my SIL's side and was happy and loved.

 

Having said that, only you know whether you have the patience and ability to help this particular rescue.  If you know in your heart you don't, choose another dog to adopt.   There are so many that need loving homes.  The worst thing would be for an already anxious dog to keep thinking it's found its  "forever home", only to repeatedly return to the shelter.

 

I also agree with the idea of trying to foster the one you've mentioned.  That should give you a better idea of how good a fit you are.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,362
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: On adopting a fearful dog

An animal can have a whole different personality in a home setting than in a scary shelter, with all of the animals barking, strangers, etc.

 

I think fostering him for a week is a great way to see if he settles in, I'd give him a chance.

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,655
Registered: ‎06-13-2011

Re: On adopting a fearful dog

This is a difficult one to answer.   As a former animal shelter manager I've seen my share of dogs that have had trust issues and a few of them had become fear biters.  I've seen quite a few of these dogs become loving and devoted to their owners once they felt safe and loved in a new home.  

 

There were also a few that just never adjusted no matter how much their new owners tried.  

 

The shelter has been honest with you and is trying to find this dog a home where it will not be returned to the shelter over and over again because the new owners took on more than they could handle 

 

I can't tell you not to adopt this dog because it's possible that you might be it's last hope of finding a home.  

 

I had friends who adopted an older dog that was extremely high strung and almost out of control.    They were willing to take on this dog and they've worked wonders with her.

She is still a little hyper but she turned out to be a wonderful companion for them.  

 

The only advice I can give you is if you think that you have the time and patience to work with this dog and this particular dog has touched your heart then I would say to go ahead with the adoption.  

 

Just keep an open mind and always be cognizant that it will not be an easy road for you but this dog might turn out to be the perfect companion for you.