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  #41  
Old 07-11-2013, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Julee View Post
lol, a dog is a dog and will love you just the same. I had a scare with Em's eyes earlier this year that realllly implanted the thought into my head. Between Copper's weird phobias, Shadow's... everything (that's unfair, Shadow really is just not the right dog for me, but she is the right dog for my parents and will be living out her days here), Bloo's issues that could have been managed much better had I had her from puppyhood... y'know. I really love rescue, the people involved, not so much.

When it is time for me to acquire my next service dog prospect, I will not have the space for a washout. I will not have the money or resources to keep a washout. I don't want to have the perfect puppy grow up to be the wrong size, or develop a career-ending ailment. If I had gotten my new prospect say, last year, it wouldn't have been a concern. I have a financially stable living arrangement right now. I don't need to worry about landlords right now. However, very soon, I will. I'm hoping to add my next prospect within the next 2-3 years, hopefully.

However,


is a very major concern for me. That sounds like exactly what I'd end up doing, replacing "retired greyhound" with "death row dog". I really appreciate you adding your two cents, Sarah!

It's freaking STRESSFUL. I'll always continue to use rescues to train for others, or donated dogs, but it's something I'm really struggling with it for myself
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Not everyone will feel this way, obvious from this thread. Infact, I always find it quite sad that so few on this forum are rescuers/want rescue dogs. I respect each one's opinion, but seeing as the main forums I am a part of are mainly British, and mainly very rescue orientated, I do find it hard and feel a bit sad about threads like this.

It all just depends what you want in a dog. I don't like puppies, and to be honest, I can't be bothered with trying to work out what a dog will be like when its older. I want one that's already 'made'.
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  #42  
Old 07-11-2013, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SarahHound View Post
Not everyone will feel this way, obvious from this thread. Infact, I always find it quite sad that so few on this forum are rescuers/want rescue dogs. I respect each one's opinion, but seeing as the main forums I am a part of are mainly British, and mainly very rescue orientated, I do find it hard and feel a bit sad about threads like this.

It all just depends what you want in a dog. I don't like puppies, and to be honest, I can't be bothered with trying to work out what a dog will be like when its older. I want one that's already 'made'.
Just my two cents, but a lot depends on how the question is phrased. I don't feel guilty at all about getting a dog from a responsible breeder -- she is everything I wanted, and I know and have witnessed that her breeders go above and beyond to act ethically and to ensure any puppy they produce has a safe place to land any time, for any reason.

On the other hand I do not regret for a moment getting my rescue dog, either.

Both routes have their own challenges. Each individual dog has his/her own challenges, especially in the context of competition preparation and execution. Each is a beloved pet who has taught me more than I can ever put into words.

To me the two really aren't in conflict. It's just that I find it easier to identify what I want amongst dogs produced by responsible and knowledgeable breeders whose lines I know than combing through shelters until I find the right match. I don't have the knowledgeable rescue contacts to make that a likely success, though if the right dog came along at the right time I'd certainly be willing.
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  #43  
Old 07-11-2013, 11:38 AM
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I can't be bothered with trying to work out what a dog will be like when its older. I want one that's already 'made'.
I think this is one of my biggest problems with rescues I've experienced. Dishonesty. My family adopted a handful of dogs in my lifetime, and with the exception of Winston, none of them were what we were told they were. From fear issues, to aggression issues, to both at once, that's just not what I want to deal with in a dog unless I had to. So it's not always as easy as finding a dog that's already 'made' and will fit what you want in a dog. And then there's the case of health... a lot of my childhood dogs were BYB dogs before we knew better. Those are exactly the type of dogs that end up in rescue, and the health of those dogs was not good. Three died way too young, others were constantly at the vet for something, etc. So between health and unstable temperaments (due in large part to poor evaluators), I just am more comfortable with the predictability of a breeder bought dog. And I am a puppy person, and I'd likely never adopt a rescue puppy after a terrible experience (if/when I adopt again, it'll be adults/seniors), so there's that too.

Of course, things can go sideways with breeder dogs too, but in general there seems to be a better chance at predictability.

I really do like the idea of rescue, and would like to do my part in helping someday, but I think in some ways it's even harder to find a good, knowledgeable rescue organization than it is to find a responsible breeder. But a good dog is a good dog, and can be found through either route.
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  #44  
Old 07-11-2013, 11:44 AM
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why would it make you sad? I'd say the overwhelming majority of anybody that has ever posted on here has provided nothing but the best for their dogs. Who cares where they came from? a dog with a good life is a dog with a good life and unless you can save them ALL, some are not going to have an opportunity at the life you give your dogs.

Nobody's dog arrived here by immaculate conception, they all had a breeder. Give the ones you have a good home and you did your part.
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  #45  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:14 PM
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I wrote a whole article about this topic when I announced my purchase of a dog (Aeri) and promptly got the typical "don't breed while others die" responses and was unfriended by a few people. It still rings true 2 years later.

At the writing of this note, Aeri was my first purebred, non rescue dog and my 4th dog as an adult. I fully intend to continue to have a mix of rescue and well bred dogs in the future.

