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First dog - puppy v rescue

(22 Posts)
twosoups1972 Sat 04-Apr-20 17:22:05

Very early days of thinking of getting a dog. Neither me or dh grew up with dogs so a very new experience for us all.

Dc are older - 18, 17 and 13. We also have a cat who I’m worried about as she seems quite scared of dogs.

I’ve talked to friends about the relative merits of a puppy v a rescue dog and most say a puppy is better because even though the puppy stage is very hard, they can be trained well from the start. And you’ll always be taking a risk with a rescue, true?

We have a big garden and lots of nice places to walk locally.

Grateful for any advice please.

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Sat 04-Apr-20 17:30:17

I think puppies and rescues have both pros and cons to both.

My dog was a puppy and quite frankly the first year was very hard and stressful. He's bloody lovely now he has grown up but it would have to be a very long time before I would do it again.

Rescues can be lovely and you get to see them as adults if you go for an older dog. I have seen people in RL have really good experiences with a rescue but equally there have been dogs that had so many issues that the experience was awful and they won't adopt another rescue dog again.

So I don't think either is better than the other but more about what fits in with your family and lifestyle and what you are prepared to cope with. A bitey, peeing pooing puppy that hits the teenage phase but then grows up or a rescue that may have different challenges to master based on their history.

Besom Sat 04-Apr-20 17:35:47

Yes prosand cons to both. My rescue greyhound was easy and relatively issue free. Still is 7 years later. But of course some of them do have more problems. We then rescued a 12 week old pup. She was much harder work. Pups are hard work.Chewed the house up. But she's a delighf now. It is possible to rescue a pup if you are prepared to wait.

Lefkosia Sat 04-Apr-20 17:41:57

I've just rescued a 1 year old dog from abroad. It's taken a few weeks and she still has some issues but she's an absolute darling now that she is settling in. Everything I wanted in a dog. Having had puppies when I was living with family I would 100% rather have my rescue dog than a puppy!

MyGirlDaisy Sat 04-Apr-20 17:46:59

I have had dogs all my life and I would always choose a rescue. However @BiteyShark gives a very balanced view and great advice and is right when she says there are pros and cons with both. Good luck, I adore my dog and couldn’t imagine life without a dog at home.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 04-Apr-20 17:50:23

What about a rescue puppy? Although rare I suppose.

We have two old labs, from puppies. Next time round we’ll go for an older rescue dog. But I’m not sure I’d have been equipped to deal with a rescue dog as a first time dog owner. We grew up as dog owners as our puppies grew up.

twosoups1972 Sat 04-Apr-20 17:54:58

@Throughthick so a rescue dog would require some experience?

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Sat 04-Apr-20 18:02:09

I think the biggest thing to consider is what traits you can live with and what you can't.

Then look at breeds that mostly fit with your lifestyle and wants. This is particularly important if you go for a puppy. For an adult rescue if you go to one that fosters rather than kennels you hopefully have the benefit of more information on their behaviour.

I am totally sold on getting 1-1 advice and sessions from a good trainer whether that is for a puppy or a rescue.

CMOTDibbler Sat 04-Apr-20 18:10:19

Rescue puppies aren't rare - tiny ones are less common (though the small rescue I'm involved with will have 20-30 a year typically), but we have a pretty endless throughput of 4-6 month old pups. Which are great as the fosterer will have done the heavy lifting on toilet training, sleeping, and started them walking on a lead.

Do you think this is the right time for a dog though? Will your two older children be leaving home soon? If so, then you aren't far from having a sole, fairly independent, teen so won't you want to be looking forward to going out and being carefree, only 5 years off being able to leave them alone for holidays (and potentially you'd be able to leave them with siblings now?) - and a dog is a massive tie when you are leaving that behind

twosoups1972 Sat 04-Apr-20 18:12:01

Youngest dd loves all the poodle crosses, cavapoo, maltipoo and so on. And they don’t moult which is good. But I’ve heard that these cross breeds are unethical?

OP’s posts: |
Scattyhattie Sat 04-Apr-20 19:09:59

There's lots of puppies & youngsters available in rescue and many well cared for dogs end up needing new homes simply because its owners circumstances changed so don't need to be experienced to adopt. Raising a puppy involves lots of intensive training/socialisation and many owners make errors along the way due to lack of experience or something happens out of their control.

I adopted greyhounds having never had even a family dog growing up. I'm quite happy to skip the testing puppy stage & i wasn't home enough to provide what one needed. I liked that adult dogs are pretty much what you see & can tell if character is what suits me. You can teach old dogs new tricks like us they don't suddenly stop learning.

However its key to find a good rescue to adopt from as they're not all the same. They should be checking out adopters to find out what the experience, home/ lifestyle is like, type of dog they'd suit, in order to get the best match. The other side is assessing its dogs well (many do test with cats) to know exactly what they need & giving adopters support throughout dogs lifetime. Most rescues contract adopters to return dog to them if ever circumstances change, which can easily happen to us all.

