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Old 12-14-2012, 11:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The only thing I can think of for this is that if the dog is "rescued" / adopted around age 3 and up ... the gamble's not as high since they've likely had a chance to do all the temperment testing, etc. And healthwise, they can do x-rays for hips, and all the other stuff ... with a puppy ... you haven't a clue ... because none of these traits have shown up yet

For example: size, weight, hyper, calm, etc ...
Agreed. I don't think the health "gamble" is any better, probably worse. Rescues don't do testing unless necessary. But if the rescue is good, they've had the dog in foster and know exactly what the issues may be and the personality of the dog.

There are pros and cons to puppy from a good breeder and getting a rescue. It's an argument we've had many times on the board.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It depends one what means by "gamble" really. If one equates that to a 50/50 coin toss, or worse casino or lottery odds, than I would disagree with the statements that getting a pup from a breeder is a gamble. A buyer doing his/her research and using a reputable breeder certainly has much better odds.

If by "gamble" one means that the outcome is not certain and there is the possibility that things may not turn out as planned and hoped, regardless of how much research is done or how reputable the breeder and solid the bloodline, than I would agree. Had that happen myself as both a customer and as a breeder.

As far as breeder vs rescue vs anything else, the biggest factor to me there is age. A breeder puppy is less of a gamble than a rescue puppy, just based on how much is able to be known about the genetics behind the breeder pup and how much is unknown about the genetics behind the rescue pup.

But if talking a breeder pup vs a rescue adult, now things are different. The older the dog, regardless of where it comes from, the more that is known about that individual dog. The older the dog the less the pedigree is important, and the less any temperament testing or health testing of generations past matters. As the saying goes "pedigree says what a dog should be, the dog tells you who he IS". With a puppy, many temperament and health issues remain to be seen. With an adult, they can be seen. No guesswork based on pedigree and relatives is needed. They are simply either present or not and the chances of things changing in the future are much lower when the dog being looked at is already mature.

So I would say getting an older dog, any older dog, is less of a gamble than getting a puppy, any puppy.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Ahhhh....this is a touchy subject with me. I have always felt that there is no need to buy a dog from a breeder. I do a lot of volunteer work and fostering (cats) for a local rescue group and know all too well the amount of animals needing homes. However, I have had a couple of bad experiences with a couple of rescue dogs and swore I would never own one again. Actually, I swore that after my Tia girl is gone that I would never have any dog again! Yet, here I am. Baby Karly is coming next week. I sometimes feel guilty about it (not getting a rescue) but then I feel like I know what I am getting and won't go through the heartache that I have in the past. With that being said, Tia is a rescue and is THE best girl I have ever met. They don't all come with problems and I will continue to steer people towards rescue dogs.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Yeah, I agree that they are living creatures and thus there will be some uncertainty there. But often the "logic" (I quote that because I'm skeptical that it's actually logical) is that when one buys from a breeder, there is risk that the dog will not turn out to meet the buyer's needs, while on the other hand, a buyer could rescue a dog which they are more able to interact with the dog to see if it meets their needs or not.

I'm making the claim that if the breeder is consistently producing dogs that have a structure that you prefer, whose breeding stock holds a temperament that you prefer, whose dogs are producing wins in the sports you prefer, whose dogs are maintaining a modicum of health that you desire-- then such "gambles" are so far reduced to be almost negligible. But rescue, you generally don't know the baggage, or the health, or the background, or really anything that you get when buying from a quality breeder.

I just don't see the logic in stating that a rescue removes the gamble that a puppy brings.
I agree with this. In addition, when you rescue you usually do not get a trial period in your home long enough where you are actually seeing the 'real' dog anyway. How many times have people adopted a dog and a couple of months later they remark that the dog is "an entirely different dog" than they thought they had adopted? Unless the adopter has experience with dog behavior, I'm not sure the interactions are really much help at all.

Basically I think taking on a living being is a gamble, regardless. You can stack the deck in your favor but you'll never eliminate all (maybe even most) risk.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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As the saying goes "pedigree says what a dog should be, the dog tells you who he IS".

So I would say getting an older dog, any older dog, is less of a gamble than getting a puppy, any puppy.
Hmmm... I didn't expect that coming from you. I think that's a good saying; it makes sense. But not all medical issues can be seen in the adult rescue dog. (I'm having a hard time coming up with an example other than hip dysplasia- which CAN be checked). Certainly there are other genetic issues (perhaps DM? Chronic Heart Failure?) that are not so easily checked.

I don't know. If the idea is to get a SPORT dog, it just makes sense to me that a puppy from a very well known genetic past is probably less of a gamble than an adult rescue who seems promising, but might die of heart failure the first time he jumps the apex of an a-frame, or breaks a leg due to weak bones when falling off a dog walk...
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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It depends one what means by "gamble" really. If one equates that to a 50/50 coin toss, or worse casino or lottery odds, than I would disagree with the statements that getting a pup from a breeder is a gamble. A buyer doing his/her research and using a reputable breeder certainly has much better odds.

