The latest sad tragic news story of a baby killed by a dog is the second such fatality this year. In the last 12 months this is the second fatal attack on a child by a dog recently bought by the family. What should you be looking at if you buy or adopt a dog?
Whether rescue or private sale, ensure you check things out properly. Visit the dog in kennels, foster or own home. See the dog’s behaviour with the family, in the garden, being groomed and played with. Particularly see the dog with the children of the family if you are being told that the dog is good with kids.
Go for a walk with the dog, watch how the owner handles and walks it. Make sure you see it near traffic, and with people and dogs nearby.
There is more advice on my blog post here : Lies, Cons and private dog sales
Rescue comes in all shapes and sized. Some meet every dog, have behaviour support, do full assessments. Some never even meet the dogs, they are in kennels somewhere and the kennels hand dogs to people. Many of the dogs brought in from abroad have serious behaviour issues, too many run away soon after getting here, dogs are handed over at service stations or on doorsteps. Some of these rescues have no UK support and no back up when things go wrong.
But many UK rescues are very poor too. No insurance, poor or non existent paperwork, dogs with problems lied about.
Wherever you get your dog from, check out the dog and owner/rescue carefully. Have safety and separation in place and see as much as you can of the dog before bringing it home.
I have created several infographics to help people adopt dogs.