You can’t walk past a dachshund in a designer sweater, a blinged-out bichon, or a sassy Scotty on the sidewalk without asking, “Can I pet your dog?” You’re ready to share your home and life with a new dog. Oh, you can’t wait! He’ll go everywhere with you—picnics, brunch, even vacation. Where do you find your perfect pooch partner?
You’ve heard rescue dogs are sometimes aggressive or fearful. But your neighbor is constantly emailing you petitions to stop puppy mills. It’s confusing.
Here are a few tips to help you decide where to find your match - mutt or Maltese.
To rescue, or not to rescue.
All rescue dogs have baggage, right? That’s a common misconception. Some shelter dogs, even those who with horrible life experiences, are loving and forgiving of their past. Before you walk into your local animal shelter, consider these tips:
- Savings! You’ll save two lives—your beloved new dog and the dog who will move into his old digs. Plus, adoption fees are often $100-300, which includes vaccinations and neutering.
- The unspoken naughty behavior pass. Friends and family can be more compassionate when rescue dogs are learning polite manners.“Sorry, he barked at you, he’s a rescue dog” often earns empathetic nods.
- Speaking of training, some rescue dogs are already potty trained. Place your potty pad on the floor and grab some yummy treats, you’ll be on your way to good housebreaking habits in no time.
- Unknown history: Unless your rescue dog lives with a foster family, it’s hard to determine if he’s good with kids, cats, and other pets.
- Not all shelters are created equally, support reputable rescues. Does the staff check on their adopters after dogs leave their facility? Do volunteers provide support if you encounter behavior issues?
Good breeders = happy puppies.
Is your cousin’s chihuahua the cutest character? Is your sister’s schnauzer the silliest sidekick? Heed our helpful advice about puppy breeders before bringing home your Havanese.
- Reputation: Good breeders (please conduct thorough research) care about their puppies’ health, temperament, and early socialization, so you enjoy a happy dog for years to come.
- Puppies love learning and are eager to please! Gently guide your puppy to his pad every 20 minutes, in the beginning, so he learns where you want him to pee.
- Socialization: Puppies have distinct development stages, so you’ll be able to teach your puppy confident and friendly behavior towards the people and pets who matter to you.
- Contrary to popular opinion, puppies aren’t behavioral blank slates. Even if you bring home a young puppy, he can develop behavior issues.
- Not all breeders are created equally, support reputable breeders. Do the dogs at the breeder’s facility look healthy and happy? Does the breeder offer assistance if your puppy develops health or behavior issues.
Bringing home a new dog is so exciting, we hope these tips help you decide which choice is right for you - rescue dog or new puppy.
Looking for a puppy training pad for your new pooch?