Buying vs Rescuing? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 191 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Buying vs Rescuing?

I kind of hinted at this in a post in a response to a separate thread, but I was wondering what your opinions were about buying vs adopting/rescuing. When I say buying, I'm referring to from a reputable breeder, and you can take rescue however you'd like.

With all the dogs out there do you ever feel guilty buying a well bred dog for $1200-1500? Do you rationalize it as you know what you're getting in terms of a dog?

I know I struggle with this myself so I was just wondering what your thoughts on the subject where. I bought my Lab and would really like to buy a GSD in the future. We've always rescued dogs in the past and I've been really tempted to rescue a 2nd dog while I've been in vet school (you can only imagine). I'm kind of holding out for my future shepherd though.
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post #2 of 191 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 12:46 PM
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I don't think there needs to be any guilt with buying a dog. I rescued Sasha, but I do want to buy one someday. I won't feel guilty. I rescued this time because A) I didn't have 1200-1500 lying around B) I decided I wanted an adult dog with a known temperament. For me rescuing made sense. In the future I hope to have the money and also I will be wanting a dog for a specific thing. Even if I didn't I wouldn't feel bad about wanting a dog with a sound temperament and thus buying a dog from a good breeder. I love Sasha, but having a dog that's so afraid of fireworks/gunfire that they'll hold it for almost 17hrs so they don't have to go outside is frustrating. I would love a fearless dog. It's all about what you want. No need to feel guilty; you didn't put those dogs in the shelter.

~Sasha~{GSD}~ 3ish~Gotcha day January, 29, 2011
~Monte~{Golden Retriever}~ (RIP)~ 1997-2009

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post #3 of 191 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 12:50 PM
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With all the dogs out there do you ever feel guilty buying a well bred dog for $1200-1500? Do you rationalize it as you know what you're getting in terms of a dog?
Absolutely not. For me, guilt is NOT a valid reason to obtain a dog from any source. I have a small home, smaller yard, limited financial resources, and I work full time. Even before personal preferences come into play, these factors alone limit what dogs/types of dogs I can reasonably take on without causing undue stress on the current dogs (and people). For example, one time we looked at adopting a male GSD mix and we really like him but he had pretty bad separation anxiety. How can I be fair to a dog with severe SA when I know I'm going to be gone 8 hours a day? I'm not saying all rescue/adoption cases have problems but many of them do have special considerations.

I also have to consider that I already have two intact male dogs, both very strong dogs (physically and in their will). They do not tolerate just any dog being thrust into the household. It's safer and less stressful for everyone that I stick with puppies until I'm in a situation where I have the space to integrate adult dogs. My highest priority is always to the current dogs. I'm not going to force them to deal with a new dog because I feel guilty about not taking on that dog. Regardless of where it comes from, if I feel a dog's temperament is not going to fit in my household, I just can't have that dog.

When I get a new dog I'm looking for a very specific temperament. Sometimes a rescue fit, sometimes not. We got Coke from a rescue when we were looking for a very laid back, fun-loving, no drive, social, family pet type dog that was already proven to be reliable in the house (no crating necessary). I bought Pan when I was looking for a working dog with more prey drive, correct size, more of a sport type pedigree.

The most important thing is that if there's not a dog available that meets my criteria I DONT GET A DOG. It's not like a rescue dog dies when I buy a puppy. I don't start with a list of criteria and then keep scratching items off and looking for more dogs if I can't find what I want. I just wait until what I want is available. It's not like I'm purchasing rather than or instead of rescuing. I always look at rescues and shelters first. Most times they don't have what I'm looking for.
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post #4 of 191 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MegansGrace View Post
With all the dogs out there do you ever feel guilty buying a well bred dog for $1200-1500? Do you rationalize it as you know what you're getting in terms of a dog?
You know what you are getting when you adopt an adult dog.

I've never purchased a dog from a reputable breeder and given that my work involves rescue dogs and I foster quite a bit, I suspect it will be a long time before I have the room or option to purchase a dog. That said, I do not judge people who would rather purchase responsibly rather than rescue.

Jamie

Raven (GSD) - December 8, 2007
Kaiser (GSD) - November 2009
Holly (GSD) - March 24, 2011

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post #5 of 191 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 12:51 PM
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I never thought about feeling guilty. I wanted a GSD and found a breeder and really thought my second GSD would come from a breeder was thinking about number 2 from a breeder and even had the breeder picked out and then a friend called from a shelter and told me about this GSD there. Almost didn't get her because she growled at my current GSD when we went to visit But she came to visit our house and all was fine. I would get a rescue again
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post #6 of 191 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 01:07 PM
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I'm not in favor of casual backyard breeding, but it chaps my hide when people say that ANY breeder, no matter how responsible, is killing shelter dogs just by the act of breeding. So yeah, some people will lay on the guilt if you don't do shelter or rescue adoption.

