As a proud dog owner of two rescues, I am always on the lookout for books that showcase the importance of thoughtful and kind pet ownership. How to Find Your Dream Dog by Dixie Tenny is a lovely guide, doing just that – connecting you with a perfect match for both sides of the equations.
I have written before about how having a pet in your life, increases your health, but to be fair to the dog in question, the dog has to fit your lifestyle, your energy level, your habits, and your space. This book provides you with guidelines on what you should consider, and the list is longer than you might think.
However, Dixie manages to make it an easy process and guides you through every step. What I also loved is that she urges the reader to responsible and get their dog from reputable sources, and never from puppy mills. My heart breaks for these animals, and responsible pet owners should consider that the mere possibility of their dog coming from one of those horrible places, will ensure their continuation.
Thankfully, there are alternatives, which the Author points out.
I am very grateful to have received a copy of How To Find Your Dream Dog for free, as a part of the iReadBookTours tour. All opinions are mine.
But allow me to share with you today, an article by Dixie Tenny herself. Enjoy!
Related Article: Book Blitz – Ares Road by James L. Weaver (plus Giveaway!)
4 Unusual Places to Find a Dream Dog
Where would you look to find the dog of your dreams? There are good sources for puppies and dogs (shelters, rescues, hobby breeders) and there are sources to avoid (puppy mills, pet shops, internet ads).
Here are four excellent sources you might not have considered when looking for your dream dog.
What happens to dogs being trained to guide the blind or assist a person in a wheelchair when they don’t make the cut? They are charmingly labeled “career change dogs” and become available as pets.
What makes this a great option? All dogs training for assistance work are either purpose-bred for calm, steady temperaments and good health, or very carefully selected from shelters or rescues out of hundreds of candidates. Puppies are given to puppy-raisers, where they spend about a year wearing a cape and going absolutely everywhere with their temporary human partners — into elevators, restaurants, businesses, baseball stadiums, and much more, so that they learn to maintain that calm, focused quality no matter what is going on around them.
Why do these dogs become available? The demands put on a dog whose behavior could mean life or death for its human partner are tremendous. Many dogs simply don’t -quite – have what it takes to devote their lives to that kind of service. But, due to their careful breeding or selection and the experiences they have had during their puppy-raising year, they are positioned to be outstanding pets.
How do I find one? Contact national and local service and guide dog organizations for an application.
Retired show dog
What makes this a great option? Show dogs must remain calm and focused while in the chaotic world of dog shows. They are accustomed to accepting all kinds of grooming and handling.
Why do these dogs become available? Hobby breeders do not breed to make money. They are working toward eliminating problems in their breed and producing better and healthier individuals in each generation. In order to do that, they must move some dogs along to make way for others. This is often a difficult and painful process for these people, who love all their dogs. But giving the gift of beloved house-pet status to a retired show dog is something many breeders are willing to do. These dogs are usually in the prime of their lives and have many years to offer a new home.
How do I find one? Contact national and local breed clubs for the breed you are interested in and ask if they know of breeders who might have retired dogs available.
What makes this a great option? Everyone knows about shelters and rescue organizations, but did you know there are rescue groups devoted to almost all individual dog breeds? If you know that the qualities of a particular dog breed suit you perfectly, but you would also love to give a needy dog a new home, here is your chance to do both at once.
Why do these dogs become available? Every reason under the sun. Owner’s death, divorce, change of circumstances. Allergies. A purebred stray is found. Dog kills chickens. Two dogs don’t get along. And so much more.
How do I find one? Using a search engine, enter the name of the breed you are interested in, the word “rescue,” and if it matters to you, the area you are interested in looking at dogs in. For example, “Golden Retriever rescue northern California.” Most national breed clubs affiliated with the American Kennel Club (AKC) have a rescue coordinator. You can find those names on the AKC webpage.
What makes this a great option? Their veterinarians are often the first people approached by clients who want to find new homes for their dogs. Since she is the one who has been taking care of their health, the vet is well acquainted with the basics of the personalities of these dogs, how well they have been cared for, possibly even what type of new home would be best for each one.
Why do these dogs become available? Similarly to rescue, for every possible reason. A puppy was given as a surprise gift to someone who can’t handle it. A military family is moving overseas and can’t take their pet. A client’s parent or grandparent died and left the client with a dog who doesn’t get along with their own. And so on.
How do I find one? This one is easy! Talk to your veterinarian. Let her know that you are interested in finding a new pet dog (or cat!) and give her all the useful details so that she will know when she hears about a good prospect for you.
Dixie Tenny has been helping people and their dogs find each other and form successful partnerships since the early 1980s. She founded two rescue organizations: Purebred Dog Rescue of Saint Louis in 1984, and Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue, Inc. in 1987. Dixie was the Director of Training for the Greater St. Louis Training Club, Inc., for five years, creating classes and overseeing the work of 40 head and assistant trainers. In 2003 she and another experienced trainer created Dogs Unleashed, LLC. They traveled to clients’ homes and worked with behavior and training issues.
Dixie’s professional credentials include trainer certifications from the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior and the Association for Pet Dog Trainers. Dixie formed her own business, Human-Animal Learning Opportunities, LLC (HALO) in 2013. HALO hosts continuing education seminars for dog trainers.
Dixie has lived with a wide range of dogs over the years including mixed breeds, Australian Shepherds, Welsh and Cairn terriers, and more. While in Seattle, Dixie raised a labrador puppy for Canine Companions for Independence, Inc. (CCI). Currently, Dixie lives with a Beauceron and an elderly Papillon, as well as four cats. When not doing things related to animals, she reads widely, enjoys the company of her three grown children, follows baseball and English Premier League football, and travels the world.