The new model of dog care - renting dogsI recently heard an interesting story by a person who got me to pull my car over on the way to a dog walk. He said he pulled me over because he comes from the Geelong area and they are thinking of creating a new type of dog sanctuary. One that I have never heard about before but could work well.
A lot of people with dogs don't walk them regularly, and that really besides food is the only thing they really need. The social interaction to remember how to be a friendly happy dog.
Then you get a lot of dogs that are abandoned for one reason or another and dogs that are dangerous, too much energy and so on. Its always a misfit with the type of owners of course, but the result is the same, overflowing dog rescue centres where often due to overcrowding many dogs are put down.
I have no simple solution for this. I walk dogs and mind dogs and make it much easier for people to keep their own dog happy.
The new model of dog centres - dogs for hireIn America they have dog ranches where a lot of once aggressive dogs are socialised and then socialise other dogs new to the pack. They often stay in that centre to help rehabilitate problem behaviour dogs.
What this new Geelong model wants to do is like a half way house between a shelter and a rescue ranch. The guy told me that he is thinking of having a large ranch of dogs taht have been abandoned, rehabilitate as needed, but rent them out for people to have for a few days or a week at a time. This way the dog gets to learn more socialization, people get to have a dog, but they return it so don't have long term commitments for a dog.
The dog has all of its medical and injection needs looked after by the centre, but it might mean that more dogs can be kept off death row.
With dog ownership declining in Australia this might be a perfect halfway house solution. The decline might be because of smaller living spaces, or because people are more committed to new technology or working and don't have time for dogs. But if this model can keep dogs happy and safe and give people experience of dogs without them feeling they have to abandon them when times get hard, then it could be a good thing.
The only thing about this is it starts making the dog a commodity. Something that doesnt need full commitment, making it easier to not form a bond long term with an animal. Perhaps it could be a good try before you buy kind of thing but I am hoping that it doesnt start replacing long term ownership because humans have given up on dogs.