Let’s talk about returning dogs.
We are sure this will upset a lot of people- and we will get texts telling us how upset people are BUT and it’s a big but – our responsibility and our loyalty lies with our dogs and not the people who adopt, then return them without good reason. It’s a perfect storm of a sense of entitlement and a lack of responsibility. What do we mean?
A sense of entitlement:
is where people just expect the dog to be perfect without them doing the basics – like training, using a muzzle, following advice. They feel their dog should just be good because he is with them – and it often doesn’t occur to them that they are the human and it’s in their power to change the way the dog behaves. Training is like a magic concept that really works – if you bother with it.
Lack of responsibility:
when you take on a dog you take on a massive responsibility. We ensure pre adoption, at every stage, that you are fully aware of the 3-3-3 rule – yet dogs are returned within the first week or so because people are having problems. Problems that are to be expected when you take on a dog – whether this be a puppy or an adult rescue. You are the responsible adult, and it is your responsibility to make the rehoming work – not give up at the first hurdle because it’s too much work.
People expect the dog to understand what they want him to do – without attending a single training class. Or they pay for a behavioural report and then ignore the advice (thinking the payment will change everything, hoping because they have flashed a visa card, that the dog will suddenly behave.)
We are not talking about the genuine cases – illness, losing your home etc – which are outside the owners control. We are talking about situations where the owner can control the outcome – they just choose not to. It is easier to return their dog that deal with the training issues. Before you just dump a dog back with us- consider the implications:
- It is really hard to rehome a returned dog – if you don’t want the dog, then why would anyone else. It is better for you not to adopt and let the dog go to a home where it will settle and stay.
- Your dog has probably lost his foster home so we are now paying for a kennel for him to live in for months. Your dog has now gone from a foster home to your home to a kennel – that’s not fair on him.
- Your dog has probably missed out on other homes because you adopted it. If he had gone to another home, he would probably have stayed.
- Another dog has missed out on a home because we spent our time processing your application and not theirs – we don’t have an infinite amount of time so we can only process so many applications a week – if you return the dog – you have wasted our time – time which we could have spent with another adopter.
Their behaviour is often a reflection of your behaviour!
If you have anxiety or other issues, which may alter the way you feel about the dog once he is home, then you need to really think long and hard before adopting. Greyhounds are emotional sponges – and their behaviour is often a reflection of your behaviour. A dog can be perfectly well behaved in his foster home – but has issues in his adopted home – a lot of the time this is down to the owner passing on stress to the dog. Everyone needs to chill out – sing to the dog, chat to the dog just don’t get stressed near the dog.
Why use a muzzle?
The muzzle is a very useful tool in making adoption work – it takes all the stress out of the situation and it means your dog can act natural – around your other dogs/cats/children. He can be “a dog” – without you watching his everyone move and stressing him out.
Let talk training!
Training is this amazing concept which means you dogs gets trained – and you learn how to train him. It really does work and you grow in confidence every time you pop along to a group lesson. You can see how your dog is around other dogs and if you are doing anything wrong – classes are cheap and cheerful – always good fun and a great way to fast-track turning your dog into a great canine citizen.
Keep off social media and get out for a walk
Posting various help questions on social media sites, then getting stressed at the large number of replies – all with different answers really dose not help. If you are feeling anxious – put the phone down, pick the lead up and go for a nice long bonding session walk.
We are hearing over and over again that people thought they could cope – but after a week or so they give up. They have not even given the dog a chance to settle. Your new dog will have had no life before you – he knows nothing but life locked away in a box – he has then been given a whole new world and often this blows their mind. It is your job to step up and make his world better and show him the love he deserves. It is your job to train him to be the dog you want, to behave as you want him to – not to give up and throw him away.
Before you even think of adopting – please consider the consequences of giving up and dumping the dog back with us – it is devastating for the dog – disruptive for us – and you have seriously damaged the chances of him finding another home within a reasonable time frame. We are still undoing the damage people did to some of our dogs from last year – they are still with us months and months later. The are bed blocking foster homes and stopping us saving other dogs. Adopting then abandoning a dog have very serious consequences – it is not like an amazon return – please think very carefully before applying to adopt.
We are not going to apologise for putting the welfare of our dogs first. If you are not going to do the same – please do not apply to adopt a dog from KGR or elsewhere.