Dog Breeds : How to Select a Golden Retriever
How to Adopt a Sporting Dog
Sporting dogs are naturally active, well-rounded, and friendly animals that make excellent pets. This group includes retrievers, pointers, spaniels, and setters. If you would like to make one of these fine animals part of your family, you can begin by finding a sport dog to adopt. Next, you can move through the adoption process. Finally, you can prepare to bring your new sport dog home. There is probably a wonderful sport dog--living in a shelter or being fostered through a rescue organization--that is the perfect match for you.
Finding a Sport Dog to Adopt
Research different breeds.Sporting dogs are active and likeable dogs known for their instincts. These dogs are also called "bird dogs" or "hunting dogs" because they are traditionally bred to participate in field activities. Look into the various sport breeds to figure out which one is right for you. There are over 30 breeds of sport dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club.Here is a sample:
- Labrador retriever - a popular breed, known for being gentle, outgoing, and even-tempered.
- American water spaniel - known to be eager and charming.
- Curly-coated retriever - known to be proud, confident, and smart.
- English springer spaniel - known to be playful and obedient at home.
- Golden retriever - known to be intelligent and devoted family dogs.
- Irish setter - known by to be outgoing and sweet-natured.
Contact local animal shelters.To locate a sport dog to adopt, start by contacting animal shelters in your area. Perform an internet search for local animal shelters. Then get in touch—by phone, by email, or in person—to find out if they have any sport breeds available for adoption.
- You might say, "I am calling to see if you have any sport dogs, such as retrievers or spaniels, available for adoption."
- Shelters are a good option because the application process is simple, and the fees are affordable.
Seek out a breed-specific rescue organization.If you already know which specific breed of dog you would like to adopt, you can check out various breed-specific rescue organizations. Each rescue organization will have a different process of adoption. However, the application process is usually quite rigorous. It may require a several page application, referrals from a veterinarian, and an inspection of your home. Rescue organizations have high standards, and may reject applicants they do not see fit.
- A simple internet search for "[breed of dog] rescue [your location]" will likely turn up any breed-specific rescue organizations in your area. For instance, you could search "Golden retriever rescue Salt Lake City, Utah."
- Rescue organizations are the best way to locate purebred dogs available for adoption.
- However, the application process can be quite rigorous and the fees are typically more expensive than your average shelter.
Use an online pet-finding service.Numerous online pet adoption locators—such as Adopt a Pet, Animal Adoption Center, Best Friends Animal Society, and Petfinder—exist to help you browse adoptable animals in your area. Simply enter the breed you wish to locate, and view the animals up for adoption in your area. These services draw from shelters, rescue organizations, and individuals looking to re-home animals.
- Once again, sport breeds include retrievers, pointers, spaniels, and setters.
Adopting Your Sport Dog
Meet the requirements to adopt a sport dog.Adopting a sport dog is not as simple as walking into an animal shelter and waltzing out with your new pet. Shelters and rescue organizations work to make sure that these pets will be adequately cared for. As such, you will need to meet a series of requirements in order to adopt.These will vary from location to location, but may include:
- You must spend at least 30 minutes with the dog you want to adopt.
- You must show a valid government-issued I.D.
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must show proof of address. (Some shelters will require you to live within a certain area.)
Make sure that you have space and time to keep your dog active.Be ready to dedicate at least an hour to exercising with your dog everyday. Beyond a daily walk, try to factor in time to run with your dog. You can take it on a jog, or go for a bike ride and have it run alongside you. Play a challenging game of fetch by hitting tennis balls with a racket, which lets your dog run farther than a regular throw.
Fill out adoption paperwork and pay a fee.In order to adopt an animal, you will need to fill out an application. This process will vary slightly depending on the specific shelter or rescue organization you work with. You will also be asked to pay an adoption fee. Breed-specific rescue organizations will have the most rigorous in-depth process.
- The adoption fee will vary from organization to organization, and from breed to breed.
- The fee can also vary depending on which medical services (such as spaying/neutering or vaccinations) are included.
- This fee can range from as little as to as much as 0.
Schedule a home visit.In order to qualify for a dog adoption through some services, you must bring the dog home with you for a short period of time as a kind of “test.” Inquire about this with your adoption service and schedule a time for your home visit.
- Get the details about your required home visit right away.
- In some cases, this may only be for a few hours, while other services may ask you to take the dog overnight.
- Make sure you have everything you need to care for the dog for this time period (some shelters may supply food and other items).
Introduce your new dog to any other dogs you have before adopting.It’s essential that your old and new dog get along for both of them to have be happy and comfortable. Place the dogs in separate cages with a blanket or towel thrown over each, allowing the dogs to meet each other through smell first. Then, keep your old dog out of sight and under control and allow the new dog to explore your home for 15-20 minutes. Put the new dog in its cage and let the old dog out to explore the new scent.
- Allow the old dog to sniff around until it stops tracking the scent around the house. It may take a few tries or even a few days until it gets comfortable enough to do this.
- Have the dogs meet face-to-face in a neutral, enclosed place, like a neighbor’s yard or a field. Let the old dog run around with the new dog out of sight, then switch. Finally, let them both loose to interact face-to-face.
Pick up your dog!If you have met all necessary requirements, paid the appropriate fees, and successfully completed your home visit, you can make arrangements to pick up your new dog and welcome them into your home.
Caring for Your Sport Dog
Purchase everything you will need to care for your dog.Before you bring your new dog home, you will want to get your home ready. This will help create a smooth and comfortable transition for your new dog. You will want to get:
- a leash
- food and water bowls
- dog food
- a collar or harness (and tags)
- a dog bed
- a crate (optional)
- dog toys
Purchase the right food.Although sporting dogs getting large amounts of daily exercise and being trained for competition will need special, high performance diets, most sporting dogs are more casual companions and house pets. Look for adult dog food that meets nutrient profiles from the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Either wet food or dry food is acceptable, although wet might be better if your dog doesn’t drink much water.
- Puppies that are 6 months old or younger should eat 3-4 times a day. Feed an adult dog twice a day.
- The amount of food your sport dog needs will vary based on their weight. Start with the serving guidelines on the package, then adjust accordingly after talking to your vet.
- Talk to a vet about how to pick the best diet for your dog.
- These breeds need a lot of water, too! Water should be offered at least three times a day.
Welcome your new dog into your family.Sport dogs are naturally curious, so it is best to allow them to explore your home in their own time. Although they are not known to be aggressive, they will be the most comfortable if they are given plenty of space at first. When you bring home your new sport dog, consider placing the dog in a quiet room, where no one will bother them. Leave the door open and allow your dog to investigate the rest of your home when they are ready.
- Sport dogs tend to respond well to crate training. Consider crate training your new dog.
- Be sure that all dogs have their own “nest” or private space to sleep.
Exercise your dog.Sport dogs of all breeds are known for being active and alert. As such, a sport dog will need daily exercise. This can include walks, playing fetch, running, and general play. Be prepared to spend 30-45 minutes exercising your sport dog each day.
- At least some of this exercise should be vigorous. Try taking your dog on a run.
- Additionally, some of this should include mental stimulation, such as playing hide and seek with a toy.
- Aggressive play, restlessness, and excessive barking are all potential signs that your dog needs more activity.
Take good care of your dog.Now that you’ve acquired your new sport dog, be sure to take excellent care of them! Provide your new dog with food, water, daily exercise, veterinary care, and lots of love!
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