Puppy Problems

Lately we’ve been pondering a third dog. We’re going to be trying to move onto a rural piece of land in the next year or two, and were considering wanting a herding dog. Even in our current situation a herding dog could be handy (for those moments when I’m alone and trying to corner that one rabbit that slipped out or trying to get the chickens out of the garden, etc.) and we want a third dog anyhow. So why not have a pet that can work with us sometimes?

But a full blown, AKC registered, purebred border collie or Aussie from herding lines whose parents regularly herd hundreds of sheep seems excessive for our small operation. So I started trying to reach out to rescues instead. Many of these herding dogs end up in pet homes that just can’t handle them, but also aren’t ideal for big farms. They’re extremely smart, active dogs that need something to do to harness their instincts. They end up chasing cars, herding cats and kids, and chewing things apart because their energy and instinctual needs are not met. We not only have an outlet for those herding instincts, but also are used to running our dogs through the wringer. Agility, hiking, dog parks, fairs and festivals, camping, swimming, two hour walks through the neighborhood… Our dogs go everywhere and do everything. On their off days they “only” run and wrestle in our back yard (which has a 6′ fence) for an hour or two and get a half hour of people play time. We can handle high energy dogs. As for training… Smart dogs? Check. Active dogs? Check. Neurotic dogs? Check. Aggression. Check. Guarding? Check. Killing the livestock? Check. We’ve tackled it all and our dogs have come out happy, healthy and well-behaved. We know how to manage problem dogs.

Rescuing seems ideal to me. We could provide a nearly perfect home for a rescue dog. But we’ve been running into snag after snag.

Most border collie rescues want fees just to apply for a dog, let alone adopt one.
One “national” Aussie rescue doesn’t even operate in our STATE.
Most rescues aren’t getting back to us, some have turned us down BECAUSE we have a farm. They see out 30+ animals not as livestock, but as “pets” that are being hoarded and bred like an animal mill.
One rescue had the balls to ask $650 for a nine week old corgi/aussie puppy. I could literally buy a quality AKC aussie with shots, hip, eye and MDR1 testing plus a great lineage for that price. No amount of “your dog comes with shots and is fixed” is worth $650. Sorry, getting a dog fixed is $100, shots are $50. Where’s that other $500 going to exactly?

I mean, it’s easy enough to just buy a dog. And we could do that. But we’d like to give a dog that needs a good home, well, a good home. We’re one of the most dog experienced homes you could get. We’re happy to pay a reasonable fee, home inspection, fill out applications, someone is home almost all day every day, we have a trainer planned, we have a fenced in lawn, blah blah blah… We know the drill, we’re OK with the drill, we’re confident in ours being a great home. I feel like our two, healthy, smart, active and well-adjusted dogs prove that. So it’s frustrating.

If these dogs need homes so bad… Why are we being turned down or asked to pay purebred dog prices?

We’re going to keep trying to rescue for a while. We’re in no hurry. But rescues pushing people to turn to breeders is going to give rescues a bad name. We’ve got a forever home open and waiting for a forever pup. How about approving us for a dog to fill it, huh?

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