Should you get a Puppy or a Rescue?
Big choices to make right? and it can be a really hard choice, particularly if you want both ;) so i am going to share with you the honest expectations of owning a rescue dog and a puppy, plus the #1 question to ask yourself to find out which is best for you.
I used to think that puppies were ALWAYS the safest options, and that rescue dogs always had extra challenges. After working in a rescue centre and now supporting various rescues, I’ve realised it’s not actually the case. Whilst rescue dogs can be a challenge, puppies have their own set of challenges and depending on the genetics can be just as challenging. Let’s explore this in more detail…
Bobby was the puppy we brought into our family home when I was 13 years oldish, at a year and half, he started having a strong dislike to dogs, some labelled aggressive. We had him from a puppy. We went to puppy classes. We did the training. YET he hated dogs. How did that happen? That is when I realised puppies don’t necessary mean they won’t have challenges, especially without training from an early age they can pick up bad habits really fast! Bobby’s challenges were not linked so much to the training but because his mum had the same dislike to dogs, which was then passed down the genes, into our little bobby. And we missed all these early signs because none of us knew what we were looking for. That being said, once I completed all my degrees, we started training him how to tolerate dogs instead of snapping and lunging at them, so all is good! This is rather a extreme example, but even puppies without unhappy parents are still a challenge as its similar to having a child! Here’s what to expect if you choose to have a puppy: 1. Ensure you have fantastic breeder and both have opportunity to see the parents not just ancestry tree, behaviour is just as important as the bloodlines.
2. The first year of requires a daily commitment to training, all my puppy clients are guided through daily training for the first year so that they learn the right skills, build confidence and behaviours that contribute to the owners ‘dream dog’ – this is something Is strong suggest to avoid your dog learning an unwanted habits, puppies are FAST learners! 3. It is like having a child for at least the first 6 months, you will find yourself micromanaging everything they do. 4.During the ages of 6 to 18 months, there will be a HUGE energy spike where your puppy will need additional support in exiting their energy, this involves doing more brain training as well as just physical exercise. 5. Expect to feel on a rollercoaster at times, with adorable highs and frustrating lows, it’s worth the ride. 6. Get ready to teach your puppy EVERYTHING. Puppies know nothing, and require you to teach them everything from walking on lead, to leaving socks, not chewing table legs ,and sleeping alone. Did I mention its like having a child? Overall, you have the opportunity to teach your puppy the skills from a super early age, which means when they go through teenager hood then adulthood, you will feel have a well-trained, well-skilled dog and tons of fun together (if training has been consistent…otherwise, as I say, dogs can learn habits and skills we don’t want, such as not coming back when called, stealing items or mastering barking for cuddles). Let’s Chat Rescues
Now there is such a heart-warming feeling bringing a homeless dog into such a loving home then watching that dog be loved and enjoy life! It’s like nothing else. Rescues, are sometime in rescue for a reason, which is often none of their own fault but would most likely require training and support, this does depend on the charity and the dog itself. I have however seen dogs be rehomed because their owner has passed away, and they tend to not to come with lots of training. What I really love about rescues, is they you don’t necessarily have to spend a year micro-managing the dog like you would a puppy, again, depending on the individual needs or current behaviour. There are some fantastic great charities will often offer this training support for you, such us the Dogs Trusts, Battersea Home for Dogs and a Charity I work with The Southwest Doberman Rescue, which means, you come home with a your dog and step by step training plan of how to train them (not every charity has this, again you get to choose a charity you like and feel supported by). Here is what you can expect from rehoming a rescue: 1. It can take at least 3 months to settle into your home, you may find they struggle to settle when you leave them or follow you everywhere, providing a safe place to rest can and not leaving them alone for the first two weeks can make a huge difference
2. Teach them the skills you want them to learn to adapt to your lifestyle. Some dog may have never lived in a city, countryside, flat or even a home so they most dogs need training to adapt to their new home.
3. Support from a charity that has worked with them and assessed them, this is incurably helpful as you are not on your own, and the charity with have lots of experience of the dog to be able to guide with what to do or how to problem solve (again, this depends on the charity, not all charity's have trainers in place)
4. Generally can be more independent, particularly if they’ve been in kennels – my experience is they soon warm up to you!
5. HUGE amounts of love and fulfilment, probably tears as they fall into place in your family. The Bottomline…
They both equally require training; with rescues you can technically choose a dog that you feel connected with, whereas with puppies it can be more challenging with trying to find the right breeder and picking the right puppy. Puppies require a strong commitment for the year of their life, whereas Rescues, once you know what they need, you can start training instantly. The real question here is what do you want? What’s your current lifestyle look like right now, which one would adapt best? Can you commit to level of training that choice requires? If in doubt, flip a coin! Notice how you feel if lands on Rescue or Puppy, relieved? Disappointed? And if your still not sure, look around at rescues and breeders, even speak to professionals who have had puppies and rescues, everyone has a opinion and ultimately you get to find out what you want. So, I also challenge you to keep asking, what do I want? Either one is perfect for you as its YOUR choice. Much love, Kayeligh xxx Need some help choosing or knowing where to go? Feel free to email us and we help guide you to what you want. Shoot an email to email@example.com