If you’re deciding between adopting from dog rescue shelters or a breeder, you may have heard some misinformation from well-meaning friends. I’d like to shed some light on the life of a shelter dog.
Myth #1: Shelter Dogs Have Behavior Problems
These helpless, innocent dogs—often some of the best dog breeds out there, like Labs, Boxers and good old mutts—are at the mercy of everyone around them. The reasons why they ended up at the shelter are as varied as the dogs themselves.
“Ironically, many of the dogs are there because of their owners’ behavior problems, not their own,” wrote Marion S. Lane in the book, The Humane Society of the United States Complete Guide to Dog Care: Everything You Need to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy.
Some of them were off-leash, got lost, and their owners never came to get them. Some were abandoned in foreclosed homes or left in a public place to be found. Some even had wonderful lives until their owner died or lost their source of income. They don’t deserve what they’ve been through, and they want to prove it to you. And remember, many shelters do not make a dog available for adoption until it has been temperament tested first.
Myth #2: You Can’t Bond With an Older Shelter Dog. Start Off Right With a Puppy
Many pet owners who have had both rescue dogs and purchased from a breeder feel that their rescue dogs appreciate them more. A shelter dog has been through more life experiences. As nice as it is to know exactly where your dog came from, and that it was raised underfoot by an attentive family, that doesn’t always mean the dog will be loving and well behaved. In fact, such dogs might be a little aloof simply because they never experienced going without anything.
Shelter dogs have seen a lot in life. Sometimes this can make for a very well-rounded pet who is comfortable in many different situations. Every day, abandoned rescue dogs are adopted and trained to become companion pets for special needs centers, the elderly, and hospitals.
Myth #3: All the Good Dogs at the Shelter Were Probably Adopted Already
New dogs find themselves in shelters daily. If you didn’t fall in love with any yesterday, visit again.
Once you find the perfect match, it’s a good idea to begin looking into pet insurance for your new friend. Not only can dog insurance help to ensure you won’t be in financial distress if something unexpected happens, but some plans also help pay for a portion of wellness and routine care.