Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Purebred, unregistered, shelter mystery or BYB

domesticzookeep
January 16th, 2006, 09:27 PM
There is much discussion on the various forums within this website about the various dog "breeding methods", or lack thereof, and the positive/negative aspects of each to our beloved four legged friends.

First off, it goes without saying, that puppy mills and back yard breeders that do not ensure proper care of the animals are a disgrace to humanity. So, for sake of argument, lets leave them out of this. Somewhere in between are those that do not spay or neuter the family pet, and those that breed well cared for dogs, with the best intentions - but not necessarily the best knowledge. And then there are the elusive breeders - striving to further the best of their breed of choice.

But here is my own internal debate - do those who breed purebreds, and those of us who purchase them and place them as a higher 'status' of dog, hold some responsibility for pet over population, and the rise of backyard breeders (both the moderately responsible - and the ones mentioned above), and to some extent the need for rescue and shelter groups?

Do we, as a community of dog lovers, by claiming superior status of a dog "with papers", allow for an enhanced economic value to be placed on these animals, and therefore create a demand for 'cheaper' versions, be it, via the BYB, or semi-responsible 'non-registered' breeder? (Ie. creating an economy that says if a purebred with papers is worth $2000, than a 'purebred' (?) without papers is worth $1000, and so on down the line, providing an economic incentive to continue to breed.) While simple supply & demand rules play a large role, do we merely blame the "uneducated" person who buys from the pet store / BYB -or do we look further into WHY that demand has been created in the first place?

Yes - the argument can be made that a properly bred animal *may be* less likely to develop health related weaknesses typical of the breed. But then again, I am hard pressed to put much faith in "medical guarantees". Good genes help, but NO ONE can guarantee a healthy, long life!
When our 8 year old, well bred & registered American Eskimo died of cancer, it was just as devastating as when my shelter mystery lab mix needed to be PTS after months of chemotherapy. (To add injury to insult, was having a (non-dog friendly, but apparently well meaning) colleague of mine, ask if I could get a "refund" for my little shelter girl without understanding she WAS NOT a commodity, but part of my family, with her own personality, and joy for life....) But I digress.....

Yes, proper breeding can lead to a *higher probability* of the desired personality traits. But again, I put marginal faith that a purebred personality can be characterized & guaranteed at 3 months old. Heredity plays a role, but so does environment.

And, yes, proper breeding can create beautiful looking animals - but as always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder....

But, at the end of the day, my short involvement in volunteering in rescue has confirmed but one thing - there are too many dogs - and not enough good dog families!
So whether we lay blame at the society's throw away nature ("I'm moving, and bringing little Fluffy would be too much trouble"); unrealistic expectations that there is such thing as a PERFECT dog without work (he chews/barks? No, we haven't done any training - that would be WORK); or just plain cruelty - there remains one important, often overlooked, hide-it-in-the-closet-and-don't-talk-about-it- side of the discussion - DO WE (as a dog loving, dog promoting community) CONTRIBUTE to the issue
of improper breeding, pet overpopulation, etc by popularizing a specific breed, by paying (IMHO) enormous amounts of money and possibly creating an environment that tempts the unworthy to get a piece of the 'monetary pie', or simply by promoting the idea that a purebred, is by nature "superior" to a mutt - thereby making it more of a status symbol (who wants a pauper when you can buy royalty?)

A smart boss once said to me "you know you've done a great job when you have worked yourself out of a job". One day, I truly hope the jobs of all the rescue & shelter groups, and all of the volunteers will no longer be needed.

While I already anticipate some backlash, my intent is not to discredit or blame registered breeders or owners (let's keep this as a discussion NOT a rant)- most do wonderful work and have brought fantastic pets into our lives, but rather to understand what, if any, our role is, and ultimately, moving forward, what can be done to help reduce the number of pets populating our shelters.

Perhaps I am way out in left field, naive about the world, or simply just not as knowledgeable about the inner workings of the 'purebred' community (I'd likely agree to that ), or maybe I have a point.....I'll turn it over to the rest of the group to comment & discuss.....

