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 Post subject: Home checks
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2014, 07:05 
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Joined: 18 Oct 2011, 21:14
Posts: 421
Location: Middlewich, Cheshire
On the subject of rehoming or even just purchasing a puppy, I often read about 'home checks'
I may be being thick but exactly what does a home check consist of?
Can you really tell what sort of life a dog will be given by a brief visit to someone's home?

I heard on the news this week of a solicitor who has been jailed after she left her dog to die without food or water for a week.
Presumably, being a solicitor she probably had a reasonable home and could talk the talk on how she would care for it on a daily basis.
This is an exceptional case but I repeat the question - what does the check consist of?

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 Post subject: Re: Home checks
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2014, 08:12 
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Joined: 03 Nov 2006, 20:30
Posts: 18722
Location: South Dorset
Most rescues have a standard homecheck form that they ask you to fill out, and want their volunteers to do a couple of homechecks with an experienced checker before they venture out on their own. It is customary to take a dog on a visit, and you can tell a lot from the way they behave with yor doodle in the house! I took Beam on one who turned out to be an interior designer and the house was perfect - Beam galloped upstairs (because he isn't allowed to at home), and we followed him up to find him sitting on the most beautiful bed all made up with pristine white linen. Her comment was "Oh! so they do moult then!" :lol: :lol: . She suggested we put him outside where he galloped around spraying the artisitic grave and knocking over a mirrored pyramid - it wasn't so much the beautiful house as the putting him outside that made me think that a large boisterous dog wasn't for her, but that a smaller dog would be OK.

Often people have recently lost a dog and are delighted to be able to produce toys and treats for a dggy visitor, and to show photos of their recent pet - they are really lovely visits.

Garden security is an important point, and I usually apologise for appearing nosy my insist on seeing all round all boundaries - people are usually very keen to show you everything.

It always helps if you can ask yourself "Would I be happy to leave my dog here?". Also, the homechecker shouldn't be asked to make the decision - you are just there to report on what you find. You may be asked for your opinion but you shouldn't be asked to make the decision on whether the dog goes there or not as there is so much more to it - the rescue organisation usually takes some time chatting to the potential owner about choice of dog, lifestyle, work etc. Only one rescue has ever asked me if the dog can go there (and they did it on the phone while I was at the house - disgraceful!)

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 Post subject: Re: Home checks
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2014, 08:43 
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Joined: 16 Mar 2014, 20:57
Posts: 43
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
I think this can be a controversial area and I can see both sides of the argument. Certain aspects of home visits, in my view, are very judgemental. At the end of the day, someone with a beautiful home and massive garden certainly doesn't guarantee a dog is going to live a happy and fulfilled life.

I'd like to think the most important points during the home check are how genuine the people appear and whether they have a secure garden. My house is decorated very nicely and clean and tidy, however my garden certainly isn't a beauty spot but it is secure. My dog will (when older) be given a long daily walk and plenty of daily stimulation and love. I bet someone checking my home would judge my garden! I'd like to think otherwise but this is my thoughts here.

To be honest, on the other hand, with the point in mind posted above, if I was re-homing my dog, I would of course want the best possible home for him. Regardless of how non-judgemental I like to think I am, I possibly would be put of if I saw a house in chaos.

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 Post subject: Re: Home checks
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2014, 09:33 
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Joined: 15 May 2013, 20:35
Posts: 933
My next door neibours have a lovely posh home,and garden all slabed and fenced 6ft all round,but to me they work full time leave dogs out most days never take them for a walk ,even though there is a field at the back of there gate.They have just got a big range rover ,the dogs have never been in it.I have been watching that progame on itv at 2 when they find there pets a new home ,and somtimes i can see they have gven it to the wrong home,then it lands up in kennels.It is very hard to know if its a good home i had to rehome a dog few years back found a lovely family and nice home,she said i could keep in touch and see him ,but when i phoned a few weeks later she had changed her phone no.It still plays on my mind if i could have done better for him ,i also ask her to give him back to me if she didnt want him.I worry that i dont now where he is and if hes happy.

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 Post subject: Re: Home checks
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2014, 11:45 
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Joined: 09 May 2013, 00:38
Posts: 3307
Location: N. E. Derbyshire
From the other side of the fence... we were home-checked. I applied to adopt an elderly terrier from our local RSPCA. Before they would allow him to be taken out of the kennels, they sent a dog warden round to visit us.

