Monday, June 11, 2018

The Pendulum: Rescue Dogs

I used to be adamant about 'adopt don't shop' when it came to getting a new dog.

But living on a farm and having children has balanced my views somewhat.

Don't get me wrong....if I was looking for a dog that was to be purely a pet, I would be looking at animal shelters first. However, dogs are different to cats. Different breeds of dogs are bred for different purposes. I've had non-country friends ask me why we got Maya and Gypsy as puppies. Why didn't we get a rescue dog and train it to work with sheep?

Well, because you can't just get any old dog and teach it new tricks. It's the ignorance of city people. You need a dog with the right instinct...kelpies, border collies. Pedigree is important. If both parents are good working dogs, then the greater the chances their pups will be, too....but not always.

I'm also wary of rescue dogs now that I have small children. Some dogs have had no training, or are mentally scarred from abuse at the hands of their previous owners. These dogs need a lot of time and effort, which I just don't have in this stage of life. You need to read the description about each dog on the animal rescue's website or Facebook page. Volunteers foster dogs and assess their suitability to be around children or other pets. Some dogs are not patient with children. If I'm adopting it from a person I don't know (without going through an animal rescue organisation), I'm even more wary.

So, for me, if looking for a pet dog, I'd look at adopting first.

But if you can't find one that suits your family and stage of life, that's ok. If you need a working dog, obviously you need a particular type of dog. Don't feel bad if you choose a puppy. Don't be afraid of being lynched by the pro rescue dog, adopt-don't-shop mob.

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