Cheers,
C.
:ca:

Lissa
January 16th, 2006, 09:57 PM
Wow that is so well written - I really enjoyed reading it!!

I share the same thoughts/opinions that you do...

Personally, as much as I love certain purebreds I could never allow myself to buy one from even the best breeder. How could I when there are so many dogs that need rescuing!?

Purebreds were bred for a specific purpose but society has changed so much that most are not truly needed anymore. As beautiful and amazing as they are at the work they were bred for, I don't see how the breeding of purebreds can be justified when so many dogs are homeless and being PTS.

Prin
January 16th, 2006, 10:24 PM
I agree with most of it, except that responsible breeders contribute to the problem. If a responsible breeder sells a dog to a person and the person doesn't want the dog, the dog should be returned to the breeder (good breeders have follow-ups) which would never add stress to the rescue network. The key word is responsible.

No, you can't prevent cancer with genetic screening, but you can prevent some devastating genetic disorders nonetheless. You'd have much less chance of these disorders than BYBs would with pure luck.

Do reputable breeders drive up the price for breeds? I don't think so. Most people who buy dogs from BYBs or puppymills for $1000 have probably not researched too much. Good breeders are hard to find and if somebody happens to find one, they're likely to realize the difference between the reputable breeder and the miller.

All that said, I would LOVE a puppy with good genes from a good breeder (preferably a newf), but a baby newf for me takes away a spot for a rescue. But, that's me. I have always had rescues. For some people, rescues are scary and uncertain, and it's either a breeder dog or no dog at all.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 16th, 2006, 10:39 PM
hmm interesting thread youve created
Domesticzookeeper posted
But here is my own internal debate - do those who breed purebreds, and those of us who purchase them and place them as a higher 'status' of dog, hold some responsibility for pet over population, and the rise of backyard breeders (both the moderately responsible - and the ones mentioned above), and to some extent the need for rescue and shelter groups?

I have a purebred dog and choose a purebred dog over a shelter dog although I debated the issue for sometime. Although I got my dog as an adult I was also prepared to get a puppy from a breeder as well. I would like to think that most people getting purebred dogs from reputable breeders know better than to start breeding them themselves. Although that is not always the case, which brings me to my reply your next question.

Do we, as a community of dog lovers, by claiming superior status of a dog "with papers", allow for an enhanced economic value to be placed on these animals, and therefore create a demand for 'cheaper' versions, be it, via the BYB, or semi-responsible 'non-registered' breeder? (Ie. creating an economy that says if a purebred with papers is worth $2000, than a 'purebred' (?) without papers is worth $1000, and so on down the line, providing an economic incentive to continue to breed.) While simple supply & demand rules play a large role, do we merely blame the "uneducated" person who buys from the pet store / BYB -or do we look further into WHY that demand has been created in the first place?

yes I think maybe we do, not any of us here or me personally. I would never get a purebred without papers but some people don't care about the papers. I know a women that wants to breed her schnauser with any female she can find, because she wants a female and she knows a guy that wants a puppy. Also there is always adds in the local pet sections for stud dogs wanted. An example of a typical add "wanted male toy poodle for stud any color"

I think to some extend we can blame those who buy from a petstore or backyard breeder, a lot of them dont really see the big deal and may not realise where exactly those pups came from, or that the pup they got the good deal on may end up costing way more then the one from the reputable breeder. But at the same time petstores are selling those dogs to people that will be sucked in to buying the cute doggie in the window. There is really no need for pet stores to sell puppies, you dont see baby stores selling babies, they stay open with all the other items they sell, so petstores dont need to sell dogs to stay in bussiness. (dumb analogy I know but its just to make a point)

I think if we can educate one person at a time that wants a dog if it cannot be from a shelter, then it should be from reputable breeder which includes papers, all health clearances and the parents must be champion. Shelter dogs should be carefully choosen as well and the dog and the potential owner should be a good match. This is a personal lesson that I have learned.

