|Barked: Wed May 8, '13 11:13pm PST |
|Many answers to this, but a quick one is that if you get an adult rescue, you have an unknown puppyhood and puppyhood is the most critical time in a SD's life. The outlook the pup gains about the world wouldn't be evident from a few weeks of a foster family.
One of the greatest benefits of really knowing what you're doing when you're raising is that the pup gains a great deal of flexibility and learns how to handle himself in stressful situations and with stress in general. We're not talking situations that can be contrived in a few foster weeks; we're talking month five of heavy-duty SD training which no foster stay can replicate. That's why you have responsible OTs washing out 18-month-old dogs they have had in training since 8 weeks old.
MOST dogs are not suitable to be SDs. Guide dog programs which have bred their own dogs for decades, begin working with them the day they are born, have them in heavily regulated raiser homes, and then with professional trainers for 6-ish more months. Even these guide dog schools have a wash-out rate of about 50% (a bit more or less depending on the school and when you begin considering released dogs wash-outs).
So the chances of finding an adult rescue who has not had three of those four crucial components (decades of specific breeding, very early work, very purposeful upbringing, and a professional trainer finish) that would actually make it as a true service dog are so, so incredibly slim. Heck, the chance that a dog picked from a private breeder would actually make it as a true service dog are also slim, but nowhere near as tiny as the adult rescue.
(By "true service dog" I mean dogs who are truly trained quality SDs, not the unqualified dogs in service dog vests being inappropriately dragged into stores in droves by every dog lover who manages to convince themselves they qualify as disabled under the lack of certification requirements of the ADA...any dog, rescue or otherwise, would work fine for that! )
Oh, and I'm all about rescuing dogs! I volunteer weekly at my local SPCA and all my pets are rescued! It's wonderful to try to save a dog's life, but think of how stinky it is for the dog when you have him for 6 months and then have to wash him out, which is what would happen in all likelihood. That's not so great for the dog to have to start over with a new family again, assuming you have to rehome and can't keep collecting rescue wash-outs! (Because again, you'll probably have to go through quite a few dogs to find one that might work out.) And by "you" I mean "one."
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