Breeder or Rescue?

Updated: Sep 4

Have you been wondering, ‘Should I go for a dog from a breeder or a rescue shelter’? There is no wrong answer to this question. RightPaw encourages all potential dog owners to think through this choice seriously and consider which option is right for you. There are advantages and disadvantages to either option. By rescuing a dog from a shelter, you are undoubtedly saving a life – freeing up a spot for another animal in need to be rescued. There is nothing more valuable you can offer your dog than a forever home.



Because there is always a plentiful supply of rescue dogs needing homes, some people feel that adopting a puppy from a breeder is never an ethical choice. However, at RightPaw, we know that it is not true that every animal bought from a breeder is another opportunity wasted for rescue. Not all families are in a position to offer the right home for a rescue dog. You might have specific needs in your family such as allergies, autism or mobility challenges, that mean you need to precisely control what kind of dog you adopt and that you need to know its history. Some families have their heart set on a particular breed, which might be difficult to find in a shelter. Some families have always dreamed of raising a puppy from 8 weeks old, which can be hard to come by in shelters. There is nothing wrong with choosing to purchase a dog from a breeder, as long as you are making this choice thoughtfully and ensuring that you can meet the needs of that pet.



If you have no prior experience with dogs and do not feel that confident, you can still consider either rescue or a breeder. Great rescue organisations will help match you with the right individual and many breeders will also match less experienced families with more easy-going puppies. The RightPaw community are here to support you and help you develop your skills as a dog owner.


If it is very important for you to know the adult size, personality and exercise requirements of your dog, consider an adult dog from a shelter who take the time to get to know all of their individuals and match them with the perfect homes.


Dogs mainly end up in shelters because people take on animals that are not suitable for them, or they haven’t thought through this commitment. The dog may grow too large, require too much exercise, the owners might have to move unexpectedly or no longer be able to afford the pet. The majority of behavioural problems in dogs develop because the dog’s needs are not being met, or they are not being managed by owners with the appropriate skills.


Dogs bought from exemplary breeders rarely, if ever, end up in shelters. Most RightPaw breeders will take the dog back free of charge at any time in the lifetime of that pet, because they love their dogs and would never want them to be homeless. Where this is physically impossible, RightPaw will always help rehome any RightPaw dog that is at risk of being relinquished.


Whatever you decide, RightPaw want to enable you to make this purchase in an informed, ethical way. A dog is for life, so start off on the RightPaw.



RightPaw supports Oscar’s Law: https://www.oscarslaw.org/


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