Tips for the first meeting?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.


Always my angel.
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 4:54pm PST 
Hi pups! I'm set to meet with my first couple of pre-approved rescue dogs this week (well, pre-approved if there's a good fit), and I'd like some last minute advice as to how to handle it. I've never done this myself before (closest was when I adopted a rescue ferret with my mom when I was 14), and I'm a little nervous. Mostly I'm worried I'll be so excited about meeting a dog that I'll forget to think clearly about things! I've been doing so much research and thinking for so long that I'm starting to get myself all turned around.

So please, tell me - how should I handle myself? What kinds of questions should I ask? What are some tell-tale signs to help me figure out things like temperament? I'll be looking for that connection and gut feeling too, but I don't want to miss out on any red flags or other things that can help me make the best possible decision.

I want to make a good impression on the foster mom, as well as evaluate the dog clearly...I'm sure many of you here have experience with both of those things. I'm putting together my own list as well, but any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated!
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 5:02pm PST 
Lisa, you KNOW the answers to all this, you have posted them again and again and again.
Relax, BREATHE, meet the dogs, and you WILL KNOW!!! Listen to those Foster parents, but, remember, it takes several months for the "real" dog to come out in most cases... in all my older adopted dogs it has only gotten BETTER in those two months. I have NEVER had bad things crop up, only more of what I saw in the first place and fell in love with.
You will be FINE!!!!!
Oh yeah, remember to BREATHE, relax, and have fun!!!

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 6:32pm PST 
One good idea is to go for a walk. Even if the weather isn't perfect, going for a walk with a prospective doggie is a great way to first get to know each other. Kind of like a first date without so much pressurelaugh out loud

Take a walk, talk to them, observe how they like to walk, do they like to run? If you see any other people or animals how do they react? Don't expect too much in manners as far as walking-some rescues haven't had experience onleash...then some do good from the first walk.

The important thing is like the dating idea, you're looking for someone who fits with YOU, don't worry about the foster family or anything else, just be yourself and meet the doggies...I brought several small dog treats hidden away when I met Callie the first time, like somebody bringing you flowers...Hiii, nice to meet you!!! I brought yummies...You'll be finehappy dance

Jake & Sweet- Caroline

Tricolored- Hounds for life!
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 10:07pm PST 
I'm not quite sure how to formally meet a dog.

I've always just kinda asked the big guy to lead me when it comes to meeting persepective pets. When i was first told about jake. I almost didn't go see him. I didn't think a dog was right for me after several rescused had denied me and broken my heart. Then i decided last minute to get off hte freeway and stop by the shelter to "look" on the way to disneyland. That was October 7th 2011. I never made it to Disneyland that night. I ended up peeking into a kennel and calling out the name on the fence and this dog came over and looked at me like "And what took you so long? I've been waiting!" And it was love at first sight.

Jake changed a lot in the first year I had him. he went from out of control and destructive to my best friend and partner. I pretty much live my life for my little guy. Though be warned. The dog will probably change once you take it out of the rescue. Jake was really meek and calm the first 3-5 days i had him. And then around the time I found dogster he began to go a little crazy.

Sweet Caroline was a smiliar situation. Except I had to bring jake to meet her. Since I already had him.

When it came to her I looked her up on petfinder. Which i know from your posts you've done. Then i went to see her. I liked her from the get go. She's got a funky blue eye and has a face very similar to my jake's + she was a the breed i was looking for. I have this thing about wanting pure breeds but not wanting puppies big grin

Anyway when we went for the meet and greet in teh yard I let jake off leash and he went around peeing and smelling like begales do. Then they let her in after a quick switch off. I watched there interaction together and seperately.

At first Sweetie seemed very into smelling around and then going for water. She didn't seem interested in me, jake, my friend or even the workers. Then I called her. "Sunny" was the name she had. She looked at me and then went back to smelling. A common thing for hounds.

Then i called in a more excited voice and she responded to me. And next thing i knew i was out $55 dollars and had two dogs.

She was really calm and all she did was sleep for the first 5 days i had her. It wasn't until just this week she started to come to life with the barking and the eating with gusto.

So i guess the moral is to not bank so much on a first impression. I mean Jake was all about me from the first moment. i took Sweetie a while to warm up to me. But now that she has she loves me all the same.

It also may have just been the rescues i went too. But they couldn't find a dog for me. Not even teh rescue that gave Jake to someone who threw him in the pound and voided there return clause were I got him anyway. So i've never been 100% sold on teh whole perfect dog for you thing.

To echo toto. Be calm and go meet your dog big grin it will all go great. Sorry for being so long winded big grin

Always my angel.
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 10:30pm PST 
Toto! big laugh Your post really made me laugh, because of course you're right. If it were someone else posting this question, I would have advice for them. It's just that it's all finally actually real and I think that's freaking me out a bit. So...yes. Relax. That is the best advice. cloud 9

Ophelia, walking is a really good idea. Love the first date analogy, though I'm not sure it will make me less nervous, BOL! I'm personally not concerned with manners or loose leash walking or any of that - for me the main thing is the temperament. So you have a good point - it will be helpful to see how he reacts to different things.

Jake & Sweet Caroline, I loved hearing your stories too. It sounds similar to my brother's experience with his dog, Troy - this dog was totally quiet and insecure for the first week or so out of the shelter - he'd do almost nothing but sit on my brother's lap or crumple next to his feet when my brother put him down. Then one day Troy dipped down into a play bow and was basically never a calm dog again! laugh out loud He was a puppy though, so maybe it's a little different with adults who are a little more set.

The little guy I'm seeing on Thursday night (he's a Poodle mix!) has only been with his foster for a short time, but he sounds exactly right. And I've been really selective up to this point, so hopefully that will help. I just want to make sure I don't miss anything that would indicate any nasty surprises down the road...though I imagine that's unlikely. It's really encouraging to hear, Toto, that your adult rescues only improved with time. That does set me at ease a bit, hoping that happens in this case too...if it all works out, that is! (I don't want to jinx it! silenced)
Jake & Sweet- Caroline

Tricolored- Hounds for life!
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 11:06pm PST 
It's true Lisa ;D Older dogs do settle with time. Caroline's ancient (10) and she's great minus the initial 5 minutes of barking when i leave in the morning.

Then my little Murphy's Law Jake only got calmer and calmer as he's getting older. he's between 3-5 now. Not an old man by any means but he's much calmer then when i first found dogster on a year and something now ago. big grin

It'll be great. wishes

Member Since
Barked: Mon Apr 1, '13 11:55pm PST 
Well, someone's so excited. It shows! laugh out loud Like Toto said, relax! Yeah, I understand that you're excited. After all, it's the first meeting with a dog that you're going to call your own. From what Toto commented about, it seems to me that you know everything there is to know about first meetings with a dog. I'd just like to add in though that you should not show the dog you're ultra excited. It may cause strain to the dog, or anxiety. So just relax. Chill! party