But I Want a Puppy!

I’ve been disappointed lately that the Northeast Ohio Pomeranian Meetup group I started has turned into a forum on where to get a Pomeranian puppy from a breeder. Although I am not anti-breeder – I know that there are reputable breeders out there that are not puppy mills – I am just so much more pro-rescue that it’s really hard for me to relate or understand why people want to go through a breeder, especially for a breed of dog that can so easily be found at a shelter or with a rescue group.

So far through the posts I’ve heard a few things as to why the people need puppies from breeders: 1) They want a dog that they’ll have for a long time 2) They don’t want a dog that’s been abused.

I get it. Those are reasonable requests. I had similar thoughts before I adopted Hunter. Most people don’t want a dog they’ll only have a couple of years and dealing with a damaged, fearful dog is definitely not for everyone. But, just as you should educate yourself about any breeder that you use, you should also educate yourself about dog rescue and the many available dogs that are out there for adoption. So here are some of the top objections to rescuing a dog and why they aren’t totally accurate:

“I want a puppy!”

Rescue groups have dogs of all ages. Central Ohio Pomeranian Rescue just took in a bunch of puppies and I see puppies all the time at other rescue groups. The key is to get on their list early and let them know you are interested in a certain age so if they get one, you’ll be considered. Puppies go fast at rescue groups. Also, side note – have you thought about why you really want a puppy? Is it just because they’re cute? Puppies are so much more work than even a dog that is one or two years old. I thought I wanted a puppy before I adopted Hunter, but I am so glad I got him at seven months when he was mostly potty-trained and almost out of his chewing phase. And, adopting Roscoe at the age of 5 or 6 (I’m not sure how old he is) was even better. Roscoe is such an easy dog, just wants to snuggle and hang out. Although it’s sad to think how I may not have him as long, I am still so happy for the time we have together.

“I want a pure breed”

There is a rescue group for almost every breed of dog. You may not always be able to get their AKC papers, but what do you really need that for? Unless you are planning to enter your dog in shows or breed him or her, do you really need to know for sure it’s a pure breed? Hunter looks like a Pomeranian, so that’s good enough for me. I actually like to imagine that he’s mixed with all sorts of other breeds. Maybe he’s a Pomercorgian, or a ShiPomerinu. I think it’s fun to not really know for sure what your dog is.

Pomeranian or Pomercorgian? We’ll never know…
Pomeranian or Pomercorgian? We’ll never know…

“I need a hypo-allergenic dog”

No dog is hypo-allergenic, some just shed less than others. And since dog allergies are really due to dog saliva, if you have serious dog allergies, no breed is really going to work for you. Although designer dogs of the “doodle” variety are super popular because they are “hypo-allergenic,” there are many other dog breeds that don’t shed much and can be found at shelters. Terrier breeds, Schnauzers, Bichon Frises, Shi Tzus and Poodles, are low shedders and could work just as well in these cases as a ‘doodle. You can always set up an alert with PetFinder to find out when certain breeds are up for adoption or contact your local rescue group to discuss what type of dog you are looking for.

“They’ll probably have been abused”

I think this is on the biggest myths people outside of dog rescue think about rescue dogs. I know it’s something that I thought. Although it definitely happens, it is not as common as people think. And even if some rescue dogs may have been mistreated by their previous owners, you know the amazing thing about dogs? They are so resilient! If you give them love and provide a safe environment they can rebound from pretty much anything. All dogs need training and a period of adjustment, so you can never “guarantee” an easy dog no matter where he or she comes from. From my experience with fostering and meeting other rescue dogs, it’s much less common to encounter one that’s actually been abused than it is to meet once that is just really excited to have a home again.

Roscoe may have been abused, or he may just be fearful. I don’t really know. All I know is that he is the best snuggle buddy that ever lived.
Roscoe may have been abused, or he may just be fearful. I don’t really know. All I know is that he is the best snuggle buddy that ever lived.


All photos courtesy of Boots and Bee Photography

Author: dogsinthecle

The source for what to do with your dog in Cleveland.

5 thoughts on “But I Want a Puppy!”

  1. Wonderful article. I’ve been a volunteer at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter for over 10 years. I’ve seen literally thousands of dogs come and go through the shelter. Many of them had very rough lives. But with love and proper care from the shelter staff and volunteers the vast majority he become loving, friendly pets. As you said, shelters have dogs from puppies on up to seniors. They all make wonderful pets depending on your household requirements and what you’re looking for. Yes, puppies are adorable and lots of fun but they only stay puppies for a few months. Don’t discount getting a slightly older dog that may be housebroken and already knows the rules. Some dogs are in the shelter for many months and some for a few years. If you adopt one of these dogs you’ll be adopting a pet who will be forever grateful to you and will be a loyal companion.


  2. I have always had rescues but a few years back I decided I wanted a standard poodle. I really hate the cruel practice of cutting off puppies’ tails so I decided rather than rescue a docked poodle I would purchase a puppy with a natural tail. We brought home our poodle puppy spring of 2013, three years ago. I love him to death but wow, he has been so much work. We survived his adolescence but living with him was not always a joy to say the least. At four months old inspite, of all my work to socialize him he began barking at everyone and everything. It took a long time of training with praise and treats, I still always carry treats with me on walks. He is a huge poodle and use to drag me down the street, lots and lots of treats and training to get him to walk nicely. He, also, is super friendly but jumps on all of our guests, we still have been unable to break him of this. I have owned five dogs in my life, four rescues and my poodle. Two of the rescues were puppies and two were adults but my poodle by far has been the most work. He is a great dog and we compete in obedience and rally and he does listen very well and is extremely outgoing, affectionate and friendly but it took a lot of work and training to get him to this point. He is a big, strong, bouncy, active dog with a tendency to be barky. Everyone forgets that cute little puppy turns into a naughty adolescent (a phase that can last from four months to three years) and sadly, many of those adolescents end up at shelters. Adopting an adult dog, what you see is what you get. The best part is you have saved a dog and your dog knows that. Check out petfinder, I think every breed is on there. You will be amazed at all the wonderful dogs looking for homes.


  3. Rescued a 10 month old from a local rescue group in Northeast Ohio years ago.. Did not know at the time that dog actually was AKC registered.. But he had a heart murmur..so getting a dog from a breeder is not a guarantee it will not have health issues. Some breeders are irresponsible.
    Anyway.. he was the best dog I ever had.. My “heart” dog.. unconditional love forever.. would definitely go this route in getting a dog again. Miss him to the moon and back…


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