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everyone definitely has the right to their viewpoints. It’s just funny that you never hear people harassing someone who adopts a dog about how they should have bought one. But they feel the need to harass us about it.

The whole family member thing makes it really hard to go to family events.
Too often people have tunnel vision, they can only see their side of things unfortunately.

It has to make family events very difficult, it's one of those topics right along with politics and religion.
 

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I think as you get older peoples opinions matter much less. When I get asked about adopting from a shelter I normally counter with "have you ever tried to get a well bred Golden from a shelter?" In all honesty how does the average person on the street know if your Golden is a rescue or CH bred? I never tell anyone what I pay for my dogs. I often get asked how much I pay my hunt/field trainer and my answer is always that "I'm not sure". Anyone with a brain knows that I'm fully well aware of what it costs ME, but that stops the questioning. I recently added a third Golden to our house and have gotten "you have ANOTHER dog" more times then I care to acknowledge. What amazes me is that if they paid any attention they would know that I have almost always had two dogs and have had three at multiple times during my life. My dogs make me happy. They are my hobby.

I had an absolutely horrible day yesterday but once dinner was over I took Moe out and ran some drills. I truly felt better just watching him do his job. He just came back from a Pro trainer and she was able to accomplish some things I just couldn't. When I put Moe back I brought my puppy out and did some basic obedience for a few minutes. Then I sat in my backyard and watched Duke, Moe, and baby Cruz play for an hour before I went in. Cruz has this adorable response to the down command where he drops like he's been shot. If an 11 week old Golden doing that can't make you smile you are just not going to smile. There is no amount of money that could give me the joy these guys do.

I don't ask questions like "what do you think" when it comes to my dogs because very few of my non dog friends would ever do what I think is appropriate. On the opposing end of all of this are the people that are spending exactly what I spend and would do exactly what I do. The best part of those people is that they NEVER ask a question about cost. They don't ask where you got your puppy but ask what lines it's from. If they ask about a trainer I will answer but they again NEVER ask about cost. Right now these people are trying to figure out why I bought a conformation bred puppy to do hunt work. I'm not answering questions but I bet I will show them in a year or so 😉 (little guy has a ton of confidence and drive)
 

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I have never received any unsolicited advice about what dog I should get. If I ever do I'll handle it the same as training advice I occasionally get from people that don't train their own dogs. Bluntly, harshly and just one time.
 

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I normally wouldn’t engage but the worst person about it is my aunt and she makes a scene at family events
Man, that just sucks for you. I'm sorry. Have you tried just standing there and saying nothing? Like, just don't engage. Perhaps nod ever so slightly, as in, yes, I hear you, but just say nothing. Hopefully she gets bored and walks away.
 

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I usually explain my rationale for going with a breeder if its someone asking me personally. if not I cannot be bothered.

It really annoys me however when I see people on facebook groups requesting for breeder recommendations and then getting lectured by these 'adopt don't shop' activists. Ends up there are no breeders being recommended, no education on how to go about finding a well bred puppy, and these people who really still want a pup at the end of the day just go with the easy route of pet shops & puppy mills. it's not a very unhelpful culture.

often people express their breed preferences and others shoot them down and say they should not look at breeds and just rescue a dog. no one should be made to feel bad for personal preferences. :)
 

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I think rescue is one of those things that rescuers and rescue supporters find it hard to be objective about. So it's a subject that becomes very emotional very quickly, and once emotion is involved it becomes difficult if not impossible for people to express or accept a nuanced opinion. I've occasionally been attacked because of this, which is ironic because in my very many decades of life, all my dogs except two have been rescues, our next family dog (my daughter's next agility dog, which will not be a golden retriever) is likely to be a rescue, and I spend a good percentage of my spare time fundraising for rescues. When it happens, I just let the negativity and insults go - there's no point arguing because it's a subject on which positions are so crystallized. And I'm old enough not to care what others think about me, especially when they don't know my history.

But it's harder to deal with when the attacker is a family member, like the OP's aunt. I'd suggest maybe tackling the problem directly with her: tell her that her attitude is making it difficult for you to attend family events. Tell her you respect her opinions and would like her to extend the same courtesy to you. Suggest that it's one of those things about which you will just have to agree to disagree. And in the end, it's none of her business anyway.

Best of luck! When I hear things like this, it makes me realize there are some advantages to being on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean from the rest of my family ...!
 

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This is a hard topic-- I have family members and close friends who are passionate about rescues. When I got my golden from a breeder, I got gentle and not-so-gentle reminders that many dogs need homes... my response was that not every home situation is appropriate for a rescue, and my home is one of those situations. I'm grateful that those people mostly understood!
 

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I don't know if I'm just getting too old or tired or what, but I decide the additions I make to my own family. I chose to get another puppy from a breeder. One day I may rescue. My life. My family. My choice. I don't need to explain it to other people. If they have strong feelings one way or another, they can have those about their own lives and pet situation.
 

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I normally wouldn’t engage but the worst person about it is my aunt and she makes a scene at family events
The best you can do with someone like that is say, this is my choice for my family, we aren't going to agree, so lets agree it's a closed subject and not talk about it anymore.
 

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Man, that just sucks for you. I'm sorry. Have you tried just standing there and saying nothing? Like, just don't engage. Perhaps nod ever so slightly, as in, yes, I hear you, but just say nothing. Hopefully she gets bored and walks away.
Not yet because of covid but will definitely have to try it next time.
 

