Pet Dog World contains affiliate links. If you click one of these links I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, thank you! Please see my Disclosure Policy for further information.

You have decided to get a family dog, but are torn between adopting a mixed breed shelter dog versus purchasing a purebred from a breeder. Before making that final purchase decision, take a step back and review your circumstances, expectations in a dog, and what you perceive as the perfect family dog.

A woman fussing dogs at a dog shelter

Many groups encourage adoption only and frown upon purchasing purebreds. Don’t give in to peer pressure. Make an intelligent decision so your choice doesn’t end up in the shelter if it should not work for your family.

Considerations such as size, coat type and care, energy level, and trainability should be high on your list, especially if you have young children in the household. If you are busy attending school events or caring for a newborn, you know the time constraints you face daily, even hourly, and finding time to property exercise or groom a dog could be a struggle.

Shelter Dogs: Amazing Stories of Adopted Strays.

A purebred dog is bred with breed-specific traits in mind based on a breed standard outlined in their breed registry. For example, an Afghan Hound has a long flowing coat that requires consistent upkeep to maintain, while a Pug has a short coat that is a breeze to groom. You can be relatively certain that the characteristics in a purebred will remain consistent, thus giving your family a headstart into the time commitment a dog requires.

On the other hand, a shelter dog may be a mix of two or three different breeds and display traits from all the breeds. That tiny puppy that had a short coat when you bring him home may end up with a fluffy coat when grown and top out well above the shelter’s estimated weight. He may also have a high prey drive or insatiable energy.

101 Things to Know Before Getting a Dog: The Essential Guide to Preparing Your Family and Home for a Canine Companion.

If your current lifestyle allows you the freedom to adjust your routine and possibly your residence, then adopting from a shelter may be the right choice for you. If a mixed breed outgrows any size restrictions at your current location or requires daily exercise, you could accommodate the unexpected.

Either choice, a purebred or mixed breed, should fit well with your daily routines. There is no shame in purchasing a purebred dog if certain traits and characteristics are what you need and expect. It is far better to purchase exactly what you want rather than take a chance and be forced to make a difficult re-homing decision later.

Purebred or shelter dog? Helping you to choose.
Share with your friends!