Thursday, March 14, 2019

5 simple things you need before bringing home your first dog by Jessica Brody

These Are the 5 Things You Need Before Bringing Your First Dog Home

You’ve been waiting for this moment for years. After searching high and low for the perfect dog, you’re ready to bring your first pet home. Or are you? Before you introduce your dog to his new home, make sure you have these five necessities.

A Pet-Friendly Place to Live

Renting with pets can be challenging. Before adopting a dog, make sure your current home allows pets and that you’re prepared to find pet-friendly housing if you have to move.

You should also consider the type of dog your home can accommodate. If you live in an apartment without a yard, look at small breeds who don’t need a lot of space to play. Large and high-energy breeds like Dobermans, Australian Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers do best in homes with fenced yards where they can run. Keep in mind that not all small-breed dogs are laid back. The American Kennel Club places Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Russell Terriers, and Miniature Pinschers among the most active dog breeds.

A Great Veterinarian

Your dog’s first vet appointment won’t be long after his adoption day. If you bought a puppy or adopted a dog from an animal shelter or rescue, he may need booster vaccines to establish immunity against a number of nasty illnesses. The first vet appointment is also a good opportunity to get a prescription for flea, tick, and heartworm preventative and have your dog microchipped. If your dog isn’t spayed or neutered, schedule this important procedure as well.

Get recommendations from friends and neighbors for a great veterinarian in your area, and make sure you’re prepared for the first appointment. By establishing a relationship with a vet you trust, you can protect your pet’s health for life.

An Exercise Plan

Dog ownership completely transforms your household routines. Lazy mornings become neighborhood walks and couch potato evenings turn into backyard play sessions. While it’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot of responsibility too. If you don’t keep up with your pet’s exercise needs, it could lead to unwanted behaviors in your new pet. Have a plan for getting your dog plenty of exercise every day. If you have a family, assign exercise duties so your dog gets trips outside every few hours. If you’re running the house solo, make use of dog walkers (which can run between $18 and $22 for a 30- to 40-minute walk) to get your dog exercise while you’re at work.

Don’t forget to buy a leash and harness so you’re prepared for your first walk! While it’s still important for your dog to have a collar to carry ID tags, Whole Dog Journal explains why harnesses are better for walks.

Training Tips

Even the sweetest pooch needs training to become a well-behaved member of your household. Unfortunately, first-time dog owners often underestimate the training time commitment. As Modern Dog Magazine explains, training should happen multiple times a day, every day. And it doesn’t stop once your pet knows a few commands. To build a strong relationship between owner and pet, make training a lifelong endeavor.

As a first-time dog owner, it’s a good idea to work with a professional trainer to teach your dog basic obedience and teach you how to train your pet effectively.

Tools for Clean-Up

From muddy paws to shedding fur, dogs are messy creatures. Make sure you’re prepared for the reality of living alongside a four-legged family member by stocking up on cleaning supplies. In addition to grooming tools, you’ll want an enzymatic carpet cleaner for house-training accidents, a scooper for picking up the backyard, and a dog shampoo to minimize smells. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner that’s built to handle pet fur, this is the time to upgrade. A quality vacuum properly equipped for pet messes not only eliminates dust and fur floating around your home, it also tackles odor and reduces dander so your friends with allergies can still visit.

Every once in a while, you might discover that you’re short on time and can’t devote enough attention to all the pet hair and dander that has built up. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to bring in a team up who can whip your house back into shape. When making your budget, keep in mind that a house cleaning in the Monticello, Minnesota, area runs between $126 and $240, though a number of different factors (location, house size, etc.) will influence that price.

Adopting a dog is a big step. As much fun as it is, adding a dog to the household can also be stressful if you’re not prepared. Follow these tips before bringing your dog home and you’ll be able to spend time enjoying your new pet’s company instead of worrying about your to-do list.

Written by our UDR friend for the benefit of UDR

Jessica Brody

Thank you Jessica!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Heat Stroke: what you need to know this summer


As we’re set to see hot and humid temperatures again this weekend and throughout next week, it’s important to be aware of and recognize the symptoms of heat stroke in your dog:

Heat stroke occurs when a dog loses its ability to regulate its body temperature. Dogs don’t sweat all over their bodies the way humans do. Canine body temperature is primarily regulated through respiration (i.e., panting). If a dog’s respiratory tract cannot evacuate heat quickly enough, heatstroke can occur.

A dog’s normal resting temperature is about 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Once a dog’s temperature rises above 105 degrees, physiological changes start to take place, and the dog begins to experience the effects of heatstroke. At 106 to 108 degrees, the dog begins to suffer irreversible damage to the kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, heart and brain.

