Adoptable Dogs


All DAWG dogs come from a local shelter, where they were not adopted by the public or considered by other rescue organizations, for reasons such as treatable medical conditions or because they were shy, large or older.  DAWG’s selection process includes passing our temperament test (general handling and acceptable interaction with people and other dogs).

DAWG dogs are examined by our veterinarian, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, tested/treated for heart worms and tick-borne diseases, and provided specialty veterinarian services when necessary. Most dogs are then moved to a luxury kennel, where DAWG is given a substantially discounted rate. At this kennel, new DAWG dogs learn routine and are socialized to each dog’s “comfort level”.  Dogs are transported to Saturday adoption shows, where volunteers work with them to walk on a leash and respond to basic commands. We retain our dogs indefinitely while awaiting a good match for each one. After all, it can take a while for a dog’s future adopter to find him or her!

DAWG does not have a facility where people can meet dogs. Instead, DAWG meets prospective adopters at adoption shows held each Saturday throughout the year. Although DAWG adoption shows are large, not all dogs attend each show. People interested in meeting a particular dog or dogs are encouraged to apply, so that the dog(s) are included at the next adoption show.  Otherwise, people are invited to email DAWG on Friday afternoon (no later than 10 AM on Saturday) for a list of the dogs attending the next adoption show.

Applications can be submitted online or by fax.  (Please do not “snail mail” an application.) Applications are kept “forever” by applicant’s last name, because some applicants change their minds or postpone adoption after applying. Note that initial correspondence is by email (no phone calls, please!).
When the entire household (including the dog) meets the desired DAWG dog at an adoption show and the application is selected, a home visit is arranged to prepare the applicant for adoption. During the home visit, an experienced volunteer explains basic dog behavior and how to transition the dog to the home’s routine, children and/or other pets. DAWG provides a shopping list for items to be acquired prior to the adoption, and when everything is ready, the adoption occurs.
After the adoption, DAWG provides coaching if there are “rough spots” in the early days of the adoption.  However DAWG recommends that adopters hire an in-home trainer, such as Al Marx at, web site “Training” is really about learning to work with a dog’s motivation/comprehension and is an ongoing process. For more information about year-round training workshops, tips and reading materials, please go to

Please note! DAWG does not accept electric fences. In addition, DAWG places dogs only in the metropolitan DC area. At times we will consider a placement just beyond the DC area, subject to a DAWG volunteer’s ability to do a home visit in that location. If you are not in our area and want to apply for a DAWG dog, please email us first at to ask if we can consider your area. If you live outside DAWG’s jurisdiction, please support your local shelters and rescue organizations that have equally wonderful animals waiting for homes.

For more information about any dog, please write us at Thank you!

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