This should be an interesting thread. :)

BMDLuver
January 17th, 2006, 07:28 AM
This is an interesting thread. I adore Berners... in case anyone didn't already know that. ;) There is a breeder in my area who has the most fantastic Berners I think I have ever met. She is world renowned, rehomes dogs that don't work out for families and even rehomes other Berners she had nothing to do with. If it's a Berner, she helps. I have seriously considered many times getting a pup from her. I would love to have one of her pups to show and love. Instead, I decided that with the money that would be needed to purchase one of her pups, I could help 10-15 other Berners that needed rehoming. This does not mean that I would not ever get a pup from her, just that right now I thought the cost could be put to better use. Down the road, when I'm a millionaire :rolleyes: I can have a puppy from her as well.

All this to say that whether someone rescues a pb dog or buys from a upstanding breeder, makes no never mind to me. Just don't go to that darn petstore, or classified ad, or internet advertisement.:mad:

Rottielover
January 17th, 2006, 07:39 AM
I chose A pure bred rottweiler from a very distinguished breeder, whose lines I have researched for years. Because I did adopt 2 shelter dogs. One had no choice but to be put down because of temperment, and another one had to be rehomed because she was not able to adjust to my life. She was very high strung, and hyper, and many other things. But I found the right home for her. Someone who can give her everything I could not. And SHE IS A LOT HAPPIER for it. With a great breeder they will chose the right puppy temperment wise for your family life. With rescues you take a chance.
I could not take a chance with my baby that a dog will attack, or it will be miserable. I do not have the heart to let something I love go again. It ripped my heart.
This Is why I chose from a good COE breeder. She matched me, and the puppy together.
Will I go the breeder route again. YES, at least until my daughter moves out on her own. She is only 22 months.

happycats
January 17th, 2006, 08:16 AM
GREAT THREAD!!

I agree with you, and Lissa.
As long as there are dogs and cats languishing in cages, there should be no breeding at all!

I love many purebreds! But I could never in good conscience "buy" one (good breeder or not), as long as there are dogs and cats in shelters everywhere!

StaceyB
January 17th, 2006, 09:01 AM
Personally I chose to go with a registered breeder because I was getting a dane and wanted to find the healthiest pups I could find with the longest life span. This doesn't mean that I won't lose him early but I have a better chance that I won't.
I plan on getting another next year and again I will go through a breeder.
I guess it all depends on what you are looking for. I still think that going the rescue route for many is great and a much better choice than buying from the places mentioned above.
If there were some laws in place in regards to breeding we would cut out the bad ones. Dogs should be tested for genetic defects,etc. I have seen too many dogs, puppies that have had to live in pain or worse lose their life because of health issues that could have been somewhat prevented through responsible breeding. A non registered purebred is not a purebred, imo. If they were they would have been registered. A tracking of their heritage. It isn't even so much that they are not registered but when you hear someone say we didn't register them because it is too expensive or if I registered them I would have to charge you more. You hear all the excuses but all of them are a bunch of bull.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 17th, 2006, 09:15 AM
BMD lover=This is an interesting thread. I adore Berners... in case anyone didn't already know that. There is a breeder in my area who has the most fantastic Berners I think I have ever met. She is world renowned, rehomes dogs that don't work out for families and even rehomes other Berners she had nothing to do with. If it's a Berner, she helps. I have seriously considered many times getting a pup from her. I would love to have one of her pups to show and love. Instead, I decided that with the money that would be needed to purchase one of her pups, I could help 10-15 other Berners that needed rehoming. This does not mean that I would not ever get a pup from her, just that right now I thought the cost could be put to better use. Down the road, when I'm a millionaire I can have a puppy from her as well.

Yes we need to remember too the purebreds often need rescuing as well. In addition to all the shelters. There is also the breed specific rescue. Which IMO is great place to go if you are looking for a specific breed, but have some ethical issues about puppy when already so many other dogs are looking for homes.

