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So I know the general consensus about adopting vs breeder and I totally support local rescues, but I keep having one thing pop into my mind lately. Puppies. I've finally gotten Tessa's training right where I want her. She hasn't had a reactive moment in over 4 months, we've been steadily increasing our training around the general public with zero incidents, she's able to meet or avoid (depending on my command - feel like there's a better word for it) other dogs while with me on leash. We've re socialized, we've began playing agility at my friends acreage - they have a set, I have no access to the real stuff in my city without a 'papered' dog. She's calm on walks, she's greeting strangers nicely, she has impulse control:D and well Tessa's become a down right amazing recovering reactive :D

So I've been bitten by the puppy fever. I think I'm a little insane. But here's the thing, Tessa is fine with dogs in the house, puppies especially (she would've been a good mom) but I refuse to just bring in any puppy. First it needs to be a breed that I like - lab, golden, flat coat (!) and second it has to have a calm, confident, demeanour. I don't want to go through another 3 years of recovery with another reactive dog. My feeling is I should go breeder, get what I want personality wise, but then I see a lot ( I mean A LOT) of pound puppies come into our clinic with great personalities who need adoption - I'm just worried I'm naturally drawn to the head cases. So conflicted.

So I come to you guys to get an opinion. I have researched breeders and am ok waiting and continuing training until Tessa's brother (as we call him) comes. I want what I want personality wise, and the breeds are difficult to find, but then I worry I won't connect.

I guess if this is the only thing I'm worried about, it's not so bad lol
 
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As someone with a reactive dog, I can tell you that my next dog will be from a breeder - hands down. Partially because the breed I want is nearly impossible to find in shelters, but also because I want a bit more of a stable start.

I've rescued, have and will continue to donate to shelters, and will rescue in the future too (probably an adult dog).

I know there's no guarantees even with a responsibly bred dog, I just want to stack the odds as much in my favor as possible the next go around.
 

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I always turn to shelters or rescues. There are many, many puppies in shelters so if that's what you want, you are sure to find one. In fact, the rescue I volunteer at recently has two litters up for adoption. Their is zero shortage of dogs in the shelters and you are sure to find the perfect match.
No reason to support breeders (even "responsible" ones) when their are puppies being born by the thousands in shelters.
If you do go to a breeder make sure that they show and title their dogs, not just health test them. To many breeders are called responsible because they health test even though they never prove their dogs to be ideal examples of the breed.
 

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I have two breeder puppies and can't say enough good things about the temperaments of both my dogs. They take everything in stride, easy, social, friendly, and happy. I know there seems to be kind of a bias against breeders, and I do feel for all the dogs in shelter, but I don't regret my choices at all.
 

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Lol, Calm retriever puppy? Didn't know they exist!:p

Joking aside, do what you feel is right for you at this time. There are great puppies in rescue and shelters. Lab/lab mix are especially easy to come by in my area. But choosing to buy from a reputable breeder is also a perfectly valid choice. :)

I would say write down exactly what you want temperament wise so you can stick to it better. Cute faces can be hard to resist. Go to some shows and check out breeders and their dogs to see who you like. Also keep your options open with rescue/shelter. You'll likely stumble across the right addition. :)
 

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Lol, Calm retriever puppy? Didn't know they exist!:p

Joking aside, do what you feel is right for you at this time. There are great puppies in rescue and shelters. Lab/lab mix are especially easy to come by in my area. But choosing to buy from a reputable breeder is also a perfectly valid choice. :)

I would say write down exactly what you want temperament wise so you can stick to it better. Cute faces can be hard to resist. Go to some shows and check out breeders and their dogs to see who you like. Also keep your options open with rescue/shelter. You'll likely stumble across the right addition. :)
Right? lol - I guess the word I was going for was stable lol. I'm used to, and love, the hyper activity but a more stable personality would be best to counter Tessa's constant "on" personality. She's done best with dogs who are confident in themselves, yet able to submit, and easy going. Picture the idea of retriever breed standard. That's only what, one in million lol

I get that all puppies have their own personality, and every breeder I've talked with thus far has come and visited Tessa to see what she's like and input if what traits they breed are compatible. So far they all love her and love what I've with her. I mean she's a psychological mess, but she seems so normal to outside people.
@Ursie - I can think plenty of times to support a registered reputable breeder, without them there would be no stable personalities because all the dogs will just mate as they may and whatever is created is what it is. And if we fixed all the dogs, well after a few generations there would be no dogs. The breeders I've been in contact with are not in it for money, health test, and field trial test their dogs (they are gun dogs). I also have my name down at the humane society.

