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Finding a New Home for Your Alaskan Malamute: 5

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Step 8. Saying Goodbye

After the interviews are over, give the new family a day or two to decide if they really want to adopt your dog. Make sure they have a chance to think over the commitment they're making. While they're deciding, get a package ready to send along with your dog.

  • Your dog's medical records and the name, address & phone number of your vet
  • Your name, address & phone (new address if you're moving)
  • Your dog's toys and belongings (dog bed, blanket, etc.), a supply of dog food & special treats he loves, any heartworm preventive medication you have leftover
  • An instruction sheet on feeding, special needs, some reading materials about Alaskan Malamutes, etc.
  • Collar and leash; ID and rabies tags
  • Contact information for the Alaskan Malamute Protection League

Set aside a special time for you and your dog to take a last walk together and say goodbye. We know you will cry. Do it now, in private, so you are clear headed when he has to leave. He may be confused about being left with strangers and you don't want your emotions to upset him even more.

There are some things you need to explain to the new family before they take your dog home: The dog will go through an adjustment period as he gets to know his new people, learns new rules and mourns the loss of his old family. Most dogs adjust within a few days, but others may take longer. During this time, they should avoid forcing the dog to do anything stressful - taking a bath, obedience training classes, meeting too many strangers at once, etc. - until he's had a chance to settle in. Tell them to take things easy at first and give the dog time to bond to them. The dog might not eat for the first day or two. Not to worry, he'll eat when he's ready. Some dogs temporarily forget their training. A well-housebroken dog may have an accident during the first days in his new home. This isn't unusual.

Step 9. Paperwork

Have the new owner sign an adoption contract with a waiver of liability. We've included a sample contract you can use. Keep a copy for your records. A contract will help to protect the dog and the waiver of liability helps to protect you. You don't have a crystal ball to predict what your dog might do in the future. Remember, a waiver of liability will not protect you if you have lied or misrepresented the dog to his new owners.

Tell the family they should call you if the adoption doesn't work out. Let them know you want to keep in touch and will call them in a few days to see how things are going. Tell them to call you if they have questions or problems. Be willing to take the dog back home if things don't work out the way you both expected.

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