Also I felt some guilt getting Joey we got him through ecs rescue, but I don't know if I would classify him as exactly a rescue - he is actually a re-home that that owner said she would keep until she found the right home for him. Should we have choosen one that needed rescuing right of way.

Also should you resue dogs in your own community before looking elsewhere. We kept looking at the SPCA here and became fond of several dogs and pups but after researching we realised they we wouldnt be the right family for the dog. I also had my heart set on an ECS and there is none in our area at all.
Unless we go through a breeder to get a pup.

Prin
January 17th, 2006, 02:35 PM
I have a problem with this:
do those who breed purebreds, and those of us who purchase them and place them as a higher 'status' of dogI had purebred rescues before Jemma and Boo (2 dobies and a yellow lab, one dobie was a champion) and I don't see Jemma and Boo as inferior in any way to my other dogs. A dog is a dog, regardless of its exterior and I'll judge my dogs based on their personality. My dobie was huge and impressive, but he got nowhere near the comments Jemma gets because of her little mutt body.

Some people use pure breeds to further exclude themselves from society, but the majority aren't that snobby. JMO...

Lucky Rescue
January 17th, 2006, 02:57 PM
I"m not really clear on exactly what you are asking, so will just pick a few points to comment on.

Somewhere in between are those that do not spay or neuter the family pet, and those that breed well cared for dogs, with the best intentions - but not necessarily the best knowledge.

These are the backyard breeders who are mostly responsible for millions of dogs being killed in shelters every year. Breeding the family pet, no matter how pampered or "well cared for" it may be - is wrong. There is no reason to breed an unheath tested, untitled dog and resulting litters often end up in the shelter, or given to people who in turn will breed them and so on.

do those who breed purebreds, and those of us who purchase them and place them as a higher 'status' of dog, hold some responsibility for pet over population, and the rise of backyard breeders (both the moderately responsible - and the ones mentioned above), and to some extent the need for rescue and shelter groups?

No reputable breeder should ever be contributing to the problem of homeless dogs, since that breeder seldom breeds, carefully screens buyers, enforces a spay/neuter contract, ensures her/his dogs are never abandoned and will take them back at any point in the dogs lives.

Do we, as a community of dog lovers, by claiming superior status of a dog "with papers",
Registration papers mean virtually nothing, other than that the puppies parents were both registered, of the same breed and purebred. They are not an indication of quality, health or superior status by any means.

creating an economy that says if a purebred with papers is worth $2000, than a 'purebred' (?) without papers is worth $1000

A purebred dog with no registration papers is worth no more than any dog in the pound - probably between 50$ - 200$ depending on the shelter. These dogs should not be bred, since anyone breeding unregistered dogs usually has not bothered with health testing.

Yes - the argument can be made that a properly bred animal *may be* less likely to develop health related weaknesses typical of the breed. But then again, I am hard pressed to put much faith in "medical guarantees". Good genes help, but NO ONE can guarantee a healthy, long life!

You're right. No one can guarantee a dog to have no health problems for it's lifetime. But reputable breeders do all they can to make sure there are none by having their breeding dogs tested and cleared for any and all genetic defects common to that breed. Offspring are only as good as the parents.

I don't feel that purebreds are "superior" to mutts. Just that many people are looking for specific traits and temperaments found in certain breeds. For example, a sedentary person would not want to take on a Siberian Husky as that dog wouldn't suit their lifestyle.

As to what is the cause of so many homeless dogs? People getting dogs on impulse from petstores and backyard breeders, ignorance, negligence in allowing their pets to breed, pets as disposable items mentality, wanting the latest "in" pet as paraded around by Britney Spears (or whoever) then dumping it when they realize this is a dog that has needs and not a fashion accessory.

Nearly any breed of dog can be had through adoption if a person is willing to be patient and not have the "Gotta have it now!" train of thought. Rarer breeds must often be purchased from breeders, but people need to do their homework and find out what constitutes a reputable breeder and not give money to bybers and puppymills.