If by "gamble" one means that the outcome is not certain and there is the possibility that things may not turn out as planned and hoped, regardless of how much research is done or how reputable the breeder and solid the bloodline, than I would agree. Had that happen myself as both a customer and as a breeder.

As far as breeder vs rescue vs anything else, the biggest factor to me there is age. A breeder puppy is less of a gamble than a rescue puppy, just based on how much is able to be known about the genetics behind the breeder pup and how much is unknown about the genetics behind the rescue pup.

But if talking a breeder pup vs a rescue adult, now things are different. The older the dog, regardless of where it comes from, the more that is known about that individual dog. The older the dog the less the pedigree is important, and the less any temperament testing or health testing of generations past matters. As the saying goes "pedigree says what a dog should be, the dog tells you who he IS". With a puppy, many temperament and health issues remain to be seen. With an adult, they can be seen. No guesswork based on pedigree and relatives is needed. They are simply either present or not and the chances of things changing in the future are much lower when the dog being looked at is already mature.

So I would say getting an older dog, any older dog, is less of a gamble than getting a puppy, any puppy.
Perfectly said.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hmmm... I didn't expect that coming from you. I think that's a good saying; it makes sense. But not all medical issues can be seen in the adult rescue dog. (I'm having a hard time coming up with an example other than hip dysplasia- which CAN be checked). Certainly there are other genetic issues (perhaps DM? Chronic Heart Failure?) that are not so easily checked.

I don't know. If the idea is to get a SPORT dog, it just makes sense to me that a puppy from a very well known genetic past is probably less of a gamble than an adult rescue who seems promising, but might die of heart failure the first time he jumps the apex of an a-frame, or breaks a leg due to weak bones when falling off a dog walk...
If you're looking at an adult, most things can be checked. Heart can be checked by a cardiologist armed with an echocardiogram. Hips, elbows, shoulders, back can be checked with x-rays. DM cheek swab can be done at any age to see if the dog is at risk (if one puts stock in the current DM DNA test). Full blood work can be run to check for a slew of other things.

All of that is going to cost money. Quite a lot of money. Probably more than most people would be inclined to invest in a rescue dog they are interested in. But the point is that it CAN be done on an adult if someone wants to pay for it. It can't be done on a puppy.

Will it rule out all potential health issues? No, of course not. Nothing will with an adult or a puppy. But it rules out the majority of those that are the most common and most likely to affect the dog's quality of life and ability to participate in sport or other activities. The health issues remaining that can't be tested for are mostly ones that affect senior dogs, are less common, and often appear far more random so even knowing the pedigree and background of the dog wouldn't provide a much better guess at what the future may bring.

Now if one wants the smallest possible gamble of all, buy an adult dog that has been temperament and health tested but also has a known pedigree. And pay the price that goes along with that level of assurance.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Wildo..I think if you want to make sure you get the winner..you need to buy the winner! When you are ready...go make an offer on the top agility dog in the country.

Then, you know what you have!! You have the winner!! Thats how horse people do it!!

But, logically...you just never know..for certain! That is why my mother has six or seven (not sure?) border collies. All bred for herding, good lines..some didnt want to herd, so they do agility! Some did not want to do agility, (poor work ethic..lol) so they do therapy.. You get the picture. But, I forgot..her best agility dog was given to her because he did not like frisbee exhibitions!

You are an engineer..I dont know if you can "build" the perfect dog. A breeder can certainly strive toward the breed standard..but does the dog love your choosen sport. Only time will tell.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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In my own experience I got exactly what I thought I was going I get temperament wise with both dogs I purchased from breeders. However one of them (from a reputable breeder) has TERRIBLE allergies, so ya I think health wise it's always a bit of a gamble. I have also had rescues with terrible health and with great health. Buy pet insurance! To me the temperament in a lot of ways is less of a gamble than health.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Wildo..I think if you want to make sure you get the winner..you need to buy the winner! When you are ready...go make an offer on the top agility dog in the country.

Then, you know what you have!! You have the winner!! Thats how horse people do it!!
And then just like the horse people, you find out that the animal was only part of the equation, and your trainer-handler-animal team is lacking something that the prior team wasn't and lo-and-behold you STILL don't have the winner!

But, at least you know your losses aren't because the animal doesn't have what it takes

(Or in the case of my old trainer, you take a world champion horse and rider and on a whim you change the bits 30min before the event without telling your rider. Then you wonder why the horse now looks like crap on toast and why your rider is ready to skin you alive when you explain why the horse was completely unresponsive to the reins)
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