There are a multitude of opinions on the matter, I am just here to tell you my story.
There are some really great rescues here in Colorado that I have had the privilege of working with. They work tremendously hard to make sure that the dogs in their care get the best chance at a forever home. Underdog Rescue, Hobo Care Boxer Rescue, Outpaws are among many great rescues. There are also some not so great rescues that mean well but are not always holding the dogs needs above all else. The same can be said for breeders. There are fantastic breeders that do everything in their power to raise their pups with their dogs futures in mind. They work very hard to interview people and match people and pups to give them the best chance at forever homes. There are also some TERRIBLE “breeders” that do disgrace to the term and should never be allowed to raise dogs. Whichever route you go, you should always do your homework, read up and ask for references before working with a rescue or breeder.
Sunny is a rescue. He came from a high kill shelter where he was set to be euthanized the next day for space. Tiva is a sort of rescue, a friend at the time had a littler of accidental puppies. Our newest addition, who is yet to be named will however come from a breeder.
Before deciding to buy a dog from a breeder, I constantly thought about the pros and cons of rescue vs buying from a breeder. When we decided that we were going to add another dog to our family it was with the intention of getting a performance dog. Demo dog for the business as well as an agility competitor. We need a dog to do a few specific tasks, not just a pet dog.
Last year I was made aware of a BRILLIANT program called “Puppy Culture“. Puppy Culture is a how to guide on raising puppies. Jane Killion takes her years of experience breeding and training and teaches how to give the puppies the best chance at a healthy life both physically and behaviorally. If you haven’t been to the website, GO! Share far and wide, the more puppies that are raised with Puppy Culture the better our world gets!
Knowing that Puppy Culture existed, I started to seek out breeders that used it to raise their puppies. We are weak for blocky headed, muscly dogs and American Staffordshire Terrier was the breed we wanted. After months of searching I found a breeder in the US that was using PC to raise her pups and she had a litter about to be born!
I contacted the breeder with a ton of questions:
How does the Father do with other dogs, humans and animals?
How does the Mother dog with other dogs, humans and animals?
Have you ever seen aggression from the Mother or Father?
What is the Fathers personality like?
What is the Mothers personality like?
After the breeder answered all of my questions I thought about it for almost a month. What really stuck out in my mind was the information I received about the Mother and Fathers personalities. The breeder told me about the Mothers nice laid back personality and that the mother was used as a demo dog at her vet clinic. She also informed me that the Father had more drive and eagerness to perform. There are no guarantees but the temperament and physical health of the parents was exactly what I was looking for.
I can not stress enough how important it is to ask A LOT of questions. Any reputable breeder will be happy to answer any questions you have about the Mother and Father of the litter. It is a vital resource into the potential outcome of your puppy. It is also very important to ask the rescues as many questions as you can think of about the dog in their care. The more you know about the dog the better you can decide whether or not it is a good fit for your family.
Our new puppy who is a he, but has no name yet will be here next week and we are beyond excited!
Rachel Harris CPDT-KA
A Good Feeling Dog Training