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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I already know after last summer that I'm really not into going through puppy-ness again. Puppies are HARD work, but at the same time, the one grown dog I adopted from a rescue came with so much baggage that we never did get along, and I don't want to go through that again, either.

How do you find all those great dogs out there that aren't puppies and don't come with a ton of hard-work baggage? They must exist... right?
 

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Older puppies/young dogs from breeders who didn't work out as intended for show or work. We have a couple members here who got dogs at a slightly older age, past a lot of the puppy work, who are awesome dogs.

There are also awesome dogs at shelters, but it can be hard to know what you're getting. I would look for an adult rescue who is in foster care. The foster home will know the dog very well and be able to match you with a suitable dog.
 

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There are lots of adult dogs in rescue who have less/minimal baggage (family moved, owner passed away, etc). As long as you let the rescue/shelter know what you're looking for and what your requirements are, they can ensure they set you up with a dog that isn't more than you can handle. If you're especially concerned, you can keep a lookout for dogs being kept in foster homes. This way, the foster family has a first hand knowledge of the dog and its quirks and the dog is more used to a home environment.

Alternatively, if you wanted a specific breed you can sometimes find adults available from breeders. (maybe a show prospect that washed out, for example)
 

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There are also awesome dogs at shelters, but it can be hard to know what you're getting. I would look for an adult rescue who is in foster care. The foster home will know the dog very well and be able to match you with a suitable dog.
This! Foster homes can tell you way more about an individual dog than a shelter. I used to foster dogs and would be able to let future owners know about any issues that had cropped up. I was also able to complete some basic training with the dog ahead of time to ease the transition into a new home.
 

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Well, I don't assume based off of one dog rescue dogs magically come with a ton of baggage. I see dogs every week at my local kill shelter that are there through no fault of their own, and that's often the case in rescue.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well, I don't assume based off of one dog rescue dogs magically come with a ton of baggage
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that since I'd had one, all were like that. I was actually going more on all the various stories I read in different dog forums. It seems like rescue dogs often come with problems, sometimes pretty big ones. I'm trying to be honest in saying I'm not up for that (again). :)
 

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We had a hard time with selection in SF.... for us a puppy from a breeder or a newspaper ad (prob BYB but families with random litters NOT puppy millers)-- we were just starting out, had weird jobs with weird hours and no yard (although we owned, and lived 1 block from Golden Gate park)-- and although I grew up in the country with 5 dogs, it was really really hard to pass inspection for our first dog of our own (we even got turned down for a kitten, and the one we got from a post at the grocery store- we had for 17 years)....
Also when we finally got to get a 1yr old pound dog, she was extremely DA and we couldnt keep her with having to walk daily in the park with other dogs around (even though we got expert at the 11pm walks on the beach)...and she went for our other dog we almost couldnt get her off of him and got really scared she would kill him-- we never did crate as we just flexxed our schedules to have someone home all the time...
This was long before my Dog Forum days, I had no idea there was a community of folks out there that could be a great resource for these issues (the DA dog was a sweety with people and we retired her to my parents home in a quiet leafy suburb in VA with a huge backyard and plenty of squirrels to chase...)..

Now I think it would be much easier with getting the dog that fits us...
Learned alot, and we did end up learning how to contact Breeders etc, and now we do have a Dog Resume, which we didnt then... I still prefer to go with a pup though, for bonding and getting to fit the dog to our lifestyle and assortment of pets and livestock, and a child...
 

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If you take your time it really isn't hard to find a dog through rescue without serious issues. The better the rescue the better your chances at finding a good match, dogs in foster greatly increase your chances of not having any huge surprises when you bring the dog home.

While I did find a pretty decent rescue to get my dog through I didn't spend that much time actually selecting my dog. I did spend about 2 weeks looking at local rescues and reading their adoption applications and whatever other information they put on their website before picking a group. Lots to choose from in my area. Contacted them saying I'd like to come out and meet some dogs. Came out the following weekend, walked the kennels and made a list of 10-15 dogs, talked with the volunteer and narrowed that list down to about 6-7 dogs, and took them each out for a walk around the trails and some into the play yard.

Jubel was the first dog we walked and only dog we really felt a connection with, walked him again after all the other dogs too. Decided he was the "one" and filled out our application. Home visit during the week, picked up Jubel the next weekend. It's been about 3.5 years so I can't really remember but I'd be surprised if we really spent much more than 1-1.5 hours with him before making our choice.

Jubel was just over 2 years old and really the only real issue we had with him was he was mouthy as hell and not gently. Due to inconsistency between me and my brother it probably took about 2 months to get his mouthiness under control. He had a handful off accidents but I blame most of that on us and not having a good schedule for taking him out to potty, with a little bit of him adjusting to living in a home again after 10 months at a shelter. Really the only other issue was he pulled on leash, not horribly but still needed some work.

As far as I'm concerned those were all very small problems and much less trouble than bringing a puppy home would be. I've had a handful of foster dogs now as well and never had any serious issues with any of them either. Some minor stuff of course but no nightmare baggage some people seem to imagine comes along with rescue dogs.

So as I said, if you take your time in your search and find a good rescue group there is no reason you couldn't find a wonderful dog for your life style. Odds even higher if the dog comes from a foster home.
 

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I don't think there is a way to ensure a dog will be problem-free, quite frankly. I've gotten adults and pups from breeders that have had various issues as well as rescues. Getting any dog is going to require some work and probably problem shooting. And what is a problem for one person is easy as can be for another.

I've gotten 3 dogs from breeders as adults. 1 was really messed up and never got over it. Rose came to us via a sort of rescue kind o situation through her breeder (long story) so was pretty timid but otherwise great. Summer came to me at 4 and was perfect and easy except she had separation anxiety that didn't show up till she was an only dog. We worked through it all and they're all great dogs.
 

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We rescued our dog 3 months ago, The first month was hard teaching her not to jump on us and the counters. but I love her and would get a rescue again. I wish I picked one a little older ,she's 1 1/2 and has a lot of puppy in her. She don't jump on us hardly at all, but has been up on the counter again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you, everyone -- these have been wonderful answers with lots of great info to consider. I appreciate it!
 

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We got one of our dogs thru a foster/rescue group, and he is wonderful. He was only in foster care for a week before I found him on petfinder, and the funny thing is that we were told by the foster mom that he was not housebroken, had anxiety problems, was a digger and a chewer, etc. etc. She had named him Pistol because he was a PIA. We took him on anyway because our other dog liked him, he was playful yet calm, and he was very gentle and affectionate with us. We got him home, and he was an absolute perfect gentleman from day one. He never did any of the things we were warned about. I think being in an overcrowded foster home just didn't bring out his best qualities. This woman had 8 fosters, plus 4 of her own dogs in a house of 1,000 s.f. Better than a shelter, but not ideal for a dog to really shine. But bless that woman for taking care of him for a while!

I guess my point is, choose a dog you feel a connection with. If you have that, everything else will be easier.
 
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