ANY breed can be affected, but it is more frequent in long-haired dogs, flat-faced dogs, and extremely active or working dogs during warm months.  It can occur at ANY age, but tends to affect the young and old the most since their bodies aren’t as conditioned.

Excessive panting and drooling, reddened gums, rapid heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, wobbly or uncoordinated gait, glazed eyes, and lethargy

Excessive Panting is the 1st symptom!

Prevention is easy with basic safety precautions!  Take caution in hot and humid conditions, by taking plenty of breaks in the shade, and offering water frequently.  Keep exercise to early in the morning or late at night.  Avoid asphalt, concrete or other heat-reflective surfaces which will amplify the heat on your dog AND possibly damage their paws.  And of course, make sure to never leave your dog in the car or in an area/enclosure that isn’t well-ventilated or without air conditioning. 

 Remember that working dogs tend to become so focused on their tasks that they don't realize when they need to rest and cool down - it's up to you to monitor your dog and make sure he gets the breaks he needs to stay healthy!  Consider wetting him down or using a cooling vest while he's active, and keep a close watch on him for the first signs of overheating.

-Immediately move your dog to a cooler environment. 
-Use cool or tepid water rather than really cold water, which can cause the blood vessels to constrict and actually slow the cooling process.  Running water is better than submerging your dog – focus on areas with high circulation like armpits, abdomen and inner thighs.
-Blowing air over your dog with a fan as you cool them with water can be helpful
-Offer small amounts of cool water to drink
-As soon as your dog is stable – GET TO YOUR NEAREST VETERINARIAN QUICKLY!  Dogs who suffer from heat stroke can develop delayed complications that are really serious, including death, if they are not properly monitored and cared for.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Volunteering: Think Outside the Box

Make a Difference - sign up to volunteer with United Doberman Rescue!

When we call for volunteers, many minds automatically go to foster homes or home visit evaluators, and while these are critical areas, as a rescue we use and value ALL nature of volunteers!  We will work with folks to use their skills and position them based on how much time they’d like to donate – whether that looks a ‘full time’ job like fostering or dropping a bag of food off at a foster home across the Cities once a month.

Here are some areas and types of people we are always looking for:
  • ·    Techies – website design or helping us out when we run into basic ‘technical’ difficulties like transferring a Word file to an image (no joke – this took us 2 weeks and 3 minds to figure out….).
  • ·     Photography – great photos help get our dogs adopted!  We also love to share photos of our events, but often times our fosters don’t have a spare hand or time to snap quality photos while they chat with visitors and potential adopters about their foster dog.
  • ·     Event planning – did you thrive on planning your kids’ birthday parties?!  Do you throw an amazing Super Bowl party?!  We have events big and small that need planning and organizing manpower from booking the venues, invitations, activities for attendees, vendors, raffles, etc
  • ·     People persons – simply coming to our events to hand out flyers or to just ‘talk dog’ with visitors is a HUGE help.  Assisting in fundraising or volunteer training are other exciting opportunities for those who love to work with people.
  • ·     Travel by car for work?  Help with a leg of transport for a dog arriving to our program or help move needed supplies to a foster home.
  • ·     Dog training skills – no need to be a professional, but someone experienced and willing to share their tips with our foster parents on common problem issues like jumping up on people, pulling on walks, counter surfing or resource guarding  - good manners go a LONG way in helping a dog be chosen by potential adopters!
  • ·     Microsoft Excel whiz?  Help us track vet expenses and program dog information or help us create a template we can work from.
  • ·     Are you an online auction or Ebay aficionado?!  We are looking to expand in both of these areas!

 Volunteering can largely be what YOU want to make of it with regard to time commitment and nature of duties.  We hope you can join in our fun community of Doberman lovers!  You can let us know where your strengths and interests lay by filling out a Volunteer Application on our website:

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Wacky adoption Rules and why we have them!

Why adopting one of our dog makes your business, our business

Once every blue moon we hear this from potential adopters,"Its none of your business how I live" or "No you are not coming to MY home". It is our business to make sure we know everything possible about the home we are placing one of our pups, who I might add, have already been let down by people previously in its life, one way or another. All our dogs are our number one concern and priority, always!

Yep. Adopting a rescue dog is similar to adopting a human baby from an adoption agency. In both cases, the adopter is required to go thorough a screening process to ensure that the pet/baby is placed in a home where he/she will not only be cherished for the rest of his life but also receive the appropriate care and nurturing he/she needs to thrive.

