THE BEST NEW HOME FOR
A Guideline to help you make the right choices for your Dalmatian's
by members of the
Central Maryland Dalmatian Club
Chris Jackson, Elaine Thomas
Julia Amos and Betty Galloway
#1: MAKING DECISIONS AND
NEEDS: Before you look for a
new home, please make sure the whole family is aware of what is going
to happen. If there are children involved, explain to them why you
think the dog should be placed, and make sure they understand the
issues. Children who can't let go of a pet can make the placement very
NEEDS: Take a few quiet moments
and consider the needs of your dog. You know what kind of home your dog
lives in now, so what would you want the ideal new home to be like? If
you are placing your dog because of behavior problems, then you should
consider how the behavior will affect the new home. Does your dog:
other dogs? cats? children?
a fenced yard?*have a very
high energy level?
to go out at times during the
difficulty being left alone?
special treatments, diet or
a list of these requirements
now. It will help later when you seek the right home.
NEEDS: It is important to
have the dog spayed or neutered before placement. Without this, you run
the risk of the new owner harming your dog by using the animal to breed
indiscriminately or selling the dog to a breeding farm/puppy mill. We
have enough unwanted dogs in the world already without adding more.
Check with your veterinarian or local shelter to see if a low-cost
spaying or neutering program is available. Up date shots and other
medical care. Give your dog the best start in his/her new home.
#2: PLACING THE CORRECT
BEST way to find a loving home is
to place a well-written advertisement in your local newspaper. Don't be
afraid to use this method. It gets much better results than flyers,
notices, word-of-mouth or any other methods. You can get good results
by following these recommendations.
the list you made previously to
be very specific in the wording of the ad. Plan the kind of home your
want first then target that kind of home. For instance:
Dalmatian, B/W, male, 2 1/2 yrs, neutered, very active, needs active
home with lots of time for a dog. Fenced yard for exercise. No small
children or cats OR Dalmatian, B/W, female, 4 yrs, spayed, settled and
sweet. likes lots of attention, petting and walks. Cats O.K. Children
over age 8 O.K.
can see from these two ads that
the kinds of home that should respond are quite different. If you were
looking for a dog and you saw these ads, you would easily know which
might best fit your home circumstances. Remember, being specific is
important for two reasons:
need to get phone calls from
people who have the right kind of home and eliminate all the callers
whose homes would not qualify.
you are honest, specific and up
front about your dog's needs, then the family who adopts the dog will
be prepared to deal with the dog's limitations. If they are not
informed, they may try to return the dog to you within days, or worse,
take the dog to a pound or just turn it loose.
use the word "free" There are
people who take "free" dogs and harm them by reselling them to research
labs or breeding farms. Also, the word "free" implies that the free
item is something of little worth and you don't want to encourage calls
from people who think of dogs that way.
#3: SCREENING CALLS FROM
a list of questions ready to ask
each caller and use a notebook to keep the responses organized. Use
your list of requirements and the questions listed below when speaking
with callers. Make arrangements with your family as to who will take
the calls and arrange a quiet place to talk. Here are some sample
you ever had a Dal before? If
the answer is "No", make sure they understand that Dals are not always
easy to live with or train.
you ever had a dog before? If
"Yes" what happened to that dog? If the dog was hit by a car then you
have the right to ask how such an accident will be prevented in the
you rent or share? If "Yes",
can the prospective home provide a letter of permission from their
Landlord stating large dogs are allowed. If they live with parents, do
the parents want a large dog?
you have children? If "Yes",
how old? Take care in this area. Don't ask a dog who has never lived
with children to live with children under eight years of age.
you have Any other pets? What
kind? Are other dogs spayed or neutered?
you have a fenced yard? If "No"
how will this dog get the necessary exercise? Is fencing a possibility?
the dog live in the house? Be
allowed on furniture? Where will the dog sleep at night? Where will the
dog stay while the owners are at work?
there someone home during the
day? If "No", how long will the dog be left alone?
anyone in the family have
YOU AWARE OF THE DAL'S
are no "right" or "wrong'
answers to these questions. They are a way to help you determine how
the home will fit your dog's needs.
YOU LISTEN TO CALLERS, SOME
COMMENTS SHOULD RAISE DOUBTS IN YOUR MIND! For example:
don't know anything about the
breed but I want one."
want a dog for the kids to
teach them responsibility."
child (son or daughter) wants
to pick a dog for himself/herself."
will be a surprise for my
need this dog right away. We
don't have time for all these silly questions."
kids watch the movie all the
time and the house is all decorated in Dalmatian stuff."
just talked my
mother/roommate/landlord into letting me get a dog."
don't have a fence."
hope this dog works out."
can't this dog be bred?" or
"Why does it have to be spayed or neutered?"
looking for a "mate" for my
who ask these questions may
still turn out to be a good home. Just keep digging until you have all
the information. Remember that some callers may be good hearted and
have the best intentions, but they may not be the right home for your
dog. As you complete each call, take a moment and record thoughts and
feelings about the caller. You may think you will remember, but after a
while all the calls run together.
#4: SELECTING THE NEW
the most likely candidates to
visit you and meet your dog. Make sure the whole family comes to visit.
If there are children, you need to see what they are like. Rowdy or
undisciplined children make the transition to a new home hard on a dog.
In addition, the children may be obviously overwhelmed by your dog. In
either case, this may NOT be the right home for your dog.
all seems well and you have a
family you like, the next step is to take the dog to their home for a
visit. This is an important part of the placement process and should
not be missed. It will give you a chance to check out the home
atmosphere, physical layout and your dog's response to where he will
live. Make it clear, in a nice way, that this may only be a visit. Your
may make the decision on site to either leave the dog, arrange for
another visit, or pursue other homes.
#5: FOLLOW UP
the first week, check on your
dog's progress in his new home at least twice. Find out if any problems
have developed. Continue to check about once a week during the first
month. If you can, assure the new family that you will be available to
answer any questions they may have as your dog makes the transition to
a new home.
dog's new family can find some
good, helpful reading in "Choosing A Shelter Dog" by Bob Christiansen.
This book is available at "Amazon.com", "Borders" or "Barnes &
Noble" and contains excellent advice for those who are learning to live
with newly adopted dogs.