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Hi there, I'm interested in adopting a dog that's 1-2 years old for companion and sports. Pros and cons of rescuing? Anyone have any experience? Tips?
 

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Pros: Rescue dogs, in my experience, are so thankful to have a good home and are extremely eager to please.

Cons: You never know fully what you are getting into. For example, one of our rescues was terrified of forks :( We knew he came from an abusive environment, so finding out all these new things that he was afraid of as time went on, was very heartbreaking. It just makes you wonder exactly what they've been through. This same rescue also had an extremely short life - health is never a guarantee, but it does help if lineage is known and parents are health tested before breeding (which you will get with an ethical breeder).
 

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Hi :) I've had a bit of experience with rescues, most recently my furbaby Seb. I rescued Seb from a shelter for Christmas and boy do I have my hands full! You'll find dogs from all walks of life and many of them have behavioural issues. (Not all of them, but many.) Take care choosing which one would suit you and your lifestyle and make sure you can spend a bit of one on one time before taking them home. I knew Seb would be a challenge with his size and energy but I felt a connection with him and that had me sold. The more I get to know him, I can see he needs a lot more work than I had expected though. I highly recommend adopting but please keep in mind that you won't fully know their past and you may need to invest in quite a bit of daily time, effort and patience to help them adjust and learn. I've had many friends adopt and found it ridiculously easy to welcome their new furbaby to the family and yet Seb and I still have a long road ahead. Hope this gives you a little insight! :) Bunny
 
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Adopting a 1-2 year old dog can be fantastic for several reasons.
1. There are lots of them available. 1-2 year old dogs are true adolescents and MANY owners who buy/adopt a puppy find the energetic exuberance of young dogs too difficult so give them away. If you can persevere and see them through the teenager phase, they can become wonderful companions and solid citizens.

2. You have a much better idea of their personality. This is especially true if you work with organizations that work through a fostering structure (as opposed to a kennel structure) as the foster family will be able to provide in-depth knowledge on the dog's behavioural patterns and daily needs.

3. Many of these dogs have much better dog-social skills (this is at least true for many of the rescue dogs around me as most are in free-range shelters rather then crates/kennels and most came off the street as strays so grew up with ample dogs. This isn't always the case espcially in the US though)

However, adopting an adolescent comes with it's own challenges as you have a full grown dog and more often then not they have had minimal manners/training done so you're having to reverse behaviours rather then lay down purely new ones (as you would a puppy).

I have two rescues snoozin' away at my feet at the moment. One was adopted at 8 months the other at 2 years. They were SO SO SO completely different. The 8 month old was skittish and nervous. Needed to learn everything about living in a human society and still is shy with people. She's a constant work in progress on raising her confidence but we're making lots of progress. The 2 year old walked into our apartment the first day, did a quick sniff around the apartment, then hopped onto the couch for a snooze. He's been SO easy except that he's a very excitable dog. He's very confident and outgoing so with him it's about instilling polite manners and boundaries, while for the other dog it's about encouraging her out of her shell. Polar opposites!!

So no two rescue dogs are alike, but all come with their own histories and learning opportunities. Having now rescued two (both blind rescues as in we met the dog basically when we picked them up based on a 3 sentence description and a photo). We were so lucky that neither have major behavioral issues. BUT when it's time to adopt again (waaaay down the road) I have a much better idea of my list of "wants" and "don't wants" and I will definitely be goign through a rescue where I get a lot more meet-and-greet time with the dogs. Perhaps even a trial. I've been incredibly lucky twice (and the more I read online the more I realize HOW lucky I've been). No point pushing my luck :)
 

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We adopted Samantha when she was about a year old. She was a great dog, from the get-go. Have never had a single regret, she is good natured, loving, not destructive, and generally just fits in perfectly. We have now had her for over six years. In our experience the only down-side, when we brought her home, she had an ear infection, an eye infection, kennel cough and had just been spayed, so the first three weeks involved some pretty intense nursing, but it has been 100% worth it.
 
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