My dog is a purebred but a rescue, bred by disreputable backyard breeders who didn't care at all what happened to her. Her lack of papers means nothing to me. I did consider getting a dog from a breeder, but seeing so many beautiful dogs dumped and on death row at shelters, I just couldn't do that.

Lissa
January 17th, 2006, 04:37 PM
I don't think that anyone on here believes that reputable breeders contribute to pet over-population the way that BYB's do.
But I personally feel that they are not helping the situation either. They are reinforcing the stigma that goes along with owning a purebred dog.

Reputable breeders place importance on the right stuff like genetics, lines, champions, "furthering the breed" etc... The general public doesn't understand or care about that concept - they only know that purebreds look and sound better.

Also when it comes to working lines even reputable breeders are less likely to care what happens to their dogs because if they end up not excelling at their work, they are oftentimes useless in the show ring.

It really irks me when breeders and organizations start trying to revive breeds that were lost (or almost lost)...At what point do we realize that there are too many dogs in the world and not enough homes - no matter what the breed!?

I definately think that the breeding of purebred dogs is one aspect of the problem (and unfortunately, I don't think there's a solution to that aspect of pet overpopulation)

happycats
January 17th, 2006, 04:45 PM
Right on Lissa!!!! I totally agree.

Rottielover
January 18th, 2006, 07:27 AM
Reputable breeders place importance on the right stuff like genetics, lines, champions, "furthering the breed" etc... The general public doesn't understand or care about that concept - they only know that purebreds look and sound better.

This is not true lissa. The only reason I purchased Harley instead of adopting another one was because of the heart ache. Not because of look and status. I have never thought otherwise.
If there were NO COE breeders who do it for the betterment of the breed. Theese breeds will no longer exist.
Find away to Keep BYB away, then you will see over population drop dramatically.

happycats
January 18th, 2006, 07:41 AM
Reputable breeders place importance on the right stuff like genetics, lines, champions, "furthering the breed" etc... The general public doesn't understand or care about that concept - they only know that purebreds look and sound better.

This is not true lissa. The only reason I purchased Harley instead of adopting another one was because of the heart ache. Not because of look and status. I have never thought otherwise.
If there were NO COE breeders who do it for the betterment of the breed. Theese breeds will no longer exist.
Find away to Keep BYB away, then you will see over population drop dramatically.

Please don't take this the wrong way, and it's not meant to upset you, but I am sure if you would have spent time researching, and looking, you could have found a rescue that would have fit in wonderfully with your lifestyle and family!

What I am trying to say is, people don't have to buy a purebred to fit into their lifestyle (unless you are a farmer or hunter and NEED a specific breed to preform a specific job) there is no reason why a rescue can't fit into every type of lifestyle.

And I still believe that as long as there are this many dogs and cats being put down, dumped, caged or in rescues all over the world, no one in good conscience should be breeding, because wether they want to believe it or not, the are contributing to the pet overpopulation.

Rottielover
January 18th, 2006, 07:58 AM
Did you read my above post as why I chose the breeder route. I did foster for a rescue for awhile, I did adopt 2 dogs from rescue. I am not willing to go through the heart ache again. Rescues are great. do not get me wrong. If Kayla was alot older and out of the house then it would be fine, But I am not willing to have my heart broken again

happycats
January 18th, 2006, 08:08 AM
I didn't mean for you to re-live your heart-ache, and I did read your previous posts, and I am sure you did what you felt you had to do.
But I still believe a rescue can be found to fit into just about every lifestyle.
I too have a small child , and eventually will get a dog, and it will be a rescue, as I know so many rescue dogs who were raised with children and who just adore them.

Lissa
January 18th, 2006, 09:18 AM
This is not true lissa. The only reason I purchased Harley instead of adopting another one was because of the heart ache. Not because of look and status. I have never thought otherwise.

I would assume that most, if not all people on this site DO NOT think like the people that I am thinking of. But by going to the dog parks everyday and speaking with average dog people, only one conclusion can be made IMO...and that is that purebred dogs are much more desirable (and oftentimes a staus symbol)...If you look throughout histroy, the same can be seen - rich people had purebreds and poor people had mutts.

