Is it better to buy a dog from a breeder or rescue a dog from the SPCA and other dog pounds? This is a great question… I have both in my pack, and both in my dog training classes. There are lots of pros and cons for each.
There is nothing like growing up with a puppy. My parents and grandparents were reputable breeders of German Shepherd Dogs for Confirmation and Obedience – Exhibiting and Judging. We always had dogs & puppies underfoot all the time. This definitely shaped my love of dogs today and influenced my decision to have a full-time career as a dog trainer. Unfortunately, for those of us who enjoy and train towards Obedience Trials, only registered dogs are permitted. However, Rally O and Agility are two examples open to dogs of any heritage. If you choose to purchase a pure-bred registered dog, a reputable breeder understands their lines and can match the energy level and temperament of the dog with the lifestyle of the buyer. A breeder can also guarantee health and has usually dedicated many years to improving their breed or breeds.
However, there is nothing like rescuing or adopting a dog in need from a shelter, reshaping undesirable behaviours to acceptable ones. This gives you the opportunity to observe a dog given up for whatever reasons (usually poor or aggressive behaviours), thrive in a structured environment with the understanding, kindness and patience that you give your adopted dog. Most dogs in shelters are 6 months to 2 years old. This is the juvenile stage for dogs. As I instruct my classes year after year, I am continuously reminded that people don’t realize how frustrating a juvenile dog can be. They are often at the end of their rope at the puppy level, but the puppy stage is comparatively easy. I have steered my dog training education, understanding and unique skills to not only all levels of regular instruction, but also, to difficult and aggressive dogs, most often rescued or adopted. There are many, many shelter dogs adopted by families who couldn’t be happier with their choice. You may not know what their experiences have been, but all dogs are easily trainable with a knowledgeable, kind, reliable and consistent pack leader.
Every dog deserves a secure, loving home wherever they are from.