Adopt, Don’t Shop Facts and Myth
There are solid camps on either side of the Adopt Don’t Shop movement. Both have their facts and good points, and both have their myths. If you are considering bringing a dog into your home then take a few minutes to consider both sides of the issue.
The Ugly Truth About Marketing
First – you must realize that what you read on the internet is marketing. It is designed to sell puppies or rescues. When you contact a kennel, hobby breeder, or rescue you are a customer. Their best intentions must still be funded by income. That income is generated by putting dogs in homes.
The longer a dog is in a shelter, rescue, or home the more expensive and time consuming it becomes. When looking for a dog you need to do your research:
Does this kennel, rescue, or shelter have a good reputation? Do they have online reviews or a group of people who support them? What type of people support them – responsible – emotional – weekend warriors?
Does the kennel, rescue, or shelter spend money educating themselves and offering the best health care to their dogs? Or, do they live by the motto ‘my good enough is good enough for you.’ It doesn’t matter where you find your next dog. Make sure that they ask a lot of questions about what you want, and most important – spend more time listening than talking.
Rescues and Dog Shelters
Myths about shelter dogs:
- They are in a shelter because something is wrong with them.
- You will never know their history
- They may have a disease
- They are not purebred
- They are too old.
Truth about Shelters
- No support after you take the dog home.
- No guarantee on health or temperament.
- No return.
- Very few can give behavior modification or training necessary to help dogs overcome trauma.
- They often guess the age. It is easier to sell a year old than a 3-year-old. And both dogs look and act similar – at first. It is easier to sell a dog who is 5, than a dog who is 8-10, and both look similar.
The fact is, all of these have been true many times. We’ve seen dogs who were sedated when they were in the shelter, and ‘fell apart’ when they were adopted. We’ve seen dogs adopted out with advanced cancer. We’ve seen dogs swapped between rescues when there is an incident.
The problem is when you discount the myths and hope that you are immune because ‘it won’t happen to me’.
The truth is there will be some sort of emotional trauma. The dog had a home. It loved its people. Then it was ripped away and doesn’t understand why.
The truth is that the dog did not have proper training, behavior/socialization, and care. This will have lasting effects.
Even if the dog was owned by a good owner before it was surrendered, you are picking up problems. There is also something else to consider. Good dogs – especially purebred – are easily sold through classifieds for hundreds of dollars. Why surrender a dog to a rescue if that dog can be sold and the ‘good’ owner can chose the dog’s next home?
Back Yard Breeders vs Kennels
If you decide that you have a specific type of dog in mind. You have children and want a ‘safe’ dog. You live in the country and want a dog that ‘will’ protect you. You have a purpose and reason beyond adding a loved companion to your home.
Back Yard Breeders
- Are cheaper Myth – Are often just as expensive
- Their dogs are not breeding quality – hereditary defects
- Parents are not tested for hereditary problems
- Received no socialization or mental stimulation so there will be behavior problems
- There is no temperament testing so you don’t know whether your dog will be high energy, nervous, or aggressive.
- No Papers is as Good as Papers
- No papers often = cross breeds that look like pure breeds
- No papers = no health guarantee.
- Often breed to pay the bills.
- Papers doesn’t mean well-bred dogs. Insist on a contract
- Well-bred dogs are not always more expensive than back yard bred. In every litter there are the ‘top dogs’ and the pets. Make it clear what you want before looking at the puppies.
- Health Guarantees, Papers to prove the dog is pure, and socialization is implied.
- Socialization and mental stimulation is only as good as the owner’s education. Ask what program they use to raise their puppy.
- Good Breeders – Registered and Back Yard
- Offer a health guarantee
- Temperament Test the puppies – Volhart Test at 49 days
- Socialize their puppies – Puppy Culture or Ian Dunbar Programs
- Health test the parents of the puppies, and their grandparents.
- Do dog shows and sports because they are in it for more than the money – for the love of dogs.
- The breeder will support you for the life of the dog.
- Solid return/money back guarantee.
Before taking offence to anything written here ask yourself what you do? This article wasn’t written so people can judge others, but to judge their own motives, perceptions, and objectives.
Once you have your dog we invite you to read other articles on our blog, and if you are in the London Ontario, Elgin, or Tillsonburg area drop in and visit us in Aylmer Ontario.