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Getting dog from breeder versus rescuing

Discussion in 'General Dog Chat' started by Spirit dog, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. Spirit dog

    Spirit dog Forums Novice

    Aug 8, 2017
    Hello, I was wondering if I start a bit of a conversation about getting a dog from a reputable breeder versus rescuing. I myself actually tryed to get a rescue dog. I thought I looked everywhere I looked in all the SPCA's, and found it was hard to find a dog.I was very upset while looking as my dog had passed away about two months prior to looking. Anyway I didn't want to go on too long in this thread, I just thought that maybe I could get a bit of conversation about how people out there felt about the subject of rescuing versus getting a dog from a reputable breeder. Thank you to all those that read this and I hope to hear from someone (s) :)
  2. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    I applaud anyone who adopts a rescue dog. Shelties, in particular can be tough rescues as some of our members have found. They are a sensitive breed, and experiences in their past life that might not affect other breeds can leave a lasting impression on a Sheltie, leaving the dog shy, fearful or nervous. That's not to say the dog can't be rehabbed, as you can also read in our members' stories here. But it's a long, extended process if you have such a dog. The problem is that when you adopt a rescue, you don't know what its past life has been so you may not be prepared to put the time and patience into a very needy pup.

    I've had both rescues and breeder dogs. In the past 10 years, I wanted to learn to show some of my dogs and have done some breeding myself, so I see the picture from both sides. What appeals to me about a breeder dog is that I can trace the dog's pedigree and find out what the traits of the line are. In a perfect world, this means you know exactly the dog or puppy you are getting. That, too, may not always be the case. A puppy who is not properly socialized by the breeder can also be nervous and shy, or one whose parents haven't been health tested can have physical problems you don't expect. I've experienced both of those situations too.

    The lesson I've learned is that you must not only research a dog's lineage before choosing but its breeder as well. Know the questions to ask about temperament and health testing; visit the breeder and see the dogs at home. These, at least, are things you can do if you purchase a breeder dog that will eliminate most of the uncertainty. I prefer to get my dogs from a breeder I know and trust, whose line I've seen and watched. JMHO, for what it's worth!
    Hanne and Piper's mom like this.
  3. ghggp

    ghggp Premium Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    I guess I come from the other end of the spectrum.

    I have rescued three Shelties and purchased three. If I had to choose I would go with the rescue!
    My first rescue Sheltie was the sweetest dog but very shy at first! Going to obedience classes really helped to get him confidence! My second rescue became my heart dog! He was my life, my soul! He was six when I rescued him. He was the best Sheltie ever! We were so bonded!

    I guess what I want to say is breeders will always find good homes for their pups...
    rescues on the other hand need someone to love and care for them after a death of a family member or being displaced. Circumstances may vary, however your heart is so filled with love knowing you made a positive difference in their lives!

    I will admit, I tried to rescue recently and found many rescues will not allow out of state adoptions! This breaks my heart as Mr Chance my heart dog would never have graced my life had PSSR Sheltie Rescue not allowed me to take him to Michigan from Ohio!

    I eventually found a nice five year old from a breeder.

    Either way, I wish you good luck in your search. Thanks for asking such a great question!
    Spirit dog likes this.
  4. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

    Mar 29, 2008
    near Mobile, AL
    My first sheltie was from a sheltie rescue- she was great and made a lot of people interested in a sheltie.
    The next four have all come from breeders- two that we met right here on Sheltie Nation and the third through one of those breeders.
    We compete in performance sports so knowing the health and temperament history was important to me.
    Spirit dog likes this.
  5. Phil Hughes

    Phil Hughes Premium Member

    Jul 15, 2017
    Our guy Koz is a rescue, he came into our home about a month ago. He is just the most lovable, gentle dog that we have ever had. We previously had a Golden Retriever, rescue, who had all sorts of socialization issues. Try as we might, classes, training, just taking him around other dogs, he never got it and we eventually realized that we had a dog that was going to be by himself. He was fiercely protective of us. So even other people had to be warned when he was around them. He was hard to travel with. Then we had 2 Corgi's from a breeder and I got to go through the whole puppy training thing again. So when they passed away last year and the house was feeling empty we looked at another Rescue and finally found Koz, fully house trained, crate trained and he doesn't bark much. However he doesn't have any teeth and he was rather timid, still is. . Some folks had passed him up because of this. It certainly does not bother us. Heck, I don't have all of my teeth either at 71. And being 71, Koz fits right into our lifestyle. I would certainly urge anyone, looking for a dog, to consider a rescue but to spend some time with it before going home and if you have other dogs make sure that they get along before taking the dog home.
  6. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    I have three Shelties from the same breeder, and one rescue. All are very different from one another. Interestingly, my shy one is a breeder Sheltie. Annie Laurie, our rescue, is very confident. For me, Shelties are like kids -- all so very different! While I prefer to go the breeder route, I'd never turn up my nose at the right rescue Sheltie!
  7. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 17, 2010
    We had two wonderful experiences with Sheltie Breed rescue and one bad placement who had to go back to rescue since they knowingly placed a dog who couldn't be with other dogs in a home with 2. That led us to getting a dog past the puppy stage from a breeder who had a dog who just wasn't cut out for show.

