Dog Adoption vs Breeders
Dog Pound or A Dog Breeder?

An English Cocker Spaniel 8 week old puppy-->descriptive text

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Adoption vs Breeders

Advantages Of Dog Adoption

What's Good About Adoption

Let's start the discussion of dog adoption vs breeders on a positive note. When adopting an adult or mature dog from the dog pound, rescue group or local dog kennel/shelter, certain positive things happen that will NOT happen if you buy a puppy from a breeder:

  • Your new dog will not ask to be taken out to potty at 2 and 5 in the morning, rain or snow.

  • The size, temperament and appearance of your new dog will be obvious.

  • The new dog will probably be potty trained (housebroken)

  • The terrible “puppy chewing stage” will have passed so your new dog will settle for a Kong toy or a rawhide bone and be content.

  • The "rambunctious" puppy stage will have passed.

  • The new dog will have already been spayed or neutered, saving you that expense.

  • The new dog has most likely had some form of training and will be ready to advance. This is a huge plus for you, saving you a LOT of time and frustration and a positive note for the adoption vs breeders discussion.

  • You will likely have paid the SPCA, ASPCA or Humane Society or any average dog pound something like $150 for their service to house and feed the dog, spay or neuter the dog, give it a health check and a temperament evaluation plus any medication necessary. Not bad at today’s rates. This is a major item for the adoption vs breeders list.

  • You will leave knowing your new dog has no aggression and is people friendly because you’ve already tested him/her at the kennel. (We teach you how at this website)

  • Many hereditary health issues show up in dogs 3 months to 2 years of age. If you adopt a 2 or 3 year old dog, that time period will have passed and the dog you get will be healthier and less likely to need medical care.

  • The kennel staff are usually knowledgeable about their stock of dogs and willing to help you make a good selection. In addition, we have a page you might like to visit before you adopt a dog with good tricks for avoiding selection problems.

  • In the event you do happen to pick a “lemon” and the dog doesn’t work out, just take the dog back to the dog pound or kennel or wherever. You may not be able to do that with a breeder.

  • When you adopt a dog you will come away with a GOOD feeling about yourself, knowing you have just saved a dog’s life and done a good thing for a helpless, lonely dog just wanting a second chance in life. I know first hand—it does give you a proud, wonderful feeling. It doesn't happen when you lay down $1000 for a puppy. There's the adoption vs breeder argument right there!

  • You walk out of the kennel or pound with your new mutt prancing proudly at your side and it’s like a breath of fresh air. Your anticipation of the future with your new dog is great and you can’t wait to get home and begin your new adventures. Your new dog is experienced and good to go.

A happily rescued adoption dog catches a ball.
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The Bad About Adoption

  • On the minus side, you will have no idea what kind of puppyhood your shelter dog has had. Was he a product of a puppy mill? Was he mistreated? It may show up in his adult behavior and require some re-training. Choosing a dog takes a little understanding and re-training information which we provide here at this site.

You have to go by what the SPCA kennel staff tells you his behavior is at the time. Most all these kennels evaluate incoming dogs for behavior issues to some degree as well as health problems so you will have a fairly good idea of what you are getting.

Many kennels require you to sign a form stating in essence that if you can not continue to care for the dog, you WILL bring s/he back to them, and only to them. This is a serious plus for the adoption vs breeders discussion.

An adopted Irish Setter in the meadow

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Advantages Of A Breeder

Finding a reputable e breeder is not easy. Ask around. Check with dog groomers and local vets. If you come across a breeder that keeps the dogs in a garage, shed, basement or barn, turn and run! NO backyards or basement breeders allowed!

An honest, reputable breeder is in the business for the love of the breed and not the money. Their goal is to produce the finest stock possible and will question you and your lifestyle quite a bit before turning one of their pups over to you. Some breeders will offer after-sale advice on raising the puppy.

The Good About Breeders

  • Breeders are good when you need a specific breed of dog NOW.

  • See a breeder if you want to raise a puppy from the ground up and teach it everything it is to know.

  • See a breeder if you plan to show your dog in the ring and you need papers.

  • See a breeder if you want a puppy with presumably no known hereditary illnesses. (Even then you can’t be absolutely 100% sure all of the time.)

If you buy your puppy from a breeder, you may be able to call on the breeder for advice and counsel if you run into trouble raising the puppy. Some breeders are better than others about this. If you can do it, this is a real plus for the adoption vs breeder list.

The Bad About Breeders

  • Trying to Find a truly REPUTABLE and honest breeder.

  • Cost, $500 to $1500 for a puppy, depending on the breed, breeder and location.

The Negative Of Puppies

For the discussion of what's good and bad about dog adoption verses breeders, there has to be a mention of puppies, because that's what breeders offer.

  • You’ll have to pay to spay or neuter your puppy. While some folks do this as young as 8 weeks, I prefer the old standard of 5 to 6 months for the surgery.

  • The puppy will need a series of vaccinations as it grows a few weeks older so there will be additional vet costs.

  • Puppies are a full time chore just like a new born baby coming home from the hospital. They squeal, squirm around, and are perpetual peeing and pooping gizmos. They chew on everything in sight, whine and bark, then pee and go to sleep. Think of that when you ponder the adoption vs breeder question.

    At this point, if you would like, please visit one of our pages on puppy training for a few ideas and some food for thought.

  • Puppies eat 3 to 4 times a day depending on their age and go out doors 15 minutes after each feeding, plus immediately after waking up which is also 3 or so times a day and night.

  • As soon as your new puppy comes home from the breeder, you should set up a “puppy schedule” that includes a set time for exercise, sleeping, potty training, crate training, behavior training, feeding, bathing and grooming.

Once you establish a puppy schedule, keep it! Dogs are highly routine oriented. They thrive on schedules at ALL ages.

The puppy and the kitty - friends.
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New puppy meets baby
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What’s Good About Puppies

It's important to include a few positive items about puppies for the adoption vs breeders list to balance things out. Some folks simply want a puppy, plain and simple.

  • Assuming you go to a reputable breeder, you will bring home a puppy that comes from the finest of stock and is free of disease.

  • The puppy should have been adequately socialized and handled INSIDE a private residence so will be familiar with common sounds of a working household, vacuum cleaner, dishwasher and all.

  • The puppy has not yet learned any bad habits.

  • The puppy should have been taught a few basic commands like “sit” and “down” if the breeder was on the ball.

  • You should know, by having looked at the parents, if you will have a big dog or small dog. This is something you'll have to guess at if you get the puppy from the dog pound.

  • The puppy will grow up to be what YOU make her to be, after putting in many long hours of tedious work in training sessions.

There is a nutshell explanation of Dog Adoption vs Breeders, a common question for many people and one I’ve had to answer many times.

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