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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Thinking About Adopting a Puppy Mill Dog?

Thinking of adopting a Puppy Mill dog? 

One piece of advice; Do it! 

But read this first. 

You'll need patience, since this dog has never lived in a home before. It might not understand  the big deal about housebreaking issues and will need some positive reinforcement to learn where to eliminate. It might not understand things a normal dog would seem to know. His life before you was a wire cage. There were no warm beds, rugs, or cuddles. Go slow, have patience.

Your puppy mill dog will probably be older, so give it some time to learn the ropes. For all of it's years there has been a different set of rules. They were probably handled roughly, check for pregnancy, back in cage, take puppies as soon as they were old enough to go (sometimes even before that,) sometimes fed sporadically depending on the mill. They weren't bathed or groomed.

Everything must be learned and old habits need to be realigned. That takes time. Like children, each one is different. Some will learn quickly, some might always have problems. For the tough learners-wee-wee pads will be your friend in the housebreaking process.

I have a Puppy Mill dog and she is an absolute dream. Gracie, a Shih Tzu, adapted slowly. Luckily we had another dog and she kind of followed the lead. Gracie would follow Halston, our Golden, outside and quickly got the "where to go to go" down quickly.  Since she is a small dog, I do leave wee pads down when I leave the house for any length of time. Small dog, small bladder.

And she hates to be groomed. A Shih Tzu needs a groom every 4 to 6 weeks by a professional groomer. Shih Tzus have hair that will continue to grow and needs to be trimmed regularly. (Something to think about BEFORE adopting this type of dog-are you ready to take your new pup to the groomer regularly and can you afford it?) Gracie will twitch and move every time the groomer lines up the scissors which makes for some crooked haircuts.

When Gracie first arrived she was sick. A recent spay and both ears were infected. We had to get her well before anything else. I was her foster mom so she came to me right from the mill. If you're adopting a Puppy Mill, you might get it from a rescue that will take care of any health issues before adopting.

Our Halston has since passed, but she was Gracie's best friend to the end. They would cuddle and go everywhere together. Now Gracie has a new sibling, Cupcake (nee Corona) the damaged dog. She's not as cuddly as Halston, but they've come to an understanding.

Gracie loved to be petted, but not picked up. She'll cuddle by my side, but not so much on the lap. She follows me everywhere and will sit by my side while I'm at my writing desk. I never get a bad critique from her. :)

Adopting a Puppy Mill dog takes patience but the rewards are many. You'll get a best friend who will reward you with unconditional love, warm cuddles, and the knowledge that you gave her a chance at a life she never could have dreamed existed beyond that cold wire cage.

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