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Who Should Adopt A Rescued Dog From A Dog Shelter

Anyone who wants a dog for companionship and love - and anyone who wants a dog to train for specific work. Many of the dogs who do search and rescue during disasters were once abandoned or lost. Now they're heroes!

And of course, everyone knows about Benji... the rescued dog who went on to become the star of both TV and movies.

There are some who believe that the mixed breed dogs you'll often find at shelters are more intelligent and healthier than purebreds. They fear that in-breeding and line breeding for specific characteristics has weakened the genes of purebred dogs. They also believe that mixing traits produces a superior dog.

Since dog behavior is not something we can measure and test, we all go with our own opinions. Just as some people would only own a Corgi and others are not content without a German Shepherd, some would only take a mixed breed dog.

The only people who really aren't candidates for adopting a rescue dog are people who really want a purebred dog with a certain bloodline. They might want to show dogs for a hobby or breed them for income.

Of course, as an animal rescue person, I discourage anyone from deliberately breeding more dogs. But since some people do breed responsibly and take good care of their dogs, I know dog breeding isn't always a bad thing. In fact, if no one did it, pure breeds would die out.

One thing to remember is that even if you want a purebred, you can still adopt from a shelter. You may or may not get the registration papers, but you will find hundreds of purebred dogs in shelters. (Check out Petfinder.com for the purebred nearest you.)

If you are interested in showing your dog, but not breeding it, even a dog without registration may be eligible. The AKC offers registration to dogs who show all of the breed traits so that they may be shown at AKC sponsored events - as long as they have been spayed or neutered.

Some show dogs don't need papers. These are the dogs who compete in performance classes like obedience, herding, and agility. Instead of perfect conformation and adherence to breed traits, these dogs win by showing off their brains and their training.