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Should I adopt or purchase a new dog?

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So you have decided to add a dog to your family, but where should you get your dog?  I’m sure you have heard all the hype from both sides about how buying a puppy will cause suffering for many others or about how rescue dogs have behavioral problems and you should start fresh with a well bred puppy.  Both of these sentiments have a kernel of truth to them, but they are both extremes.

  

Buying a dog from a source such as a puppy mill, backyard breeder, or a pet store only perpetuates the cycle of abuse that many of the breeding dogs in those situation experience.  These puppies are often inbred, or poorly bred, and can be susceptible to many genetic conditions.  Their early puppyhood is spent in a space devoid of enrichment and can cause them to develop early fears and behavioral problems that are very hard to combat as they grow.

  

Buying a dog from a responsible, reputable breeder will often provide you with support and knowledge of your dog’s genetic history.  You can be certain that your puppy will not inherit genetic conditions such as hip displaysia, or Von Willebrand’s disease.  You will have an idea of how big your puppy will be as an adult as well as knowing what his or her temperament will be like.  A good breeder will be with you for the life of your dog and often, beyond.  Identifying a good breeder can be hard. You can read about what questions to ask to help decide if a breeder is right for you.

 

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Adopting a dog from a rescue group that does not take responsibility for their dogs and their placements, can often lead to trouble for the dog and for the human family.  A rescue group that is more interested in the bottom line, than in ensuring their dogs go to the right homes can put together bad matches where an unsuitable dog is placed with an unsuitable family causing many dangerous problems.  In some cases you will have no knowledge of the dog’s history or background, and you may encounter health or behavioral problems that will be hard to solve.

 

Adopting a dog from a responsible, reputable rescue group can often be a wonderful experience.  A good rescue group can help you and your family decide just what kind of dog would be right for you and they can match you with one of their many dogs in need of a home.  Good rescue groups, like good breeders will be with you for the life of your dog and often, beyond.  They often have local resources like dog trainers and pet sitters that they can vouch for to help you and your dog get off to the right start. Identifying a good rescue group can be hard. You can read about what questions to ask to help decide if a rescue group is right for you.

 

Buying a dog or puppy from a reputable, responsible breeder is no more or less moral than adopting a dog or puppy from a reputable, responsible rescue.  What matters the most is which is the right choice for your family and situation.

 

Here are some questions to ask yourself and your family to help decide which is the right choice for you.

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