Chapter 5
How To Know The Best Source For Your Dog
Benefits of Free-to-a-Good-Home Dogs. Free-to-a-good-home dogs may be a great way to get a mixed breed or even purebred dog free or at a very low cost. Some owners charge something for their dogs typically not because they expect to recover much of what they spent but because they want to be sure that the new owner is committed to the dog. You may also be able to get dog accessories for free with a give-away dog; the owner may be willing to give you the dog's bowls, favorite toys and other accessories. The other advantage to adult Free-to-a-good-home dogs is that when you get an adult dog, you can see the end result. You know how large the dog is going to be, and what his temperament is going to be like. If you want a dog of a certain size or with a certain type of coat, getting an adult dog can help you ensure you'll have those characteristics at the most desirable cost-free. Disadvantages of Free-to-a-Good-Home Dogs. When you get a free dog, you have very little idea of what problems you may be inheriting from the previous owner. Even if you ask all the right questions and the dog seems ideal after performing the temperament test detailed in Chapter 6, you could still find yourself with a crazy canine from a dishonest owner or at least an owner whose perception of reality doesn't quite match anyone else's reality. You simply can't know when you get a give-away dog what you're getting. Although a free mixed-breed dog is less likely than a purebred to have or develop medical issues later in life as a result of poor genetics or inbreeding, feeding a poor diet, over-vaccination and a host of other issues are still possible. Likewise, give-away dogs may have temperament or behavioral problems that are the real reason the owner is giving the dog away. Some of these problems may be relatively easy to correct such as providing more exercise for dogs that are destructive because they are bored. Other problems, however, can require more of a time commitment to overcome via training, and ultimately may not be something you can resolve.