I love rescues, but I'm very much on the fence if I could choose a dog accurately and maybe I would much rather have one chosen for me. Add to that the border collie and border collie/labs are the typical rescue around her and I'm just not sure if I'm smart enough to keep ahead of Tessa and another bc. I've also kept my mind open in case the right older pup or adult comes along.
 
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Hmm, that's a hard one. I can understand wanting to go through a reputable breeder for a puppy, but can also see the upside in getting a puppy from a rescue. I got my boy Timber through rescue. The vet guessed him to be about 4 months old when I got him and he was literally dumped out of a car on a rural road way up in Northern Ontario. Highly doubtful he came from a reputable breeder, but all I can say is that he is the most stable, loving, smart, and adorable dog ever. He has taken in so many foster dogs in stride, played with them all, is very maternal with his brothers and sister, and is very loyal and loving towards me and everyone else. He has passed his Good Canine Neighbour, has passed the therapy dog assessments through St. John's Ambulance and Brain Injury Services, and is a blood donor for a pet blood bank. In other words, a rescue dog can be just as stable as a well bred dog from known sources. The only down-side is that with such young puppies, you never know 100% what you're going to get as an adult, which unfortunately can also happen through a reputable breeder. Also, a past foster puppy I had grew up to be a super sweet tempered and just an all-around well-rounded dog. He also came from unknown sources.

The choice is ultimately yours. You know what you want and what your are comfortable with. If you are comfortable with taking the gamble on a rescue dog, go for it. If not, a good breeder is great too. :)
 

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I have to say that it is sometimes "safer" to get a stable do from a breeder but not always. We got two Doxies from the same good breeder and one had a fantastic personality and the other was a nutcase.

I think you can very well find a well balanced puppy in a shelter, but there's nothing wrong with going to a breeder if you're really set on it. There's something...relieving and comforting about having a well bred dog from good stock.
 

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I have been in a similar situation thinking about my next dog (which won't be for some time). I adopted a Norwegian elkhound puppy from a local rescue at 3 months. She thankfully doesn't have any major issues. She is extremely independent, and is not a people pleaser which makes training hard. She had a couple issues that we worked through in the beginning. However we didn't connect right away which made everything harder. Even now she is almost a year old and we have a strong bond but I would say there still isn't a connection.

I have debated going through a rescue or a breeder. And I think as much as I research breeders and find breeds with traits that I am looking I will still choose to adopt from a rescue. It is a very personal choice.

The reason why I would chose to rescue is because I can (at least with most the rescues in MN) meet with the puppies and some offer foster to adopt programs so I can really see the puppies personality and interactions before committing to keep the dog. I think every dog is going to have a different personality, so it is about finding what that works for you. One of my family dogs who we adopted is 14 now and if I could find another dog like her I would adopt them in a heart beat. She has been the best dog.
 

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Honestly--and a lot of people think this makes me a terrible person, but--I've never gotten a dog from a rescue and I probably never will. I am a one-dog person and I have a very specific taste when it comes to the one dog I will have for the next ~13 years or so. I like to know where my puppy came from, where her parents came from, what they were being bred for, what sort of health problems could potentially show up in their line. I'm also a bit shallow and how the dog looks does matter quite a bit to me (I know, horrible :p). I know buying from a breeder can't guarantee all of this, but I like to have a sense of the dog I'm getting. I very much doubt that the one dog I buy every ~decade is killing hundreds of shelter dogs daily, just as I doubt my friend who adopted their dog from a shelter saved hundreds of shelter dogs. Purchasing a dog from a breeder doesn't make you a bad person, just as getting a dog from the shelter doesn't make you a good one.

I instead focus my "rescue efforts" on volunteering and occasionally providing hospice for geriatric dogs. One of my cats is a rescue and the other I adopted from a rescue. I've found homes for dogs and cats, put food in their bellies, and gave them love, but I will buy my next dog from a breeder.
 

