Adoption Process

If you have not owned a GSP before, make sure that this is the right breed for you by reading the information provided at About The GSP. This is not a breed for everyone so please be realistic in assessing your ability to provide what a GSP needs to be a happy dog.

The following are basic requirements for adopting one of our dogs:

  • You need to have a yard with a 5-6 ft. privacy fence. Keeping a dog with an extremely high prey drive contained and safe is our first priority. When a GSP sees prey on the other side of a non-privacy fence he or she can become obsessed with chasing down that prey. A 3-4 foot fence will not keep a GSP in the yard. And the anguished calls of an owner fall on deaf ears of a focused hunter. There are few exceptions to this requirement.
  • We do not adopt to families living in apartments. A GSP needs more room than most apartments provide. In addition, a safe outdoor exercise area with a privacy fence is essential. It can be stressful and frustrating for such an exuberant breed with so much energy to expend to be limited by the confines of apartment dwelling.
  • You need to be able to commit to regular, off-leash (running) exercise, preferably daily. This need for vigorous exercise is the hallmark of sporting breeds. Most GSPs, even many senior dogs, need at least 45 minutes a day of off-leash running in addition to any playtime you provide. This could take place in a dog park, in fields or on trails. We strongly recommend an e-collar (electronic collar) for off-leash training, a real necessity for controlling a GSP’s energy and prey drive. Once trained, a dog wearing an e-collar will be much safer and will quickly respond when called.
  • Generally, a GSP is not happy as an only dog. These dogs are very playful and get bored easily if left alone for very long. If that happens they can become destructive. GSPs can also become depressed and exhibit separation anxiety if left by themselves. They are pack dogs and don’t like being alone. There are some exceptions, usually older dogs, but most GSPs want and need a dog buddy to play with, especially if someone is not at home during at least part of the day.
  • The dog should not be left alone for more than 8 hours at most, and less alone time is better for this breed that adores it’s owner/family. This is even more important for a single dog. Longer than 7 or 8 hours can invite separation anxiety and potentially destructive behaviors. These truly are Velcro dogs. More than anything else, they want to be with you.
  • GSPs are wonderful family dogs. They love their pack and don’t like being separated from you. Very young children and young, exuberant GSPs, however, are, generally, not a good combination. These dogs are very rambunctious and can easily knock over a young child. In addition, youngsters often do not understand the danger of being too much in a dog’s face, of taking toys or food, of pestering a dog who doesn’t want to be bothered. We do not want to put a boisterous GSP in a situation that isn’t safe for both the child and the dog.
  • If you have a cat, please be reminded that most GSPs are very prey-driven. If a cat runs and darts, he or she is prey to most GSPs. It is not unlikely that a GSP with strong prey drive could kill a cat. Changing this instinctual GSP behavior is difficult at best. If, however, a GSP has been raised with a cat he or she may be able to co-exist with one. Even in that circumstance, however, an owner would need to exercise real caution to prevent a disastrous encounter. Just because a cat has previously lived successfully with a dog, it doesn’t mean the cat will be able to fend for itself with a new dog. A GSP is usually better off in a home without cats.
  • We strongly recommend having a crate for training and quiet time. Some GSPs actually like having their own space to escape to, especially if the door can be left open. Because they can see what is going on outside the crate, most GSPs seem to prefer wire crates. One way or another, these dogs want to be with their people. In addition, most GSP owners have learned the importance of training their pup on an e-collar. This is a training collar that teaches the dog to recall quickly, to not wander too far from the owner and, most importantly, to stay out of danger. It should not be used as punishment.

What does the adoption process look like?

Please be aware that our adoption process is usually not a quick one. At a shelter you can walk in looking for a dog and walk out the same day with that dog. We have a thorough process in place that involves reviewing applications, numerous phone calls, home visits and arranging schedules to set up meet and greets for dogs and potential adopters. All of this can take a few weeks. We are not trying to clear out a kennel so we can take in another dog. Our goal is not to turn around dogs as quickly as possible. Rather, our mission is to find exactly the right home for our pups and doing so takes time.

Read and complete our Adoption Application.

After reviewing your application and checking references, we will contact you to conduct a phone interview to discuss your application and what you are looking for in a new companion.

We will then set up a time to come to your residence to conduct a home visit. This will further ensure that the right match is made between you and one of our GSPs. Generally, we do not place our dogs in homes with invisible fencing–you must have a physical fence. Exceptions to this requirement are rare. This bears repeating: Generally, we do not place our dogs in homes with invisible fencing–you must have a physical fence. Exceptions to this requirement are rare.

Steps in the Adoption Process

  1. (optional) You can contact us by email letting us know you are interested in adopting one of our dogs.
  2. Carefully read the information under ADOPTING a GSP
  3. You will need to fill out our online Adoption Application. Please be thorough in your answers. One-word responses or questions left blank will have low priority.
  4. You will receive a response within 5 days that we have received your application. If you do not hear from us, please send us an email to confirm that we did, in fact, receive your application.
  5. The rescue reads applications carefully. We call those applicants who appear to have all of the requirements that are shown in the bullet list under ADOPTION PROCESS.
  6. If you are interested in a specific dog, please read his/her bio carefully so you fully understand that pup’s personality and needs. The rescue will contact you to answer any questions you may have and to give you additional details about the dog(s) you are interested in.
  7. Once the rescue has determined that your home and lifestyle could be a good fit for the dog(s) you are interested in, we will arrange a visit to your home to meet you and your family, including any dog(s) you currently own. If the home visit is successful, it is time to meet the dog(s)!
  8. When you have had the chance to meet a dog(s) you are interested in, you and the rescue will discuss whether or not an adoption would be good for both the dog and you. An adoption can take place when you and the rescue agree that this would be a great match for both of you!

Preference for adoption will be given to Colorado families. If we have difficulty finding a suitable in-state owner or family, we will pursue appropriate applications from contiguous states.

Please know that we are looking for the very best matches for our dogs. Often there are several homes that might be suitable and would provide a good, loving home for a GSP. We are, however, looking for the best of the best possible matches for our pups. We know our dogs who are in foster homes very well; we know what they need and what makes happy home environments for them. That’s our job. And surrendering owners certainly  know what is best for their dogs. Finding that ideal home for each dog involves numerous phone interviews, home visits and frequent communication with the foster parent or current owner and prospective adopters. Making the right adoption decisions is the reason we exist. Each of our dogs deserves the very best home we can find for him or her.

Most of our dogs are living either in foster homes or in their surrendering homes until a permanent home is found for them. If all goes well with the home visit your family, including children and pets, will meet the dog(s) you’re interested in to see if you are a good match. There is an adoption donation associated with adopting one of our dogs. We incur a number of expenses while our rescued dogs are in transition. Some of these expenses include food, transportation and medical care. All dogs adopted through Mile High GSP Rescue will have been spayed or neutered, heartworm tested, will be up-to-date on vaccinations and will come with a leash and collar.

Adoption Fees:

  • Puppies (0 – 6 months): $450.00
  • Puppies (older than 6 months – 2 years): $400.00
  • Adult Dogs (3 – 8 years): $300.00
  • Seniors (9+ years): $200.00

Lastly, we LOVE to receive updates and photos of our rescued dogs in their new homes! Every one of them holds a very special place in our hearts and catching a glimpse of them in their new environments with people who love them is so rewarding for us. Please email us with your updates, stories and photos!