Welcome to Southwest Florida German Shepherd Rescue Inc., Anonymous Sunday, May 26 2024 @ 11:52 am UTC


  • Friday, February 04 2011 @ 04:17 pm UTC
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By Erik Hoffer

Many times people ask us why get a rescue dog, and in our case a German Shepherd Dog vs. a fresh new puppy? The answer is somewhat complicated and really depends on both the mindset of the adopter and the dog along with maybe 20 other factors; all of which need to be evaluated before a decision is made.

Many times the decision is based of some preconceived notion that getting a puppy is the only way to get a quality dog and lifetime pet. A rescue dog may be to some, like buying a used car. In many peoples mind this is someone else’s headache being cast off to an unsuspecting buyer. This can be true, but most of the time it is not. I have 20 years experience with this form of adoption and I can say that both sides of the argument need to be considered.

Our rescue prides itself in vetting each and every dog (and adopter) for temperament and adaptability to families. Yet there is no doubt that a rescue dog can have health issues unbeknownst to us, or any rescue. That is the chance you take with things like your own unborn children, getting a puppy and yes even a new car. At least with a rescue dog any health problems will probably be known to you, any training issues and temperament will be clearly seen and any and all traits and training issue obvious. Unlike a ‘new’ baby anything, issues with puppy’s from puppy mils and idiot back yard breeders are a serious unknown. You would be taking a chance with any puppy from these sources and you would never know the predisposition of the pups and his temperament, hips, heart or whether or not his was predisposed to any major health issues. Quite frankly many times it is better to know what the dog will look like, his health condition as an adult and how it will interact with your family than to guess.

Puppies are cute. Every puppy can melt your heart in a second if you are a dog lover and every puppy that climbs into your lap is a keeper.
Every puppy that is not housebroken and pees and poops on your floor, chews your possessions and does not understand what you are talking about is a pain in the butt. Each and every time you are kept up at night with whining and whimpering and all of those 2AM, 3AM and 5AM walks to the potty makes puppy ownership that much less attractive.

No one is immune from training and whether it is a cute tent head pup or a 2 year old dog, you must train and re-train them to respect you, your home, your family and your possessions. Training is a must no matter what dog your adopt. Puppy training is a 1-2 year commitment where rescue dogs usually require a 3-4 month refresher and bonding course.

Your family needs to be considered when adopting a GSD puppy. Puppies are rough. They play rough they interact rough and they grow fast. Puppies can scratch a small child, or, if predisposed, can snap at a young child who sticks his fingers where they do not belong or falls on the pup inadvertently. Older people have puppy phobias because they may be just too active for the older person to cope with or they may not have the patience or time or inclination to deal with a dog scribbling all over the place. A more sedentary or controllable pet may produce better results all around. Older dogs, especially those raised or trained around young children are far more tolerant. New owners have to consider the lifestyle changes brought about by a pup vs. a slightly older dog.

Dog’s aint cheap. Puppies require lots of shots and vet visits, training, fences, equipment like crates, toys and ‘stuff’ and neutering or spaying after 6 months. Rescue dogs are usually somewhat set in their ways and require maintenance medical, heart worm and flea protection and the other normal annual visits and shots. Bottom line is that all pets need medical attention and all dog owners should recognize this need and cost when considering adopting or buying a pet.

When evaluating appearance, which many people do, you will never know what a puppy will look like at 8 weeks but you will know exactly what he or she will look like at 1 year or so. If that matters, which is probably should not, a rescue dog is ‘what you see is what you get’ where a puppy is anyone’s guess. If you have seen the parents, which a backyard breeder will never do, you may have some clue, but usually you will have no idea of appearance, size or condition. Getting a GSD from a reputable breeder is always a great idea because they are experts. Some backyard breeders are definite jerks and most backyard or unprofessional breeders do a major disservice to the breed. A quality breeder will be able to show you the parents, the blood lines and all other aspects of the dogs lineage and temperament where a back yard breeder will not.

The reason we get dogs and so many dogs go to shelters and are put down is simply because no one trained the dog, no one was prepared to care for the puppy and no one really understood the commitment of a puppy vs. a quality rescue dog. Please make your decisions based your own family dynamic and consider both adoptive paths before committing to a pooch. 

     Bella and older dog and Tommy a young freind