Question about the DRC

I have an honest question here regarding the DRC. I've read their policies and I agree with a lot of them but frankly the "no kids under 10" thing IMO is really off putting to me. I was a dog trainer pre kids. I've trained many dogs successfully or I should say helped people to train their dogs.Under the DRC's policies I would not be allowed to adopt any of their dogs since I have a 5 year old and an 8 year old. This was one reason we felt the need to go with a breeder.I understand why, in general, you would want to go with a family who has kids with a certain maturity level and even why some dogs are better placed without kids but I think there are exceptions and I personally think 10years of age is a pretty high/extreme limit. Brisby adores our kids and the relationship between kids and dog have impacted both in a significant positive way.Again I understand in general the reasoning but is there no bend there?I'm not trying to start a heated debate, I just want to know why the age limit was set at 10 years. It seems to discount a lot of potentially good families that could make loving homes.

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  • The age of 10 was actually a compromise. Some of the directors wanted to make it 12, which is the age that many private breed-specific rescues use, especially those that place larger dogs.

    Originally, the age was 5. But of those dogs who were returned to the rescue by the adoptive homes, every one of them had younger children in the home, and that was the contributing factor in the dog being returned. It was also the reason the age limit was raised.

    It's important to note that 90% of all doodles who are relinquished to the DRC by their owners come from homes with children under 10. By the time these dogs get into foster care, many of them display nervousness around children. 

    In placing a dog in a new home, the main consideration is to try to be as sure as possible that the dog will never have to go through another rehoming again. In other words, you stack the deck in the dog's favor. To do this, you try to eliminate as many of the factors that cause a dog to be rehomed as possible. Experience with placing over 1000 dogs has shown that one of those factors is younger children in the home. This includes not just issues between the kids and the dog, but also such things as "not enough time", "not enough money", allergies, and "I have to put my kids first". In an adult home, the dog's needs do not come after the kids'. This doesn't mean that there aren't many dogs thriving in homes with children, but it does mean that the chances of a dog who has already lost one home having to go through it again are lower in an adult home. There are many other factors that contribute to a dog's losing his home; for example, first-time dog owners (those who have not owned a dog as adults and do not have vet records in their own names) are much more likely to give up a dog than people who have owned a dog through his entire life cycle. Therefore, the DRC does not adopt to first-time dog owners, either. That would also preclude many people here on DK who have turned out to be excellent dog owners. It is what it is. 

    The DRC recognizes that there are many children who are wonderful with dogs, but a nationwide rescue group has no way to evaluate that. They have to err on the side of caution. More importantly, the rules have to apply to everyone impartially and equally. You simply cannot say, "This person's kids are okay but that person's aren't". That is truly discriminatory, and can have legal repercussions as well. Many people take the rules personally, but when they are applied equally to everyone, they are impartial. When you start making exceptions, you are then making judgments for or against an individual home, and not just setting policy. 

    When I adopted JD, my grandson (who lives with me) was 6 years old. I would not have qualified to adopt from the DRC if they had been in existence at that time. The thought that my home is not a fabulous place for any dog is laughable, but I would have been turned down. In fact, a large Golden Retriever rescue in my area had an age limit of 12, so I did not apply for one of their dogs. I understand that this is not personal against me, it is a general policy for the welfare of the dogs. 

    Finally, the DRC receives dozens of applications for most of the dogs in the program, from homes that do qualify. The puppy Buddy in CA received more than 100 applications in the first 48 hours he was listed. There is rarely a shortage of qualified homes from which to choose, so there is never a case where a dog is denied a wonderful home due to the age limit, or any of the other adoption policies. 

    • Ok thank Karen. Wasn't trying to offend anyone. I was just curious. :)
    • Excellent reply Karen...  You echo the sentiments and rules of our Maltese Rescue California.  We also realize that there are many homes with young children that can be wonderful for dogs.  I was raised with a Flat Coated Retriever from birth until we lost this wonderful dog from old age.

      However, there are also good people out there who have problems when their kids interface with dogs.  We as a rescue group believe that we are advocates for our rescue dogs.  We have to put them first in the selection of adoptive homes.  If statistically homes with small kids rehome their dogs at a greater frequency than homes without kids; it is our job to provide the best chance of success in the new home.  That may disappoint many persons who could give a great home to an adoptive dog but, that is something we just have to live with.

