The time has come and you have made the decision to bring a new addition to your life– a PUPPY!
There is an age old debate of Adoption vs. Breeders. I’m not here to tell you which one to choose; but I can share with you some basic pros and cons of both. I myself have both adopted/rescued pets for my family and also have chosen a breeder. There are benefits of both but the decision is what is best for you!
Adoption: There are many benefits to adoption. #1 – You are rescuing a puppy or dog that needs a good home. Depending on the shelter you rescue from you can be saving a life. Although there are many wonderful no-kill shelters; the reality is there are shelters out there that do not have the funds to provide care for the number of pets they receive. So you are doing a wonderful thing by adopting an unwanted pet. #2 -Unwanted doesn’t mean bad. There are wonderful dogs waiting for a new pet parent. Maybe the pet was given up due to a money issue or moving to an apartment where dogs aren’t allowed? These more mature dogs can be trained already and with a wonderful personality. #3 – Getting a shelter dog doesn’t mean getting a mutt particularly. Mixes are a good way to get a group of great breeds all mixed in one! People sometime prefer this because they feel that it can lessen the possibility of over breeding issues in specific breeds, i.e. bad hips in German Shepards or Cancer in Labs. There are also many breed specific dogs that are surrendered to either shelters or rescue organizations. These are just a few benefits…now for some Cons to consider.
I believe the number one concern for adoption is the history of a particular pet. You might not know the whole story of the animal– who surrendered them, why, bite history, abuse? This is a valid concern. When faced with this question, ask yourself about your family life and lifestyle. Do you have children that you have to worry about? You wouldn’t want a dog with a past behavioral issue or aggression. Do you have the lifestyle to care for a dog that might be elderly, medical care, or have anxiety issues? A dog that has been abused or abandoned can suffer from anxiety. For example, if you work 40-50 hours a week and the dog is at home alone, this would not be a good fit.
Breeders: There are many benefits for buying a dog through a breeder as well as concerns. Let’s start with the benefits. #1- Getting a breed specific dog that is known for certain qualities. Do you want a family dog, a small breed, or a large breed. Are you gettting this dog to work on a farm? To work agility? Or just to have as your personal companion. You can visit the American Kennel Club website and look up each breed, personality, and breeders in your area. This is a great tool to find a breed that will fit into your family. #2 – Knowing who you are getting. Once you find a reputable breeder, you usually communicate with that breeder and learn about the pet’s dog parents. What their personality and looks are like give you good knowledge on what your pup might be like. You can find out family history, health, and personality. Although knowing your breed and working with a breeder is wonderful, there are concerns when choosing to go with a breeder. #1 – Puppy Mills. You want to find a reputable breeder and do your research. Good breeders are registered/licensed and are responsible breeders; meaning they don’t over breed their female. #2 – Genetics – Cases of breeders “over breeding” to get qualities in a dog they want can actually backfire creating health issues down the road. For example German Shepards (GS) are supposed to have a slopping back end. Some GS have been overbred to the point that their back legs and hips suffer from hip dysplasia and/or severe arthritis. #3 – Cost. The cost of getting a dog from a breeder can be from $500- Thousands of dollars. Depending on what you are looking for. Does this particually mean you are getting the best dog? Not always but you will need to make that decision.
There is no 100% guarantee that a dog from a shelter or a dog from a breeder will be perfect. There is no perfect dog…it’s who is perfect for you and your family. There are amazing dogs out there to be found, rescued, and chosen. Do your research, visit shelters, talk to breeders before you make your decision. The number one thing you want to do is to find a good fit for your family and lifestyle so that we don’t end up with more pets at shelters.
-Take your time.
-Do your research.
-Stay dedicated to your new family member.
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