    I will say both experiences were worth it. The last rescue made me realize just because you've had an amazing experience with a specific group doesn't mean that volunteer groups don't fall on hard times and lose some of the things that make them great at what they do. That mistake wouldn't have happened during the time we rescued the first 2. I would look at the other 2 New England rescues, but unless management changes at the rescue our first two came from we won't be going back there again. That was a clear violation of basic rescue rules.

    I've also noticed more breeders seem to be directly placing their own dogs in this area. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but with the 3 New England rescues you don't see as many available Shelties as there were when we were first looking. I still check back occasionally, as Katy is starting to get up there in age and if the perfect dog came along we would certainly think about it as I know Annie, like Katy isn't cut out to be an only. We would take on 3 to avoid what we went through with Katy when Bailey died.

    I've noticed the supply is greater in other parts of the country, which does make it frustrating when you see a dog that might be a great fit, but isn't an option because they don't work with people from out of state.

    Having done both, my first priority is still finding the right match for our family. I love the idea of rescue, but the dog has to be able to abide with the other dogs who were here first.

    One of the things that impressed me with Annie's breeder is she was as insistent on finding the right match for Annie as we were in getting a compatible match for Katy. With both sides not just wanting to dump a dog into the first home that would take it, we ended up with an amazing dog for our home. Our first two experiences with rescue were more like that. It was a bit challenging at times because they wanted to make sure Bailey and Katy were going to good homes, but ultimately the matches were good. The third time was almost too easy and that should have been a red flag, but I stupidly assumed that since we'd adopted twice before it was a sign of trust. In fact it was a sign of desperation. They wanted the dog gone and figured we wouldn't have the guts to return him.

    As a note to those who aren't interested in puppies if you can't find a Sheltie through Sheltie rescue do contact the breeders in your area. DH and I decided that after raising Bailey from a puppy we'd look for slightly older dogs after that. The puppy experience was fun, but once was enough. We got Katy at 2 from rescue. However, we weren't finding any leads at all after our failed rescue. After a suggestion from here I began emailing breeders from link here on the site and they led me to other breeders in the area that might be helpful, which led us to Annie, who was not quite 2 when we got her.
    Hanne and Ann like this.
  8. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 17, 2010
    After reflecting on this a bit, the one piece of advice I would add to those considering rescue is be honest with yourself and the rescue about what behaviors and issues you can and can't manage/handle/accept. I got a great deal of pressure from unexpected quarters in our family last time because I didn't go for the hardest dog with the toughest story, I went for one that fit our family the best. If you like/enjoy a challenge by all means please take it on there are so many dogs who need you. However, if you know in your heart that isn't you, don't feel pressured into doing something that isn't what you want, but meets the image people think you should have when you rescue.

    One of the differences between rescue and going through a breeder can be the information you get on the dog. Bailey was a puppy when he was surrendered and his owners turned over everything which was amazing. We understood his history of where he came from and why he turned into rescue. Sometimes knowing why the dog ends up in rescue does help in understanding the challenges you then face. In Bailey's case for months he was terrified of being left. Abandonment was a huge problem for him. With Katy we got very limited information. It was clear based on her physical condition and her behaviors that neglect had been an issue, although she showed no signs of physical abuse. It would have been helpful to know more about her background to understand some of her rather bizarre behaviors, but we adapted. With Annie, the breeder was an open book and her adjustment seemed smoother. It's just something you have to accept when you go with rescue versus a breeder. You tend to get more background information from a breeder.

    I was very clear about not being able to handle an aggressive dog when we went to rescue all 3 times and we did well 2 out of 3 times. That being said no dog is perfect and many rescue dogs have challenges. Bailey and Katy both had issues some we were able to fix with training, some were/are life long challenges that we learned how to adjust to and accommodate because we love them. However, none of them were things we couldn't manage. That's what made the rescue successful. We were well matched and could handle the challenges they brought with them. Had the rescue been honest about the 3rd dog or we trusted our instincts more about what we were sensing the dog wouldn't have come home for his trial period. Aggression was top on my list of never happening. I know people who take on dogs like that and I give them my full praise. It is not something I can manage.

    It is OK to be honest about what you can and can't do and it is better in the long run for you and the dog to admit to your limits. Don't let yourself be manipulated or pressured into taking on something that isn't the right fit for you for fear that this is your only chance or out of guilt that the dog needs a home. Our failed rescue was a result of feeling bad for the dog and sadly if they got around to placing him properly I suspect he made someone else quite happy if he was their only pet. It just took a bit more work to research and find that match.
  9. danisgoat

    danisgoat Moderator

    Jul 23, 2009
    We have four shelties, three from a breeder and one rescue. The three from the breeder are awesome, go anywhere, are good with people, and perform in agility obedience and rally with my kids. Our rescue has always been a challenge. We love her just the same, but she definitely is shyer than my breeder dogs, and definitely takes time to adjust to new situations.

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