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 tr