For us at German Shepherd Dog Welfare Fund, it is more than rescuing dogs and re-homing them. It is about the dogs welfare for the rest of their lives. Because of this we are always striving to make the re-homing process run as smoothly as we can. It must always be about the dog.
Once we have found your perfect match, we then ask that you come to visit the dog in question at least 3 times. It may be more if the dog has any issues. This is mainly so that the dog can get to know you before taking it home with you. We do not believe in sending our dogs off with strangers. It is traumatic enough for a dog to move home, so we like to make the transition as easy as we can.
We will carry out a home check. This is to check that you live where you say you do but mainly to check that your garden is secure. We do not care if you have carpets or curtains or designer furniture, we just need to know that our dog will be safe living with you. Whilst the home check is being carried out, the home checker will fill in a questionnaire which we will keep on file.
PLEASE NOTE - AN ADOPTION FEE WILL APPLY
There are a number of things to consider when deciding on the right breed for your family. German Shepherds are a breed that have specific requirements to ensure they are a happy, healthy, and well-rounded dog. Whilst there are breed specific characters to consider, as with any breed, each dog is an individual, with different drives and physical needs. However, there are some basic requirements relevant to all German Shepherds that should be considered when first deciding if they are the right breed for your family:
TIME - Do you have the time and effort to put training into your German Shepherd? This is an ongoing requirement, not just when they are a puppy. Every moment spent with your German Shepherd is a training moment. German Shepherds want to be around their people most of the time, they do not do well locked outside in a backyard with little interaction. They will start to show signs of stress which will affect their behaviour. They require ongoing training and commitment and to build a bond with their caregiver.
SOCIALISATION - German Shepherds are prone to antisocial behaviour if not regularly exposed to different scenarios and situations. They require regular socialisation with other dogs in a controlled and safe environment, they need to have positive experiences with different types of animals, people, vehicles, places, and objects. By the same token, flooding a German Shepherd/any dog can cause them to stress and display reactivity. Get to know your dog. Learn some of the stress signals so you can recognise. Flooding is a form of “socialising”. For instance, you decide to socialise your GSD with other dogs and you take him to the park. There are plenty of dogs there for him to meet. Whilst this may sound like the ideal plan, in reality it may overwhelm your dog. If we miss the signals, and carry on “socialising”, it could have the opposite effect to the one we are expecting. Your dog may become reactive, because his previous attempts at communication (stress signals) were ignored.
COST - German Shepherds can live for on average for 10-14 years; during their lifespan, they need to have regular check-ups at the vet as they can be prone to some medical conditions which are expensive to treat. This is one of the many reasons that they are relinquished to a rescue. German Shepherds are a large breed dog, resulting in higher veterinary bills than smaller dogs if they ever need surgery, they must also be provided with good quality food. German Shepherds may also need assistance from a professional trainer to help with any arising behavioural issues.
GROOMING - German Shepherds shed A LOT of hair! They need regular brushing to keep their coat well maintained otherwise they can become matted and itchy. No matter how much you brush or groom your German Shepherd, there will be plenty of hair everywhere around the house! Shaving a German Shepherd is not an option, they have a double coat that helps to regulate their body temperature acting like a layer of insulation!
EXERCISE & ENRICHMENT - German Shepherds are an active breed that need to be given exercise daily and provided with mental stimulation in the forms of walks, games, training, challenges, and puzzles to keep them active and amused. They are a clever breed that need to keep their mind working or they will become bored and develop problem behaviours.
These are the bare necessities for a German Shepherd to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life; please consider if you can meet all these basic requirements of a German Shepherd, if you can, then the next step is to do some further research on this wonderful breed. Learn as much as you can about them. Take the time to find a reputable breeder or rescue. There is no doubt that you will experience “teething troubles” (sometimes literally) so you need a breeder or rescue or will provide back up support. You also need a breeder/rescue who have done their best to pair you with suitable match temperament wise. Out of a litter of puppies, each one of them will have different characters. Your breeder should have got to know their characters. They should ask you about your lifestyle and what you expect from your new best friend. Some of the puppies will be forward and confident, some may be more timid and less confident. If you are an outgoing person who has a hectic social life that you will include your dog in, the timid one may stress in such environments. If you are a bit of a home bod, then the party animal out of the puppies may not be sufficiently stimulated. A rescue should ask you what you expect from a dog and try to match you with a suitable candidate. If you have cats, it is not the best idea to take a 4-year-old who usually chases anything furry and expect him to get used to it.
If you cannot fulfil all of the requirements listed above… then a German Shepherd is not the breed for you! However, if it is then adopting a rescued dog can be extremely rewarding - take a look at the dogs in our care to see if you could give one a loving home.
Once the home check is done and we feel we have the right dog for you, you will be asked to do a short online course. This consists of some reading with some relevant information about dog ownership followed by several questions. We’ve recently changed this course so that it’s more focused on adopting dogs. Once completed, you will be required to email it back to the course provider who will then issue you with a certificate.
Once you have received your certificate and you have visited the dog for the appropriate number of times, hopefully you will then be able to take your new best friend home with you. You will be allocated a liaison officer so you can come straight to us should you encounter any problems. We are always on hand should you encounter any issues, and we always like to hear how our dogs are doing. We have a Facebook group which we encourage you to join. We also have a Facebook group for behavioural and training problems where we have a qualified behaviourist on hand to help.
If you are interested in rehoming a dog, please fill in the Adoption Query Form on the Dogs for Rehoming Page.
For anything else, please email or call us.
07724 150 525