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Guest psdirector

Fostered Grey Or Not?

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Guest psdirector

We are getting ready to adopt our first greys (we want two). One of our local programs trains the dogs with prisoners (basic manners and obedience) for three months and then fosters, the other does not believe in fostering because they feel that it is unfair to ask the dog to bond with a foster family and then take them away and ask them to bond again. We can see valid arguments on both sides. Does anyone have advice about which one is better? Is there a significant difference? Has anyone had issues with a dog who was fostered missing their foster family? We want the best possible start for our dogs.

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Both of our pups were fostered and I never really felt that they missed their foster home, however they may have been on a different routine and missed that part. We are on a very regular routine 24/7 and within a couple of days they seem to thrive on that. We try to stay on the same routine during holidays as well. I find that works best for us to get them to settle in asap.

 

We've never had a pup from a prison program, but I would imaginethat would feel very similar to fostering for the grey.


Jan with precious pups Katie Crazykatiebug, Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si) Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; and Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Guest zombrie

Greyhounds are super adaptable. That's just one piece that is so great about them. I've fostered dogs and they did just fine when they left me for their forever homes. Do whichever you feel more comfortable with. I personally prefer a fresh off the track dog because I enjoy watching them figure out and discover the world around them. A fostered dog is going to be more adjusted which may be a better choice for people who are not as experienced.

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Guest EvanstonGrey

We've never had dogs before and adopted a hound from a prison program/foster home in March 2012 and then brought home her brother in November 2012 right from the track (no foster).

 

For us, as first-time greyhound owners, starting with a pup who had some training and familiarity with life in a house was a great thing. She fit right in from day one and roached in the first hour, no sign of sadness :) We all learned the routine of walking, feeding, and playing and everyone felt happy and successful.

 

Our off-the-track boy has also been WONDERFUL but has required a different approach - it's more work training them and teaching everything and also incredible to watch. I would say he's taught ME more than I've taught him :P

 

I would say it depends on your confidence about training, your schedule (will you be home a bunch or crate train?), and also about which pup calls to you!

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Seriously, these dogs are incredibly adaptable and I haven't had a single one of my fosters look back as they walked out my door. When I was adopting my first dog it was a requirement that the dog be fostered first. I had no idea how to have a dog and I wanted the dog to have some help in understanding home life before he had to teach me how to own a dog. It was a personal opinion. I'm glad I did it that way. He did understand a great deal about home life and his foster mom's personal knowledge of his quirks helped me so much. I would call her or email and say "what about this" and because she knew him well enough she helped me figure out the behavior. I guess when you think about it by adopting through a foster program I got an automatic mentor of sorts in his foster mom.

 

Today after having been around greyhounds for eight years, I'd take whatever greyhound came my way whether through kennel or foster.


Colleen with Covey (Admirals Cove) and Rally (greyhound puppy)
Missing my beloved boy INU (CJ Whistlindixie) my sweetest princess SALEM (CJ Little Dixie) and my baby girl ZOE (LR's Tara)

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Guest mbfilby

We have dogs that were straight from the track, and dogs that were fostered. The big plus on fostered dogs is that they come somewhat potty trained. However, there is nothing quite as rewarding as helping a greyhound explore a house for the first time..

 

I used to help transport dogs from Bham track to GFNJ's prison program. They have an excellent program. Getting a dog that has already learned basic obedience and leash manners would be a bonus.

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Have you had dogs before? If not, a fostered dog might be a tad easier for you to start with. I foster for Allies and foster failed with 2 of them. It was a wonderful learning process for us all. Like Zombrie said, it is awesome to watch them blossom. I think it is important to work with a group that you feel comfortable with. It always helps to have their support and knowledgable help with any question/problem you might have. I am currently fostering my first prison dog, and I have to say she is the easiest foster I have ever had. She is such a joy, so responsive, and she wants to learn more. Good luck with whichever choice you make.


<p>Mom to Kyle (Diehard Kyle) & Angel Gracie (KB's Sankey) Foster Mom for AFG

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Have you had dogs before? If not, a fostered dog might be a tad easier for you to start with. I foster for Allies and foster failed with 2 of them. It was a wonderful learning process for us all. Like Zombrie said, it is awesome to watch them blossom. I think it is important to work with a group that you feel comfortable with. It always helps to have their support and knowledgable help with any question/problem you might have. I am currently fostering my first prison dog, and I have to say she is the easiest foster I have ever had. She is such a joy, so responsive, and she wants to learn more. Good luck with whichever choice you make.

