I see posts all over Facebook these days advertising the 'Adopt don't Shop" term. Every time I see those posts I want to comment, but realize it will only start a long debate about all the dogs in shelters that need homes. Don't get me wrong, I support rescues whole heartily. If fact our sweet little Malia is a rescue from the reservation and is a amazing dog. My concern with these posts about "Adopt don't Shop" is in reality this is a very dangerous message.
We own horses and depending on what we use our horses for determines what breed we select and what lines from that breed would best match our needs. My oldest daughter competed in Hunt Seat and selected a beautiful Appendix (Quarter Horse/Thoroughbred cross) Quarter Horse, my youngest daughter competed in a wide range of western riding and selected a nice all around quarter horse who was versatile in many venues. I prefer recreational and trail riding and selected a quiet paint horse who was smooth in her gaits and could navigate all types or terrain. Just like dogs, many horses are in need of rescue and can make nice pleasure horses and some nice sporting horses, but no one questions why people shop and don't just adopt in the horse world.
Health is also an important issue. When rescuing a dog, it is often unknown what health issues or genetic traits the dog may have. If you are looking for a dog to fulfill a role or perform specific tasks, you will want to ensure you purchase a healthy dog physically and temperamentally sound who will be able to perform in the role he/she was selected for. Responsible breeders breed for good health, temperament and structure. It is so important that our beloved animals live a quality of life free from as many health issues as possible.
If you are looking for a faithful loving companion, I often encourage people to consider rescues and shelters as an option. There are some amazing dogs who are in desperate need of homes and how rewarding it is to give a dog a second chance at life, however if you are looking for specific abilities in a dog such as therapy, ability to be around small children, herding, farm work, sporting events, hunting etc...., it is wise to select a pup from a reputable breeder who has lines that match your needs.
One of our breeders at SCPS is focused on therapy/service dogs. She needs very specific traits in her lines to accomplish this. Through selective breeding and training she will produce excellent pups that will meet the demanding needs of those seeking dogs for such an important job.
We also have breeders focused on farm work, agility, etc... All these breeders work hard in selecting lines that provide the traits needed to perform in those roles. At SCPS our breeders know their lines and can match you with a pup to meet your lifestyle and needs.
It is important that we find balance between rescue and breeders. The trend that breeders are bad and rescue is the only acceptable option is dangerous to the dog population as a whole and those of us who work so hard to preserve the traits that define the very breeds who have been our faithful companions for generations.
Thank you for support the Scottish Collie Preservation Society.
Courtesy photos: Hycottage Farm Collies
I reside in the Black Hills of South Dakota, with my husband and three children. I am a founding member and current President of the Scottish Collie Preservation Society. I live on acreage with horses, barn cats and three dogs. I have been a dog trainer for our local county 4-H chapter and have served as an agility judge for our local county dog shows. Titus is my first Scottish Collie, although I have owned other herding breeds and I am continually impressed with this breed. I have worked with Titus in a wide range of activities to include agility, hobby farming, herding, trick training, barn hunt and promotional visits to the local youth communities. I have challenged him to test the versatility of this breed and he has performed well in every aspect. I am looking forward to a second Scottish Collie next year. My knowledge of SCPS is extensive as a founding member. I hope you will find my blogs educational and worth reading.