Getting a dog - if you had to choose...

…would you pick a breeder whose line you knew and liked or a rescue dog of the same breed?

My handsome and wonderful Doper hubby, Tripler, has told me that for my wedding gift from him (we got married in Charleston three weeks ago), we can get a dog of my choosing. Over the course of 5 years or so I periodically dogsat for a lhasa apso called Dobson who I also saw on a weekly basis and adored. He was clever, usually quiet and sweet all around. He didn’t bother my three cats, either, nor their food. Lhasas are small enough to carry like a football if one needed to in an emergency; a lhasa is what I want!
Now, to pick - go with the same breeder the dog I liked came from, or go the Humane Society/Rescue route? There’s no gaurantee Dobson’s bloodline will be as good as he was, but there’s also no gurantee a lhasa will show up at a shelter. I’ve never had a dog of my own in my life. Help!

All my dogs are rescues. They don’t necessarily come issue-free, but they love you to death. You could also keep on eye on Craigslist - many purebred dogs show up for nominal adoption fees.


Check out the Lhasa Apso Rescue on It says there are 656 lhasa apsos up for rescue in your region. I prefer rescuing animals to paying a breeder, because then I feel like I’m helping give a sad animal a new home. However, I don’t know a lot about dogs, mostly cats.

Good luck with your future dog!

Hooray! Now you’ll have a doggie to chase off the neighbours!

It depends on the breed, and it’s availability. As far as I know, there are NO Pyrenean Shepherds in rescue at the moment…

Now, remember that I spent years working at the Humane Society, and I work with at least two breed rescues as a foster home. That said, with a Lhasa, I would go to a breeder. Find one specializing in temperament. Lhasas can be pretty darn nasty, and many of them in rescue are there because of attitude. Too many of the Lhasas in rescue are puppy-mill, pet shop disasters.

Girl, lhasas couldn’t chase away molecules. But, they’d bark at strange molecules floating past that they didn’t know…

I have now spent almost an hour on Craigslist going through all the GA pets ads and I have to vent -
Maybe I don’t ‘get’ Craigslist, but it seems pretty damned cheeky of people to say, “I don’t want this dog I adopted any more because (insert excuse here), so I’m giving it to a good home I want to inspect and approve of first and by the way, I want you to pay me $100-200+ as a **rehoming fee ** to pay for the food I fed MY DOG and vet visits for MY DOG.” I know you have to pay a breeder even more $$, but damn, they’re not asking you to do them a favor because they’re morons who didn’t know dogs grew and need love and food and attention.
The obvious breeder ads pretending to be not-breeder ads are just as creepy.

Thank you for the insight; I know dogs are as varied in attitude as people and I may have just been acquainted with a very well-trained dog who colored my opinion for lack of any bad ones. Dobson is a playful darling and never showed any real interest in my cats, harmful or otherwise. He just seemed to want them to like him, which I thought was odd. (Though he did appropriate one of their chirpy toys and carry it around like a puppy in his mouth. And lick it clean.)

What about looking at the specific dog itself? Some dogs can have great pedigrees, but just be assholes (just like some people). My neighbors had a dog that came from a pet store (obviously, not a good sign), but I took care of the dog quite a bit, and she was incredibly sweet, intelligent, easy going. A lot of it just comes down to the individual.

I believe you’ve met my shih tzu, weighing in at 12 pounds of dumbass.

Oh my. All those dogs want to come and live at my house, they told me so with their eyes.

I thought maybe your bathroom rug had somehow gotten under your coffee table; thanks for clearing that up.


Most of these dogs are in animal shelters or in foster care, so if you wanted, you could pick one out and go meet him/her. You don’t have to adopt sight unseen. At the shelter, you can ask if the dog is cat-friendly. We test dogs with cats at our shelter, so you can know that before you take the dog home.

I would get a rescue, preferably one that has been in foster care. If they’re in foster care, you can meet them at their home where they feel comfortable and act like they will in your home. You can see how they react to new people coming into their territory; whether they’re yappy or what. Also, the foster parent can tell you about any bad (and good) habits the dog has (and just in general things about the dog). This allows you to really find the best dog for you.

Also, don’t just get the first one you see and fall in love with. Pick out ten dogs (or whatever) and go see all of them before you decide.

Congratulations! Dogs are wonderful.

Me, personally? I would get a rescue. Every dog I’ve ever had has been a rescue or a shelter dog. Only one, an abused, abandoned Basset Hound, every gave me pause to think maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. But we worked with her and now you can’t find a more sweet, loving, or protective dog out there.

I’ve had cats, and a dog at the house growing up, and have been around dogs most of my life either through sitting, or roommates having them. I personally prefer a border collie or some other ‘working dog’, but we just don’t have the yard for it now, and I wanted to get a pup for the wife first (not that either one of us specifically “owns” a pet, but you get the drift)


How do you ‘test’ a dog for cat friendliness?
Ed: “Hey Bob, tape Fluffy to a two-by-four and dangle 'er over Spot’s cage!”
Bob: “No dice, Ed! Spot got ahold of Fluffy. I think we’re gonna need another cat. . .” :smiley:
I know you don’t really do this, I’m just posting it for comic effect. But how do you test a dog for things like this?

Woof. Meow. Woof. Meow.

Of course, seeing ten dogs and then deciding that the one you fell in love with when you first saw it is the one - and then discovering that the dog has already found a family - can be difficult.

In the Twin Cities, puppies in particular get snapped up quickly - mutts, purebreds, ugly ones, cute ones - if you want a puppy and you see one, you can’t be “too” picky (working with a breeder will be a different story, but will involve a wait). Younger rescue dogs don’t stay in rescue long either. Older and problematic dogs will remain in rescue longer.

Personally, I’ve never “gotten” a dog, rather circumstances have brought a dog my way. In my line of work that’s more common than for most folks.

The rescue site **Rubystreak ** linked to is great, but one problem is our region - we’re south of Macon and the closest shelter listed is in Savannah. The others are in Charleston or Columbia or Spartanburg or even Florida. That’s a minimum of 2.5 hours on the freeway and up to 7. The dogs are in foster homes rather than a single facility, so you have the fosterers schedules to work around as well; looking at ten dogs and having them still be available when you decide on one just isn’t doable.
There’s a dog called Josh in the Savannah rescue that’s closest to us. The application asks if we have a fence and I get the feeling they demand it of the adoptive homes, no?

I’m pretty opposed to “breeders”. Have you been to the pound or the Humane Society?
With all the unwanted dogs in the world, I don’t see any reason to reward a person for creating more. I’ve always adopted, and all of my dogs have been great. My current dog was adopted as a puppy from the Humane Society. She’s a lab mix, and has turned into the most loving, playful dog anyone could hope for.

Don’t get me started on creating new lives while there others that are suffering. I’m just over-cautious as I’ve never had/raised a dog before and I thought a dog I knew more about might be easier and I could be a better doggy-mom.

I did another search on petfinder and saw that there are closer shelters to us with many dogs.