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Personally I would go for a shelter or rescue puppy. When you get them really young, you're not very likely to have the big issues unless there's something drastically wrong with them.

2 of my dogs I got as 8 week old puppies on craigslist. I didn't buy them, they were completely free. But I'm sure they would have ended up in a shelter had i not taken them. They both have great temperaments and are fairly healthy. I've seen many dogs from breeders and rescues, and to me it seems they're equally likely to have temperament or health issues. So for me, unless I really wanted a particular breed(which i probably will in the future), I would get a rescue.
 

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Personally I would go for a shelter or rescue puppy. When you get them really young, you're not very likely to have the big issues unless there's something drastically wrong with them.

2 of my dogs I got as 8 week old puppies on craigslist. I didn't buy them, they were completely free. But I'm sure they would have ended up in a shelter had i not taken them. They both have great temperaments and are fairly healthy. I've seen many dogs from breeders and rescues, and to me it seems they're equally likely to have temperament or health issues. So for me, unless I really wanted a particular breed(which i probably will in the future), I would get a rescue.
 

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A little off-topic but you can train and compete in Agility with non-papered dogs. I have some Shih Tzu x Maltese that I compete with in AAC Agility.
 

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A little off-topic but you can train and compete in Agility with non-papered dogs. I have some Shih Tzu x Maltese that I compete with in AAC Agility.
I know, but we don't haven the access to public facilities here. It would be. 2 hour drive north. Plus the people here that have private facilities refuse to let my mutt and a few others to use their areas. So we just have fun on my friends acreage instead.
 

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Honestly I was a total rescure only person for a while. The dogs that I have had before have always been from shelters or rescues. When I wanted a new dog I considered a lot of aspects. I wanted soundness so my next dog could do agility or backpack for days at a time. I wanted a very specific temperament too.

With a breeder pup I knew the parents, I had medical history of her parents parents. It has really paid off. I choose the most loving out of the litter and have gotten a wonderful dog out of it.

Rescue dogs are great, I really really loved Pepper and Dyno. Dyno had some reactivity issues and a lot of anxiety that was hard to work through. Pepper had thyroid issues and some hip problems. Who knows what Aayla may or may not get as she ages, but its not so much of a game of Russian Roulette. Plus in a small way I love the passion of breeders. I have a network of people I can always ask questions to keep in contact with. If I was to die and my family couldn't take care of Aayla I know her breeder would take her back and rehome her.
 

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Personally I would go for a shelter or rescue puppy. When you get them really young, you're not very likely to have the big issues unless there's something drastically wrong with them.
That's fair, I've had two other rescue dogs I adopted as puppies that were totally awesome. One was the most stable dog I think I've ever had.

I just had a little chuckle at the "drastically wrong" statement - you're right and I'm sure Chisum would qualify :).

My ideal breed is almost never in shelters or I'd probably rescue next time. But as long as someone is making an educated decision, I'm not bothered.

Actually what I'd really like to do when I'm more stable is adopt/foster senior dogs.
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I honestly hate this divide of adopt vs shop.

I think going through a breeder makes the most sense if you are particular about personality, have specific abilities/traits that you are looking for (competitions, gun dog, therapy work, etc), definitely want a puppy (rather then a young adult or older), and are risk averse.

At the end of the day, any dog you get is a bit of a crap-shoot (a crap-shoot that can be molded with lots of training in some cases). With a very young puppy, going through a breeder does at least reduce the level of uncertainty of what you're going to get. You'll at least know general breed characteristics, temperaments of parents, and health background.

So I don't think there is a right or wrong approach. It's more to do with prioritizing what you're looking for in your next dog and how amenable you are to the possibility of getting something else entirely :)

When I was a kid we wanted a labrador. We adopted an 8 week old advertised lab-x from the shelter. Ended up with what looked like a 55 lb version of a dark grey irish wolfhound. In the end, she was the best dog for my family and was perfect for our lifestyle -- more so then a lab would have been I think. We lucked out...and that's what a lot of it comes down to with rescue puppies (adults is a bit more of "you get what you see"). Luck and flexibility.
 

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I totally agree with travelingswift.

