We have decided that we want another dog,and we want something no bigger than what we already have,a min pin.I was thinking some kind of Terrier mix or Poodle Mix,Chihuahua mix at the shelter.(I saw pictures and descriptions of them on the shelter's site this morning) On the other hand,we would be perfectly content with a dog from a breeder. At our shelter the adoption fee is 120,sometimes higher,depending on the dog. I really want to save a life,but I also would want a dog that I could raise,teach it to be potty trained,and try to break the bad habits. Where as some adult dogs,reach a stage where they can't break those certain habits.I have never gone to a shelter before and every dog I have ever had has come from a breeder or got when it was a pup.I also wanted to raise it with out 8 month old Min-Pin to be SURE they got along well. Any persuasion from someone as to going one way or the other would be great,or a little help as to what we should do. Thanks in advance!
That's funny! It's spelled Shih Tzu, but many owners refer to them as Tzus. I've never felt comfortable saying the name out loud,LOL. It's supposed to be pronounce Sheed zoo, but still. I am kind of in the same predicatment as you. I want another dog, but feel torn between rescue and getting a puppy from a reputable breeder. I kind of think as long as you look into rescue and give it a chance, you shouldn't feel guilty about buying a pup. I don't know whether I will rescue my next dog, but I will definitely rescue again. Maybe you should look into a rescue group that uses foster homes. The dogs they adopt out often get a lot more one on one attention and are housebroken.
Okay, my input as a breeder and something I've been trying very hard to share with other folks out there... (keep in mind, until about 6 years ago I was "just a pet owner" - I've gotten Puppymill bred/raised dogs, BYB bred/raised dogs, dogs from really responsible breeders, and I've done the rescue/shelter thing)...
If you're going to do the breeder thing, you need a breeder who health tests, shows, and really is passionate about being knowledgeable about what they do (takes classes, goes to seminars, is a member of their breed club). You should be getting a great health guarantee (at least 2 years, with a refund option, that doesn't necessarily require you give the dog back). They should be active with their dogs. They should know more than you :). They should be helpful and enjoyable to work with and you should feel like they are a resource for you.
Otherwise, don't spend the money. Anything short of all that and you're going to get the same dog you'll "save" at a Shelter for less money.
Shelters also get puppies in. Check Petfinder. Put your name on a waiting list at a Shelter. If you want a Purebred, contact the closest Rescue to you and put your name on a list. Anything under 1 year of age is still trainable and moldable and you can still break bad habits.
I agree that rescue/shelter dogs are NOT for everyone. If you have the patience, the heart, and the ability to rescue that should always be an option.
If I were you, I'd get in touch with your Shelter and Rescue. Put your name down. See what they have (you may be surprised). In the meantime, start researching breeders. Great breeders respect people who don't impulse buy and want to get to know the breeder. Choose your breeder first, not the puppy and availablility first. See if you can afford/budget in what a puppy will cost from a great breeder. That may answer a lot of your questions.
Some great breeders are also very active with rescue and if they know of a rescue dog that fits what you want may also be able to help you.
Put your feelers out there and gather information. There is NO such thing as too much information.
There are so many really lazy, unknowledgeable breeders out there now. When we got our first Sheltie 23 years ago we paid $100 from a great breeder who spent time with us, was active with her dogs in conformation and herding trials, did the testing she needed to be doing, knew her lines... 16 years later when we went to look for our second Sheltie we THOUGHT we were getting the same thing as the breeder toted "champion bloodlines", and talked about how her dogs had such great instincts - really she was just a Puppymill that knew how to sound like she knew what she was talking about... The level of standards you need to have in your choice of a breeder needs to be higher now... because the crummy breeders have gotten so good at taking advantage of the average pet owner.
You should rescue. Be nice and help a poor dog who has a tough time in life. Don't let the dog spend the rest of its life in a cage. leave the breed dogs to the snobbby society out there who would have nothing to do iwth rescue dogs/
I have had a few shelter dogs, and help with poodle and aussie rescue. I have found that most dogs young and old can learn. Even though I breed, I also foster, and adopt unwanted pets. It is so rewarding. I have a 17yr. old that I have had for 2 years, yea we had a few issues in the beginning, and He does have an accident in the house every once in a while, but I wouldn't trade him for the world. If you want to save a life, do it. All ages of dogs can be retrained I think.