Getting A Dog
What are my options if I want to get a dog?
Getting a dog is a big step and a really big responsibility. Here we want to discuss what responsible options you have to have a dog in your life. Before we mention anything please DO YOUR RESEARCH don’t just get a dog because it looks pretty without knowing about the breed. If you find a mixed dog that doesn’t resemble a specific breed be sure to ask people who know the dog what it is like and if it fits your lifestyle.
We also want to mention that although breeds have general traits you should definitely know that EVERY DOG IS DIFFERENT even if they are the same breed. You should take this into account when deciding what dog you want. Don’t get a Labrador just because you met your neighbors pretty dog.
So, if you’re not sure about getting a dog but want a “trial” is there an option? If you are considering having a dog but you are not sure you’re up for 10-15 years of lifetime commitment you can always foster. Fostering means that you will have a dog in your home until they find their forever homes. I think it’s a win-win situation. The dog gets the home experience instead of a kennel and you will get tons of practice and preparation for when you’re ready.
CAUTION! Foster failing is a really big option. You might fall in love with the dog you are fostering and not want to give it away. This is how we ended up with Tomy!
Ok, but what if I’m ready? Well, you’ve got two main options:
Adopting is a wonderful way to get a dog. There is a lot of joy and fulfillment in doing so. Try to visit the shelter or rescue, go on adoption days to meet the dogs, and choose wisely. Try asking volunteers about their energy levels, play level, drive, if it’s housebroken, potty training, or anything else you should know about the dog, this includes the “bad” things like if it has bitten before, if it’s anxious, etc. Try to find out about the dog you like as much as possible and think of what you need from the dog to fit into your life, do you need the dog to be good with other dogs? children? strangers?
It’s very important to mention that a portion of these dogs might have behavioral issues and that it’s important to work with a trainer if you decide to adopt a dog with any issues. Honestly, even if the dog doesn’t have issues it’s important to train the dog. This will give you more freedom and communication, but especially if there are any issues you want to address them with a professional.
Looking into a good breeder:
Getting a dog from a reputable breeder is an excellent option to get a dog! Especially if you are planning to have a specific purpose for the dog. There should be no shame in buying a dog, BUT please (we can’t stress this enough) DO YOUR RESEARCH and find a reputable breeder that gives you a contract and health test the dogs! look into the dog’s titles.
Avoid people who don’t give you the full information, that breed for the color of the coat, aren’t willing to show you the documents or ask for more money for the first pick. Good breeders are here to keep the breeds standards and conformations, produce healthy puppies and produce dogs with good temperaments that will excel in their future.
Responsible breeders usually have a lot of knowledge and experience of the breed they stand for, so ask away about any doubt you might have! I am sure they will be happy to answer if they don’t consider it a red flag. When an honest breeder plans a litter they will do so to better the breed, they will take care of the medical health of the puppies and the parents and they will start to socialize and expose the puppies to appropriate stimuli according to their age and will do the best so their future is successful.
Before we continue, I want to clarify that we support adoption very strongly and wish every dog to have a loving home. If someone asks me specifically what to do I would ask them to consider adoption as a first option, but I also understand that not everyone can deal with a rescue dog and it doesn’t fit in everyone’s lifestyle and this should be OK.
There are other ways to get a dog as well, maybe someone is looking to re-home their dog due to heavy circumstances like moving to a state/country where the breed is not legal or is has a breed that is not allowed to fly do to health issues, their owner passed away and family members are looking for a good home, etc. Sometimes dogs that don’t make it as guide, police or military dogs are up for adoption, but again do your research!
What you should avoid: Getting a dog in a pet store (since they are related to puppy mills) puppy mills, backyard breeders (meaning unethical breeders).Please note: In some areas pet stores bring puppies from rescues, if this is the case in your area, getting a dog from a store is OK but please do your research!! Whether you want to adopt or shop, please do it responsibly! PS: All the pictures used this week are from organizations or rescues where we have volunteered.