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The Importance of Setting Yourself Up for Sucess

As many of you reading this probably already know, I worked in rescue for 2 decades before starting 16 Paws. Growing up we had rescue dogs and often fostered. So when I was ready to get my own dogs in my early 20's, it wasn't even a second thought in my mind. My first dog, Keyla, just landed in my lap and she was perfect. I got Cota from a breed specific rescue I worked for that placed dogs based on temperament and owner lifestyle.

Working with that rescue, was the first time I got a glimpse into the importance of doing your research and choosing the right breed and the right dog within that breed for your lifestyle. I worked with a boxer rescue, and as anyone familiar with the breed can attest they are absolute tazmanian devils for no less than three years and then become the calmest, laid back and goofy companions. About 90% of the dogs that ended up in our rescue were there because people had met a friend's older boxer, didn't do any research whatsoever and went out and bought one off a breeder just trying to make a profit and not sharing any information with the new owners.

Fast forward to 2022 and having worked in "prevention" for four years, even on the small scale it has been, I have to be honest at least half of the clients I have been blessed to work with and learn from did zero research on breeds or temperament testing before selecting their new dog. Many got lucky, but a lot of them ended up with a dog that was completely unsuited to their lifestyle and therefore ended up being completely unmanageable as well. I'm sure anyone who's been with me for a while can think of at least one dog that doesn't come here any more. There's a reason.

This isn't to bash rescue. I think it's an admirable undertaking, and anyone who want's to get a new rescue dog, I'll be happy to coach you through the process of doing the research on the right breed for your lifestyle and skillset. But after being heavily involved in the canine industry for nearly a quarter of a century I can hand on heart say that rescue isn't the solution to the problem.

The solution is doing your research. Finding breeds that suit your lifestyle, activity level, reason for getting a dog and skill level as an owner. And then being a 2.0 owner and finding a breeder who is working hard on improving their bloodlines, who is happy to share information about the breed and who will work with you to find the right puppy out of their litters to fit your family. 

No, not everyone can be a good dog owner. Some people are incapable of being calm consistent leaders, and there will always be a need for shelters because of those people. But by choosing to support breeders who are doing their part to create healthier dogs, by choosing dogs that will be such a good fit for us we'd never dream of giving them up no matter what life throws at us, we are setting ourselves up for success and putting a big dent in the problem.

If you or someone you know is looking to get a dog soon, please let me know. I'll be happy help set you up for a win!

a really crazy wild great dane at doggy daycare playing contentedly with a dominant doodle at school on the playground
puppy selection information on how to choose a good breeder
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