We apologize for the downtime. During this maintenance period, the site has been upgraded to the newest versions to enhance the user experience. Please note we are still working on the site, so its appearance may change from time to time over the next few days.
Adopting Adult "Outside" Dog and Bringing Him Inside . . .
I'm a little concerned we may be biting off more than we can chew . . .
We rescued our first dog - now a 3-year old female "Supermutt" (that's what her DNA test said - seriously! - she was 5-10% of 10+ breeds!), 30 lbs - from a great local rescue organization (who we have now also fostered for twice). We wanted to adopt a second rescue, and fell for a 5-year old male hound mix named Spot. Spot is about 50 lbs, and is listed by the same local rescue organization.
Here is the rub: the dog is in Arkansas (this rescue group gets their dogs from kill shelters in South Carolina and Arkansas), and has been living with a with a local "foster" there for 4 years. I'm confirming now, but it sounds like the foster is the "main" contact in Arkansas that works with this rescue, i.e., the person who gets them from the shelters and brings them to her hours, first. It sounds like Spot has lived his entire life outside with several other dogs at the home of this foster family.
I trust what the fosters are telling me that he's good with kids and other dogs, can walk on a leash, etc., but it concerns me that he has been an outdoor dog his entire life in the equivalent of an orphanage. I live in suburbia, so if we do this, "Spot" would be transported up to New York from Arkansas and handed off to me to immediately start living indoors. Everything I've read online talks about slowly acclimating an outdoor dog to the indoors a couple of hours per day, then more, then more, etc., but that is not an option for us - we are not set up for having an outdoor dog, and it's December in NY - not doing that to him!
As I said when I started, I'm concerned we are biting off more than we can chew. How hard/easy will this be? I know all about crate training, and I've had puppies in the past, is that what I am looking at, or will it be easier/harder? My wife and I work full time jobs, and while we both have a few weeks off later this month for the holidays, we will return to work in January and the dogs will be alone ~6 hours per day (I might be able to cut out and let them out at lunch some days).
I'm trying to be realistic about this - we're good dog people and will do what we need to do, but we're also a family of 4 with two kids in sports, school, etc., who were looking to adopt an adult dog in the first place, in part, because we know we're skipping "puppy."
Am I over thinking this? Anything I should be asking of the rescue?
Outside dog isnt what would make me hesitate big time. Many dogs run stray or are outside dogs prior to ending up in shelters and generally adjust quickly to a home since homes are, well, comfy. Housetraining can be easier with a previously outdoor dog than a dog who has learned to potty in his crate or pen.
But what kind of rescue has a dog in "foster" care as an outside dog for 4 years?!?! I have sometimes seen foster homes allow dogs to be outside dogs for breeds that are very suited to it like Great Pyrs, and I have sometimes seen a dog hang around in foster for a long time through no major fault of their our (often it is dog aggression that means they need to be an only dog, sometimes managable medical issues that scare people away), but a combination of both? Never seen or heard that from any reputable rescue.
Personally, I would only consider a dog out of a situation like that if I was able to be on-site and assess the whole deal with my own eyes and ask many questions.
Some hounds can be quite noisy and not suited to apartments or townhome type situations.
5 yeara old is a great age to adopt a small or medium sized dog but this particular dog may not be a great idea.
I would REALLY be curious of the rescue source, if he is on petfinder or other public sites, if you would be willing to post or PM to me. I might be able to give a more nuanced opinion