***
Why Buy When Shelter Dogs Die?
February 20, 2011
I confirmed today that I will be getting an awesome Malinois puppy from a responsible breeder. Once it was official, I started telling everyone who might listen the good news - I'm totally thrilled, why not share the joy?! Most of my friends are happy for me, they know that any puppy I get will have lots to do and will be well loved and trained, but I've had several people question my choice to buy this puppy. One even defriended me over this choice!

It would be one thing if the questioning was posed as questions - I love explaining why this puppy is joining our household, the reasoning behind adding this specific breed, and why I have both shelter dogs and now a well-bred puppy. Unfortunately these questions were presented in statements and sarcastic comments, which left me with no way to address the posters' concerns or, more importantly, their assumptions about myself and my motives.

Given this, I've decided to answer the question that was posed right before I was defriended: Why buy when shelter dogs die?

I have been involved in shelters and rescues since I was 13. Yes, that's almost 13 years - about half of my lifetime! I've had 3 shelter dogs: Maggie, my heart dog (who I lost to cancer last year ), Ziva, my kick butt little agility dog who is also my primary snuggle buddy, and Kestrel, the dog that's given me an opportunity to try out new sports and activities that I love and who is the household clown. All three dogs are amazing in their own right and I am incredibly blessed to share my life with them.

I do truly believe that you can find a shelter dog that can succeed in almost any sport with enough patience and a clear idea of the behaviors/traits you need. Ziva and Kestrel were chosen specifically for sports - agility to be precise - while I worked at a very good, but large, open admission humane society. I chose each of them after having fostered them, evaluated their drive for food and toys, and assessed their overall socialization and behavior in new situations. I knew both dogs very well before signing that paperwork and I have not been disappointed. Ziva got her Agility Dog title with a 100% qualifying rate after all! She's currently working toward her Masters Agility Dog title and, hopefully, her Agility Dog Championship.

After losing Maggie in August, I started researching options for our next dog. My two favorite breeds quickly came to the top, Australian Cattle Dogs and Belgian Malinois. I knew my next dog would be destined for working in agility and other sports, so the search would be a tough one - a third dog would mean no more fostering and no more additions for at least 10 years, so I knew I wanted to get "that dog" - the one that I could do anything I wanted to with and one that would fit seamlessly with the current household animals (and humans).

Breed rescue and a responsible breeder floated to the top as the best options for my new addition. Breed rescue is often more able to screen dogs for the traits I'd need in a competition dog than a shelter and would also be likely to find a dog that could fit into our household easily since their animals stay in foster homes before placement. A responsible breeder would know their lines well, would do lots of foundation work to give their puppies the best start, and their puppies' lineages would be known so health and temperament would be more predictable. Either way, we had plenty of time as I didn't think we'd be ready for a 3rd dog for at least a year, so I decided to foster in the meantime.

In November, I joined a Schutzhund club with Kestrel. We have found Kes' niche I think - he is a very happy dog in all three phases of the sport: tracking, obedience, and protection. We're aiming for our BH (an entry level obedience title required before a dog and handler can attempt any other Schutzhund titles) at the end of March! Kestrel is not what people think of when they think of a "schutzhund dog" - he's a cattle dog, possibly a mix, was 2 years old before we started training, and he is from an unknown background. We are having a ton of fun learning the ins and outs of the sport together and with the assistance of a great club and trainer. I am hooked!

After joining the club I decided that a Malinois would be our next dog - I knew that we'd have the time to devote to an intense dog now, before children are on the horizon, and the breed is one that I'd always coveted. The fact that they are a popular breed in my new sport sealed the deal. Because I know the importance of research when it comes to choosing the right dog, I started to talk with people who currently own the breed. One of these people is a wonderful responsible breeder. She was incredibly helpful in answering all my questions about the breed and since she also has cattle dogs she was able to give me the unique perspective on the relative difficulty of ACDs vs. Malinois.

In addition to our chats, I researched her kennel thoroughly and realized that she fit all my requirements for a breeder: all the applicable health checks, dogs with titles in the sport I was hoping to compete in, dogs with the traits I was looking for, and a good contract that protects buyer and seller. She happened to have a litter on the ground at the time and I loved watching the puppies develop and hearing about the work she was doing with them and why. I never seriously considered getting a pup from the litter as I figured they were all spoken for and it had only been a few months since losing Maggie; I wasn't sure that I was ready to make that big of a commitment.

Plus there was the whole issue of rescue vs. a breeder. I struggled with my own feelings - I have always been a huge advocate for rescue and shelter dogs and my own dogs have been everything I could ask for in a dog. However, after losing Maggie to cancer so suddenly, the idea of a known health background appealed, and the idea of starting with a puppy that had a perfect start in life for the sports I love, thus setting us up for success with this final dog, really resonated. But it was still not something I needed to worry about for a while, and I put that mental discussion away in the back of my mind.

Of course, fate had another idea. I learned that a pup with the right drives and personality for my goals and the temperament that made her suitable for a novice malinois owner was still available. I thought about it, talked to my husband, and decided that now was not the right time, yet again.

