Hello everyone! I was thinking the other day about the differences between getting a pure-bred dog, either from a breeder, or a breed specific rescue, and getting a dog from a shelter or a dog of unknown mixed breed origin.
I thought it an interesting comparison so I thought I’d lay out my perspective for you here.
This week I’ll be going over a few things to know before getting a pure-bred dog.
Before we start, I just wanted to mention that there is no right or wrong method in getting a dog. Both methods, getting a dog from a breeder or from a shelter, both have their pros and cons. Either way, you’re still getting a companion that you can create an amazing relationship with. Period.
1. Pure bred dogs often have higher vet bills.
A lot of the time, there are chronic illnesses, or ailments, that go along with certain breeds: For example:
Knowing what genetic disorders that your soon-to-be dog might be susceptible to will help you be prepared should, and if, they ever show up.
If you’re buying from a breeder, the breeder should have information on both parents. It’s important that if the breed is known to have any serious issues that could cause a lot of trouble and heart ache in the future, both of the parents should have health testing done which tests for the dominant or recessive alleles that indicate whether or not the dogs are carriers of those diseases.
2. While the temperament and the workability might be seen in the parents, it’s not guaranteed in the offspring
There are various reasons that people choose to get a pure-bred dog. Sometimes it's the appearance. Sometimes it's for the workability or job that the breed was bred to do in the past. Sometimes it''s for the temperament of the dog.
Every dog is different and it’s important to remember that the parents with the temperament test passes or the AKC titles for working were trained at some point to do those jobs.
There’s the nature vs nurture debate. And how much of an influence did the environmental elements play in the dog’s end temperament and workability.
There’s even a test, called the Volhard test (http://www.volhard.com/pages/pat.php) that a person can take to a breeder’s home where the puppies are kept and perform small tests on them. From how to puppies respond and react to things will tell you what type of personality they have, at least at that young of an age. From there you can build upon a powerful, dominant personality, or nurture a kind, just-wanting-to-follow personality.
This test also comes into play when you think about getting a dog just because they’re cute or they look like a dog you used to have.
3. It’s important to know what type of grooming needs your dog might have
Having a pure-bred dog often means that they look alike, right? Shepherds, although different colors, have the same hair type. Bulldogs generally have a lot of skin folds and wrinkles. Maltese have hair like a human and need to be brushed daily or run the risk of developing mats.
It’s important to know what type of grooming needs your dog might have so you can either learn to DO those particular things OR, you can make sure that you have an experienced and knowledgeable groomer who can help you get those things done.
I know it might sound silly, having grooming needs on this list but I can’t tell you how many dogs I’ve seen come into a groomer with mats in its fur, or unseen and ignored yeast infections in ear and on body. Y’all, I’ve seen a dog come in that was covered in fatty tumors. We thought she was massively overweight but turns out, she just hadn’t had a haircut in about a decade.
It makes a difference. Trust me.
4. Your dog’s temperament is something that you have to be aware of
It's said that Great Danes are gentle giants. It's also said that Dachshunds' are very gentle and sweet.
But, did you know that Danes were originally bred to hunt wild boar and be guard dogs. Also, did you know that Dachshunds account for a large amount of dog bites per year by small dogs.
While dog are known for a certain temperament, the end result really comes from their upbringing and care.
I've heard stories of people trying to create better drive and aggression in their dog for protection work, and the end result is that their dogs are unpredictable nut cases. I've seen the most "vicious" dog breed, the pitt bull, be the most loving and loyal, and amazing dog ever!
At the end of the day, if you know that your dog's breed has a tendency to be aggressive toward strangers, stat showing them from a young age that strangers you invite into your home are a good thing. If you see that your dog is shy and a little reactive toward children at a young age, start introducing them to children in a controlled environment so you can create a good association and help your dog deal with the stressors in an effective and productive way.
I really hope you've liked this post. Dog training is an ever evolving event. You dog isn't always changing, but you have so many factors to look at when something goes awry, or doesn't go the way you want it to.
It's not always guaranteed that your dog will bo ok with something but, with some work, dedication, and consistency, your dog can learn