Ellmau Sat 04-Apr-20 19:47:25

I suspect there could be a lot of older puppies In rescue following the current situation as dodgy breeders can't get rid of them.

bloodywhitecat Sat 04-Apr-20 19:50:07

Three of my dogs have been rescues, and of those two were puppies one was 9 weeks the other 10 weeks, the other dog was around 9 months old. The 9 month old did have a couple of issues but with work he turned into a beautiful, well mannered dog.

cowfacemonkey Sat 04-Apr-20 19:53:10

Our pup was 13 weeks when we got him and he came from the RSPCA. You need to think about what sort of breed will suit your family lifestyle the most. There is no absolute guarantee that a poodle cross won't shed and you will want to factor in the cost of regular grooming fees.

Floralnomad Sat 04-Apr-20 19:55:21

There is no guarantee that the various cross breeds will not moult . Dh and I both had dogs in the family growing up and we got a rescue puppy as our first family dog . He was roughly 16 weeks and had been handed into Battersea as a stray , I’m not sure he’d ever been in a house as he was completely unhousetrained . He’s 10 shortly and has been absolutely fantastic . I think your main consideration should be the cat , particularly if he’s scared of dogs , how old is he?

Sertchgi123 Sat 04-Apr-20 19:55:48

All dogs start off as crosses. This stupidity about poodle crosses really gets on my tits.

Yes, we all know about puppy farms and we should all avoid them but honestly some of the nicest dogs I know are labradoodles, goldendoodles, cavapoos and cockerpoos. Ignore the idiots who will tell you that they're all nuts. They really aren't.

As for the original question, it's marvellous to adopt a rescue and if you think you can do it, go for it. They do come with problems though. If you look at any rescue website, many of the dogs have problems. These include not being housetrained, not being good with other dogs, not being good with children, having anxiety problems, you'll see for yourself if you look.

On the other hand, puppies are a nightmare. They poo and wee everywhere, they cry, they nip, they yap, they chew your carpet/furniture/slippers/expensive sunglasses/etc. To start with you have to get up in the night to let them out, they really are hard work.

cowfacemonkey Sat 04-Apr-20 20:35:53

I don't have any issue with poodle crosses in and of themselves, have met some lovely ones and equally met some shockers. A cross breed is fine, I have a lurcher who obviously is by nature a crossbreed. But realistically all cocker whatits will come from a backyard breeder/puppy farm and there is nothing about their breeding to justify the ££££ price tag

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sat 04-Apr-20 21:34:27

I went off on one on another thread the other day about the way that breeders are portrayed as either A* perfect or the Spawn of Satan, and how this is not in fact true, there are many perfectly okay breeders who produce good dogs without ticking every single box that the dog Stasi thinks they should.

However, if I was in the market for a poodle cross I'd be doing my due diligence in spades, because so many of those dogs are produced in shocking conditions in puppy farms and sold through all sorts of fronts. There is though nothing unethical about crossing different breeds, provided you have a reason for it (even if that reason is 'to create a temperamentally sound pet of the right sort of size with a manageable coat'). And don't take the piss out of people with the price, and don't treat the dogs like economic units and nothing more.

Sorry, OP, to get to your original question, if I was a first-time owner I'd consider either a puppy or an older dog from a rescue that fosters the dogs first and would be able to give you a more or less accurate picture of what the dog is like. This would allow them to make sure that they matched you with a dog suitable for your life and your level of (in)experience.

Puppies are wonderful, but bloody hard work.

twosoups1972 Sun 05-Apr-20 09:28:06

Thank you, this is all really helpful.

Our cat is 7, very sweet nature and much loved. I do worry about her as she does seem scared of dogs (and other cats). But I've read that it can work if the cat was there first?

OP’s posts: |
Girliefriendlikespuppies Sun 05-Apr-20 09:41:15

We were in the same position a year ago op and after much deliberation went for a puppy.

Lots of reasons but the main ones were;

I've not had a dog before so no experience in supporting a dog with possible issues.

We have a cat and I believed getting a puppy would be easier for the cat to accept and a puppy would be no threat to her.

I wanted a terrier and finding the exact dog I was looking for in a local rescue was difficult.

I wanted my teen dd (who has wanted a dog since she was was 3yo!) to have the experience of training a puppy.

We got our perfect terrier puppy last summer and for us it was 100% the right decision. Yes the first few months are intense but no more than I expected and now he is nearly 10 months he is everything we wanted in a dog.

I accept we may have just been lucky though as he has been easy to train and has a quiet, easy going nature.

StampMc Sun 05-Apr-20 12:10:11

I got an older puppy from a rescue. It was the best of both worlds. Already housetrained and walking nicely on the lead but young enough to not have ingrained bad habits. A rescue should know the nature of the dog. Some dogs get put in rescues because of undesirable behaviour but the vast majority are perfectly nice dogs whose owners have had relationship breakdowns or problems with housing or changed jobs or died or just can’t be arsed anymore now the dog has become a bit of a chore. You will be able to get a rescue who has previously lived with cats, which is what we did and our dog gets on fine with two of our cats. Unfortunately our third cat is terrified and now lives upstairs even though she came from a house with a dog in it before living with us.

hiredandsqueak Sun 05-Apr-20 14:35:54

Our first family dog we had from a pup. He is the reason our second and any subsequent dogs will be rescues tbh grin I really didn't like the puppy stage and even though Bella came with her own issues (generally disliking other dogs) with time and patience that has improved and on the whole she has been much easier than having a puppy.

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