 

:nod

 

Both Nixon and Ruby, went to a kennel when they were finished racing.

They both spent a long time waiting at the kennel before coming to us.

 

We had two non-Greys when Nixon arrived.

Ruby arrived 14 months later and we had Nixon and one non-Grey.

A few months later Nigel came to us as a bounce from a home he'd had for 4 months.

 

Both the 'kenneled' dogs settled in well, as did 'homed' Nigel.

 

Do keep in mind that none of our Greys came here as 'only's'...we've always had multiple dogs.

 

 

Are you planning on getting both Greys at the same time?


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Nancy...Mom to Ruby (Watch Me Dash),Nigel (Nigel) and Sid (Peteles Tiger)

Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope,BillieJean,Bandit and especially Nixon (Starz Sammie) waiting at the Bridge.

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Adult greyhounds have not lived like your typical adult dog who might be rehomed. They are usually born in one place, moved and trained in another, then moved to race somewhere else, sometimes multiple times. They have a lifetime of experience with change!

 

I wouldn't worry about it. I might worry about a group who believes strongly that fostering is a problem--since there is really zero evidence all over the country to support that argument.


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Susan,  Marcai's Mister Bigglesworth (AKA Da Evil Won), and Sleekat's Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming and George (Driven by Chile) and Buck (Vogo Player)

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Guest Clawsandpaws

Like others have said, Greys are super adaptable! My guy came straight from the track to an adoption kennel (located among the track kennels, with the same routines) and then home to me! I have never even been around a fostered Grey, but I can imagine that they do all the "hard" work for you, so it would be easier for a first time Grey owner. However, that could also mean that they have learned home living habits you might not appreciate, so you will want to ask the group about their foster rules (I know some groups who do not let fosters go on the furniture, just in case the new parents don't want that, but others might not have many/any requirements of foster homes) My guy was super easy to teach the home living routine, the hardest part was getting him to sleep in to a decent hour!

 

As far as the missing the foster family, I wouldn't even factor that in really. My boy is always SUPER excited to see his kennel manager, but I doubt he misses him!

Edited by Clawsandpaws

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My first four came right from the kennel and it is fun to teach them about how to be a pet in a home environment and watch them learn about stairs, doors, windows, furniture and soft beds, etc. It really didn't take them long to get the hang of a schedule or potty routine.

 

My last three had been fostered and it was somewhat easier as far as learning all of the basic stuff, but they all transitioned into the household quickly regardless of whether they had been fostered or not.


 

Mom to Melly and Dani

Greyhound Bridge Angels - Jessie, Brittne, Buddy,

Red, Chica, Ford and Dodge.

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My group has a kennel and does not foster, so I think fostering is overrated. :) I myself would not want another person to get to experience all the "firsts" with my dog. The first week or so may be a little more stressful with a dog that has not been fostered, but I think it's worth it. Beth was my first dog ever, came straight from the kennel, and we did fine.


With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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Because these dogs will be your FIRST greyhounds and you're getting TWO at the same time, I would recommend dogs that have been fostered. Their foster families will work on basic stuff with them, like housetraining and using stairs. Dogs who are fostered are generally a little more adjusted than ones who are fresh off the track or come from a kennel setting. IMHO, it just seems like it would fit your particular situation better. As others said, greys are extremely adaptable. Fostering doesn't prevent them from establishing new bonds in their forever family. Never heard of one "missing" their foster family so much that they couldn't adapt in their new one.

 

P.S. Not to say there's anything wrong with dogs who haven't been fostered! My retired racer, Henry, came from a group who kept all their pre-adopts in a kennel. But as a first timer, I will admit that it was hard starting from square one. We had to lift him into the car for awhile, guide him up stairs, crate train him, etc. I'd read every book I could find, but I was still inexperienced. I can't imagine me back then doing all those things with two.



...the other does not believe in fostering because they feel that it is unfair to ask the dog to bond with a foster family and then take them away and ask them to bond again.

 

P.S. It sounds like the other group is saying this because they're in competition with the other group. I don't see any validity in this statement.


2vs2tdx.jpg

Alicia, Sterling, & the boys: Truman (AKC Mystery of Andarab), Wolfgang (Blue Alec), and the world's smallest greyhounds, Boogie & the Meez.

