Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Breed does matter

Here at the Frugal Beagle I wrote the start of a series on adopting a dog called "So you want a Dog....
Recently, I was talking to my sister about our dogs. We both love beagles, a lot, enough where one day we hope to have a Beagle rescue. She was talking about this desire when the other person said to her " Be careful of adopting an adult dog from the pound". This person had a horrible experience with a dog she rescued. Mostly, because she decided she wanted the pretty dog and knew nothing about the breed. She chose a dog that did not fit her lifestyle and resulted in her not keeping the dog. The Minnesota Humane Society lists on their website why pets were turned in and often the reason is something that could have been avoided in the first place like "too big for an apartment". These are reasons that simple research could have brought their attention before they adopted. It's not cheap adopting a dog. Even a free dog is going to require a vet check up and basic supplies like food and a leash.
I also find it amusing how many people worry that if they adopt a dog from a rescue or shelter they will get "someone else's problem.". Here is what I say to that.
1. Puppies not given proper training will have behavioral problems. Has anyone else watched the Dog Whisperer or It's Me or the Dog? These are professional trainers that come into people's homes to work with the dog about bad behavior. All of those dogs they show are not bad dogs because that's just their personality. It's because their owners don't have set routines and don't enforce certain good behaviors.
2. Many rescues work to learn the dogs disposition and manners before placing them up for adoption. A solid rescue will disclose behavior problems along with if the dog gets a long with cats, other dogs and children. You will learn MORE about the dog than you would by just going to a breeder or pet store because someone has spent time with your to be pet.
3. You can teach an old dog new tricks. When I first got my dog she was not potty trained. Now she is and while it wasn't an easy process. It was well worth it.
4. A full grown dog is just that, you dont' have to guess how big they will get and go through various crates. You can get the right size on the first try.
5. Health problems will be known when you adopt them. I know this isn't always the case but chances are your dog may already be spayed or neutered. Your dog may have health problems but if you get them from a rescue they will tell you what those problems are and you can make that decision.

I am passionate about adopting adult dogs from shelters and rescue groups. At least consider it the next time you think about getting a new pet. It can be a very rewarded experience, if you do the proper research about what type of breed is best for you and don't just decide you want a Marley dog because it's cute.

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