I have 2 dogs presently,a cat, several in-door mini-lop rabbits and an African grey parrot. I have been trying last several months to find a dog from a shelter that will get along with everyone. Thi is seemingly imposssible as shelters test with cats and kids. Should I forget about an adult dog and get a puppy (non-sporting or hunting breed)? Is this impossible to know anyway? The dogs I have (greyhound and cattledog mix are fine with the animals but I have had to take a dog back to a shelter because her prey instinct was high. Help!!
Puppies are harder to handle when it comes to squelching the prey instinct. we had hamsters and little frogs when the kids were little and our cocker was able to be taught to leave them alone, even though she was a hunting breed. But she was also an older dog. I'm not sure she would have obeyed me when she was a puppy.
Did you try taking one of the bun buns to the shelter to meet a dog. Thats a hard one. Even puppies can kill small animals or birds. We had a bunny that was killed by our dog. The dog was fine with the rabbit in the house but once we made a cage for her and let her outside to nibble on the grass and the dog killed her inside the cage. The bunny was let outt to roam in the house and the dog never touched it but for some reason when it was outside she thought of it as pray. I think a very young pup would be the best bet so you can teach it not to hurt the animals.
I thought about taking one of the bolder rabbits to a shelter but usually the dogs are so excited meeting new people that I'm not sure that it would be a fair test. The dog that I had to return would not do anything unless she saw the rabbit move or the bird flap his wings. I asked one shelter if they would let me take a dog home for a "test" but they wouldn't. Maureen..... I really would rather save a dog than get one from a breeder.
Maureen- rescue groups who foster dogs in volunteer homes are going to be the safest route for you. They're all homeless dogs who were surrendered by their owners or found in kill-shelters- so you're saving a life by going through them, too! Every time one is adopted, a new slot is open for another to be rescued.
There are purebred rescues for most breeds- if you're looking for a specific one. There are also general rescues, that rescue the "nice" mixed breed dogs from shelters.
Because the dogs spend at least a few weeks in the foster homes, they can tell you much more about their "quirks". I'm certain that a good group knowing your situation would allow you to "test" the right dog before adopting it.