Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Adopting from Europe

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Boojie, Mar 5, 2021.


  1. Boojie

    Boojie PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2021
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    10
    Posted a previous thread about getting a dog for the family and it was suggested to rescue a dog which I would love to do. However found it very hard in the Uk. Many dogs not suitable for primary school age children or other requirements. So I started looking further afield and there seems to be more availability of rescue dogs in Europe. I have found Facebook pages for Macedonia Rumania and Greece for example with lots of available dogs including puppies and dogs suitable for younger children.

    Is this all too good to be true? Are their pitfalls that I am missing? I’ve never adopted a dog before. Would appreciate some advice.
     
  2. ShibaPup

    ShibaPup PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    1,656
    Likes Received:
    4,633
    Most of these dogs are street dogs - they haven't been socialised, they haven't lived in a house, they haven't had much positive human contact, haven't been lead trained, are escape artists. Most often are caught by dog catchers and dumped in over crowded, underfed kill shelters.

    It's typical to see fear issues, anxiety, not wanting to really interact with their new owners initially being wary and shy of human contact, bin raiding, counter surfing and resource guarding.

    Ideally if you want a European rescue please ensure they're a good rescue! Ideally they should foster the dogs first in family homes for a while first here in the UK to assess them correctly, or in a safe kennel environment. Ensure they have kennels or at least will take the dog back if necessary and have good follow up, with a behaviourist or trainer on board that follows positive methods (nothing alpha or dominance based) to help give advice if necessary.

    Sadly many European rescues tend to come straight from kill shelters, travel a few days and then are delivered to you... trigger stacked and overwhelmed, not great for first time owners when a dog hasn't really been assessed. Others seem to always have puppies - be careful they aren't puppy farmers in disguise.

    Saying that - there are good European rescues out there and members on here can probably recommend some :)
     
  3. BlueJay

    BlueJay Pack of Losers

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    6,637
    Likes Received:
    18,006
    Be very, very wary.

    Some foreign rescues are fantastic; offering lifetime backup, matching dogs to families, evaluating dogs behaviour, work on basic training and settling, divulging known information and issues fully, supporting the local area with education etc etc

    Others meanwhile simply slap sob stories on broken, terrified, semi feral street dogs and send them on their way to whoever applies first, then will wash their hands of them.
    Others still will essentially produce puppies for the rescue 'market', because everyone loves cute puppies with sad stories more than older dogs with potential behavioural issues!


    I have a foreign rescue myself. He's great and I absolutely adore him, but you do need to be very, very careful about which rescue and which dog you choose, particularly with young children in the picture. While they might be a bit OTT sometimes, the rules in UK rescues are there for a reason.
    Make sure you do proper research on how these foreign rescues are evaluating their dogs, how they are housed (kennels vs foster homes vs pound etc), what exactly makes particular dogs more suitable for children than others, if they are a registered charity, read as many reviews as possible and speak to as many people who have adopted from them as possible.

    Remember tht many of the dogs from abroad, especially street dogs and others that have never been in a home situation before could act COMPLETELY different when they arrive. They're going to be scared, confused, overwhelmed and typically need a lot of time to settle and feel comfortable the travel, multiple new people to meet along the journey, vet visits with plenty of tablets and needles, as well as the total flip of a living situation!

    Also be aware that when adopting puppies from any rescue, their backgrounds are often unknown and can be very mixed up. Size, temperament, coat type and everything else will be a total lucky bag, and while you'll have them as a pup and hopefully be able to put in plenty of good training and socialising, behaviour and temperament are definitely genetic to some extent; its unfortunately not all in how they are raised :)
     
  4. Boojie

    Boojie PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2021
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thank you so much. I was looking at the wild at heart foundation. They seem to have a good handle on their dogs and from the videos have socialised them as best as possible and seem to have a rigorous selection process. But as you rightly say, it’s so difficult to tell, as a novice especially. It remains a big risk I guess without getting a recommendation.
     
    BlueJay likes this.
  5. Arny

    Arny PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,429
    Likes Received:
    1,971
    Have you looked at independent rescue's here? They tend to look at each individual applicant and their dogs more than just having blanket policies.
     
  6. BlueJay

    BlueJay Pack of Losers

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    6,637
    Likes Received:
    18,006
    Is there a particular pup there that's caught your eye?
    I have no experience with Wild at Heart, but the website seems to be saying a lot of the tight things. It seems like they have a few dogs in UK foster too, so you could at least meet the dog in person and see whats what (pandemic permitting!) before making a commitment.

    I got my Hiccup from Galgos Del Sol (in Spain) six years ago now, and can definitely recommend them from my experience :)
    https://galgosdelsol.org/
    124103150_1061529710940622_628159233481222372_n.jpg


    I cant remember if you've already said, is this to be your first dog?
    Worth noting that a lot of the breeds and mixes available abroad (podencos, galgos, harehounds, shepherds things etc) are typically working or hunting type dogs, rather than the majority of dogs over here which are bred mainly as pets (of course still with breed traits to take into account).
    That's not to say they cant make great family pets, but do think about the mental stimulation and level of activity you'd be able to provide, as well as dealing with potentially challenging behaviours.

    I think you mentioned about shedding being an issue? Sorry if that was somebody else!
    A lot of rommy rescues and others from colder countries do tend to be shepherd type mixes that shed heavily!



    If its the lack of suitable dogs in UK rescue that's the main issue for you at the mo, if you hang fire until after lockdown has eased and people get more back to their normal shenanigans, I guarantee there will be floods of new dogs coming in!
     
  7. Magyarmum

    Magyarmum PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    Messages:
    9,981
    Likes Received:
    25,099
    Boojie, rona and Happy Paws2 like this.
  8. Boojie

    Boojie PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2021
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thank you for all your replies. Very helpful.
     
  9. bunnygeek

    bunnygeek PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1,109
    Likes Received:
    710
    I would recommend keep researching but wait until lockdowns have lifted and you have a better idea of what your normal routines will be. UK rescues have had a lot LESS hand overs since the first lockdown, the dogs they have come in that could genuinely live with children have hundreds of applications.

    it’s going to change sadly when lockdowns lift and families realise they can’t manage commuting, taking the kids to school and dog care, or can’t afford dog walkers or doggy day care.

    If you do consider adopting from abroad, it’s worth asking if any of those rescues are involved in local programmes to prevent the stray and abandoned dog issues in those countries. They’re not just grabbing dogs from the local pounds and flinging them at the UK, not really making any impact on local problems and in effect creating a “market” for shipping dogs abroad.
     
    Pixel, DaisyBluebell and Boojie like this.
  10. DaisyBluebell

    DaisyBluebell Earth, the insane asylum of the Universe

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    7,384
    Please wait for a few weeks after lockdown has eased, as mentioned above, there will be plenty of dogs to choose from then, looking for a loving home , when the novelty of having a reason to get out is no longer necessary.
     
    Pixel and simplysardonic like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice