clubs have established rescue efforts that have been spun
off into separate single-focus organizations such as GRRMF.
The national club, Golden Retriever Club of America, strongly
supports the local clubs in their rescue efforts. Today most
national breed clubs work toward setting up rescue programs
for their breed with club members doing the work of rescue
at a local level. Other groups may work toward all breed
rescue or mixed breeds.
and almost any breed of dog can be found in your local shelters.
But before you adopt a dog from a shelter or a rescue group,
you should do some research first and find out what kind
of companion would be best for you. Are you active, do you
like to jog, or are you more of a couch potato? If you like
a really neat house would handfuls of shedding coat drive
you crazy? Do you enjoy grooming a dog? Should it be big
or small? Quiet or a watch dog? Is this your first dog or
are you experienced with dogs? You should have a really good
idea of what you are looking for in a dog before you call
rescue or make a trip to a shelter. Avoid making a quick
emotional decision. The dog you select will be a member of
your family for a very long time, so do not pick a dog hoping
it will fit into your lifestyle, rather chose one that does
fit your lifestyle.
dogs wind up in shelters, on the streets or in rescues? Why
do owners give up these wonderful dogs? Why would a wonderful
gentle breed such as the Golden Retriever end up in a shelter?
The reasons will astound you. Typically people think only
bad dogs or dogs with really bad problems end up in shelters. WRONG,
WRONG, WRONG. Most dogs wind up in shelters or rescue
due to circumstances over which they have no control: family
moving, divorce, children who become allergic to them, lack
of time and commitment on the part of the owner. Some puppies
just get "too big" or require more time than the owner originally
planned. While it is true many shelter or rescue dogs have
not been taught any manners, or been well socialized, it
is also true that this situation is easily remedied if the
new owners will just invest some time with the dogs. Goldens
are darling puppies that grow up to be large, social dogs
that require an outlet for their energy, both physical and
mental. They are not "couch potato" dogs until well into
their senior years; they are very affectionate and social
and do not do well when ignored or banned to the outdoors.
With proper training and attention they really respond given
their natural intelligence and willingness to work.
classes are an excellent way to begin working on manners
and focusing the energy of the dog. The classes also help
to develop a bond between the dog and his owner and teaches
the dog how to please. Often dogs are not taught how to please
their owners but are magically expected to respond in the
right way. Humans and dogs are two different species coexisting
together and unless dogs are taught how to react and respond
to human expectations, they will respond in doggie terms.
It is perfectly acceptable in dog society to jump up and
get in your face to greet you, as that is how dogs often
greet each other. Most people do not find this acceptable
and need to teach the dog to sit, have it's chest scratched,
and then bend down to look in the dogs face and greet them.
See the chance for mis communication? The person sees the
dog jumping up as being bad, the dog just sees it as a greeting.
He must be taught to sit and wait for the greeting, and he
is happy to do it once he understands. The best place for
humans and dogs to learn how to understand each other is
in a good obedience class. Obedience classes are also an
excellent way to bond to your new companion. Many times we
get older dogs into rescue. The general rule of thumb is
the older the dog the more civilized it is because he has
had more time to learn the rules.
in a mobile and disposable society. Too often getting a puppy
is an emotional, spur of the moment decision and it is the
dog that winds up paying the price. Once we adopt a dog we
must be prepared to care for them for their lifetime. There
is no other creature on earth who is so loyal as our loving
canine friends; all they ask is to be by our side and be
a part of our family. They do not care if we are rich or
poor, thin or fat, we are all beautiful in their eyes, they
just love us because we are theirs. Next time you are considering
a pet, check out your local shelter or rescue group. Now
you know that good dogs really do go to the pound or get
turned over to rescue groups, and there is one just waiting