Why you should adopt a dog instead of buying..
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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I think this is a great topic. I have a couple of relatives and a few friends that are trying to get dogs adopted from Puerto Rico. The situation over there is just awful for dogs, plus they don’t look at dogs the same way that we do. We look at dogs as pets, part of the family If I could I adopt a lot of them. You are doing a great service to animals here.
Thanks for checking in Leonard. Our record here in North America with being great dog owners is not good either over all, however I know it’s worse in other countries like Puerto Rico, China, Thailand and many others to numerous to mention. Thousands of dogs are euthanized every single day, in adoption centers, because of lack of new owners willing to step up and adopt.
Great Post! I think the most important thing is to overcome peoples desire for cute things. Most people see puppies as cute but not so much when they grow up. That is one reason that people give up or abandon dogs. When we adopt dogs they even do a yard inspection to make sure the animal will have sufficient space. I think cross breeding is good in terms of genetic diversity because a lot of pure breds tend to suffer from genetic disorders like English Bull Dogs who struggle to breathe. Cross breeding for cuteness or aesthetics is inhumane because… Read more »
Hi Renton, thank you for commenting. Yes, I am not against breeding, after all, dogs would become extinct without breeding. I believe it’s important to breed dogs primarily for longevity and temperament above all, secondly for purpose of the breed.
I had a good giggle when I read the names Yorkiepoo and Cockapoo – really!
I think that there are way to many good dogs out there who are looking for good homes and families. Breeders are just making the problem worse in the name of making more money.
I find that the mixed breeds that we have adopted over the years have made wonderful pets, and the best part is that the vet bills are minimal, unlike their pedigree counterparts.
That’s just my two cents worth.
Hi Michel, yeah the names are given to appeal to a dog audience that is willing to pay a premium for a crossbreed. I don’t understand why someone would pay $800 to $3,000 for a puppy that is the result of two or three different breeds, often not even purebred. One of my dogs is a cross between a purebred Golden Retriever and a purebred Great Pyrenees, and I only paid $125, which is reasonable to me. I certainly don’t call him a ‘GoldiePyr, or a Goldenees…. it’s silly. These titles are given by ‘designer breeders’, and their purpose is… Read more »
Lovely article, and so well put. I wanted a dog for my eleventh birthday, and my parents were fans of Irish Setters (Red Setters). They went out and got me a female Setter named ‘Lady’, 2 years old, who had been terribly abused. She was mad at first – but very loving at the same time. She only lived until the age of 8 because of the abuse she had suffered had messed up her stomach at a young age. I always tell myself that those 5 years made up for the quite awful 2 years she went through, and… Read more »
Thank you Chris, you were blessed to have such a lovely ‘Lady’, as your canine friend. It always hurts badly when we lose them but it is totally worth it to have their love and devotion for whatever time you have together. Thanks for checking in.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on adopting vs buying. From your experience, do adopted dogs adjust quickly to their new home? Have you ever experienced an adoption where the dog showed signs of bad temperament (maybe due to prior abuse or neglect) and how did you deal with that? I suppose for a family with young children looking for a dog, there is the novelty of the “puppy” coming home. What many don’t realize is that puppies are a lot of work and need a lot of training to set them on the right track behavior wise. Adopting an older… Read more »
Mitch, it’s always a good idea to have a trial period when adopting an adult dog that you don’t know much about. When adopting from a registered Rescue organization, there is always the option of returning the dog, if she or she has temperament issues that you don’t want to deal with. Every dog is different, like humans are different from each other. Regarding your breeding of Labs, I am curious as to why you sell to a Pet Store? You have no control over what kind of people will be buying your pups if you hand them over to… Read more »
I wholeheartedly agree that one should adopt a dog rather than buying. I feel like its the same concept of recycling vs purchasing a brand new whatever. Poor dogs in shelters have had a rough time and they need a good loving home to be in. Who wants to spend their entire life in a shelter or a cage? I just think investing all that money in a froo froo purebread dog is foolish when you can use all that money to pamper your dog from the shelter. Can you imagine what you can do with that extra money? You… Read more »
Yes, it’s so important to match the dog with the dog owners. Some folks will make the mistake of adopting a dog simply because they feel sorry for the dog. I recommend that you take a dog on a trial, through an adoption organization so you can return the dog if it is not a good match. I would suggest that you wait a little longer before adopting since your son is still a toddler. Many rescues will insist that there be no children under the age of 6 in the home. We once purchased a purebred Golden Retriever, for… Read more »