It's another day and that means it's time for another A to Z challenge, this time the letter S. I was going to do Springer Spaniels for S, but they I decided to do Stop and think instead. Why? Because I think it is something so many of us fail to do, when it comes to dogs.
So lets start at the beginning. You've decided you want a dog, but have you really thought everything through carefully. Just because your friend is offering up a dog for free, doesn't mean you should jump on it. No dog is ever truly free. There is food to buy, toy's, leashes, bowls, beds and of course veterinary bills if that dog should become sick.
Maybe there is no friend offering one for free, perhaps, you have just decided you would like a dog. Do your research. Work out what breed would fit into your lifestyle best. Different breeds need different amounts of care. Be it extra grooming, lots of exercise, or special attention to training and socializing, to name but a few. By researching breeds before you rush in you will be more likely to find a better match for you and your family.
Another thing to consider is whether to rescue from a rescue centre or purchase a puppy from a professional or casual breeder.
Puppies may seem appealing, but they are hard work. A large number of dogs that end up in rescue are around 6 to 8 months old due to owners who weren't fully prepared for the work involved with raising a happy, healthy well socialised and well behaved dog.
puppies aren't exclusively breeder related. rescues have dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes. Which give a rescue centre a huge plus point over breeders. Not only is there lots of choice but there are staff trained to help you find the right dog for you and your family. Be it pure breed, mongrel, big, small, puppy or adult, high or low energy. They will look at what space you have, what experience you have, if you have children, other pets and the list goes on and on. They want to ensure that there dogs get the best homes possibly as well as a good match first time around and if for some reason that match does proved misjudged, they will support you in bringing the dog back and help you to find a match that does work.
Good breeders will try to help you if you have problems and questions, but if you get it wrong and chose the wrong breeder there may be no help offered, at least, from them at any rate.
I am aware that some rescues do make it incredibly hard to adopt. Often turning away people who would essentially make wonderful dog owners, based on something silly, but not all rescues are like this and if you look around and do your research you should be able to find a rescue that isn't making unreasonable demands.
A dog from a rescue will normally be fully vaccinated and also have had surgery to prevent them form becoming pregnant or impregnating others. I know for some a fully in tack dog is important as they have dreams of breeding the dog, if only once, in order to have one of their pups; however, with how many dogs are currently in rescue centres, do you think it is really wise to be breeding right now. There is a very good chance that at least some of those pups will eventually end up in a rescue centre.
I don't want to say no one should breed and all dogs should be spayed or castrated. The reality is that were that done, dogs would eventually become extinct, but more care should certainly be taken and more thought should certainly go into the decision of whether to breed or not and many breeders I think, could at least do with stopping breeding for a few years at least, just to help minimise the strain on the rescue centres.
A dog is a huge responsibility, so please, just stop and think before you rush out and get a dog. By taking the time to consider your decision carefully and to research the right dog for you, you can save not only yourself, but a dog also, from a whole lot of upset and stress.
well that's it from me today, love and hugs Joss xx