But she stayed with me. I asked her breeder more detailed questions. My husband agreed to discuss things more seriously. After that discussion it became apparent to me that this dog was a perfect fit for our needs, the timing was actually quite good, and finances could be worked out. But, I still had that rescue vs. breeder thing in the back of my head.

I've always told people that a responsible breeder is a great option, but what would people think? What would they say when they heard I bought a dog? Would people think I was a sellout? Would all that I've done with and for shelter and rescue pets be overlooked? I do like being "the girl with the awesome shelter dogs"; would people just see the well-bred malinois and assume that I felt well-bred purebreds were somehow better and that I had "upgraded"!? I was conflicted in a major way.

After many mental acrobatics, and some wonderful friends' input, I decided that I was going to make the leap and get "that dog" from - GASP! - a responsible breeder, that breeder who was everything I wanted in a breeder, who never pressured me to take a puppy, who answered my endless questions, and who, despite being almost 900 miles away, always seemed to be there when I needed her. Right now, I need the security of a known background, the perfect start, and the support of a person who knows her dogs inside and out. This does NOT mean that I suddenly think that shelter and rescue dogs can't do sports, it does NOT mean that I think a purebred is somehow superior to a mix, it is solely the option that works the best for me, and my family, right now.

So you can think what you want, you can unfriend me, you can make sarcastic comments. But I've not changed, and, on the 6 month anniversary of losing my heart dog, we welcome Aerten van Sinova into our family with open arms and a happy heart.
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  #46  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SarahHound View Post
Not everyone will feel this way, obvious from this thread. Infact, I always find it quite sad that so few on this forum are rescuers/want rescue dogs. I respect each one's opinion, but seeing as the main forums I am a part of are mainly British, and mainly very rescue orientated, I do find it hard and feel a bit sad about threads like this.
Eh, so far in my life I've had 5 "rescues" and one "oops litter." I have nothing against rescues and don't exactly not want them, nor am I definitively going to or not going to seek one out. But at this point in my life I have more specific activities and concerns that will go into making the decision someday.


ETA: Also, honestly shifting the responsibility/obligation of "saving a dog's life" from the people who PUT dogs in shelters to prospective dog homes kind of grates on me.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Shai View Post
To me the two really aren't in conflict. It's just that I find it easier to identify what I want amongst dogs produced by responsible and knowledgeable breeders whose lines I know than combing through shelters until I find the right match. I don't have the knowledgeable rescue contacts to make that a likely success, though if the right dog came along at the right time I'd certainly be willing.
I think this is well said, and I agree.

When it comes time for my next dog, it will in all likelihood be a dog from a breeder. I've already got a few breeders earmarked despite a potential future puppy being a good number of years off.

I'm very picky with the dogs I like. I'm definitely not one of those "love every dog" type of dog people. While it's very possible that I'd find a dog who gels with me in a rescue, I'm quite honestly not interested in spending the time pouring over prospects when it comes time to add another dog into my home. If a perfect dog falls into my lap I wouldn't (couldn't) say no but I've definitely not had that happen yet. And the odds of that happening on the timeline I'm aiming for are slim.

So, while puppies are a tabula rasa, there are ways to stack the deck so you're more likely to get what you want and need. I love the foundation training process, and I love working with a young dog to make it excel. I want to work with my next dog at as young an age as possible so as to have the longest and most successful working career possible.

To answer the original question, Cohen is from a breeder. I have zero regrets in having bought her from one, though I think I could have found a better breeder to do business with. That's my regret.

Mega was a pet store puppy, but I didn't buy her, so not much I can do about that and therefore no regrets. I tell people she's a rescue, but she's really just a gift-gone-wrong. She was bought for someone, had a shitty upbringing, and came back to my husband's family several months later.
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  #48  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post

ETA: Also, honestly shifting the responsibility/obligation of "saving a dog's life" from the people who PUT dogs in shelters to prospective dog homes kind of grates on me.
This! It is not my fault there are dogs in shelters. Me going to a responsible breeder is not putting dogs in shelters. It is the fault of the people who put their dogs in shelters, and the breeders who churn out dogs to sell to anyone but offer no support. So I don't feel an obligation to go through rescue.

I adopted Happy because I had the means to, but I wasn't looking for a dog at the time. I specifically did not want a 10+ year commitment so her age worked for me. If I would have been actively looking for a dog, I would have gotten a puppy from a breeder. That's just my preference.
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  #49  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:56 PM
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I can't be bothered with trying to work out what a dog will be like when its older. I want one that's already 'made'.
Logan was a year old when I got him, and he came from a breeder. Going to a breeder doe NOT mean you're obligated to get a puppy. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

I find it sad that some people can't respect that rescue isn't for everyone, and can't understand the value of well-bred, healthy dogs.
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  #50  
Old 07-11-2013, 01:12 PM
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My goal has always been when I get a dog to get a dog that I feel really will fit me. So far it's been great. I've had fantastic dogs and thus far have not had to rehome one.
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