Although all of the various rescue and rehoming centres within the UK are generally full to bursting with a range of dogs of all shapes and sizes that need a good home, finding a pedigree dog at a shelter is a relatively rare occurrence. With the exception of some pedigree breeds that seem to come up for rehoming much more commonly than others, such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Greyhound, generally, pedigree dogs rarely make it across the threshold of a rehoming centre. This is not to say that pedigree dogs of all types of breeds rarely find themselves in need of a sympathetic new home, but simply that you may need to look for your prospective pedigree rescue dog in different places.
For many people who have fallen in love with a particular pedigree breed of dog, buying a puppy or young dog of that breed is the obvious solution, and there is a lot to be said for getting a dog when young and while its history is known. However, buying a pedigree dog of any breed is expensive, and puppies of popular breeds regularly change hands for £1,000 or even a lot more. Rehoming an adult dog is one way to potentially find the breed you want, while dramatically reducing the initial financial outlay. Also, while many people are big fans of a specific breed, many of us feel that it is somewhat irresponsible to promote the commercial breeding of puppies while so many dogs in the UK are poorly cared for or without a home. Rehoming an adult dog of any type, including a purebred pet, can provide the perfect solution to a personal moral quandary.
Just as you would when seeking to get a new puppy or buy a pedigree dog of any age, it is important to undertake a significant amount of research about the breed first. You will need to identify things like their temperaments, care requirements, exercise needs, and if they might be prone to any breed-specific or genetically inherited health problems. If you are considering taking on an older dog that has already firmly established their personality or has an unknown history, the amount of research you will need to undertake for any specific dog will also increase exponentially.
When considering rehoming a pedigree dog, firstly you should address the question of what exactly you mean by the term ‘pedigree.’ Would you be perfectly happy with a dog whose appearance indicates that they are fully or at least mainly pure bred, or would you only be happy with a dog whose ancestry could be traced back to their dam and sire and prior generations? Does ‘pedigree’ to you mean that the dog must come with formal breed paperwork and be entered onto the relevant breed registry? Deciding upon these factors can help to either narrow down or widen your search, and may make things easier or harder for you to find the perfect pet depending on your requirements.
On of the most common reasons for seeking to rescue or re-home a pedigree dog is to try to reduce the cost of the initial purchase, which can be a significant amount of money. However, you will probably find it very hard to find even an adult pedigree dog that is being given away free. Adopting a dog from a rehoming shelter generally requires a donation to the shelter to offset some of the costs incurred by providing the interim care they gave to the dog, and to go some way towards proving to the shelter that you are committed and able to provide financially for your new dog. Breed-specific rescues operate in much the same way, and you should budget a bare minimum of around £200 to be able to offer as a donation or fee to adopt your future pet.
As mentioned, generally, pet shelters and rehoming centres do not handle many pedigree dogs. Pedigree dogs that require rehoming are often dealt with by their initial owners by word of mouth advertising, and pedigree dogs that do get taken in by shelters are often the most easy to re-home to prospective new owners. So it is fair to say that even if your local shelters do sometimes house pedigree dogs, they are unlikely to hang around there for long!
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