Adopt or Shop

Should I Adopt or Shop?

Adopt or shop? It’s a question that most individuals searching for a dog ask themselves at some point. First, it’s important to know that one option is not better than the other. As long as you are seeking a dog from a responsible source, whether it be a breeder, shelter, rescue or pet store, you are free to get your dog from the place that best suits your needs.

There are pros and cons to buying a dog, as well as adopting a dog.

Adopting

Pros

Less Expensive

Adopting is typically less expensive than purchasing a dog from a pet store or breeder

Age Variety

A variety of ages are offered, allowing you to select a puppy or more matured dog

Pre-Trained

You can often find a dog that has already been trained

Breed Variety

They offer a wide selection of types of dogs, most commonly mixed breeds

Helping Those in Need

By adopting you are helping an abandoned or homeless dog find a loving home

Guidance

Shelter and rescue staff can provide details on the dog’s health, temperament and overall fit for your family

Cons

Puppy Availability

New puppies are not always available, and you may have to adopt a dog that’s a little older

Breed Specificity

If you are searching for a specific breed of dog, your options will be limited

Trait Specificity

Dogs with desired traits, such as hypoallergenic, may be more difficult to find

History

You likely won’t be raising this dog from scratch, and may not know his history or where he came from

Buying from a Breeder or Retailer

Pros

Full Background

Responsible breeders and retailers will know everything about the dog, including details on his health, behavior, socialization, breed traits and personality traits

Tailored Fit

Breeders and retailers should be able to help you select a puppy that matches your personality and lifestyle

Known History

You will know exactly where your dog came from and how he has been socialized and cared for up until this point

Breed Specificity

You can pick out the exact breed of dog you desire

Training Control

By raising the dog from the time he is a puppy, you will have full control of his upbringing and training

Cons

More Expensive

Purchasing a dog is typically more costly than buying a dog

Legwork

You may have to travel much further to find your ideal breed of dog raised by a responsible breeder

Competition

There is often a lot of competition in getting a dog from a new litter

Vetting

You need to do more than a casual background check to ensure that you are buying from a responsible breeder

Purebred vs Mixed Breed Dogs

With so many breeds of dogs available, it’s tough to know which one is the right fit for you. The good news is that whether you decide to get a purebred dog, which is any dog whose parents belong to the same breed, or a mixed breed dog, meaning that his parents come from different breeds or are already mixed breeds themselves, any dog can grow into a loving companion. However, it's still valuable to know how each differs.

One of the most common reasons people seek purebred dogs is for the predictability in size, appearance, temperament, health issues, grooming needs, and energy level. Historically, dogs were purposefully bred for certain tasks, such as hunting and swimming, making desired traits likely in today’s purebreds.

If you are interested in showing your dog or being a part of a dog breed community, a purebred dog is better suited for you. A community of fellow breed owners often find each other and share the enjoyments and challenges of owning their breed.

There are advantages to buying a mixed breed dog, as well. For example, a mixed-breed puppy can have a much lower chance of being born with inherited congenital diseases, since the mating process naturally leaves out the defective genes found in purebreds.

Hybrid dogs, which are the offspring of two different purebreds, are often desired because it is assumed, they will inherit the best traits from each of the parents. For example, a Labradoodle has the intelligence of a Labrador Retriever with the hypoallergenic coat of a poodle.

Mixed breed dogs are also typically sold at a lower cost than the average purebred. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but you can often find a mixed breed dog that fits your needs at a local shelter, which is significantly cheaper than buying from a breeder.

If you are seeking a purebred dog, you'll rarely find what you are looking for at your local shelter or rescue. It's best to research responsible breeders in your area to find your purebred pup.

More information on purebred vs mixed breed

Checklist

Commonly Sought Traits In Dogs To Consider

Do you want to add a furry friend to your family, but aren’t sure which breed to look into? Check out this list of commonly sought traits in dogs to help determine what aspects are most important to you during your dog search.

Lifestyle

1. Adaptability To Apartment Living

2. Exercise Requirements

3. Friendly With Kids

4. Friendly With Other Animals

5. Tolerates Being Left Alone

6. Hot Or Cold Climate Preferences

Temperament & Personality

7. Energy Level

8. A Tendency To Bark Or Howl

9. Sensitivity Level

10. Obedience Level

11. Intelligence

12. Affection

Physical

13. Hypoallergenic/Low Shedding

14. Size

15. Drooling Potential

16. General Health

17. Grooming Requirements

Still have questions?

How can we help?
I want a dog. Where do I start?
I want to adopt a dog.
I want a dog from a breeder or pet store.
I just got a dog.