How to buy or adopt a dog in Russia

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It’s important to find a trusted breeder or registered animal shelter to make sure your future pooch is healthy, happy, and homed successfully.

In Russia, there are no taxes and license fees for owning dogs and cats (like the U.S., Germany, Austria, etc), and it’s possible to buy or adopt pretty much any pooch you desire. If you want a pedigree, you should find a registered breeder. There are lots of adverts for puppies online, and many are pretty cheap. But you shouldn’t rush into buying a dog: There’s a danger that rogue breeders could sell you a canine that’s not up to scratch in terms of pedigree - and you’ll only find out once it’s grown a little.

How to find a breeder in Russia

"It’s better to ask your friends who have the certain breed you want," says Daria Sokolova. Once she bought a Yorkshire Terrier from a random dog breeder on the internet and it grew up into a big dog, 1.5 times larger than it should have been, and then it  just ran away! "If you don’t know such people, visit dog exhibitions and ask for the contacts of breeders and the owners of winners." (the schedule of these competitions are published on Russia’s Canine Federation website) You can also check the list of official breeders there.   

Professional breeders are concerned about their reputation, so they make sure to keep their documents in check. The will also make sure to look after each and every animal incredibly well. When you visit a breeder, they should show the puppy and the pedigree of its parents, and make a veterinary passport with proof of vaccinations. Many breeders also chip the puppies. Typically, they tend to only work with one breed, so they’re often real experts.  

5 breeds with Russian roots

1. Samoyed – this white fluffy canine takes its name from the indigenous Samoyedic people of Siberia. Samoyeds likes snow, walking, and big families – it’s very friendly!

2. Siberian husky - a breed whose ancestors came from the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Arctic. Huskies need a big apartment and an active human to take them for regular walks.

3.  East Siberian Laikas are natural hunting dogs used for a wide variety of small and large game, ranging from squirrels, martens, sables, and grouse to moose, bears, wild boars, and mountain lions.

4. East European Shepherds are very popular in Russia, they’re extremely smart and loyal dogs devoted to their owners.

5. Russian Borzois resemble wolves and have the habit of holding their heads low. The calm and elegant Borzois are also great hunting companions.

Find more Russian breeds here>>>

How to adopt a dog from a shelter

If you don’t care about the pedigree, not interested in taking part in dog shows, and are just for a furry friend, you can adopt a  dog from a shelter. In Russia, there are municipal and private shelters, and most have profiles on social media (check addresses in Moscow here in Russian). You can also attend charity events that are regularly held in big cities organized by volunteers and shelters to help people find dogs.

Be prepared to visit several shelters and take note of the conditions the animals are living in; speak with the shelter’s staff. If you like the look of a  dog, ask about its history, health, vaccinations, if it’s been chipped, and behavior. In turn, shelter workers will also ask you about your lifestyle and why you want to take the dog home. If all goes well, you’ll sign an agreement and you’ll have a new companion to love.

How to take your dog abroad

Every country has its own rules concerning bringing animals into their territory, so you should know them before traveling  (for example, here are the EU and U.S. rules). Nevertheless, for bringing a dog from Russia you should make an international veterinary passport (you can do this in most clinics in Russia), which will display information about the pet’s owner and vaccinations. Also, it’s important for the dog to have a chip. The rules for transportation on planes and trains depend on the carrier.

Read more about pet travel here>>>

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