I've had 2 Boston Terriers from different breeders and 2 rescues- 1 is a lab/possibly border collie/mutt (gotten at 8 months, now 5 or 6), and the second was a beagle/hound/retreiver mix that died of Parvo after we'd had him for a week.

I will say for people just looking for a fun dog a rescue can be a great idea- find one that steals your heart and go for it! A family friend recently decided that instead of getting another dalmatian (which had been 'her breed' for many years, she's had 2 or 3 in the past that lived well into their teens, the last of which I grew up around) she and her family would be better suited with a mutt that hopefully would require less energy to raise than another Dal. They ended up with a great cattle dog mix who is a fun family pet- active and smart but isn't too much to handle.

For anyone looking for something specific or unwilling/unable to deal with big surprises in temperament, I think going with a breeder is often a better choice. For example- someone looking for a puppy to match in temperament with a current dog that takes up a lot of energy, or someone who already knows they plan to compete in a specific sport with the dog (ie, agility).

If someone is wanting a very young puppy (ie, 8-12 weeks), then I think that the safest choice is often from a breeder. Even if the mother's breed is known (which it often isn't), it's still pretty hard to guess adult size, energy level, and temperament (reserved, outgoing, likely to need more socialization with strangers, likely to need more socialization with smaller dogs/animals because of prey drive, etc). Second best would be a litter born in a foster situation where the foster parent could give you detailed information about the temperaments of the pups and the mother.
 

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If you specifically want a puppy, and are looking for a dog to do sports with, a responsible breeder may be the best chance of finding that. You also may have better than average luck with breed specific rescue groups, particularly if the breed in question is generally suitable for whatever it is you want to do (ie: an experienced BC rescue group would probably easily be able to direct you to specific dogs within their possession that would do well at herding or agility, or a lab rescue might easily be able to present a dog that might like dock diving).

Strikes against a rescue puppy for a specific purpose are: 1. Puppy temperament doesn't necessarily correlate precisely with adult temperament, so what you see in a puppy may not be what you get in an adult; and 2. less information as to the genetic makeup of the pup. You may not know what mom and particularly dad were, and even if you do, you likely won't know much about their ancestors as far as health, temperament, etc. Both of those might be a bigger deal for a dog whose owners want to do sports vs just looking for a pet. Granted, with many breeders, you don't have much useful information, either, which would be the reason to seek out a breeder who does breed appropriate health testing and sports, improving the odds that your pup would follow suit.

If you are not set on a puppy, it's quite likely that you could find a suitable adolescent or young adult dog through rescue or shelters that would suit your needs, as you can get a better idea at that age of temperament and athletic capabilities.

I was torn between the idea of seeking out a working breeder (temperament, functional dogs, no health tests) vs show/sport breeder (temperament, dogs do something at least, health testing) for my next dog a while back (I hadn't ruled out rescue, but thought it unlikely that the ideal dog would come up), when out of nowhere, a suitable dog fell into my lap. He had a better than average temperament, better than average working/sport ability, and because he was an adult, I had knees/hips/elbows/heart checked before committing to taking him on permanently. When I decided to keep him, I was testing him in a home to try to contact breed rescue to take him, so he could have been found through a breed rescue group if that had played out. Granted, I prefer adult dogs over puppies, so that made things a little easier to decide :)

Regarding non-registered dogs doing performance events, doesn't the CKC have a limited privilege listing option like the US registries? For apparently purebred but not registered dogs? That's what I'll do with Bus if I eventually do any sports with him, as his owner gave me his AKC litter registration paperwork but I don't think she ever registered him, so it's now more expensive to register him fully vs as a PAL and it doesn't matter since he's altered anyway. Even if your dog is a known mix, if it looks like any specific breed, you can usually get the number to compete.

Regardless of where you choose to get a dog or pup from, the key to getting what you want will be patience and fortitude to hold out for what you really want. As someone else said, if you fall for the first cute face and pleading eyes, you are likely to be disappointed in the future, but if you make sure it's the right fit before committing, things should be fine :)
 

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I know, but we don't haven the access to public facilities here. It would be. 2 hour drive north. Plus the people here that have private facilities refuse to let my mutt and a few others to use their areas. So we just have fun on my friends acreage instead.
I wouldn't train with those people regardless of my breed choice. That's awful.
 
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