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  • Thursday, November 21 2019 @ 10:29 pm UTC
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DON'T LET YOUR GERMAN SHEPHERD BECOME HOMELESS Don’t let your dog become homeless
By Erik Hoffer
It infuriates me to hear these stories every day.
I get a call from someone wishing to relinquish a pet. “I can no longer care for my dog”, is typically the tag line before the rest of the story comes out. This type of thing is obvious and necessary when circumstances present themselves to us that make it impossible for us to keep our beloved pet; but more often then not, the relinquishment has issues that caused it.
To be clear, if a person is ill, looses their home, get's divorced, has allergic issues or other valid circumstances that cause them to relinquish their pet, I am all over it and try to help. When however the situation is that the family can’t afford to keep the dog, I say why did you invest in an animal or adopt one that you can’t afford to care for in the first place??? Didn’t you consider the costs of a pet when you took them in? An average GSD costs $1500 a year to feed, medicate, train, house and initially neuter or spay?
Next is the “I can’t stand the dogs’s behavior”, which boils down to the fact that, “I didn’t take the time to train the dog so he learned on his own and he is anti-social, destructive and not responsive so I need to get him out of my house’. This is followed by “the dog is dangerous around my kids”. That is because you did not train or socialize the dog or accepted a dog from a rescue or from a person on Craig’s list that lied; since the dog was already a problem and now he is your problem and potentially dangerous to your family and home. That could have been prevented by your examining the animal’s behavior carefully before taking him or her in. The problem is now yours to deal with, which probably will not end well for you or the dog and may cost more than you think to resolve.
Another one is that 'my landlord wants the dog out because he is on the dangerous dog list'. If you are a renter, you knew the rules before adopting or purchasing the dog, so why did you do that to the dog? The answer is that you wanted a pet and selfishly adopted him now only to have to relinquish him or place him in a shelter or worse.
Getting a pet is a big decision. It’s a family member. You need to make sure that you know what you are getting into when you take in a dog, especially a GSD. Many renters are amazed that they can’t take the dog to another area because the homeowner or association will not allow GSD’s there. This can be for insurance reasons or they had a bad experience with a destructive or problematic dog in the past or their rules don't allow for this breed. Now what do you do to keep your pet? If you move he can’t go so you dump him and if you stay your life is controlled by the dog’s inability to relocate. These types of situations cause dogs to be relinquished to shelters or to people who probably will not treat your precious pet the same way you would have liked. Simply put, if you can’t see beyond this week in getting a pet, don’t get one. It is a lifetime commitment. I think many younger families still do not have that concept down because it’s a throw away world for products, but surely not for dogs. If you are not able to afford a dog, don’t get one. If you are not prepared to take the time to train and socialize the dog, don’t get one. If you rent don’t get a dog that is not acceptable in most apartments such as GSD’s, Rotties, Pits or dogs over a certain weight. It’s not the dog, but the circumstances that should cause you to think through purchasing or accepting a pet. Don’t make the dog the ‘fall-guy’ because it’s not their fault, it’s yours.