I am not saying that is solely the fault of reputable breeders but so long as they try and "further the breed" our society is going to look at them like they have special status.

There is just no need for 100s of purebreds - especially when the purpose that many of them were bred for is no longer needed - and I also believe that it is unfair for some of these purebreds to be bred and/or kept as show dogs and have limited opportunity to do the job they were meant for...What's the point in that?! So that we can preserve them!? It just seems like an utter waste when millions of animals are dying in shelters.

Purebreds - while more predictable then mutts still vary and I am in complete agreement with Happycats: rescues can fit into any lifestyle. I am so sorry that your experience with Angel left you brokenhearted but not every rescue will present such difficulties.

Prin
January 18th, 2006, 10:28 AM
I don't know about the "dog to fit every lifestyle" thing. You have to be a super dog person to find the right dog for you, if you have specific needs. Most of the people who get dogs don't know exactly what to expect, and with a rescue, there's not much hope of finding guidance after the dog is adopted. You're also putting all your eggs in the rescue's basket, hoping they know the dog well and can tell you what kind of home the dog can or can't live in. In a perfect world, the rescues would know their dogs well and place them in the best suited home. But this isn't a perfect world.

For people who have had horrible experiences with rescues, breeders are a great option. For most serious dog owners, it's absolutely devastating to have to give up a dog for whatever reason. I have seen instances where the rescue misrepresented the dog just to give it a home. Do you really think that somebody, who was doomed to fail from the start, who really cares about dogs and really genuinely tried to give this dog a home, will ever get another dog from a rescue? Or will they get a dog from a reputable breeder that, with the guidance of the breeder, they can shape into the dog they want- whether it's to be gentle with kids or cats or whatever.

Do you see what I mean? Somebody who gets a dog from a rescue and then has to give it back will likely not get a dog from a rescue or trust a rescue for a dog.

It hasn't happened to me, but I consider myself not only lucky, but very flexible. Boo would make a great family dog (now), but when he was puking all night every night, how would a family with young kids have coped? Would they have been able to afford all the money I spent on his belly? Sure, he developed a chicken intolerance, but more than half the puking was from anxiety attacks. What mom has time to stay up all night with the dog just to calm him down? Not everybody is flexible enough, both financially and emotionally, to take a dog based on chance alone. If you have a family and your rescue hates kids, what are your chances of success?

But by going to the dog parks everyday and speaking with average dog people, only one conclusion can be made My experience with dog parks is that they are a special breed themselves. People who go to dog parks are not an accurate representation of all the dog owners out there, IMO.

Rottielover
January 18th, 2006, 10:49 AM
Thank you Prin, you typed what I was thinking. In my case, one was a non kill shelter, that closed down 4 months after I adopted him. I do not regret any moment with him. The next was the spca. When I tested her out, she was quiet relaxed, calm. Then came 2 weeks later to find out she was really sick, and that is why she was like that. I tried for 2 1/2 years to make her life good, she was miserable. I never said I will never adopt again. What I was saying is I am not willing to risk the heart ache for myself or my daughter.
I will rescue again when she is older, and I am more prepared to take on anything. Right now, and for the close futur the breeder ( COE ) is the best option.
I do help rescues as much as I can. I just adopted a kitty last month, and possibly fostering a cat.
I am not losing a best friend again because of something I can not control
I am one of the ones Prin was talking about be devastated when A dog had to be returned. I cried for weeks, and I still think how I might have made it better for her. My daughter is here, and that was what broke it for her. I do not regret having my daughter, but sometimes I think is she the one that made Angel so miserable.
Angel herself was a very high strung weak nerved dog, who has now found the RIGHT owners for her, they love her as much as I did.

Lucky Rescue
January 18th, 2006, 11:02 AM
It hasn't happened to me, but I consider myself not only lucky, but very flexible. Boo would make a great family dog (now),

Am I forgetting, or didn't Boo come from the SPCA? There, you pay your money and you take your chance. A dog could have a history of biting or a serious medical problem and you wouldn't know.

