The Definitive Guide To Understanding Breed Rescues


One thing I have always believed is that there is a lot of misunderstanding between purebreds and rescue dogs. One, many potential dog owners believe that the only way to find a purebred dog is through a breeder and often don’t consider breed rescues. Two, many purebred breeders are against rescue dogs.

However, these are misconceptions and the fact is that you can find a purebred dog in a rescue. In addition, many breeders not only aid breed rescues, many have founded or work diligently with, breed rescues.  

What Are Breed Rescues?

Breed rescues are exactly what they sound like, a rescue dedicated to a specific breed, such as German Shepherds. Breed rescues often rely on fosters, however, some have full sized shelters. All dogs receive vet care and rehabilitation regardless of the rescue set up. Just like every other dog rescue.

There is a common misconception that breed rescues are a dumping ground for breeders to place unwanted or sub-par, dogs. This is false. In fact, dedicated breeders started many breed rescues.

Dogs that end up in breed rescues do so for several reasons, just like every other rescue.

  • They are owner surrendered. Many of these dogs were loved pets but owners surrendered them to the breed rescue due to divorce, new jobs, relocation or simply because they chose the wrong breed for their lifestyle.
  • They lack training. This is often the number one reason why dogs are re-homed. All rescues should have a training program for rescued dogs.
  • They are puppy mill rescues. Often, breed rescues find new homes for dogs brought from shut down puppy mills. They are able to provide breed-specific care for these dogs in need.
  • They are from shelters. Many shelters work directly with breed rescues, sending purebred dogs to the rescues so the shelter can focus on finding great homes for mixed dogs.

What to Expect From Breed Rescues?

If you are choosing a dog from a breed rescue, then you may have questions on what to expect. The answer is actually the same as any rescue.

Breed rescues spend as much time, energy and expense as other rescues when it comes to re-homing the dogs under their care. They are focused on finding the best forever home so you should expect some extra screening when you contact them.

Things to expect are:

  • Application Process: This includes filling out an application, and doing an interview.
  • In-Home Inspection: The breed rescue will come for several home visits before you are approved.
  • Meet and Greets: Time spent meeting your purebred rescue, as well as meetups with other animals in the house.
  • Follow up Visits: Not all breed rescues have a follow-up policy but many do, which means a few visits after the dog comes home. This is to ensure that the dog is doing well.

With adopting from a breed rescue, owners are able to know a bit more about how their dog will look like an adult and general personality tips. Your breed rescue should also help you in finding a dog that will work well in your home.

Finally, you can expect to find dogs of all ages in your desired breed from puppies to seniors. Dedicated to finding the best homes for their breed, breed rescues are happy to talk about their passion for potential adopters.

Where to Find Breed Rescues?

If you don’t want to use a breed specific rescue, there are many purebred dogs in rescues and shelters. However, there are hundreds of rescues across the US, which focus on rescuing a specific breed. And they are easy to find, however, make sure you follow the tips on how to find an ethical rescue.

  • Breeders: Ethical breeders are often heavily involved in rescuing purebred dogs. Check with breeders in your area to find a breed specific rescue. Many have them linked on their websites and social media accounts.
  • Breed Clubs: Many breed clubs have rescues for their breed. If they don’t have a dedicated rescue, they often have information for breed rescues throughout the country. They are a great place to start for two reasons.
  1. You can get more information about your desired breed.
  2. They will connect you with people dedicated to the breed.
  • American Kennel Club: In the USA, the American Kennel Club is the best place to locate breed specific rescues. If you aren’t in the USA, check the national Kennel Club in your country. All kennel clubs have listings for breed rescues.
  • Pet Finding Websites: The internet is full of rescues, including breed rescues. Some to check out are:
  1. Adopt-A-Pet
  2. Pet Finder
  • Local Shelters: Finally, check your local shelters. They often have a list of breed rescues who work with them.

Finding a purebred dog in need is very easy to do. Remember that 20 to 30% of all dogs relinquished to shelters are purebred. So there is no reason to shop when you can adopt. Interested in a purebred? Check out breed rescues and ignore the misconceptions.