Why you should adopt a dog instead of buying
Adopting a dog gives this dog a chance at a good life. Some dogs that wind up in shelters, have never had a good life. Many dogs have been abandoned, many dogs have been physically abused, many dogs have been starved. Some dogs have had a good life with someone previously but maybe that person has died. Whatever the reason, these dogs need good homes with loving people. So back to the original statement, why you should adopt a dog instead of buying…
The answer is…If you are looking for a companion to share your life and that of your family, that is when you should adopt instead of buy.Over the many years that myself and our family have had dogs, we generally got dogs for free or at very minimal cost.
Sometimes a puppy was purchased from a farming family with a litter of mixed breed pups, and at other times we would come across a puppy that needed rescuing. We have adopted adult dogs too. We have had some purebreds but mostly mixed breeds.
What is adoption? How is it different from buying a dog? Both require that money change hands these days. Shelters, Rescues, and Humane Societies generally do not give away the dogs in their care. Why? They get the dogs for free right? Well, the answer is, everything costs money. The buildings that dogs live in, require utilities like electricity, water, heat, air conditioning, maintenance.
The dogs themselves require good quality food, vaccinations, medical attention, and spaying/neutering. All those things cost a lot of money. In most cases, these organizations’ are non-profit, meaning they raise money in different ways just to make ends meet. There is no profit.
Adopting a dog from these organizations’ means you are interviewed, you have to fill out forms that tells the adopting agency a little bit about you.
You are then given a choice of certain dogs that may be right for you based on your interview and the information you filled into the forms. The intention here is to help ensure that you and your new dog are a good fit. The fee that is asked, will barely cover the cost of vaccinations and the spay/neuter. Veterinarians give these licensed shelters, rescues and humane societies greatly reduced rates to help with that.
So when you adopt a dog, the fee you pay will be for a prepaid visit to the Vet that will be doing the surgery. If the dog is already neutered or spayed, you will still pay the same fee, as that money will go towards other necessaries like food.
You could buy a dog from someone who has a litter of puppies, or from someone who has a dog that they are looking to find a good home for a set amount of money. The fee for the dog very rarely includes a visit to the Vet for a spay or neuter.
It really is a buyer beware situation. Sometimes these dogs are vaccinated but more often they are not. If you are buying a dog and the seller cannot show you proof of vaccinations, assume that the dog needs vaccinations.
Head to your Vet ASAP for a check up and vaccinations after buying. Generally, most dogs purchased from ‘backyard breeders’ or from someone selling their adult dog (for whatever reason), will not give you a trial period. Generally you will not be able to take the dog back if you change your mind, of course there are exceptions. I should note that I am not referring to a Professional Breeder here, I am talking about the amateur breeder who has some puppies to sell.
What is the difference between the Amateur breeder and Professional Breeder? Amateur breeders are people who breed their dog for the fun of having some puppies, and at the same time, make a little money. Amateur breeders can also be people who breed their dogs for the sole reason of making money. Generally this type of breeder has no emotional attachment to his or her ‘breeders’, has no concern for congenital issues that could be in the breed.
This breeder does not test for congenital health issues that are passed down from the parents to the puppies.The amateur breeder is more concerned with the colours of the dogs, the cuteness factor, for the intent of selling the puppies quickly for as much money as possible.
The latest trend is taking purebred breeds of one kind and breeding to another kind to create crosses.
What is ironic to me is that a purebred Lab or a purebred Poodle puppy can cost around $500 each, but when crossed, suddenly the value of the resulting puppies is 3 times that! Ridiculous! That puppy is then given a new designation of Labradoodle.
This has been happening with many breeds, for example a Yorkshire Terrier crossed with a Poodle is called a YorkiePoo, a Cocker Spanial crossed with a Poodle is called a Cockapoo. Its not the fact that these breeds are being mixed that is ridiculous, it’s the fact that this ‘mixed breed’ now has a price tag 2 to 3 times higher than it’s purebred parents! Buyers are being snookered into believing that this crossbreed has become more valuable than a pure breed! But I digress…
My point is that dog breeding for these crosses, dog breeding for colour and cuteness, is done mostly for monetary gain. The amateur breeder is not in the ‘business’ to improve the breed or breeds, he or she is not in it to showcase their dogs abilities. The somewhat derogatory label that these breeders are being given is ‘Designer’ breeders.
The only exception that I give for validity of breeding crosses is when certain organizations breed certain dogs for a specific purpose, as in guide or service dogs. Golden Retriever Poodle crosses and Yellow Lab Poodle crosses are sometimes carefully bred to create level headed service dogs who will hopefully be low shedding breed crosses.
Note- There are Professional breeders that cross breed, for the purpose of improving breeds, making income and also paying close attention to conformation and temperament. I don’t want to lump them all in the ‘purebred’ catagory. They take careful selection very seriously, and keep track of all aspects of their breeding program.
A reputable professional breeder, is one that keeps careful records of bloodlines, that regularly tests for congenital health issues.
This breeder is careful not to breed dogs with obvious temperament weaknesses, and will not knowingly breed dogs that can pass on defects to their offspring. Rather than use inferior breeding stock, those dogs are sold with non breeding contracts or are spayed/neutered before the sale.
The Professional Breeder has a reputation to build and maintain. The professional tests his or her dogs in the show ring, or in various competitions that the breed is bred for. The Professional Breeder that I describe here will have a health guarantee on their dogs/puppies that they sell. Many will also have a policy that you can return a dog or puppy for either a refund or a replacement if the dog has not worked out for you. Many Professional Breeders will also carefully screen prospective buyers with a similar form of questions that a Rescue, Shelter or Humane Society would use.
So if you are looking for a breed for a specific purpose, going to a professional breeder is the best route.
Certain breeds are better for certain tasks, for instance you cannot expect a poodle to round up sheep and cattle, a team of bulldogs to pull a sled, or a Cocker Spanial to protect a police officer… Most breeds we have today were bred for a purpose, terriers were bred to hunt and kill vermin like rats, mice etc, Newfoundlanders were bred to swim in cold waters as life guards, many breeds have been bred to retrieve.
Some breeds are on the verge of extinction, because they just are not as popular for their original purpose. When you adopt or buy a mixed breed, you are getting more unknowns…Multi mixed breeds are often from unintended breeding, or from an amateur breeder, breeding for cash.
You don’t know what inbred talents or temperaments a mixed breed is going to have. With a carefully selected breeding, you will have puppies that follow in their parents path.
When you want to love and raise a dog regardless of breed or purpose, that is the reason why you should adopt a dog instead of buying from a breeder. When you need a dog for a particular purpose, whether it be for hypoallergenic reasons or for a particular job you need your dog to do, only then should you buy a purebred dog from a Professional Breeder.. Those are my thoughts on the matter. There are already so many dogs in the world that are without caring homes. Do we really need to encourage backyard breeders to breed more? No, right?
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