To Adopt or Buy? That is the Question

Family adopting dog

Recently, we talked about what questions you’ll need to ask yourself before getting a dog, now we’ll take the next step – figuring out where you should get your new dog.

The two main avenues for finding your Fido are either adoption or buying from a breeder, so let’s go over the pros and cons of each!

Adoption from a Shelter


  • Less expensive than buying, and adoption costs usually include spaying/neutering, microchipping, and vaccination.
  • Could already be housebroken or somewhat trained.
  • Shelter employees will often have good knowledge of the dog’s personality to make for a better match.
  • If you adopt an older dog, they can be more even-tempered and calm than rambunctious puppies or adolescents.
  • Will save an unwanted pet, plus give resources to help other animals at the shelter and in the community.


  • Limited knowledge of their history or possible triggers.
  • Uncertain breed info can make finding the right dog for your lifestyle more difficult.
  • Potential special needs (sadly, it’s often the reason they were surrendered), and while not a dealbreaker for many, it will likely require extra costs and care.

Buying from a Breeder


  • More predictable. You’ll know exactly what you’ll get to ensure a better match.
  • Less likely to have illnesses and diseases if you find a trustworthy breeder who screens.
  • You get them as puppies, which are harder to find in shelters.
  • Usually also vaccinated, microchipped, and often somewhat socialized and housebroken.


  • Significantly more expensive.
  • Although they won’t have a problematic “history,” you won’t be able to experience their personality first-hand, especially in cases where you choose your puppy weeks or even months before you can bring it home.
  • Purebreds statistically have more health issues than mixed-breeds.
  • You will absolutely have to train them.
Now, we’ve all heard horror stories about puppy mills, which have been known to generate dogs with “cons” from both sides, so we cannot stress enough the importance of finding a reputable, reliable, and responsible breeder. It might take some time and research to find a highly-rated breeder who has the kind of dog that you’re searching for, but it’s well worth the effort.

In the end, whether through rescue or from a breeder, where your dog comes from isn’t nearly as important as where it should end up – in a happy, loving, and supportive home.

So, what choice was right for you? Tell us in the comments about how your fur baby came into your life and contact us for suggestions on the best training methods for your best friend.
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