Does Dogs XL require adopters to own their homes?
No! Renters are encouraged to adopt from Dogs XL. We’ll just check with your landlord to make sure dogs are allowed in your rental unit. We’ll also check on any weight, size, or breed restrictions. This is particularly important if you are adopting a puppy because we cannot guarantee what size or weight a puppy will grow to be.
Does Dogs XL adopt to families who live in apartments?
Yes! We will need to discuss an exercise plan, including daily
perhaps visits to a fenced in dog park. Every dog has different
exercise needs and some dogs are a better match
for apartment living. We will work with you to find a dog suitable to
your living situation. We will also need to find a dog that doesn't like
to sing all night and while you are away, because your neighbors may
not appreciate your dog's vocal styling as much as we do.
Does Dogs XL require adopters to have fenced yards?
No! As with dogs living in apartments, we will need to discuss an exercise plan, including daily walks/runs and perhaps visits to a fenced in dog park. Every dog has different exercise needs and most dogs do just fine with daily walks. We will work with you to find a dog suitable to your living situation. However, we strongly advise that you not to let your dog off leash in unfenced areas. This is particularly important in the first 2-3 months, when your dog is still learning to trust you and settling into his new home. Remember, many of our dogs come from shelters where they were picked up as strays, so they may be in the habit of wandering away from home!
Does Dogs XL adopt to out-of-state families?
Yes! We will work with rescues in your area to arrange for a home visit. However, out-of-state adopters must be willing to come to Maryland to pick up their new dog.
Can I adopt a dog that’s still in the shelter?
Yes! We offer a two week trials adoption to families who are willing to commit to a dog without actually meeting
him or her ahead of time. This
will give you the time you need to determine if this is the right dog for you, and if not it will give the dog a place to stay until we are able to find a better match. Trial adoptions require a commitment of at least two
weeks, even if you discover that this particular dog is not the
one for you. We need a little time to find another suitable foster or
adopter. However, if the dog presents a danger to you or your current
pets, we will do everything we can to move him or her quickly.
Families with young children are not eligible to adopt dogs directly out of the shelter through Dogs XL. Although every dog adopted out from Dogs XL has undergone temperament testing to assure that they are friendly toward people, dogs sometimes respond differently in the shelter than in a home environment. Just to be extra safe, we like to know a little more about our dogs before placing them in homes with young children. Foster care provides an opportunity for us to identify and hopefully correct any negative behaviors that dog might display. Also, because our dogs are Xtra Large, even good tempered dogs with poor manners (like jumping up and playing too exuberantly) can injure small children inadvertently. We encourage adoptions to families with children, but we want to make sure that families with children get a dog that is gentle and tolerant of all members of the family.
Additionally, for families with young children and/or other pets, we offer a two week trial adoption for dogs that have been in foster care for at least two weeks. In this case, adopters will have an opportunity to meet the dog prior to committing to take him home. As with direct from shelter adoptions, we require a commitment of at least two weeks with any trial (unless the dog presents a danger to you or current pets.)
Finally, we do not offer trial adoptions on any puppy under six months of age. Young puppies have developing immune systems and every time they move to a new home they are exposed to new germs and stress. Puppies also really need stability early in life to grow into emotionally and socially well-adjusted dogs. From the adopter's perspective, it is also extremely rare for young puppies to have any significant behavioral issues that would make them an unsuitable match or a danger to the family. All puppies require a lot of training, so adopters who are interested in raising a puppy should be prepared to commit to the work involved.
If I am the first one to apply for a dog, will I get him?
Maybe. We are not a first-come, first served rescue. We try our very hardest to find the best match for our dogs and our adopters. Being first doesn’t hurt, but it’s not a guarantee. We commit to being as open and honest about the selection process as we can be.
If the dog I like is adopted, will you help me find a different dog?
Yes! We will help approved adopters find the right dog for them. There is no need to reapply or to start the process over again.
Can I apply to adopt without knowing which dog I want?
Yes! We offer a complementary matchmaking service. Once an adopter is approved, we will send suggestions of dogs who might be a good match until the right dog comes along!
No. Unfortunately, for most dogs we cannot guarantee a dog’s breed. Many dogs end up in shelters because they are strays. And many more are turned in by owners who don’t know or don’t share their pet’s history. Even when we know the puppy’s mom, we only know half of the mix. The best we can do is make an educated guess based on the dog’s appearance and temperament. Occasionally, we receive dogs that are owner surrendered with pedigree documentation, but these dogs are few and far between.
Can you guarantee the size a puppy will become?
No! Because we usually don’t know either of the puppy’s parents, we have no idea what lies in his or her gene pool! We try to make an educated guess based on the puppy’s size, age, and estimated breed.
Do dogs have to be spayed or neutered?
YES! Dogs over the age of 4 months will be spayed or neutered before they are adopted out. Puppies adopted under the age of 6 months MUST be spayed/neutered by their adopter by a date agreed upon in the adoption contract (usually within 6 months).
What do I do if my dog is having trouble?
Let us know – the sooner the better! Small problems that start early-on become big problems as time passes. We have trainers on call and lots of resources to share with you. Moreover, our volunteers have been working with dogs for a long time, so we probably have experience dealing with whatever issue you may be facing. Let us help!
What do I do if I cannot keep my dog?
If for any reason, you cannot keep your dog, let us know as soon as possible. We will ALWAYS take our dogs back. If you have problems – no matter how small – let us know before they become big! We can then provide you the advice and support you need to fix the problems before they get out of control.