The Adopted Dog Bible: Your One-Stop Resource for Choosing, Training, and Caring for Your Sheltered or Rescued Dog The Adopted Dog Bible: Your One-Stop Resource for Choosing, Training, and Caring for Your Sheltered or Rescued Dog

5.0 6

View All Available Formats & Editions

The old rules don't always apply to adopted dogs, whose training, past behaviors, and health histories may be a mystery. At last, here's the one-stop bible that acknowledges their special needs and covers every detail of daily life. In chapters reviewed by experts in veterinary medicine, nutrition, and training, pet parents will learn:

  • Where to find


The old rules don't always apply to adopted dogs, whose training, past behaviors, and health histories may be a mystery. At last, here's the one-stop bible that acknowledges their special needs and covers every detail of daily life. In chapters reviewed by experts in veterinary medicine, nutrition, and training, pet parents will learn:

  • Where to find your perfect canine companion
  • All about breeds and mixed breeds and how you can adopt any type of dog
  • Smart guidelines for adoption success
  • Realistic expenses of dog care
  • What to expect when you bring your new pup home (and long after)
  • How to prevent runaways and protect your dog from all types of harm
  • Clicker, target stick, and other re-training methods
  • Humane ways to modify undesirable behaviors
  • How to introduce new diets and take the guesswork out of feeding
  • Holistic and conventional medical treatments
  • Daily hygiene and caring for your sick pup inside and out
  • The impact of travel and changes at home
  • What to do when it's time to say good-bye

Plus recipes, doggy workouts, heartwarming true stories of adopted dogs and their happy parents, information on saving dogs on a larger scale, and much, much more!

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This is a basic book on choosing, training, and caring for a dog, but instead of addressing puppy buyers who purchase their pets from a reputable breeder, this resource assembled by, a popular pet adoption web site, is for the millions of people who acquire their dogs secondhand. Vice president of shelter outreach at, Saunders draws on a knowledgeable panel of contributors, including dog-care authors Sheila Boneham, Liz Palika, Sue Sternberg, and others, which adds to the book's credibility. The information covers the usual basics but is substantial, and owners with further concerns or questions are referred to other organizations or their local veterinarian or trainer. Well organized and illustrated, the 22 chapters cover a comprehensive range of topics, from where to find the right dog, breed characteristics, and guidelines for selecting the dog to retraining, modifying undesirable behaviors, and routine care and health considerations. This is a worthwhile purchase for all sizes of public libraries and suitable for both first-time and seasoned dog owners. Highly recommended.
—Edell M. Schaefer

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.14(w) x 7.24(h) x 0.91(d)

Read an Excerpt The Adopted Dog Bible

Your One-Stop Resource for Choosing, Training, and Caring for Your Sheltered or Rescued Dog

By Claudia
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2009

All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061435591

Chapter One

Shelters, Rescue Groups,

Ads—Oh My! Where to Find the Right Dog

You may have thought that deciding to adopt a dog rather than buy one from a breeder would be the toughest part of the whole dog acquisition process. But choosing to adopt a dog isn't the end of a process, it's the beginning.

You might feel a bit overwhelmed when you try to figure out where to look for your adopted dog. Lots of options confront you: animal shelters, rescue groups, advertisements, and even dogs that might choose you by following you home. But take heart! This chapter gives you all your adoption options to find the dog of your dreams.

Gimme Shelter

Your local animal shelter can be a great place to find your dream dog. Generally, shelters are run by local governments or local humane organizations. Almost every county and medium-to-large city in the United States has a shelter; some may have several.

However, all shelters are not created equal. Some are state-of-the-art facilities with climate-controlled apartments, piped-in music, and full-time trainers who socialize the canine guests, teach them some new tricks (literally),and otherwise keep them as happy as possible until they're adopted. Such shelters are in the minority, though, because building, creating, and maintaining these ideal shelters requires funding and personnel that most communities don't have. These communities do the best they can with the relatively meager resources available to them, and they make every effort to provide a safe, clean refuge for the animals they shelter. And almost all shelters, regardless of the luxuriousness of their accommodations, have employees who do their very best to care for the unfortunate animals who need a shelter's services, and to find permanent homes for as many as they can.

Many local organizations go by the name of SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). These groups are neither related to nor regulated by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the country's oldest humane organization, which is based in New York but has a national focus. The same is true for local humane societies that have no relation to the national organization, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

In addition to paid staff, many shelters have volunteers who help with duties such as socializing dogs, screening adoption applications, and introducing applicants to available dogs. Some fortunate shelters have full-time trainers who show selected volunteers how to teach the dogs basic manners. A dog who responds to simple cues such as "come," "sit," and "heel" is much more likely to make a good impression on a prospective adopter than a dog who hurls himself at an approaching human in a joyous frenzy or hugs the rear wall of his enclosure when someone passes by. But keep in mind that just because a dog has not yet learned basic manners does not mean that he won't make an excellent companion once you put in some time socializing and educating him.

