Alternatives to Puppies and Rescues?
January 27, 2015 12:03 PM   Subscribe

We'd like to get a Portuguese Water Dog. They are very rare as rescues. (Which is a good sign, I imagine!) Is there any way to adopt a grownup dog? Or is buying a puppy from a breeder the only alternative to rescues?
posted by musofire to Pets & Animals (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Breeders sometimes have adult dogs that the first owners couldn't keep or that they kept but decided not to breed. Contact a few and tell them what you're looking for and see if they can connect you with a dog.
posted by fshgrl at 12:09 PM on January 27, 2015 [10 favorites]

Does it need to be purebred or is a PWD mix acceptable? The latter would certainly offer more options.

Some friends of my parents pseudo-"adopted" a Norwich Terrier that was a retired show dog. I think she was about 7-8 at the time, so not young, but not terribly old (for that breed) either. They had an established relationship with the breeder, though and drove 2 days each way to pick her up.

There's no harm in calling around to (reputable) breeders or a regional PWD interest group and surveying the scene.
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:17 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Here is the PWD Club of America Rescue and Relocation program. In addition to contacting that group, contact all of the "responsible" breeders in your area to let them know you're interested in adopting a dog (likely a retired breeding dog).
posted by melissasaurus at 12:17 PM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Don't go by what the website says about the dog. My sister's PWD was labeled on the Humane Societies website as a Bearded Collie. If you see a dog that you think might be a PWD, go down and check the puppy out.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:20 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Our quest for a PWD received a serious setback when Ted Kennedy gave Bo, who was related to his pets, to the Obama family. Interest increased exponentially. If you don't succeed, try again in 2 years when the breed will enjoy less exposure.
posted by carmicha at 1:59 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Fshgrl is right about breeders with ex-show dogs who need homes. Check there first. Find breeders whose dogs you like and drop them an email inquiring if they know of any older dogs who need a new home--they might not have any themselves, but they might know someone who does.

If you really want to go the rescue route and/or if you absolutely do not want a puppy but there aren't any breeders or rescues in the country rehoming adult dogs that would work for you, it may be worth looking into Doodle or standard poodle rescues. They're not the same as PWDs, but you never know what a mix will turn up and it is possible that you might find an adult dog that has all the same traits you like about PWDs without, technically, being one. This has the bonus of being way cheaper, easier, and often faster than going purebred if you can find the right dog. (In this case, since doodles and Standard poodles are *way* more common than PWDs in my experience, they might be a bit easier to find.) On the other hand, it's not going to be the exact same thing as you'd get with a PWD either--it all depends on what exactly you want and are looking for.
posted by sciatrix at 5:49 PM on January 27, 2015

I'm a new owner of a PWD. She's six months old and I love her to pieces.

That said, at this point, I fail to see how she's any "better" than any other happy/healthy dog of similar breed. She ain't Magic Dog. If the temperament works, a doodle or a poodle are great choices.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:07 PM on January 27, 2015 [6 favorites]

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