We didn't know exactly when she would turn up which, apart from trying to make sure someone was in, was fine by me - she would get to see us as we are, not all primped up and 'prepared'.

She spent quite a long time with us, chatting and getting to know about us, finding out why I wanted to re-home him (he was a cantankerous old b*gger!). We talked about our previous dogs, she got to see how we lived... The house wasn't 'perfect' - it never is! And she had a good look at the garden, advising us on security.

I was totally happy that they sent someone round to check us out and wouldn't have been happy with any rescue that didn't do this. I did worry that they might say No, but happily they agreed to let us adopt him :D She didn't run her finger along the top of the door jamb, though she did ask if we were 'doing the house up...' (we weren't :oops: ) :lol:

A woman at work was furious that a rescue wouldn't let her adopt a Yorkie, but she was at work all day (long hours) with no-one to help out with feeding/walking. She was annoyed because, as she said, she could have gone out and bought one from a breeder but wanted to adopt. They told her that her set up wasn't right for the dog. Perhaps she should have realised that meant any dog...

Anne & Ianto x


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 Post subject: Re: Home checks
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2014, 16:12 
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Joined: 19 Dec 2013, 18:50
Posts: 285
Location: Co.londonderry
I have to say if anybody seen our back garden they probably wouldn't have given us ally as it's a bit on the small side! But in saying that she gets at least 2 walks a day and goes everywhere with us :D


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 Post subject: Re: Home checks
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2014, 07:50 
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Joined: 21 Sep 2012, 20:54
Posts: 715
This really is a tricky one for me, and again I think individual circumstances need to be taken into account.
I work full time, but I'm up at 5 every morning so they are out for a good run before I go to work, and in MY opinion some of my babes have a better life now, (one left in a garage and another never let off the lead for a run). I have a secure garden, that is all slabbed for hygiene. My neighbour tells me she never hears a peep out of them.
Some of my dogs had major issues when they came.


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 Post subject: Re: Home checks
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2014, 08:27 
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Joined: 03 Nov 2006, 20:30
Posts: 18722
Location: South Dorset
The point a rescue would argue is that you may be able to offer them a better home than they had before, but someone not working full time would be a still better one, and they are looking for the best homes they can get for the dogs. Also they don't know in advance how the dog would cope being left all day - many can't, and will get destructive, bark, or develop other behaviours as a result of stress, and they need to do everything they can to make sure that the dog doesn't develop any problems that mean it will be rehomed again.

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 Post subject: Re: Home checks
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2014, 16:47 
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Joined: 12 Apr 2013, 19:08
Posts: 782
You can't judge a book by its cover.

We all know that one don't we? And it applies in many ways. I live in a big house that is nearly always pristine (anally so) and my dogs have never been allowed upstairs and I have a beautifully landscaped garden. So I guess some people might think I would be unhappy with a moulting dog or a boisterous dog that dogs or chews and jumps around like a lunatic. But they would be wrong - plain and simple.

I would hope that any person utilised as a homechecker can see beyond a persons means and lifestyle, whatever they may be. And I absolutely think that the vast majority of them very probably do.

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 Post subject: Re: Home checks
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2014, 17:30 
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Joined: 03 Nov 2006, 20:30
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Location: South Dorset
That's why we take a dog with us! I usually try to take a dog as close to the dog I am homechecking for - I have a friends chihuahua to borrow for small dogs, Beamish has stood in for a few homechecks for Large Breed Dog Rescue, and a neighbours collie comes with me for collie crosses as they have quite specific behaviour traits that he demonstrates perfectly. Usually I find that prospective owners are more relaxed about having a big hairy doodle running loose in their house than I am - I like him to be within eyesight when visiting other people! Conversations tend to cover all sorts of topics, such as local training classes, which vets they would use, food, insurance and so on - you can easily tell who has really thought about getting a dog and who hasn't. Usually I email the form back but if I have any reservations I will add a comment and my phone number so the rescue can ring me for a chat.

If you are interested in helping rescue dogs, have a look at the Rescue Helpers Unite forum .... http://forum.rescuehelpersunite.co.uk/ It is a site where rescues all over the country go for help when they don't have a volunteer in an area - they need homecheckers, transporters and assessors.

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