Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Canine Consultant Column - Breeder Or Rescue Group?

Breeder or Rescue Group?

Where should my next dog be coming from? Let’s be honest, at minimum 4 million pets are needlessly euthanized each year in North America alone. We have been for some time now and are still living with a grossly overpopulated pet epidemic. Who is to blame? The easy answer is to blame the breeder’s, they keep breeding more and more litters each and every year. Although this is true, responsible breeders are NOT to blame. Breeders are only keeping up with demand, and breed as many litters as the public will buy. The overpopulation problem lies with you, me and the rest of the dog world. Potential new dog owners do not do adequate research before committing to their new fluff ball. Once home with our new pup, we may start to realize ‘oh man what have I gotten myself into.’ The dog needs too much attention, I don’t have the time, or you may find that he marked on your favorite couch cushion. Without adequate research and homework regarding the potential new addition a lot of people simply give up on the dog. They are tired of dealing with ‘that dog’ that pee’s inside, or ‘that dog’ that just won’t listen, so they end up surrendering their one time buddy. Oddly enough is that most will ‘try’ testing out another ‘different’ pet or dog in the future, with the same hope and see approach.

If our mindset were to change and we humans were to keep our pets through good times and bad as
they do with their children, only then will the demand for new puppies decrease or subside.

Shelters and rescue groups are another option other than going to a breeder. Unfortunately this is
where all the dumped pets end up. Google ‘petfinder’ online and see for yourself; for example there
are over 200 Weimaraner’ s currently up for adoption in North America alone. Yes over 200 of a single breed and that is not one of the large volume dog breeds. Again breeder’s only breed what they can sell, at least reputable breeders. How than are breeder’s at fault for another humans decision to abandon/ forfeit their dog? Conversely any reputable breeder would gladly take back one of their own, no matter what the reason. In fact lots of breeder’s make the new dog parents sign a contract stating if you cannot for any reason care for the dog they must be returned to the breeder, before handing over the new addition. Reputable breeders’ DO NOT sell dog’s online, on message boards, or any other type of social media. The most likely do have a website but will under no circumstance sell a dog over the internet. They certainly will not ship you a dog once you have forwarded them your credit card, and lastly they are not ‘just holding the puppies for a friend’. This is where you have to do your due diligence and talk to the dog community (trainer, owners, and vets) get information on the subject. Where did you get your dog? Do you know of a reputable breeder, are two sample questions you can start with. Personally I would not purchase a pet from a breeder nor adopt from a shelter/rescue unless a pre existing contract is there for both parties to sign and be held accountable. Good breeders and respectable shelters will gladly take a dog back if a major issue is discovered; in fact they will work with you to help find the perfect match for you and your lifestyle.

Common sense is not so common. If you find yourself at a shelter or breeder and something doesn’t
feel quite right- get out. Do not buy your next family member (pet) online! Insist on meeting with the mother dog if buying from a breeder. Request seeing the facility if acquiring from a shelter. All
responsible breeder’s shelters and rescues will gladly take the time to answer all of your questions and concerns. They actually appreciate it, for one they get a feel for you, and that you are going to be the final home for the dog. Second is that they get to talk about the dogs and you get an inside look at their passion in life.

Buying or Rescuing a dog is a process, take the time, talk to the dog community and adequately research this decision thoroughly before following through. It is a bigger decision than buying your next car- chances are a car will only last you 5-7 years these days, and last I checked they do not have feelings and a heartbeat. Do not buy a dog from Kijiji, EBay, Craigslist or any other online message board- can you say puppy mill! Again even though it isn’t that common, use your sense!

Forward any and all questions we are your Canine Consultants, looking forward to serving your needs, one step at a time, 2 legs or 4.

Matthew Belvedere aka the Canine Consultant


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