I personally have done both. Gotten pets from shelters/rescue, and bought purebreds from reputable breeders. And I'd do either one again, depending on the situation. I don't feel guilty for buying from a reputable breeder--if good breeders aren't around, we will no longer have well-bred, purebred dogs... And as much as some breeds need help, I'd hate to see all purebreds go away forever.
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post #7 of 191 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Absolutely not. For me, guilt is NOT a valid reason to obtain a dog from any source. I have a small home, smaller yard, limited financial resources, and I work full time. Even before personal preferences come into play, these factors alone limit what dogs/types of dogs I can reasonably take on without causing undue stress on the current dogs (and people). For example, one time we looked at adopting a male GSD mix and we really like him but he had pretty bad separation anxiety. How can I be fair to a dog with severe SA when I know I'm going to be gone 8 hours a day? I'm not saying all rescue/adoption cases have problems but many of them do have special considerations.

I also have to consider that I already have two intact male dogs, both very strong dogs (physically and in their will). They do not tolerate just any dog being thrust into the household. It's safer and less stressful for everyone that I stick with puppies until I'm in a situation where I have the space to integrate adult dogs. My highest priority is always to the current dogs. I'm not going to force them to deal with a new dog because I feel guilty about not taking on that dog. Regardless of where it comes from, if I feel a dog's temperament is not going to fit in my household, I just can't have that dog.

When I get a new dog I'm looking for a very specific temperament. Sometimes a rescue fit, sometimes not. We got Coke from a rescue when we were looking for a very laid back, fun-loving, no drive, social, family pet type dog that was already proven to be reliable in the house (no crating necessary). I bought Pan when I was looking for a working dog with more prey drive, correct size, more of a sport type pedigree.

The most important thing is that if there's not a dog available that meets my criteria I DONT GET A DOG. It's not like a rescue dog dies when I buy a puppy. I don't start with a list of criteria and then keep scratching items off and looking for more dogs if I can't find what I want. I just wait until what I want is available. It's not like I'm purchasing rather than or instead of rescuing. I always look at rescues and shelters first. Most times they don't have what I'm looking for.
This is how I feel.

Viking is my first dog after years of loving the dogs my family and friends had. I did not want to take on a rescue that could potentialy be from a back yard breeder or have some sort of illness or "baggage". I have rescued animals my entire life, this includes five cats, a horse, and a bird that I nursed to health and took care of when he broke his wing. I was fifteen and used my allowance to pay for a vet to help the bird. I spent three years volunteering at a horse rescue.

In my experience with animals, I have had and met some amazing rescue animals. I have had rescue pets that are sound in personality and in health. However that being said, I disagree with the "common belief" that mutts are healthier than purebreds. The most depressing illnesses or animal deaths I ever saw were with mutts. Purebred dogs and cats do have their genetic problems, but people have a misconception that purebreds are constantly inbred. Despite having papers that show Viking having no inbred relatives for at least four generations, I know people who refuse to believe that he isn't inbred. Sure, a lot of inbreeding can occur during the development of a breed, but most breeds have been around for so many generations that it's no longer relavent. These people genuinely believe that purebred dogs are less intelligent and inferior to rescue mutts.

Responsibly bred, purebred dogs are not more susceptible to disease. They are not less intelligent. They are just dogs. I don't feel guilty because I bought him instead of rescuing because I know that, if it was the right dog at the right time, I'd rescue in a heartbeat. If anything, the whole shelter vs purebred thing makes me extremely angry because people who adopt their pets use it to think they're better than everyone else. If you truly love animals, you would love them regardless of where they came from. Shelter vs breeder should not matter. Adopting a shelter pet does not mean you love animals more than anybody else.

The only thing that matters is what is right for you.

Viking vom Zeder-Kamme (11/19/2011)

Last edited by ladyfreckles; 01-21-2012 at 01:10 PM.
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post #8 of 191 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 01:17 PM
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With all the dogs out there do you ever feel guilty buying a well bred dog for $1200-1500? Do you rationalize it as you know what you're getting in terms of a dog?
Guilty - not in the least. I have been involved with rescue for years and am on the BOD for my local Humane Society. When my kids were young we always had one or two pets that were strays that we took in and kept.

For my working dogs I prefer buying from a breeder whose lines have the temperament and personalities that I need for a specific job.

And like has already been said - I have no guilt over the dogs in shelters as I didn't put them there and I do the best that I can to educate in the community on responsible dog ownership. I have devoted a chunk of my life and personal finances to help find homes for those in need and that wasn't because of any guilt but a desire to do so. As to "rationalize it" yes I do. I choose what I rescue/adopt/buy based on what my goals and purposes are.

In my future (3-5 years) I see two dogs - one male GSD purchased as a pup to mainly be an assistance dog (possibly in home only) and working companion with my non-profit activities and one young adult smaller female (breed not decided, possibly mix rescue) for Therapy visits and demo work.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #9 of 191 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 01:22 PM
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buying from a reputable or rescuing? i think
both are good choices but i think by rescuing
you're doing more of a service. i've done
both.
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post #10 of 191 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 01:26 PM
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I wouldnt hesitate for one second to spend whatever amount of money required to purchase a dog from a breeder or trainer IF i had a specific goal for the animal in mind, but since I dont have any particular goals for my dog, I just got one from a shelter/rescue, and I couldnt be more pleased with the way everything has turned out.
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