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Question Of The Week

Question

Dear Penelope, We are looking to adopt a 1 1/2 year old Boxer dog. He is a neutered male. We don't know much about him except that he is supposed to be good with children. We have a 3 year old and a 5 year old. What should we be looking for when we go and look at him. Obviously we don't want to make a bad decision.
Penelope's Tips

If you can, take your kids with you to see how the dog interacts with them and how they interact with the dog. This is very important. Friendly boxers usually have a happy, smiley face and a very bouncy, wiggly body when they meet people. If he is stiff, stares at you or in any way, seems wary of you, I would pass on him. Since he is already a year and a half, you are not going to have much to go on except how he greets you and your kids. Find out as much information as you can from the shelter. Anything they can tell you will be helpful. Ask about his health, are his shots up to date? Has he been neutered? When? Why did the people turn him in to the shelter?

Have your kids move calmly around the dog, don't rush up to the dog, but rather let the dog come and sniff each one of you. Don't stare the dog in the eyes, that's considered a threat to most dogs. It is best to look over his head or between his ears or even at someone else while he sniffs you. Let your arms hang down at your side and only pet the dog when he starts to wag his tail and show that he is happy to meet you. Do not get in the dogs face - you don't know this dog yet and he might not like people getting in his face. Watch his face and his body language. If you are uncomfortable with the way he looks at you or if he holds his body stiff, be wary. You might not want this dog.

Remember, you want to begin your relationship with this dog with as few problems as possible. Don't fall into the trap of feeling sorry for the poor, unloved puppy that you are sure will respond to your love with loyalty and affection. He may have emotional problems that you are not equipped to deal with. You want to at least start out with a happy, friendly, outgoing dog. You can always obedience train him to get him off the wall, so to speak, but if he has deep emotional problems, you might not be able to overcome them.

Good Luck. Check out the rest of my website, and go to the page about choosing the right dog for your family. It might help you.


Penelope

Send Your Questions To "Ask Penelope"

If you are having a problem with your dog and you don't find the solution to your problem contained within the pages of this website, please donít hesitate to email me with your questions.

The "E-mail Me" page has a link to my email address. Just type your question and hit SEND. I promise that I will answer you as soon as possible after receiving your question. To speed up my reply, please give me as much detail about your problem as possible. The more I know, the better I will be able to help you.

I publish a sampling of questions I receive on my Question Of The Week page since I've found that dog owners can learn by reading about situations others have experienced.

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