If we decide to take a dog from the kennel we must be aware that this is not a choice to be made with a light heart; in fact, there are many aspects that we must take into account (do we prefer a puppy or an adult dog? A male or a female? What size? What breed? Do we all agree on adoption in the family? Do we have other animals in the house? Will they adapt well to the new arrival? What is the budget for feeding, veterinary care, taxes, insurance, grooming, etc.? Do we have a job that allows us to give him the time he deserves for the game, for walks, for his needs etc.? And so on…).
Another factor to take into account, if we want our future dog to integrate perfectly into your family, is our lifestyle, if we consider ourselves active and dynamic people should be oriented on a four-legged friend who can appreciate this aspect of ours, if, on the contrary, we are rather lazy nature is certainly more appropriate to direct our choice towards a dog with a homely and quiet nature.
The size of our house is also important; it is one thing to live in an apartment on the fourth floor and another to have a house with an adjoining garden.
Once we have evaluated the pros and cons, if we still believe that the choice to adopt a dog in a kennel is the right one, we can go to the structure.
Let us help you with your choice
The kennels are home to dozens and dozens of dogs, maybe some of them or even just one of them will have caught our attention, but you should not be hasty about the choice because if it is true that the eye wants its share, it is also true that we do not know at all the character of what we hope will become our pet on all fours. A choice dictated only by love at first sight could reserve us unwelcome surprises; to avoid them it is definitely advisable to seek the opinion of the staff, including educators and volunteers, who certainly know better than we do the behavior and character of their guests.
One of the fundamental aims of those who work in a kennel is to prevent a dog given up for adoption from having to return to the structure, an event that, without a shadow of a doubt, would put a strain on the animal from a psychological point of view, and then it will be their responsibility to advise us for the best after talking with us and having verified our needs. It is essential to check that the staff does not try to “forcefully direct” our choice; it is the operator’s task to provide us with as many details as possible to enable us to make an informed choice.
Usually, the operators of the kennels allow some preliminary meetings (a walk, some time to play, a meal) before the choice becomes final; these meetings will give the possibility of a better mutual knowledge and, consequently, to evaluate the issue with a more critical eye as it is right that it is seen that we are talking about years of future cohabitation.
Choosing a puppy
The kennels are home to both puppies and adult dogs, very often those who intend to adopt a dog in a kennel is more oriented towards a puppy, the reasons are different, not least the tenderness that a small inspires, another is the belief that adopting a puppy allows you to shape our friend in our image and likeness (nothing bad if we are balanced people …), however, if we opt for a puppy, you must be aware that, in some ways, the work that awaits us will probably be more challenging. We have to keep in mind that we have to teach practically everything to the youngest: to socialize, to make their needs outside the house, not to bite, to get used to the leash, not to destroy everything that happens to them within reach of mouth and leg, etc..
One important thing must be taken into account, that is, that many puppies that are in kennels have not had the opportunity to live with their mother, is not something to be underestimated, the relationship with the mother is important in the first months of life of a puppy because it learns from it the management of emotions and learn to relate in the right way with the external environment; we will therefore replace the mother in this delicate role, if this is our first experience with a dog is definitely appropriate, we would say mandatory, to be assisted by a person with skills in the field which will provide us with all the tools necessary to set up a proper relationship with our new friends. Relying on affection and instinct alone is hardly ever the right choice if we have no experience of educating a dog.
Choosing an adult dog
In some ways, orienting oneself on an adult dog “exempts” us from a whole series of problems; certain character traits and behavioural traits are now well defined and therefore we know, at least in part, what we can expect (fundamental, of course, are the interviews with those in charge of the kennel). On the other hand, an adult dog can have a whole series of problems behind it that could have marked it psychologically; in this case our task will be anything but simple and will require a lot of love and patience; for sure it will be necessary a period, more or less long, of adjustment because, beyond the information that we may have had from the staff of the kennel, it is not possible to know in detail the experience of an adult dog and, consequently, it is practically impossible to have an idea of its reactions to certain events or situations. Without considering that life in a kennel, however comfortable the structure may have been, is completely different from life in a domestic environment; think, for example, of the possible presence of children, of many noises until then practically unknown, in short, experiences that can be completely new and not always easily “digestible” at first glance.
In short, in general, the invitation to those who choose to adopt a dog from a kennel is not to take for granted certain behaviors on the part of our friend as well as not to take for granted affection and gratitude for having “saved” him from a situation not optimal. Love and gratitude must in fact be conquered gradually with our patience and our willingness to build a relationship of love and mutual trust with him.
It should not be taken for granted that a dog, since he lived in a kennel, seeks a relationship overprotective, it is much more likely that our future friend instead seeks a human friend rather calm and confident, able to give affection and much security.