Shelter vs Breeder
One of the biggest decisions you will make is whether to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group or buy a puppy from a breeder. Please choose not to support pet stores by purchasing a puppy from them – learn more about pet stores and puppy mills.
- If you have already decided you want to buy a puppy from a breeder, click these links for more information on choosing a breed and click here for information about how to choose the right breeder.
- If you have already decided you want to rescue a dog, click these links for more information about how to pick the right rescue dog and how to choose the right breed mix.
For those of you who are still undecided, find below the benefits and downfalls of adoption versus purchasing a puppy.
Adopting a Shelter or Rescue Dog
The stigma that all shelter dogs are unpredictable and come with behavioral issues is simply not true. Many dogs are surrendered to shelters because of a change in family situation, not because of the dog’s behavior, and may shelter dogs have already had some training.
- You are saving two lives – the life of the dog you adopt and the space that opens up for another dog in the shelter or rescue.
- Most dogs will already have all of their vetting completed, including a microchip and spay/neuter.
- If adopting from a rescue group, they will be able to tell you all about the dog’s personality so there are no surprises when you bring the dog home.
- Many adult dogs are already potty-trained, saving you a lot of time and training.
- Private rescue groups will generally take the dog back if the dog is not a good match.
- Mixed breed dogs tend to have less inherited genetic health problems.
- The love and gratitude you will receive from a shelter dog is unlike any other.
- If adopting a dog straight from a shelter, you may not know much about how they will act in your home. It is very important to know how to pick the right shelter dog.
- You may not know exactly what breed the dog you pick is mixed with, although there are many purebred dogs in shelters.
- The cost of adopting from a shelter is much lower than the cost of purchasing a puppy from a breeder.
Buying a Puppy from a Breeder
If you are considering buying a puppy from a breeder, it is important to choose the right breeder. You need to be sure that your entire family is prepared for the 15-20 year responsibility of raising a healthy, well-balanced dog.
- You will be able to see your puppy’s mother and see the environment they were raised in.
- Reputable breeders will provide genetic health testing to make sure your dog is not likely to carry any inherited genetic problems.
- You will have the opportunity to mold your puppy into the perfect pet—as long as you are patient and consistent with positive training.
- You know exactly what you are getting in terms of breed—make sure you find the right breed for your family.
- There are millions of dogs dying in shelters each year. Rescuing a dog will save one of those lives.
- Puppies are a LOT of work. Are you prepared for the guaranteed puppy woes--cleaning up accidents, whining, and chewing?
- You are responsible for training your puppy, and an untrained puppy quickly grows into an out-of-control adult dog.
- Purebred dogs tend to have more health problems.
- Buying a puppy from a breeder can be extremely expensive, and you will be responsible for all its vetting.
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Articles from Victoria Stilwell
- A Message from Victoria
- Becoming a Dog Trainer
- Social Bullying
- Does Your Dog Respect You?
- Differences Between Male and Female Dogs