If you’ve ever worked with us, or a even a different rescue, you might be annoyed by some of the hurdles you have to jump over, en route to adopting a pet. The reason is simple: We, as most other rescues, want to make sure our dogs — many of whom have been saved from illness, abuse and death — are placed in permanent, loving homes where they will be spoiled and pampered for the rest of their lives.

There’s no way to determine for certain whether a potential adopter can provide the perfect home, we try hard to ensure this for our dogs, promising them a lifetime of safety and security, which means doing lot of work in screening our applicants who want to adopt. 

The Adoption Application

Our application gathers the data we need to begin screening potential adopters. Those who are not willing to share this information we ask for, are not truthful, or do not give us the proper information ask on the application may be denied. The application consist of basic questions, most of which focus on your home, lifestyle and beliefs in how to properly care for a pet. The goal is to try to match you with a dog that will thrive in your environment. 

Why your lifestyle and activity level are important things for us to understand. 

For example: 
If you live in an apartment and work long hours, we will probably say NO at giving you a young, active dog but depending on the home and situation, might recommend an older dog who won’t mind lazing around all day, provided they have a safe place to potty. 
If you have infants or toddlers living with you, we will put the kibosh on a dog over 6 months old. Often our adult dogs have unknown histories with children. Neither us nor most parents would want to take the risk of a bite. We do place puppies with very young children in most cases. 
If you live in a house, we will want to know about the security and height of your fence. Fencing does provide a safe place for your pet to potty and play and is always viewed as GOOD for our dogs. 

Although not every rescue checks references, we do, by checking with your vet to see how you cared for your animals in the past. We want to see that your current, or past pets, are up to date on vaccines, altered and on heart worm preventative. 



Yes, the one that naysayers, you know who you are, usually find so intrusive — is the home check. If you do not want us to come, you will not be able to adopt-period. It is the most important step in the screening process, and almost always mandatory with exceptions. The exception would be if you are adopting from a remote area, in which case we might request you email photos of your home and yard, do Face-time, send a video or something in that order. Most home visits should take under an hour and include a brief tour of your home and yard. You will be asked questions about your lifestyle, kids and once again, your pets. No, the volunteer rep won’t open your drawers or run a white-gloved finger over your baseboards. They want to meet your other pets, the other family members and to make sure your home is safe and secure for one of our dogs. They are not there to judge your housekeeping or decorating skills. Based off the home visits we may have recommendations for a dog better suited for the home, or ask that you fix something. Many times our volunteers become friends with our adopters just through the connections we make in rescue! 

Apollo, our Belgian Malinois/Doberman mix and adoptable boy Loki checking each other out at a Meet and Greet

Meeting the dogs

Unless you’ve already met the dog at an adoption event, you probably won’t meet one in person until you are approved to adopt after the home visit is completed. You will then be invited to visit the dog at the foster home. If it’s love at first sight, you can plan on getting your home ready for the big adoption day and make arrangements with the foster home and adoption coordinator. If you don’t think the pet is a good match tell us, if you would like to meet others tell us or take time to think over what works best for you to make your adoption successful.

Adoptable boy Thor meets a Princess 

The Adoption Contract

Every good rescue will require you to sign an adoption contract before you complete the adoption including our rescue. If a rescue doesn’t do this, then they aren’t careful enough with their animals, and you shouldn’t work with them. We do require adopters to return dogs to our rescue, if for what ever reason, adopter can no longer care for them. All good rescues and breeders will offer this and spell it out clearly in their adoption contracts!

One of the Miller Dozen babies getting a vet check!

Although contracts vary widely among organizations, you’ll see these required provisions in our contract: 
You must provide basic care. In addition to food, shelter and water, you must commit to providing the animal with veterinary care, heart worm preventative, exercise and, of course, love. 
You are adopting the animal for the rest of its life. If you cannot keep the animal at any point in the future, you must notify our rescue immediately, before finding it a new home altogether. Adopters may never resell their pets after they have adopted either. We feel once a dog comes into our rescue, it is one of our family members, and our doors are open should it need to be returned for any reason for it's entire life! 
You must keep you dog current on vet care. You must spay or neuter the animal when we ask, per our contract, if its a youngster, and complete scheduled rounds of vaccination when they are due per your vet. Preventative medications are also mandatory for our adopted dogs, such as heart worm and flea and tick meds. 

Full house!

