Why you MUST visit your local shelter, even if you plan to buy a purebred pup from a breeder...
There are an estimated 3.2 million dogs in shelters, and you might be surprised by this next fact; many of these are purebreds! This figure is shocking, and everyone would agree that saving a dog’s life, and bringing down this huge number, is the right thing to do. Nonetheless, it is also understandable if many dog lovers choose to buy from a breeder. We have different needs and preferences, and noone should be judged for that…
In fact, by making certain you are choosing the right dog for you, whether from a shelter or from a breeder, you can help reduce the need for shelters in the first place.
Here's a secret few know… Wherever you want to choose a dog from, going to a shelter first is a massively important step. And not only for the obvious reason you might be thinking of...
Question: So why should every potential new dog owner go to a shelter?
Answer: Because they have the strictest protocol to ensure you will be the right owner for your chosen dog breed, or individual puppy.
Dedicated dog lovers who work at shelters are determined not to have the dog you choose end up at a shelter in the future. They are rigorous in making sure you will be a lifelong, permanent owner and will not return the dog. The questions they ask ensure ...
- You are ready and understand what you are getting into
- You are responsible and capable of dog ownership
- Your lifestyle is suitable for the breed or dog
When you visit a dog shelter and show interest in getting a puppy, you must fill out a questionnaire about your life, going into a lot of detail.
Shelter Questions include...
- if the dog will live inside or outside
- the activity level in your home
- where the dog will sleep at night
- how long you will leave the dog unattended
- how you plan to discipline the dog
- what you will do when the dog misbehaves
- if you have children or other pets in the home
These questions are designed to determine which dog or breed is right for you, if any. Sometimes people have their hearts set on a dog that might not fit in well with their family. Instead of risking the dog being returned, a shelter will ensure you pick the right dog for your lifestyle, home, and family; right from the start!
Why is this so important?
Well here are the top 10 reasons why dogs end up in shelters! And I am sorry to say that almost all of them come down to lack of preparation and proper thought by a dog owner.
Lack of training - a new owner is not aware, or not fully prepared for, the amount of training necessary
Lifestyle changes - the new owner hasn’t factored in potential changes to their life, and how it could affect the puppy.
Moving - it has been known to happen that when a dog owner gets a new house, they choose not to take the dog with them as they want to keep it clean and tidy.
Not enough time for a pet - this is sadly a very common one, where people with busy lives choose a dog, and discover they are not willing, or able, to prioritise the dog.
Cost of dog ownership - from vet bills, to food, to grooming and more, it is so common for people to underestimate the price tag for dog ownership.
Health issues - this is just sad, many would say shocking, but when a dog becomes ill, injured, or older, some ‘people’ actually choose to rid themselves of a dog rather than take the extra care that is necessary.
Biting - whether from aggression or just a nip from a playful puppy, at the first bite a dog can be back at a kennel. But this can so often be resolved with effective and immediate training.
Too many animals in the home - from impulse buying, to failure to spay or neuter, people can realise they have just too many dogs in their home.
Allergies within household - It isn’t always possible to be aware of an allergy, but it is always best to try and find out beforehand if someone in the household is going to have trouble.
Strays and rescues - This one is okay! Good samaritans find dogs on the street, and take them in while they search for their family. But often it requires the dog to go to the shelter, when their home isn’t found.
ALMOST ALL OF THESE ISSUES CAN BE BROUGHT TO A DOG SEEKERS ATTENTION, AND RESOLVED BEFORE CHOOSING… SIMPLY BY TAKING PART IN THE THOROUGH QUESTIONING AT A DOG SHELTER.
If you successfully pass the shelter’s test and are approved for getting a dog, then you know you are ready to live with one. Then, you may well choose to adopt a purebred dog from a shelter.
But if you still wish to choose from a breeder, then now you can do so with confidence. And you can be assured that you will not waste your money (after all you don’t want to pay for a purebred dog, and see that investment go down the drain when you have to rehome your dog).
So WHEREVER YOU CHOOSE YOUR PUPPY,
go to a shelter first, and make use of their expert knowledge!
This will mean that more people will make their puppy buying/adopting decisions responsibly and so we will lower the number of dogs ending up in a shelter later. This is the most effective way of helping dogs.
And remember you can help yourself out too by doing lots of research about your chosen breed, but also where the best place is for you to choose from. Finding the right place is just as important as finding the right dog. And if you are dreaming of a pure breed, then a community like Wuuff provides all the crucial information and support you need for discovering the right dog, from the right breeder.