No reputable rescue would ever adopt out a dog who is either sick, or aggressive. Aside from being very unethical, this would put them at great risk of legal action and none can afford this.

If you have a family and your rescue hates kids, what are your chances of success?

and with a rescue, there's not much hope of finding guidance after the dog is adopted.

By "rescue" are you referring to dogs who are in a rescue organization, or shelter dogs? Big difference.

Prin
January 18th, 2006, 11:11 AM
Actually, Boo was from the SPCA, but one of the dogs I'm referring to comes from a rescue. And the woman told the rescue she had 2 kids and was having more and the dog bit little kids. Often. He broke out of the house to go bite a kid.
No reputable rescue would ever adopt out a dog who is either sick, or aggressive. Aside from being very unethical, this would put them at great risk of legal action and none can afford this.It is very hard to distinguish a good rescue from a not-so-good one. In the case I mentioned above, the dog was on petfinder, and the rescue was well known, but the rescue didn't screen the dog, nor the foster home it was in. The foster home kept this dog in a cage for months and there is no way she could accurately describe his personality.

Lucky Rescue
January 18th, 2006, 11:41 AM
The foster home kept this dog in a cage for months and there is no way she could accurately describe his personality.

Did the woman who adopted this dog go see it - watch it interact with kids before adopting it? Bring her kids over to play with it?

In rescue, like in any other organization, or business, or whatever, there are people who are fraudulent, abusive, sub-standard and just plain nuts. But discouraging people from adopting rescue dogs because there are a few bad apples in the barrel is condemning many wonderful dogs to permanent homelessness or death.

It's up to adopters to do their homework first. Mainly, ask questions - lots of them about adoption procedures, fees, contracts and anything else you can think of. Bad rescues don't hate being asked questions and will likely become hostile. Good rescues LOVE answering questions about what they do, and are glad people are asking.

Here is a checklist of things to consider when you contact a rescue.
http://www.widogrescue.com/whatisrescue.html#reputable

People should not be discouraged from adopting from reputable rescues and should not be turned off from trying to help an animal if everything doesn't go just right. My dog came from the most fraudulent, abusive, scumbag "rescue" out there, yet she is perfectly wonderful. Even though I was scammed, I wouldn't hesitate to adopt again, but next time I'll ask more questions.

As for shelters: If I had small kids at home, I would be very hesitant to adopt an adult dog about whom NOTHING is known. The dog could be in the shelter for biting kids and the shelter staff wouldn't know this.

It is very hard to distinguish a good rescue from a not-so-good one.
Most people can't tell a good breeder from the backyard variety or even a puppymill, and are just as likely to get dogs who end up with temperament or health problems, and at the same time are furthering the overpopulation problem.

happycats
January 18th, 2006, 11:43 AM
And you can also "buy" a dog from a so called reputable breeder, and that dog may end up aggressive, or have all kinds of health issues! You just don't know do you? you take your chances with a breeder too.
As lucky said, a "good" rescue will ensure their dogs are placed in suitable homes, it's in their best interest to do so, or the dog will be returned!
Most believe getting a puppy allows one to shape the puppy to suit your lifestyle, thus the reason for going to a breeder. There are puppies in rescue, it just takes longer to get one.

I believe most just don't want to do the work that's required to ensure they get the best rescue dog, and use a breeder as an easy way out, or to make sure they get a puppy! I know this is true, because everyone I talk to who says they want a dog, all say they want a puppy, and when I suggest an older rescue dog, about 80% insist they have to get a puppy, that older dogs have problems!!

Lissa
January 18th, 2006, 11:48 AM
If people researched and made a list of behaviour traits they were looking for, I believe that dozens of rescue dogs would fit their criteria... There is no need to have so many purebred dogs - especially since the only "purpose" most of them serve today is that they have a fixed appearance and certain behaviour traits (NOT guaranteed one's). I am also not convinced that people buying from a breeder are only considering behaviour traits... I think many people who buy purebreds look at them as a status symbol, or want to have their childhood dog again, or want a puppy...
I feel that reputable breedes contribute to the "status symbol" problem because their goal is to show their dog so they can be recognized as furthering or being a perfect representation of the breed...What's the average person suppose to think when they see beautiful show dogs in the ring compared to a scruffy mutt in cage?!

