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How to buy a dog: DON'T! Part 3 of 3

beautiful mixed breed dog

Adopt a mutt!

Hey, mixed breeds (mutts) are amazing! Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise!

Purebred dogs have been bred to have specific traits. This means the mutts end up being a blend of a whole bunch of different traits!

Some breeders will use harmful practices such as inbreeding. Inbreeding involves having members of the same family mate in order to ensure that specific traits are passed on to the puppy. This can create dangerous genetic issues for the puppies. They can be born with organs that do not work, or have other physical deformities.

suffering purebred bulldog
Often, bulldogs have breathing and skeletal problems. Many can't give birth without a Cesarean section.

Some breeders even deliberately breed dogs whose unusually shaped bodies are destined to cause them serious health problems. People buy these dogs because they think they’re cute. The dogs pay the price for this selfishness.

Purebred dogs are more likely to have inherited genetic conditions due to the lack of diversity in their genes. Mixed breeds are less likely to have health conditions such as certain cancers, heart disease, arthritis, and hip dysplasia, to name a few.

I’m afraid of shelter dogs!

Any dog can bite when scared, angry, in pain, when they don’t want you grabbing food out of their mouth, or for a variety of other reasons. That goes for purebred dogs of any breed – even if you raised them with love and kindness from early puppyhood, with the best training you know of – as well as for adopted dogs.

Unless you’re an expert dog trainer, of course it’s not a good idea to take into your home a dog who you feel is dangerous!

It’s not a good idea to bring home any animal who you think may seriously hurt you, your human family members, or your other companion animals.

Also, if your dog doesn’t like strangers or other dogs, you need to be able to control the dog when you’re out walking the dog on a leash, or if you have visitors in your home.

Fortunately, the vast majority of dogs are friendly – that’s why they are such great companions!

cute baby bunny

When you go to adopt a dog at a shelter or rescue group, you shouldn’t get one if you don’t feel very comfortable about safety. If you’re seriously concerned about your safety, have you considered adopting an animal other than a dog? How about a cat, rabbit, guinea pig, or other small animal? They are also available at shelters and rescue groups, they’re also desperately in need of homes, and even the crankiest rabbit can’t do much damage!

And please, never buy small animals from pet stores! Pet stores still get small animals from warehouse breeders where the animals suffer terribly. Hopefully someday soon, pet stores will stop selling all animals and just sell pet supplies.

Temperament issues can happen no matter where the dog comes from. With proper training using positive reinforcement techniques, many of these can be overcome, but you may need to be patient.

With dogs from a government-funded shelter, the shelter workers often know little to nothing about the dog’s background. The dog could already be perfect for your lifestyle. Some, but definitely not all, dogs at shelters come from abusive backgrounds. Even if they were abused, that doesn’t mean they will be aggressive.

Shelters do everything they can to avoid adopting out dogs who may harm others. They do temperament tests, but temperament tests can’t test for every situation and sometimes fail to uncover a situation where a dog may react by biting.

On the other hand, out of an abundance of caution, shelters sometimes go overboard with temperament testing, judging dogs unfairly. Being brought to the shelter could easily be the most terrifying experience the dogs have ever had, and they can react by showing their teeth or trying to bite.

Unfortunately, this can result in dogs being labeled as “unadoptable,” and they are killed. Often, this means they are not even counted in “no-kill” statistics.

Rescue groups tend to know more about the temperament of the animals they save, since many use foster homes and get to know the animals better before adoption.

Save a life, and get a best friend!

People who adopt their dogs from shelters and rescue groups often feel like their dogs know that they’ve been saved.

There are tons of videos online showing dogs’ reactions to being adopted.

Animal shelters and rescue groups do amazing, life-saving work. But dogs have evolved to thrive in environments where they have a home, a family, and a best friend.

Still curious about how to buy a dog? The answer: don’t. Adopt, don’t shop.

The Spay and Neuter Cookie!

Let’s solve this overpopulation crisis by preventing the problem right at its source. There are far too many dogs and not enough homes.

600 Million Dogs is developing one-dose, safe, permanent birth control for dogs and cats. We call it the Spay and Neuter Cookie. It’s currently in the research and development stage, and this work needs your support. Imagine ending the overpopulation crisis of dogs and cats, once and for all, humanely.

happy rescued stray dog
Sophie, one of our rescued Pilot Pups!


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