5 Rescue Dog Myths & Misconceptions

We all know that there are rescue dogs out there waiting for a forever home, and many of us feel drawn to make that special bond with a rescue. But there are a few misconceptions that may stop you from adopting.

We’re about to bust five rescue dog myths to help you take the first step to meet your new canine chum.

Top Rescue Dog Myths That Stop Adoption

Puppies in animal shelter

Myth #1 – All Rescue Dogs Have Behavioral Problems

It’s no doubt that some rescue dogs are given up to shelters or abandoned by their owners because they have behaviors their owners just couldn’t manage. However, many rescue dogs have no problems at all. 

Rescue dogs are surrendered for many different reasons, including their owners getting too old, having to move to a place that’s not pet friendly, or having lost their jobs. Perhaps some have ended up in the rescue shelter because their owner has died.

Your rescue shelter should be very clear about the specific behaviors and needs of the dogs they have up for adoption. They will check that you meet those needs when they review your application.

Myth #2 – Rescue Dogs Need a Big Backyard/Garden Space

Many folks believe that they can’t rehome a dog because they don’t have a large enough garden – or any garden at all! But think about it. Many of us pet parents live in flats/apartments and have dogs. 

You just need to take your dog for walks in public parks and woodlands where your pup can run and exercise and be healthy. You don’t need a big backyard.

The key is to be committed to doing so because it’s crucial for your dog’s fitness, not to mention their need to go to the toilet!

Myth #3 – Rescue Dogs are Always Older Canines - No Puppies

Rescue dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Some are older, but many are puppies. The average age of dogs in rescue shelters is 18 months, as puppies are a lot more work! 

There are as many ages of rescue dogs as there are reasons why dogs may become a rescue. However, if you’re looking for a puppy, you’ll indeed find one at a rescue shelter. 

Pet owner training rescue dog

Myth #4 – You Can’t Train a Rescue Dog

Some avoid rescue dogs because they believe that they will come with a set of behaviors that you can’t change. 

Younger dogs may not have had any training, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to learn. While with the older ones, it can be a positive advantage that they already respond to certain commands and understand that certain behaviors aren’t appropriate. 

There may be a few differences to bear in mind between rescues and puppies regarding training, but there are lots of tips, books, and training experts (check below) to help you.

Myth #5 – Rescue Dogs Can’t Be With Other Pets

The majority of rescue dogs actually do better with a companion than they do alone. A good shelter will assess and observe each dog as they come in and see how they interact with humans and other animals.

Further, the expert staff will be clear which dogs will welcome others and which are best to be rehomed alone, and they will match owners and rescues to get a great outcome. 

Black and white rescue dog waiting for adoption

Final Thoughts

Don’t let these rescue dog myths stop you from experiencing the fun and companionship that you can share with a rescue dog. As well as the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ve given a loving home to a dog in need, there are many other benefits to adopting a rescue dog

Pet ownership is proven to be good for our mental and physical health in a range of ways – not least all the extra walks we go on with our beloved pupster!

Have you adopted a rescue dog? Let us know in the comments below 🙂

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