At the end of the day, I cannot support any breeding while millions of pets are dying.

My experience with dog parks is that they are a special breed themselves. People who go to dog parks are not an accurate representation of all the dog owners out there, IMO.

Perhaps that is true, but I will rectify that statement to include personal experience from family friends, acquaintances, neighbours and the 5 different training schools I've attended. I do not think that people on this site are an accurate representation of the average dog owner either...

meb999
January 18th, 2006, 04:15 PM
With a great breeder they will chose the right puppy temperment wise for your family life. With rescues you take a chance.


Just to clarify....A great rescue will also match the dog with your lifestyle and temperament. That is why good rescues have home visits and lotsa questionnaires....
I hesitated ALOT before getting a rescue (just ask Crystal...I kept going back and forth....:rolleyes: ) because I thought that a rescue would be unpredictable, and with a puppy the breeder would chose the right dog for me. Then I learned how rescues work, and I got exactly what I could handle when I got Buster. IMHO, it's easier to judge a dogs caracter when he's an adult, than a puppy, therefor it's easier to find the right dog for your lifestyle. The trick is to find a rescue that has a foster care program and that do temperament testing.

Prin
January 18th, 2006, 04:27 PM
Did the woman who adopted this dog go see it - watch it interact with kids before adopting it? Bring her kids over to play with it?They did a few test weekends beforehand but he was so riled up from being in the cage for months that it was hard to tell who he really was. He had no confidence yet and was so insecure.

This was a border collie mix that was just over a year. It's amazing that he didn't eat himself in the cage. In the beginning, he was just so not used to being social and being free that he was just overwhelmed. But as he calmed down, he started to bite. They saw trainers and the trainers were not hopeful because of the circumstances when he bit.

In the months and months that the fostermom had him, she would have known that if she did a bit of socializing and had let him out of the cage once in a while. The person gave back the dog, and is now totally worried that the dog will be back in the cage for another half year and come out totally untrained again and be doomed to fail in his next home.

The bottom line was this rescue didn't know the dog at all and placed him in a home that wasn't meant for him at all and combined, a dangerous environment was created.

What you have to understand, Lucky, is that while you and other rescues know all the happenings in the background, somebody who is adopting a dog for the first time doesn't see that. From the outside, this rescue is all the things on the list. They claim to know the dogs but they don't. They do follow-ups, they go check out the potential home, all that. But pretending and doing are different things. Now I know that this particular rescue is not too great at screening dogs for aggression and has had many returns in the past, but without talking to other rescues, I wouldn't have known. And regardless, the person who adopted this dog still feels like crap for it not working out, even though she isn't to blame.


Perhaps that is true, but I will rectify that statement to include personal experience from family friends, acquaintances, neighbours and the 5 different training schools I've attended. I do not think that people on this site are an accurate representation of the average dog owner either...
It's hard to make generalizations about this. Somebody could also generalize and say that most people believe that mutts are healthier than pure breeds, right? How many times have we heard that?

And no, we're not a good representation of all dog owners either.:crazy:

But I have to say, unless I had money stashed away by the thousands, I would have a hard time adopting a newf with an unknown past. Some breeds are just horrible for genetic diseases and it's devastating. If I ever do get a newf (or a dane or any other dog where genetics are a huge part of their well-being), I'd most likely buy one from a breeder, like Stacey did. While I wouldn't be helping the rescue effort with that one doggy, I don't think I could stand the pain of having a genetically mangled doggy either. (I'm not saying all rescues are either- I'm saying that some more sensitive doggies are harder to breed badly with healthy results).

happycats
January 18th, 2006, 04:47 PM
Well said Meb, your proof that if properly done, rescue dogs can be a wonderful addition to any family !