Unless you want to compete in conformation and breed your dog (Breeding is not even an option for you if you aren’t an experienced dog handler.), you don’t need a registered AKC dog. If you’re simply looking for a good family pet/companion, agility dog or obedience dog, rescue might be an option. Most purebred breeds have a rescue group affiliated with them. These are groups who specialize in finding dogs of a specific breed (and often mixed-breeds containing some of that breed’s geneaology) who are in need of a home and rescuing them from shelters and possible euthanasia by finding permanent homes for them.
Rescues come from a number of places. People who can’t keep their dogs due to divorce, moving and even a death in the family. There is usually a range of ages available. All of these dogs are fostered out after having been health tested and treated for any problems. The foster homes test their temperaments – are they good with kids, other dogs, cats, men, women, etc. These animals can make wonderful pets and have a lot to offer.
Often rescues have a number of dogs to choose from that have their AKC registrations, however, the papers do not come with the dog and all of the animals will be neutered or spayed – rescues are trying to reduce the numbers of dogs that need their services. You will have an adoption form to fill out and will often be questioned even more than by a breeder. Some of these dogs have had hard lives and are looking for some love and a warm bed.
Don’t have the time and energy to deal with a puppy? Rescue may be perfect for you. You can help rescue an older dog, which usually means they’ll be a bit more mellow, and possibly come with some basic obedience training. It’s can be a really great way to get your first dog – or all of your dogs, for that matter.
You can locate rescue organizations by going to the breed’s Parent Club. A Parent Club is a National Club that most breeders belong to. There is one for each breed ie: The Doberman Club of America, The Chinese Crested Club of America, etc. If you search for your breed on the internet, the Parent Club will most often be one of the first hits, you can also find breed rescue organizations at the AKC website.
And what’s wrong with simply going to your local shelter or Humane Society? Absolutely nothing. There, you’ll likely find lots of animals that need a good loving home. You can find pure-breds (without AKC registration papers) and mixed-breeds alike. Mixed-breeds often make great companions and there’s almost no reason not to adopt one, but realize that you won’t be able to compete in AKC agility, obedience, or any other AKC events. Even with mixed-breeds, though, you should be careful to research the breeds mixed in the dog you adopt, so you can get some idea of the dog’s behaviors before adoption. If you get a dog that you think is a pure-bred, you can apply to the AKC for an Indefinite Listing Priviledge (ILP), which will allow you to compete in most AKC events.
In Pocatello, your animal shelter is in Ross Park near the south edge of town. Take the Ross Park entrance on 5th Avenue (it’s your last right turn before I-15 as you go south) and go up the hill & around the bend. The Pocatello Animal Shelter is on the right (east) side of the road.
So now you’ve selected a dog with whom you’re ready to settle down. You probably have a few days, or maybe a week or two, before your new pal can come home with you. In the meantime, there’s a lot of preparations to make.