Forever missing my one-in-a-million tripawd, Henry (Rico's Dexter) | 12/20/2007 - 10/4/2015. My good boy, until we meet again.

For unique greyhound merch, visit my shops at: www.wetherbymartingaleco.etsy.com & http://www.wetherbysapparel.etsy.com

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I have had dogs from adoption kennels, fostered, and two literally right off the track....no difference....even our one who had some foster time didn't know stairs when I got him!

 

All are wonderful.

 

Welcome to this awesome breed! Good luck and stay in touch!

 

By the way....smart move adopting two...less risk of separation anxiety...(and a lot less guilt when leaving for work... ;) )

Edited by mychip1

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Robin, EZ (Tribal Track), JJ (What a Story), Dustin (E's Full House) and our beautiful Jack (Mana Black Jack) and Lily (Chip's Little Miss Lily) both at the Bridge
The WFUBCC honors our beautiful friends at the bridge. Godspeed sweet angels.

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I have one of each, and I never really noticed a difference that I could attribute to being fostered. Capri came to us pretty fresh off the track. She still had a scab on her spay site. Greyhound-data shows her being scratched off her last race the week before she was in our home (although I think that's a mistake because her spay wound would have been much fresher if it was the case). We had to teach her stairs and not to walk through the sliding glass door. She was a potato chip dog who convinced us we had to have another. Ajax had been fostered for three months only because at the time most adopters wanted females. We still had to teach him stairs and not to walk through the slider. Capri is intrepid, Ajax prefers the known, but those are just their personalities.

 

I say go for whichever dog you fall in love with first! :wub:


Sharon, Capri, Loki, Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

 

Visit Sit. Stay Safe! by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

:gh_bow

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Guest psdirector
By the way....smart move adopting two...less risk of separation anxiety...(and a lot less guilt when leaving for work... ;) )

That's what we are hoping. I am a teacher and I will be home all summer, but will be back at work in the fall and I will feel a lot less guilty leaving them together. We also plan to hire a dog walker in the middle of the day.

 

Thank you everyone for all your advice. My husband and I are reading everything we can get our hands on about retired racing greys and we've both had dogs before, but it's been a long time. I had an English Setter and they are wonderful companions but VERY active. They do have many greyhound traits - a tendency to run when a door opens, a very high prey drive for small animals/ birds in the yard, etc. I made a lot of mistakes with her as a first-time dog owner that I do not want to repeat this time.

 

One factor that we're taking into consideration is that it takes a long time to get a dog from the group that has inmates train the dogs - it's a minimum of three months for the dogs in training at the prison and another month in foster care - and they told us point blank that they don't get a lot of dogs and that it can really take a long time. They select dogs for you that they feel would work in your home. The other group that has dogs straight from the track told us that they have between 12 and 20 dogs ready to go to homes at any given time and that they will allow you to choose from as many dogs as they feel would fit into your home. Both groups seem to do the same medical tests, procedures, shots, etc. Both groups cat test (we have two older, very mellow cats). I guess it may come down to a decision of timing and what our gut tells us about each group.

 

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated and I'm so glad to have found this group!

Edited by psdirector

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I agree with all the previous responses. In terms of the dog adjusting or missing their foster family, it really doesn't make a difference. Both of my greyhounds were fostered, and both moved right into my home like they'd lived here forever. They still see their foster families occasionally at our group events, and while they always happily greet them, they don't seem to miss them afterward.

 

I've also fostered greyhounds and had the same experience - no problems adjusting to their new homes. And since we always try to match dogs with the perfect home, some are obviously happier in their new home than they were in mine. A little bittersweet, but it's wonderful to see them thrive in their own home.

 

IMO, the biggest factor in deciding whether to go with a fostered dog or one directly from a kennel is your level of experience and comfort in training dogs and working through issues. Even fostered greys moving from one home to another will have to learn a new routine and need some training 'review'. But one who has never been in a home before will be experiencing it all for the first time and need a little more patience and guidance.

 

Give your previous dog experience, and the availability of greyhounds in your local groups, you may be fine with one from the kennel. However, I would have to agree that claiming it's "unfair to ask the dog to bond with a foster family and then take them away" is not a valid argument. Dogs, not just greyhounds, are tremendously adaptable, and many rescue and adoption groups use foster home and do not have a problem with this. It sounds more like an excuse to defend their own policy of not fostering.


Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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Guest OPointyDog

Both of ours came via fostering. Our group does adopt straight off the track, but the timing was such that with our first grey, Zoe, the transport came right before we left for a 5-week trip. So the group agreed to foster her and we could pick her up when we got back. It was fantastic because her foster mother was very knowledgeable and did most of the difficult training and could answer all my questions. We've come to be friends over the last year. We see her foster family at M&G events, picnics, etc. and Zoe is always very excited to see them, especially her foster father, whom she LOOOOOOVES and she gets all crazy and wiggly when she sees him. She's glad to see them but I don't get the sense she's pining for them in any way. She's a happy girl and loves everyone, really.

 

Our other grey, whom we've just had a few weeks, tentatively named Loki, was a double-bounce and has been in 2 foster homes and 2 adoptive homes. In the first case he was returned to the group because the family had never had a dog before and felt overwhelmed by him. There was an autistic child in the home, and I think it was just too much for them to deal with his energy level. At that point, he was actually then transferred from one adoption group to another (halfway across the country!) and put into foster care. Then was adopted out for 3 days to a couple who had also never had a dog before and when he got on their bed and refused to get off and then growled at them, they returned him... Back into a different foster home, where he was for about a month. So we've got him now and haven't had any problems with him other than the ongoing over-interest in the cats, which we're working on.... He seems happy and well-adjusted, and I'm sure he'd love to see all the people he's met before. I do wonder sometimes if he thinks this is just another short stop along his journey or if he realizes he's here to stay.

 

We adopted Zoe when we had tons of unstructured time, since we're both academics and we were both on sabbatical last academic year. So we had the spring and summer to spend time with her. Turned out to be great since she needed surgery and then physical therapy to fix a botched job on a broken leg and I had time to drive her around to all her appointments, and could stay home to keep an eye on her. We got our new guy over Christmas break when we also had a little more time, but I don't think it was necessary. With another dog already here, he just kind of fit in and followed the routine.

 

One thing to think about is if you do get them over the summer, you'll need to gradually transition into being gone more and more as you go back to work - I think it would be difficult for a dog if you were home all the time and then suddenly gone all day. We try to keep to a schedule as best we can and make a point of leaving for more and more time as we go back to work.

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One factor that we're taking into consideration is that it takes a long time to get a dog from the group that has inmates train the dogs - it's a minimum of three months for the dogs in training at the prison and another month in foster care - and they told us point blank that they don't get a lot of dogs and that it can really take a long time. They select dogs for you that they feel would work in your home. The other group that has dogs straight from the track told us that they have between 12 and 20 dogs ready to go to homes at any given time and that they will allow you to choose from as many dogs as they feel would fit into your home.

 

I wouldn't let the speed of the adoption be a huge influence on which group you go with. There are 5 adoption groups in my area that I'm familiar with, and the ones who move dogs the fastest also get the most returns. As a first timer, I think it's going to be important that you allow the group time to help come up with the appropriate matches for your home and lifestyle. Three months isn't going to seem like a huge amount of time in the grand scheme of things.


2vs2tdx.jpg

Alicia, Sterling, & the boys: Truman (AKC Mystery of Andarab), Wolfgang (Blue Alec), and the world's smallest greyhounds, Boogie & the Meez.

Forever missing my one-in-a-million tripawd, Henry (Rico's Dexter) | 12/20/2007 - 10/4/2015. My good boy, until we meet again.

For unique greyhound merch, visit my shops at: www.wetherbymartingaleco.etsy.com & http://www.wetherbysapparel.etsy.com

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Guest zombrie

I personally would not want a group to pick a dog for me.... but that's just me. But also wouldn't let a time frame steer you away from a particular group especially if you like the people. Sometimes the right dogs aren't there yet and they will be worth waiting for.

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I've honestly never heard of a group that discouraged foster homes. That's just weird. Most groups that I know of (both greyhound as well as all breed) prefer foster homes and use kennels as a last resort with the exception being be track based adoption groups. Gosh one all breed here is currently trying to find foster homes for 4 momma pittie mixes and their 24 puppies - that's a job I wouldn't want.

 

Is there a group near you that uses foster homes that are not in a prision program? They'd probably have more dogs available and give you more of a choice and the dogs wouldn't be totally fresh off the track.

