Ready to adopt?

By adopting a dog you are adding another member in your family.
Such a decision is very important and the parameters you have to take into account are many. No matter your best intentions and endless patience, your decision to adopt a dog belonging in the high-energy hunting-group and keep him in an apartment, while being away for work for 8-10 hours per day is doomed.

Equally doomed is a decision to get a guard dog for your single house who lives and sleeps outside and his “relationship” with your family extends to pretty much feeding and watering. .

Please fill-in our questionnaire so we can help you find a dog suitable to your lifestyle.

Important note to interested adopters: stray dogs are really many and people like us who are trying to re-home them are usually volunteers. In addition, adoption projects sometimes do more harm than good, because, by offering added benefits, they sometimes lead people opting to adopt to feel like “clients” rather than conscientious individuals who want to do the right thing instead of buying a dog. Take a moment to think that there are many time-and-money-costing steps before any adoption is concluded. Also, remember the psychological cost of a stray dog which was rescued and then returned to his/her area because somebody forgot their scheduled “meeting” with the poor dog. So please, respect us and our stray friends by being honest in filling-in our questionnaire and punctual in the arranged meetings.

Practical issues to think about before welcoming your newly-adopted dog home!

  1. Where will the dog sleep? We suggest inside the house which is now also his home, in a crate (at least during the period of adaptation) that will be comfortable for the dog even when he reaches his full growth (this way you will be able to transport him safely when you go on vacation with your car or an airplane), but not bigger than appropriate. This will be his home while he is sleeping or for the moments you cannot supervise him (especially while he is still a puppy) and until he is housebroken and has stopped chewing things that do not belong to him. As to where will his crate should be, we recommend inside the bedroom of an adult, usually mum and dad’s bedroom, or exactly outside the same bedroom with the door of the room open.
  2. Where will the dog eat? We suggest you choose a corner in the kitchen where he will have his own bowl with food, next to his water-bowl. Please make sure the water is frequently refreshed.
  3. Where will your puppy relieve herself? When the vet allows it, outside the house during his regular walks. Until then, on a training pad in the porch or veranda, the yard or in a specific corner of the house, away from the main entrance door, his food or water. Maybe your dog doesn’t know how to walk on a leash. Well, there is no way he would know, unless you teach him to! Please read more in the “Companionship and Socialization” section.
  4. Where will you play with your dog and with what? We suggest a roomy space with a non- slippery floor so as not to hurt the dog’s bone structure, especially when at growth. This space is usually a yard or a garden or even inside the house, but on a carpet or mat that you don’t mind getting dirty or needing replacement at some point time. As for the toys, you will need at least one knot, a ball or another rubber toy (preferably with a hole for squeezing-in biscuits), chewable bones available in all sizes in pet shops, one or two fluffy toys and of course, treats so as to reward your dog’s good behaviors. Furthermore, it is important to interchange the toys continually (every 2-3 days) when you leave the house so that he doesn’t get bored of the same toys for days on end. Be careful of the toys’ sizes: a puppy might be intimidated by a big knob. Also, a ball which used to be appropriate for a puppy can become, with the dog’s growth, very dangerous if it is not replaced by a bigger one on time.What “Games” NOT to play with your dog:
    No chasing games
    , because your dog will quickly thrive at catching your legs, maybe a little too clumsily and he’ll be doing that with his mouth and teeth, as we all know that he has no hands!
    No biting of fingers: Think about it: A puppy who instinctively bites on anything to alleviate the annoyance in his gums caused by his changing teeth will soon learn – and this will be your mistake – that your fingers are not off-limits. Inevitable results: 1) pain for you, 2) annoyance on your part, due to the pain inflicted and therefore, deterioration of your relationship with your dog, 3) irritation of the dog as, YOU allowed it at first becauses it didn’t hurt so much, but later, when the pain got unbearable, you took this “game” away from him. And the worst of all? 4) Your hands, instead of being something like a “magnet” for all good things happening to your dog (“come”, praise through petting, etc) in the end are not available when you are about to use them for a good cause because your dog thinks you are re-instating this “game” and starts to bite them all over again. So, you cannot pet him, cannot call him to you so you can both enjoy petting for praise, but also, you cannot even get his leash on his collar to take him for a walk and so many other nice endeavors!
  5. What is the hierarchy in your house? We recommend the following order: dad, mum, children (in age order) and last but not least the dog. At this point you should consider that if your dog lived on the street he would choose to be member of a “pack” with a pecking order or hierarchy. So, this is also the kind of hierarchy he needs in your house to feel safe and grow up to be a balanced companion-dog. If you live alone and your “family-pack” includes you and your dog then you are the “leader” and he comes after you.
  6. How does your dog perceive hierarchy? Your dog perceives his place in your family from the moment he steps his foot in your house, depending on your behavior. Attention: we must underline that we don’t apply proper hierarchy rules because we wish to demote or underestimate our dog. On the contrary, our line of thought and practice relies on the fact that every dog is calm and feels safe when he follows a leader whereas he gets very nervous when he doesn’t have a leader because he might feel he has to lead. Common examples of this change of roles are dogs who are allegedly “disobedient” , because they do whatever they want, whenever they want, due to lack of proper hierarchy rules. These unhappy dogs are the ones who get chained in the back yard or isolated in another room whenever the family is having guests and/or never go for a walk because they “attack” and become “aggressive” towards objects or living beings and their life is generally kind pretty much like a punishment, because they are socially “banned”. And they are not “punished” because of what they did but rather, because of all those things their guardians (not owners) neglected to do, with love and an absolute sense of responsibility.

Christina Economou – Dimitris Liarikos

Dog Training Instructors

Phone support for adopters of dogs on e-mail economou@sapt.gr

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