In honor of National Dog Adoption Day (November 21st) we're talking dog adoption today! From things to consider when rescuing, what to expect when adopting a dog during COVID-19 and the best rescues in Southern California, read on if you're considering adopting the next furry member of your family.
So, I'm not sure if it's all the holiday feels in the air but I have had some MAJOR puppy fever the past month! Can anyone relate?! We rescued our family dog when I was 13 and through my early adulthood, I couldn't wait to get a dog of my own! I had a very specific idea in mind of getting a mini-Australian Shepherd puppy, but quickly realized that finding one through a rescue was going to be like finding a needle in a haystack. So after a lot of research in my first go at "dog mom-ing", I chose the route of finding a responsible dog breeder. I was a little bummed on not being able to adopt but more importantly, was hyper concerned about making the right choice. I've heard horror stories of puppy mills and irresponsible breeders who didn't prioritize the welfare of their dogs and I knew if I went this route, I had to be extra cautious. I ended up finding a family friend of a friend and was able to learn more about "responsibly breeding" through them. While going through a responsible breeder isn't supporting #adoptdontshop efforts, it definitely has it's perks:
- You're able to see where the fur parents live and where the puppies are growing up. I was able to go to the small farm they were being raised at and their indoor and outdoor living conditions.
- You're able to meet their dog parents and siblings. This was very valuable in terms of being able to see the possible future temperament of my dog as well as understanding the history of the family and see their entire liter in action.
- You're able to know the details of their mom and their breeding process. This was a top priority for me as I wanted to make sure that the mom was humanly bred - meaning knowing how many liters she has had in the past - as it's recommended to not breed a dog more than 3 or 4 times.
All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better experience and was grateful to the breeders for being so transparent. If you go this route, ensure that your chosen breeders are willing to disclose any and all information to you so that you can make an educated decision, giving you have peace of mind that they are humanly breeding.
On the other side of the coin, rescuing or adopting a dog, is a totally different ballgame!
Not only is it kind of competitive (dogs can be adopted very quickly or have long waitlists), but there is a high probability that you won't get a lot of answers to your basic questions:
- Who are the dog's parents? Many dogs in shelters come from circumstances where they do not know the dog's parents, making knowing the exact breed of the dog a guessing game.
- How big will the dog get once full grown? This is also related to knowing the dog's parents, and if the rescue doesn't have this information, it's another guessing game based on the information they have or knowledge of the general full grown weight of the breed.
- Are there any behavioral habits that