Adopting a rescue amstaff/lab mix, advice please?

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.


Member Since
Barked: Sun Mar 16, '14 7:09pm PST 
Ok, so here's my situation...I recently let go of my 15 year old black lab, Shelby. I've had her since I was 8 years old. She has always been my best friend and my guardian. I have another dog, a medium-sized mutt-puppy who I've always suspected is a lab mix. She's 10 years old and ever since she was 6 weeks old Shelby has been her constant companion.

I'm moving soon and I worry about how Shelby's death and a new home will effect Aries, my mutt-puppy. She's never been alone. I gave it a lot of thought and I think an older dog would be good for her (and for me).

So I did some research and found a shelter near where I'll be living. I'm looking for a sweet, gentle companion to accompany my mutt-puppy in her twilight years and to soothe my spirit. Also, I'm not gonna lie, as a single woman living all by herself in a strange new place... I kinda want a watchdog. Aries, bless her heart, is too docile and gentle for that.

I found a GORGEOUS 7 year old brindle amstaff/lab mix. As soon as I looked at her profile and her pictures, I cried. She immediately reminded me of my Shelby. Big brown eyes gleaming with intelligence, love and mischief. Shelby loved mischief. It was like I was 8 again, crouched in front of a kennel, hands between the bars, scratching the ears of a soulful black lab, begging my dad to "pick that one".

Of all the dogs I looked at, she caught my eye. But I have some concerns.

I'll be living in a two bedroom apartment. Is it big enough for her?
Will she get along with Aries?
Is she gonna be ok for 7-8 hours while I'm at work?
Is this the right breed for me?
The shelter says she'd be good for agility and obedience training...what if I can't provide enough activity for her?

What do you guys think? Is she a good fit? Should I look for a smaller dog?

Edited by author Sun Mar 16, '14 7:17pm PST

Scruffy (RIP)

In Loving Memory
Barked: Mon Mar 17, '14 10:42am PST 
I'm sorry for your loss. I live in a 2 bedroom condo with two medium sized dogs, so I guess it's kind of an individual thing regarding how much dog you're willing to share your living space with. Could you work it out with the shelter to have your current dog meet the one you are planning on adopting to see how they interact with each other? I'd also speak with the shelter staff about your concerns and do research on the breeds she's mixed with and talk to other owners of those breeds if possible. If you do get her and it doesn't work out will the shelter take her back or will you need to rehome her on your own? Hope that helps a bit.

Edited by author Mon Mar 17, '14 10:48am PST


im a squeaker
Barked: Mon Mar 17, '14 5:06pm PST 
I am sorry for your loss.

In my years of experience being both an adopter and a foster for many dogs and cats. The current animals pick the new one more than the person does. It will be up to your current dog if she likes the new one or if it is just too much for her.

Most shelters and rescues require the current dog to meet the possible new dog so make sure your girl is comfortable meeting new dogs and that you know her stress signals. For example, is she trying to hide from the other dog or is she pulling you to get to it? Is she interested in sniffing and playing with the new dog or is she all over you? Take signals from your dog, that will be the ultimate deciding factor. You may end up finding that your dog will pick out a dog with the best energy level for you and her, if this dog is too active your girl will probably let you know when they meet.

As for the space issue, that is up to you and how much space you are willing to share with the dogs.

The breeds are most likely a guess but it is a good idea to research the breeds that are believed to be in it. This way you have an idea of what the tendencies will be and what health issues may be more prevalent in the future.

Let us know what happens!