 

That said, I've had no significant differences in my fresh off the track dogs and Buddy, who was rehomed after 3 years. Harley arrived on a hauler 3 days after his last race - that is FRESH off the track - and Buck came from a track adoption kennel. All of them were pretty much perfect gentlemen from day one.

 

The one thing I would urge you to avoid as a first time owner would be never raced "beauty schoool dropouts" who have just grown up as hellions on the farm. They may not get many of them in Ohio but just sayin'. Bella was out of the pound at 13 months old and was quite a problem as were the many of the other 12-15 month olds that passed through our living room on their way to homes. Get dogs that raced - even if just for a short time. It's a world of difference.


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Honestly, greyhounds are so adaptable I don't think it's a problem adopting fostered dogs. Getting one from the prison training program you will get a dog with a few commands under it's belt. For first time adopters that may be the way to go.

 

Me personally, only two out of all the greyhounds I have owned have been fostered. The other came straight off the track. I'm one of those people who just love watching greyhounds adapting to a home and love all their "firsts". I love watching their reactions to seeing a television for the first time, learning stairs, discovering mirrors, watching their reactions when they see the dog in the oven door for the first time. I've not had big issues with potty training with any of my dogs (and there have been 13 over the years) and only had chewing problems with one or two but that was quickly fixed.

 

I guess it depends on what you want to experience with your new dogs. If you would prefer one who already has house manners and is partially trained, the prison program or foster home is the way to go. If you feel like an adventure, the track is the way to go.


Judy, mom to Do Bee, Bandita, Angel and Gizmo

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey

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Guest FinnsMom

I wouldn't want anyone picking a dog for me either, which is one of the reasons I opted not to go with one particular adoption group here in Ontario, it was them picking the dog and a mandatory home visit that completely turned me off from them. So we got our dog from, what sounds like your second choice. We walked into the barn and were told boys on the left, girls on the right and at the time we were there he had received a hauler the day prior so in total there were about 40 dogs to choose from. We could take any dog(s) out into the yard to see how he/she interacted with us, walk them on a leash to see how they did, ect. There were a few dogs he had already eliminated as choices for us as we have a cat and they were returned as not being cat safe but we were there a little over an hour and during that time had only taken out one dog, which is the one who came home with us. He was right off the track, at the kennel less than a week and experiencing his "firsts" with him has been wonderful. It took 3 months for him to do the stairs and he's still careful when going up and down, which is cute to watch. And ... I am head over heels, completely in love with this boy. :)

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My two came from a prison programme but they also foster, so some dogs come from homes and some from the prison. Our two girls were 'sprung'. One had a few issues with potty training and SA, the other has had no problems in those areas. What we noticed was that we had to teach them everything about a home (TV, stairs, mirrors, soft beds, etc) and also about the world outside - in prison they were obviously not exposed to many trucks, big crowds, traffic, cars etc etc.

 

Neither of our two raced either - temperament issues for one and lack of speed for the others. We noticed that ours had much more energy than everyone else's greys - we were initially sold on the relatively small amount of exercise needed for greys. Yeah. When they're young, that's not necessarily true!

 

We picked our first (or she picked us), but our second was picked by the group and by Brandi's needs. Paige is not the dog I would have chosen, but she is also my heart dog, something that blossomed over 6 months.

 

Final thing, please don't overlook the little or big, black or nondescript dog who doesn't seem to care if you're there or not. Sometimes the quiet ones are the ones who, with time and patience, will blossom and bond, and are the most rewarding to work with.

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You can sometimes get a better idea of a dog's "pet" behaviour, likes/dislikes, prey drive, housetraining, SA, etc if they have been in a foster home, so I think that can be a good option for people looking for a very specific dog, or a dog with certain traits. There will likely be more of an adjustment period with kennel dogs, you will be the one to introduce them to their first house, slippery floors, stairs, etc. I remember seeing the new kennel dogs getting off the truck at our group's picnic last year, and forgot how very "kennel dog" their behaviour is! I don't mean this in a bad way, it is just that there is a period of adjustment.

 

I personally prefer just getting directly from the kennel. I really enjoy being able to interact with a lot of greys to pick one, rather have a group pick one for me. There are also usually way more dogs to choose from in a kennel. I like to be the one to introduce them to home life so I can get them started right away on my routine, rules, etc. Having said that, dogs are very adaptable, so they are likely to adjust quite easily either way!

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