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If I decide to engage. I tell them about the rescues I have adopted who ended up with serious behavior or health problems. In my personal experience, no one gives up a well, behaved, well trained, young, healthy and otherwise perfect dog to a shelter or a rescue. They all have some issues, or someone who knows the dog would have already taken it in. If it was family member I would ask Are you willing to pay my training fees and vet bills to maintain the dog at the standards I want? They would say No. Then I go into the stories of the rescues that bought puppy mill dogs at auctions because they couldn’t find enough dogs of their breeds. I tell them I support well bred dogs, and if I support a rescue, I am supporting back yard breeders. I give a lot of examples. I remind them of the street dog I adopted that had a bad biting habit. By then, there are no arguments. They have usually walked away from me or changed the subject. If you are long winded enough, you can wear anyone down. I have fostered for a rescue. I have adopted from a rescue. I might do it again but I won’t allow anyone to bully me into agreeing with an opinion I don’t support.
 

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What do you say to the people that feel the need to constantly lecture about adopt don’t shop?! It’s been a constant thing for us.
Like I get shelter dogs need homes, but I bought a Golden from a breeder because I wanted a golden. I wanted a dog with all the amazing qualities of a golden. We picked based on a lot of research on what breed was the best fit for us.
But that’s not enough then they go on about finding a golden that was in a golden rescue. Which we also checked before we got our dog. The rescues either had mixes and I didn’t want to risk them having qualities of the other breed and not the golden or they had needs we couldn’t accommodate. There were ones that needed a 6 foot fence yard, one needed a lot of medication and someone that was home 24/7 . All things we couldn’t do so why put the dog in that situation.

So what do you say? How do you deal with those people?
I’d tell them what you just did. It’s more difficult to find a rescue Golden than a puppy and most rescues and even some breeders disqualify anyone without a fence. And though maybe this doesn’t necessarily apply to you, in the age of Covid 19, it has become extremely difficult to find any dog!
 

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I am going through this right now. I am a big proponent of rescue. Every dog (and cat) I've had my entire life has been a rescue until I decided 13 years ago to get a golden retriever. After reading about all the health problems, particularly among dogs bred by backyard breeders, I started considering buying a puppy from a reputable breeder. I must admit I almost croaked when I saw the price of golden retriever puppies, and that was 13 years ago. I talked to my vet about getting a golden retriever and I'll never forget what he told me. "Get one from a breeder that does genetic testing and is a member of the local Golden Retriever Club. You can either pay them up front or take a big chance on paying me with high vet bills and a lot of heartache down the road." I bought both of my goldens from the same breeder who did all of the genetic testing -- one in 2007 and one in 2009. That breeder is now a good friend and surprisingly, is doing nothing but rescue of all breeds. One of my goldens lived to be almost 13 and the other just turned 11. Several months ago I was going to get another puppy after my golden died. My breeder friend referred me to one of her friends who referred me to Deb Thomson at Oakleaf Goldens. Deb's female had been bred to Daniel of Westminster fame and I was fortunate enough to get one of those puppies. But, I actually had someone indicate how terrible it was that I got a puppy just because of who his sire was. I didn't even know when I contacted Deb about Daniel. I just wanted a healthy golden retriever from a reputable breeder!!
 

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My wife and I find it very easy to ignore some people. We have a land line phone with caller ID. If we do not recognize the caller, we ignore it! My wife has a cell phone, same for it! We also have a call block, if someone tries calling multiple times, we hit the big red button, and it blocks that number. We have a no soliciting on our door and we seldom answer the door, unless we are expecting someone....life if good, we are not required to be available! Cut 'em off!
 

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What do you say to the people that feel the need to constantly lecture about adopt don’t shop?! It’s been a constant thing for us.
Like I get shelter dogs need homes, but I bought a Golden from a breeder because I wanted a golden. I wanted a dog with all the amazing qualities of a golden. We picked based on a lot of research on what breed was the best fit for us.
But that’s not enough then they go on about finding a golden that was in a golden rescue. Which we also checked before we got our dog. The rescues either had mixes and I didn’t want to risk them having qualities of the other breed and not the golden or they had needs we couldn’t accommodate. There were ones that needed a 6 foot fence yard, one needed a lot of medication and someone that was home 24/7 . All things we couldn’t do so why put the dog in that situation.

So what do you say? How do you deal with those people?
It's nothing more than a desperate need to be RIGHT. it's all ego.
 

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When people bring up the subject of rescues I do engage them. I tell them I have gone that route. I further ask them if they know where I can get a golden to rescue. I also say I do NOT want a Pit Bull or mix of a pit bull. If they further question me I firmly state It is MY CHOICE, not theirs. Then I walk away. Usually shaking my head.
 

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Tell them next time, when my Golden passes away in 13 to 17 years, will look into adopting an unwanted Golden. They will have to wait the 13 to 17 years to see if you adopt a Golden or buy a Golden. Then change the subject or walk away because you have an appointment, need to go find a bathroom, take your dog out to pee...
 

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Whenever a person is very compassionate about something, regardless of the topic, they often have very strong opinions about whatever the subject is.

Everyone has the right to their view points and opinions, the right to live their life as they choose, make the decisions they feel are best for them. However, I don't think anyone should ever force their viewpoints on another individual or make a person feel guilty or belittle them for their choices.

Do what you feel is best for you........ ignore the individuals who try to make you think otherwise. It's especially tough when it's a family member.......
 
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