Choices: Placing Adult Dogs

Placing an adult dog with another breeder or as a house pet requires some planning, and you must know the dog’s individual personality. 

You have a lovely, finished bitch who has produced two litters for you. From each litter you have kept a bitch. The older one is almost finished, and the younger one shows great promise. At this point you have reached the number of dogs that you want to keep in order to provide the amount of attention and care that you know each one deserves. Now you are considering finding another home for the older bitch, so you can keep both of the latest generation.

Your two choices are to place her with another breeder who might have another litter out of her before spaying and placing her, or spaying and placing her yourself. She is in good health and her temperament is delightful. If that were not the case, you would not have bred her in the first place.

My first choice is finding another breeder who wants a proven brood bitch and will breed her in a way that will benefit the breed. Of course I will help decide what stud would suit her best, and help the other breeder select the best prospect from the litter As a longtime breeder, I have the advantage of knowing what eight or more generations behind the bitch looked like growing up. Animals with stable temperaments readily adapt to new environments, and I am there to help in the adjustment.

Often more complicated is getting the retiree ready to be part of a new family. Placing adult dogs as housepets requires some extra planning. You must know your dogs’ individual personalities. Some will do well with older children, some with adults only. Most of my bitches have always run with at least one other bitch, so I know they are not very dog-aggressive. Probably 50 percent of my adult bitches go into a home with another of my retired champions. In these situations I know the people and both bitches, making the transition much easier. Occasionally I have one that must be an only dog or only with a neutered male. Generally they are not intimidated by larger dogs, as they have had frequent contact with our Cane Corso. Some, however, can only be with another small dog. If the home you are considering has a toy dog, think carefully. Many terriers consider toy dogs as prey, not playmates.

Be very careful placing an adult dog with a handicapped child. Dogs not raised around disabled or special-needs children may not know how to read the child's body language and may not react properly.

Of course your retired champions are lead trained and have some general manners. Consider some basic obedience training, perhaps even getting a CGC on them, before they go into their new homes. A well-mannered dog is welcomed as a new family member. Encourage the new owners to do obedience training after the dog has adapted to the new home. Many of mine have gotten rally and obedience titles for their new owners.

Keep in mind that when you place an adult dog, you must be willing to help the new owners and accept the dog back if the placement doesn’t work out. Properly raised Welsh placed in the right home seldom need to be re-homed. They become well-loved family members very quickly.

Think carefully, know your dogs, observe the potential new family, and always be ready to help, and you will be pleased that you made the decision to place the dog in her very own forever family.

 — Diane OrangeWelsh Terrier Club of America - November 2013 AKC Gazette