The Adoption Fee

For those of you who are ANTI-RESCUE- This is not a sale price. We are nonprofit, and need every bit of funding we can get our hands on. Most of our money to help the rescue dogs, comes from adoption fees. These fees help pay, going forward, for food, vet care and supplies for dog coming into rescue. Very few rescues, including us, charge adopters the exact amount of money that they have spent on caring for a rescue dog. If we did, that 7 year old dog, such as our adoptable boy Scorpio (adoption fee $300.00) would cost you well over $1000.00 as he was treated for heart worm and now is going through costly dental work. People simply won’t pay that much for an older animal, or would you? Often times, the majority of our fosters that come into rescue are sick, old or are in need of major vet care. Foster care providers do get the option to adopt their fosters, BUT they too must pay the adoption fee! I highly recommend calling around to vets and asking what the going cost is for spays and neuters, vaccines, and more. We as a nonprofit rescue still have to pay for these services, they are NOT free!

After the adoption expect to hear from us from time to time, especially the pet’s foster parents. As a foster parent of hundreds of foster Dobermans, it is heart warming to get updates on how well they are doing in their new homes!! 

So I was rejected!

If you were rejected there was a reason. It might be a temporary situation you need to resolve, like building a fence or waiting for a child to get a little older. Don't be mad, be glad! Take time to invest in a fence, or grow those kids bigger!

This is what I think of that applicant.......or 

Some of the other reasons you may get rejected:

AWWW, shucks! HUH, How did you find out? 

You lied on your application, you called our volunteers names or had an attitude, you hid important facts from your application or failed to tell everything that gets discovered later. 
Your home is unsafe. We will not place an animal in a home where its safety is in question. If you don’t have a secure yard, if a young child or family members chronically leave the door or gate open, or if you have dangerous home improvement projects going on, then don’t expect us to approve you. Lets talk and see if you can remedy the problem. We love applicants who willingly take our recommendations to heart! 
It wasn’t a good match. You might think Twinkles is the perfect dog for you, but  we may think otherwise. We know the animal and what it needs in terms of its perfect home. If it isn’t a good match, don’t get mad. Talk to us about another pet that might be even more perfect for you, or be willing to wait for that perfect match to come in! 
You’re under 21. In addition to insurance liabilities, we don’t like to adopt to young people because they don’t usually know where they’ll be in 5 years. If you go to college, you won’t be able to take your pet with you. If you move to a restricted breed building or home, you’ll need to find a new home for the animal. There are exceptions, of course: If you’re living a stable life, especially if you’re married or in a permanent relationship, and live in your own purchased home, these things will be taken into consideration. 
Yours is a military family. Sadly, Dobermans are NOT allowed on any military base anywhere on this planet so, we will not adopt to anyone in the military. 
You’re questionable. Okay, this is the single biggest reason we reject applicants, even though it’s completely subjective. If an applicant argues with us, gets angry with us, that’s it, application denied. If at any point in the interview process someone does not feel right about adopting to you, we are done and your application will be filed in the DONE section.

Add caption

Remember: WE don’t exist to just supply people with pets. Our goal is to find good quality FOREVER homes for our animals. Animals that WE promised to keep safe for the rest of THEIR lives. They have already had a tough go before coming into rescue. If you are denied, know, there will certainly be another suitable home that we feels fits better for that dog. 

If you are approved and adopt, thank you for working with us, for following our suggestions, and being willing to let us be intrusive into your lives. You are their saviors with us, in giving a loving home to a homeless animal. There is a reason for our wackiness and expectations in digging in your business. We do it, and we know you let us do it, for them.

Adapted from Petful  

Thursday, May 10, 2018


Cass was Momma to the Colorado Fab 5 litter.  She now goes by the name Daisy, and her owners report she is a very sweet and happy girl that they adore! 

Daisy (f/k/a Momma Cass) and her Fab 5 pups

What is Daisy up to these days?  She loves chasing butterflies, laying in the sun, going for car rides, and playing chase with her toys.  Daisy is happiest getting her belly rubbed, going for walks, and running with other dogs at the dog park.   Daisy’s adopters report she is very outgoing and highly social with others.

Physically Daisy has had some challenges recovering from her former life.  Her fabulous owners have diligently helped get her through treatment for hookworms, multiple ear infections, and an antibiotic resistant staph infection from her spa surgery.  Poor girl!  Luckily sweet Daisy has been the most patient of patients, and is on the upswing.

Getting her Epsom salt and antibiotic hot compress
What a GOOD girl!

As needed for all UDR’s adopted dogs, Daisy has completed a basic obedience course at her local humane society.  Her adopters report it was very helpful and is making a big difference out-and-about and on walks.  True to her Doberman breed, Daisy is a quick learner and eager to please.

Spoiled and LOVING it!

We are so thankful to Adopters Star and Keith for their update on Daisy!  They have truly gone above and beyond as adopters, and Daisy’s health and happiness shows.  The BEST part of rescuing is knowing alumni dogs like Daisy will be dearly loved for the rest of their days!

Looking beautiful and healthy, Miss Daisy!