There are as many reasons for a dog to wind up in a shelter as there are dogs that need homes. According to Petfinder, purebred dogs make up at least 25 percent of the adoptable dogs available. While young puppies occasionally come to a shelter (often with their mother), many shelter dogs are adolescents—between six months and two years of age. Among these canine teenagers are dogs whose former families adored them when they were cute little puppies, but couldn't or wouldn't cope with their adolescent unruliness just a few months later. Other shelter dogs are senior citizens whose folks might not have wanted to be bothered with taking care of an elderly animal, or perhaps, whose people were seniors themselves and no longer able to provide their beloved friend with a home.

Shelter dogs also come in all sizes and shapes. One enclosure might house a high-strung silky-haired toy-sized pooch; in the next might be a big couch potato of a Pit Bull mix. When it comes to shelter dogs, diversity is the name of the game.

Regardless of their age, appearance, or temperament, many shelter dogs find themselves homeless due to circumstances beyond their control, or because they have minor issues that would respond to a little time and effort by a caring human being or a family.

Most shelters have a three-part adoption procedure: preparing a dog for adoption, selecting an adopter, and following up after the adoption.

Typically, when a dog first arrives, shelter personnel evaluate his temperament, immunize him against rabies and other serious canine diseases, perform a heartworm test, and check for internal parasites. The dog then goes to live in his own enclosure among the other canine guests. The enclosure may include a blanket, toys, or other goodies to help the dog feel more at home. During his stay, shelter employees and volunteers not only feed the dog but also try to spend some quality time with him: taking him for walks, playing with him outdoors, and even teaching him basic good manners such as coming when called and sitting when told. Such efforts not only help acclimate the dog to the shelter but also help prepare him to be adopted.

While the dog is being prepped for a forever home, other shelter staffers and volunteers work to find that home. They might photograph the dog and advertise his availability on and/or on their own website. They also might place a classified advertisement in their local paper, or put up flyers on community bulletin boards or at pet supply stores. When prospective adopters show an interest in the dog—through phone calls, e-mail, or a visit to the shelter—employees usually ask them to fill out a questionnaire or application. Such applications can be quite extensive (see "So You Think You Can Just Adopt a Dog?" on page 9), but if used properly, they can open a constructive dialogue between shelter personnel and would-be adopters to make the best possible match between the dog and a prospective family.

Shelter employees evaluate each application, check references, and interview the applicant either by phone or in person. Based on those evaluations, shelter staff can help match the right dog with the right family. Some shelters will then perform a home evaluation in which a shelter staffer or volunteer visits the adopter's residence to make sure that it's a good place for the dog to live and to help the new pet-parent-to-be with dog-proofing tips.


Excerpted from The Adopted Dog Bible by Claudia Copyright © 2009 by Claudia Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Since 1996, has facilitated more than twelve million pet adoptions. What began as one couple's New Year's resolution to "do something good" by uniting homeless pets with prospective adopters has become the largest searchable database of adoptable pets on the Web. More than one out of nine homes with pets in the U.S. contains an animal found on Kim Saunders is vice president of shelter outreach at and is the proud adoptive parent of Kona, Mojo, and Mocha.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews > The Adopted Dog Bible: Your One-Stop Resource for Choosing, Training, and Caring for Your Sheltered or Rescued Dog 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really great and I will try to explain why, although I realize that my English (my second language) is far from perfect. Nevertheless I hope to convince you to buy this book and enjoy it as much as I still do! Of course, there are lots of books about buying and raising (a breed) puppy. Even when you want to do so, please read this book first. It makes it clear that adoption is an option too! We all know that there are so many dogs in shelters, waiting for a new loving family! When you already have decided to adopt a dog, this book really is the one that takes you to all the essential steps before making a decision, your final choose and the way how to give you new dog its special place in your home and family. The book makes it clear, that adopting a dog from a shelter means you rescue a dog, but it won't always be easy. Each shelter dog has its own, sometimes sad, history of abandoning and abuse. The book is honest and clear on this point and its contents deals with all the things you should know. For example it explains how shelters work and what they do, it discribes the way how to find the most perfect dog for you and what you should do first before making a final choice. Futhermore, it discusses how to modifying undesirable behavoirs, health issues, and -especially important in this time- the financial aspects of having a dog and much more. The book is illustrated with photos and it has a lot of practical, easy to use, tips. The information is very complete and written voor new dogowners as well as for the experienced dogowners. It makes it clear that adopting a dog is a huge, costly, time-consuming responsibility. But with the advices this book gives it will be worth everyting!
DjJeSteR More than 1 year ago
This is a must read for any pet lover, new adopted pet owner. Explains all the ins and outs of owning a dog. GREAT BOOK!!!!
jjbertramiv More than 1 year ago
This would make an excellent gift, or pick up two copies and keep one for yourself ;o) I'm going to recommend this book to everyone I know. Thank You to the wonderful folks @ PetFinder for releasing this as it really is your One-Stop Resource for Choosing, Training, and Caring for Your Sheltered or Rescued Dog!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have done Petfinder That I think is where I got my dog, Ziggy Great recource to find the pet that is just right for you! Ziggy is just the dog we wamred exept for 3 faults- go to Petfinder and fill out the top info- you will be amazed that it is so much like Craigslist only for animals from Hamsters to Horses!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago