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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new puppy, got her at the shelter. She is a sweet girl but I am not sure if she is right for us.
We have a dairy farm in NY. I was not particular about breed or mix but I wanted a dog some where in the medium to large range.
When I first adopted her I was told she was 8 weeks old.
I now find out that she was almost 13 weeks old. It might not matter to some but when I looked at her size at what I thought to be an 8 week old puppy, she seemed like the right size. To be that small at almost 13 weeks means she will be much smaller than I had hoped.
Has anyone ever gone back to the shelter and swapped one puppy for another?
I have had her about 5 weeks but do to the adoption process of my shelter the adoption was only final as of 4 days ago.
I feel like a heel. But i do not want to be disappointed with her the rest of her life.
 

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Why would a small dog disappoint you so much? Small dogs are dogs, after all, they don't have to be yappy, poorly trained little monsters. We have lots of small dogs on this forum who do all sorts of things, from dog sports to hiking to service work.
 

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Adopting a dog for size over personality isn't something most members of the forum would condone. You say she's a sweet dog, so it's literally just her physical attributes you don't like? How can you have had her for 5 weeks and not be so attached to her that the idea of returning her would be heartbreaking? I question your motives in owning a dog if you can just return a puppy that has been yours for over a month.

If you want a "guarantee" of a medium to large dog, you should be adopting a mature adult or purchasing from a breeder. Adopting an unknown puppy from a shelter almost always comes with a bit of a guessing game involved. I can't tell you how many times I've read on this forum "they told me he was going to mature to 50 lbs and now he's 90" or "they told me she was a Lab mix and she's full grown at 30 lbs".

Having worked at several shelters, I would be very unhappy if someone returned a puppy because they thought it wasn't going to grow large enough and tried to adopt another. What if the next one doesn't have the kind of coat you like, or the wrong color toe nails?

Do I think you should keep the puppy if you're going to be unhappy with her and give her a home where she isn't 100% loved? No. I think you should take her back. Do I think it's irresponsible and you should do some self-assessing and research before you adopt another dog? Yes, I do.
 

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Telling me she was 7 weeks when she was really 12 weeks was not fair to me. I understand there can be no guarantee with a shelter puppy. I picked a puppy that I thought would fit my needs according to the information I was given. That info was clearly wrong.
I Know lots of people have small dogs and love them. Yes I picked this puppy out of a group of 15 that fit my criteria, one of the things I was looking for was a dog that would be bigger than this. Had I know she was 12 weeks and this size I would have chosen a different puppy.
Not all of us just want a dog for the sake of having a dog. My dog needs to fit my lifestyle.
 

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The shelter has to go off what they are told. If the vet says " shes 7 wks" they go by that. If the old owner tells the truth or lies and says " shes 7wks" they have to go by that. Im not really sure what you want from them?

She MAY grow bigger than you think.
 

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I agree there should be no quilt in having the pup you want. I would contact the shelter and let them know and talk to them about doing a swap.
 

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I agree that if you wanted a bigger dog, you should talk to them at the shelter where you got the puppy. How much does the puppy weigh and maybe we can tell you how big it may grow to. At 13 weeks my Doberman was around 35 lbs. and matured at 75 lbs.
 

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I have a new puppy, got her at the shelter. She is a sweet girl but I am not sure if she is right for us.
We have a dairy farm in NY. I was not particular about breed or mix but I wanted a dog some where in the medium to large range.
When I first adopted her I was told she was 8 weeks old.
I now find out that she was almost 13 weeks old. It might not matter to some but when I looked at her size at what I thought to be an 8 week old puppy, she seemed like the right size. To be that small at almost 13 weeks means she will be much smaller than I had hoped.
Has anyone ever gone back to the shelter and swapped one puppy for another?
I have had her about 5 weeks but do to the adoption process of my shelter the adoption was only final as of 4 days ago.
I feel like a heel. But i do not want to be disappointed with her the rest of her life.
This is a downfall with picking puppies over adult dogs. No matter the age you will never be able to fully tell how big they will get-- even more so with mixes-- IME (and my mom's) height was always one of the things that made picking the one to keep the hardest. I have seen in my breed puppies that are the same (age) turn out to be very different when adults.

Depending on the age and breeds the dog could get bigger--but it would still be a guess-- you will have this same issue with any pup you swap it for from being to big to being too small. I personally would recommend that if you need something specific you should pick an adult, go to a breeder, Breed specific rescue. I would hope the shelter would want to work with you but some don't-- you do still have a responsibility to the dog you adopted.
 

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I don't think it's a dirty sin to have a size preference but it's a crapshoot with a mixed breed shelter puppy and if that's the route you are wanting to take then you need to be a bit flexible imo. My cousin got a 'Jack russell puppy' from the local pound and it grew into a 65 lb pit bull mix. My own 'cattle dog mix' definitely isn't the 30 lbs the shelter predicted. Age is also somewhat of a guess both by the vet and the shelter. Shelter thought my Hank was 10 months and my vet thought 6 months. Who knows which is right? It's all just kind of a guess. I remember someone on this forum a few years ago (can't recall user name) who got a 'border collie mix' puppy from the shelter and it grew to almost 100 lbs. Or you know... we all guessed Cpt Jack's Kylie was a BC/medium sized dog and she's tiny.

With Hank I could have swapped him for the first 30 day 'trial period' but after that it was my dog and I'd have to surrender him and wouldn't have the option of getting another dog as a replacement. I'm sure most shelters have a time frame like that or else people would just be swapping old dogs for new ones all the time, I'd think.

I feel like for people who are dead set on size being a big deal adopting an unknown breed PUPPY isn't the best idea.
 

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Telling me she was 7 weeks when she was really 12 weeks was not fair to me. I understand there can be no guarantee with a shelter puppy. I picked a puppy that I thought would fit my needs according to the information I was given. That info was clearly wrong.
I Know lots of people have small dogs and love them. Yes I picked this puppy out of a group of 15 that fit my criteria, one of the things I was looking for was a dog that would be bigger than this. Had I know she was 12 weeks and this size I would have chosen a different puppy.
Not all of us just want a dog for the sake of having a dog. My dog needs to fit my lifestyle.
It is important to understand too that shelters are guessing in most cases. They usually don't have a full history on the dog. Breed is a guess. Age is a guess.
 

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I agree. Having a size preference isn't a problem. I want a certain size and traits that match my lifestyle. I chose a breed and went to a breeder.

Who knows what a shelter puppy will end up as. You could swap your puppy out, but that doesn't mean that one won't be small as well.

As a kid, we adopted an Aussie/Pit mix. Shelter said she would be big, and honestly she was a huge puppy, big feet and tall...... she is now 15 years old and only got a few inches taller and never topped 35lbs. It's all a crap shot really.
 

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Or you know... we all guessed Cpt Jack's Kylie was a BC/medium sized dog and she's tiny.
Yep. This is basically the crux of it. I was looking for a medium sized dog - or at least small-medium. LOL, no. (And I should add, both my vet and those dumb calculators thought she was going to weigh somewhere between 25 and 40lbs). There is never going to be certainty when you adopt a rescue mutt. I don't think there's a problem with returning the puppy, particularly, but I would strongly advice you NOT get a pup from a shelter if you really want a medium/large dog.

My "BC mix" wound up weighing 11lbs soaking wet. Or, well, 12 when she's fat.

Also, everything else about her changed, too. Ears, color, coat, EVERYTHING. If you want something even a little bit specific? Adult or known breeding.

ETA: I also think the 100lb 'BC''s name is Koopa? Or something? I don't remember the username, but I definitely remember the dog.
 

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OP works/lives on a dairy farm and I think that should be taken into consideration as well. Personally I wouldn't want a smaller dog in that environment, since you can't supervise or carry around the dog all day. Not to say that any large breed you get could go unsupervised, but there's a better chance, at least. If OP could tell us how big the pup is right now it would be helpful.

I don't think OP should feel bad about it. I also don't think it's the shelter's fault or that they lied about the puppy. Things like this just happen. My dog Tucker is literally not even the puppy we adopted from petfinder, there was a mix up in transportation. Stuff happens!

All I can say is if you want to return the puppy, do it quickly while she still has puppy cuteness and explain that there was nothing wrong with her. Maybe offer to keep her as a foster until the shelter can find a new adopter, if that's possible for you to do, so she can be in a home environment at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for understanding, I truly feel horrible at this point and feel like I have failed this sweet little dog.
She weighed 13 lbs when I brought her home. If she was 8 weeks that seemed right. Now she weighs 20lbs. That tells me that she will not get much bigger than 30 at full grown.
 

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I think your dog will still turn out to be a med-large dog at that weight... no way she will be under 30 lbs if she's already 20 lbs at 12 weeks?
 

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I think your dog will still turn out to be a med-large dog at that weight... no way she will be under 30 lbs if she's already 20 lbs at 12 weeks?
If she's actually 13 weeks and 20lbs, yeah. Probably more like a 50-60lb adult dog, at least. *Probably*.
 

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If she's actually 13 weeks and 20lbs, yeah. Probably more like a 50-60lb adult dog, at least. *Probably*.
My bad but yeah I'm thinking she will at least hit 40+ lbs

I agree with CptJack and Laurelin. There's no shame in knowing what you want and if the dog doesn't fit the bill, it doesn't fit the bill... but in my exp. a puppy that big will at least be larger than 40 lbs (mind you, our mutts that come through shelters here usually tend to be larger breed puppies so it's not like I even know what small breed puppies are like lol!).
 
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