The dogs of the Caribbean do not have it easy. These dogs are often found in ill health, very skinny, and are usually terrified. Due to the lack of sterilization in these parts the dog population is out of control. They have never known the inside of a house, a warm, comfortable place to sleep, what a toy is. Many have never known love. These dogs take some time to decompress and a quiet loving home to do it in.
These street dogs, or potcakes as they are often referred to, can be varied in their appearance but all are somewhat similar sized. They are an extremely smart dog. Only healthy adult dogs can reproduce, and only smart dogs live to be healthy adults on the street. Therefore these dogs come from a lineage of the smartest dogs. They will pick up training, as well as bad habits very quickly so care must be taken to set them up for success from the first day.
The dogs of northern Canada have it worse then all the dogs in North America. They are large hairy dogs that are exposed to horrible weather and large amounts of parasites. They are often neglected or left to roam free where they get into fights and reproduce unchecked. These dogs are often friendly towards people (as there is no other way to eat in the winter other then to be fed) but can develop reactivity issues with other dogs once they are removed from the north. These dogs often come with at least one or two minor health issues. They will also be very new to life in a city and should be introduced to new things slowly so as to not overwhelm them.
Things like tall buildings, elevators, and escalators are all very new strange things to these dogs. These dogs are often pack hunters, which leads to a high prey drive and adults are not recommended for homes with very small dogs or cats.
The abused toy dog is any small or Toy group dog that has never had its personal space respected, and has been treated like an accessory or stuffed animal their entire lives. These dogs are not vicious. They have no trust left in humans. These dogs require time left alone in a home to decompress and do well in the company of confident dog house mates. These dogs often do not know how to be a dog, and lack confidence. Since they do not trust humans it is better to pair them with a confident dog who will show them that humans are not all bad. Consent to pet guidelines should be followed with these dogs at all times (see section on how to properly pet a dog)
This category encompasses all large breed working dogs that are surrendered for various reasons. The most common are German Shepard and Husky mixes. Working dogs are high energy purpose driven dogs that are highly intelligent and need a job. They need something to do. If your idea of exercise is a lap around the block, these are not the dogs for you. If you think training is Sit and get a treat, these are not the dogs for you. These dogs require strong leadership and constant stimulation. They need to always have a leader, or they will take over as the leader. They make horrible leaders. These dogs often come with reactivity issues and need to be handled by a confident experienced handler.
Their are 7 major groups of dogs. Herding, sporting, Non sporting, working, hounds, terriers, toys. Each group has different needs. When you mix two or more of these groups together, you must satisfy all those needs. For example, a Labrador Rottweiler mix would be a sporting dog and a working dog mixed together. This dog will need large amounts of exercise and will be purpose driven. It will want to play fetch and will have a good prey drive. It will probably be a stubborn dog. A chihuahua doxen mix would cross a hound dog with a toy breed. This means you will most likely get a headstrong diva who marches to the beat of its own drum.
A large number of dogs are surrendered or abandoned due to old age or ill health. This is a sad but unfortunate fact. These dogs also need homes. These dogs often require a large time commitment however these dogs love harder then all the others. If you have the time and the experience, these are the dogs that need your help the most.
Everyone wants a chihuahua because they are small and cute and can fit in your purse. Until they find out chihuahuas generally live up to their reputation of being loud, crazy and hard to housetrain. Many of these dogs come with fear biting issues as they are often treated like toys with no respect for their personal space. Dogs that are bred to be too small will have a higher risk of health issues. They will need time and patience. They will need to learn to trust humans again and to have their personal space respected. They do not pose any real danger as they are often very small, however they do still have teeth and their bites can hurt.
The southern US is littered with thrown away hunting dogs. These dogs are often found as strays, get abandoned, or worse. They are head strong and have instincts to follow their noses and to hunt things. They require a lot of exercise and a lot of mental stimulation, and an owner who can let them decompress in a safe structured environment. These dogs often take a good amount of time before they have settled in and require a patient yet authoritative handler.
There strong nose and urge to follow it mean that they must always be watched, and strict lost dog prevention guidelines should be followed. They will also chase and hunt any small animals that they are able to, as prey drive is built into them.
Pitbull and chihuahua mixes are the most common dogs in shelters. Pitbulls are often purchased for the wrong reasons by the wrong people. They are not naturally aggressive dogs. Pitbulls are in fact by nature extremely affectionate dogs that are a large stocky lapdog at heart. They want to be part of the family. They want to know love. They are also large powerful dogs and so they are recommended for people who have some experience with large dogs. Rescue pitbulls and pitbull mixes often have dark pasts and so require patience and a loving structured home to decompress in while maintaining their physical and mental exercise needs. There is no dog that loves harder then a Pit Bull
Rescue herding dogs typically display “herding” behaviour. They will urgently nudge or nip at people, especially young children, to try to gather them into a group. It might come off a bit aggressive but this is a natural herding behaviour.
Since the majority of adopters will not have a herd of sheep, their needs must be met in other ways. These dogs need something to do, and it needs to be done in a hurry! They love to run, and have lots of energy. They are also highly intelligent. These dogs often excel in dog sports such as agility trials, flyball, and diving. These dogs are not low maintenance dogs and potential adopters should be able to provide the intense exercise and mental stimulation required to keep these dogs happy and well behaved.
The Terrier is a very specialized class of dogs. They are wildlife and pest control specialist. That is what they were created to do. There are two main groups of terriers, the short legged, and the long legged.
The short legged terriers are short and stocky, designed to go underground into burrows and eliminate every thing in it’s path. They are naturally independent thinkers and workers (there is no room for a handler in a rabbit hole), with a take no prisoners don’t hold anything back attitude.
The long legged terriers are larger, and therefore do not crawl through burrows. They dig to them. Because they are larger they were meant to take on bigger animals, life foxes and badgers.
The Terrier is a dog designed to do dangerous work alone. They are independent and fearless and quite frankly, very stubborn. They also enjoy digging. It is important to provide terriers with plenty of independent mental stimulation as well as regular exercise. Terriers would benefit from regular decompression walks