    • As a mother to a one year old, I agree full heartedly with this.  Even though I really believe that I have a wonderful home environment for my dogs, I am honestly probably in the minority of houses with children.  Do you know how many times I hear about people having babies and finding new homes for their dogs?  All the time!

      So, while you and I might be PERFECT homes for these dogs, we probably represent a very, very, very small amount of homes that have young children that would be suitable for rescues. 

      Someone asked me recently if I agreed with these age restrictions and of course I do.  It is so hard having children, dogs, working etc....  I make a DAILY effort to ensure my dogs are getting the love they deserve. I also make an effort to ensure my daughter treats them gently and with the love they deserve. And it is hard to remember to do so given our busy lives. 

      The DRC's #1 goal is to place these dogs in forever homes, so if 90% of their rescues were rehomed due to children in the home, why would they want to risk that again?  I would like to think I have a decent relationship with some members of the DRC and I would never ask to adopt from them. No exceptions should be given. Period.

  • Wow...I had never really thought about age limitations but Karen, you explained it perfectly.  I totally get it and love that the dog comes first!  And Richard, glad to hear all the rescues seem to be on the same page.  Dogs are so lucky to have people like you guys watching out for them.  

  • Additionally, there is another group of people who we often prefer not to adopt to.  These are the young, newly married couples. We don't have any firm and fast rules regarding "not" adopting to them but we have found over the years that one of two things often happen to newly married couples that have an adverse impact on their ability to provide a stable home for a dog.

    They often have children and we get a lot of our re-homed Maltese from couples who were very happy with their dogs until the child came along.  Then, it is often not enough time for both baby and dog or there are frequently problems with the interaction of a toddler and the dog.  It doesn't matter who is at fault, toddler, parent or dog; the dog always loses in that situation.

    Additionally, young men and women, both married and single often have lives that are somewhat unsettled.  Our own daughter loved her Maltese dearly but found that keeping the dog with her as she gravitated from one living situation to another was difficult, no matter how she tried.  Luckily we were there to back her up and keep the dog with us as she wandered through a succession of college dorms, sorority houses and shared apartments.  

    Now she is in a wonderfully stable marriage with no kids ever expected and has three rescue Maltese and a rescue Labrador retriever.

  • I know this is an old discussion, but just this morning, DRC got a new rehome assistance request which is a perfect example of how nice doodles end up losing their homes through no fault of their own, because of young children in the home and all the issues that go along with that. Here it is in a nutshell:

    We have a very sweet and loving golden doodle named ____. She is 2.5 yrs old. She is completely house trained, and has a very loving and friendly disposition. We got her as a birthday gift for our four year old daughter. Unfortunately, I should have a done a better job researching the personality of the golden doodle. Although she is very sweet, she is very, very active. We are not able to take her for regular walks or really treat her the way she deserves. I would also say Golden doodles are great dogs for older kids, but with our small children it has been very challenging. They are constantly getting knocked down when she runs in the house. We would love to find a home where ____ can run, go for regular walks, bark if she wants to, and get lots of love. It's hard to realize that you are not the best owner for a dog because she really is great dog, but just not for our family. Please help us find a great home for ___!

    I think it's important to note here that this was not just a case of first time dog owners getting "a dog for the kids". There is an older dog in the home, but that dog is a smaller, non-sporting breed who doesn't need the kind of time, exercise, grooming, etc that a doodle requires. This is the perfect example of why a doodle may not be the right choice for families with kids. 

    • Yes, perfect explanation.  Having had three rescue dogs in April, I thoroughly agree with you.  None of these dogs would be good to be placed with children in the home.  I love dogs, and adore doodles, but there are many things to consider when bringing a new dog into your home.  Also, a great explanation as to why rehoming is so great for an older person with experience.  They are house trained, spayed or neutered, and innoculated.  Many are chipped also.  Win/win for someone who doesn't want to do all of these things (again).

    • Just heart breaking for the poor doodle that has noway to understand this -  but also so important and wonderful that DRC and others are so dedicated to rehoming.  

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