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Buying purebred dogs from a breeder vs. rescuing mutts?

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  • #21
    There are unwanted dogs of all breeds and walks of life. That being said...
    We recently decided to get a farm dog. GASP, a dog that will live outside (with excellent shelter!) and be treated like a pet and provided for in every way. It is a wonderful set up for the right dog.

    I researched and narrowed down the appropriate breeds for the job. I approached no less then 5 rescues - purebred and crosses of chosen breeds. Replies varied from NO to fill out 10 page dossier, do an inspection on site, THEN we might talk to you.

    No thanks, all my other dogs have been from rescues, this one looks like will be purchased. BTW, the purchase price is cheaper then adoption, even with veterinary care factored in.
    Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

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    • #22
      I have done both. For the first dog I ever had, I wanted a Rottweiler, and since this was 1992 when that breed was trendy (= crappy breeders cashing in), I went to a good breeder who had both parents on site that I could interact with, had a buy-back policy (which I doubt was enforceable, but at least they cared), shared a LOT of information on the breed, and I felt I was ruling out some of the potential unpredictability of a non-AKC Rottie.

      And, btw Judysmom, my Clarabel was the best dog ever A drooler and a leaner! I was so fortunate to have her for 13 and a half years!

      My next two were both shelter adoptees as adults, one mostly blue heeler and one mostly pointer, and worked out well.

      Since I moved to a fairly rural part of Virginia, two "lost" or more likely abandoned huntin' dawgs have washed up on the farm. After dutifully reporting them to Animal Control and some neighbors who hunt, they've both been spayed and become happy front porch potatoes.

      So I agree with the advice -- if you need a specific purpose, look for a purebred. Otherwise, mutts are great!

      The most important thing we can do to help the shelters is: Take care of our own animals, pure- or mixed-bred, and not add to the problem.
      http://www.facebook.com/pages/Easy-K...22998204542511
      http://www.easykeeperfarm.com

      I can ride my horses without a sharps container.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Crackerdog View Post
        I do not concern myself with what other people do with their money.
        The world would be SUCH a better place if more people lived by your maxim.

        Bravo

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        • #24
          Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
          However, when you buy one from a puppy mill or a backyard breeder with no knowledge, no testing, who is breeding what she/he's got to what she/he's got with no clue about responsible breeding? That's a problem.
          See, this is what I mean. Some can't help themselves.

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          • #25
            I think that whatever works for you is the right answer. Both options are equally acceptable in my world. I even (*gasp*) have no problem with responsibly bred mixed breeds created with a goal in mind (how's that for trolling?).

            I own two rescues. My older one has her agility championship, and I would put my younger one up against any dog from a responsible breeder in terms of trainability. The dog is a shaping machine, and has had a very promising beginning to his competition career. I wouldn't trade either of them for a puppy from the best breeder on the planet. But I also wouldn't judge someone who went for a breeder puppy. They may have different goals, different beliefs, and different priorities. I want super fun agility dogs who are fun hiking buddies and great at snuggling in the house. I got that in my $25 rescues. I won't write off going to a breeder some day if my wants change.
            "Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." ~Mal, Firefly

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            • #26
              Honestly, I always just wanted a dog for companionship, and would have been perfectly happy with a mutt. Instead, I found myself with a rescued purebred GSD. The dog is awesome, but unless I really want to get into obedience training I'll probably end up with mutts again in the future. I also like adopting adults - already housetrained and I have a pretty decent idea of their personality.

              The heated argument surrounding breed vs. rescue reminds me of this recent column from the Houston paper: http://blog.chron.com/leonhale/2013/...ers-questions/

              The writer is 90+ years old, and as far as I'm concerned this guy is a national treasure. He wrote about losing his old dog, named Charlotte Bronte a few years ago. His partner wanted a new lab, and contacted a local quality breeder and eventually brought home a new puppy. Apparently this gave lots of readers license to rake poor Leon over the coals for supporting breeding and not rescue. His answer to his detractors was pretty solid, as I would expect. I can't believe how rude people can be about this.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Sunsets View Post
                I can't believe how rude people can be about this.
                That's because they don't often have the guts to go toe to toe with whoever they are criticizing or belittling.

                Originally posted by Sunsets View Post
                His answer to his detractors was pretty solid, as I would expect.
                Did we read the same column? Because what I saw was a weak, meek copout of an answer.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by dappled View Post
                  So, not to open a huge can of worms, but this is a topic I always find myself on the fence of.
                  Sure, I'll bite...

                  How do you feel about people who spend thousands of dollars on purebred dogs when there are shelter dogs being euthanized daily purely due to lack of space?
                  I have two feelings about it - one is, people are free to spend their hard-earned money as they please.

                  My concerns begin when people get dogs without consideration for the needs of the dogs. Pet store/puppy mill pups are the produce of torture. I could never support that. I have a difficult time with commercial breeders (who do not neglect their stock, but also do not care for them as pets, either) because dogs are meant to be companion animals, not whelping machines - there are more moral ways to make a living.

                  It bothers me to see people breeding their dogs with no clear goals in mind, other than to have a litter of pups. The first person with money gets the pups. Those are the pups that end up in the shelter - not the the puppies from caring hobby breeders, who breed carefully and infrequently, who will hold onto puppies until they find the right home, and who will take back their puppy, no matter the age or reason for needing to.

                  Do you put value on the maintenance of breeds?
                  I do. I look at the breeds today, and I see the history of dogs and humans together. It's a living, breathing testament to that relationship, which helped build the whole of civilization. Mankind almost certainly would never have gotten where he is without the dog.

                  Do you think we will ever see certain breeds go "extinct?"

                  Discuss!
                  We have and we may yet see breed extinction. They can also be recreated - dogs are amazingly plastic creatures. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a recreated breed.
                  Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                    Nothing wrong with buying a well bred, tested puppy from a respected responsible breeder. Nothing at all. However, when you buy one from a puppy mill or a backyard breeder with no knowledge, no testing, who is breeding what she/he's got to what she/he's got with no clue about responsible breeding? That's a problem.

                    Personally, I prefer rescue dogs, but that's my choice.
                    well, it's all nice and dandy, but rescues seem to be the ones mopping up after the irresponsible types, so in the end you still get the dog produced that way.

                    naturally the dogs don't care. they still give you their all.
                    Originally posted by BigMama1
                    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                    GNU Terry Prachett

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by caballero View Post

                      Did we read the same column? Because what I saw was a weak, meek copout of an answer.
                      Oh, I read it as "Well, bless your heart, I'll take that into consideration the next time"

                      With the unspoken implication that there probably won't be a next time, as he's old and really, why should anyone care where he gets a dog?

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                      • #31
                        My feeling is that the best way to help as many animals as possible is through inclusion. A lot of breeders have rescues themselves and support rescue animals in many ways. Some people in rescue have a very "us vs. them" attitude towards breeders, which I think only narrows their group of supporters. I have purchased purebreds, but I have also tried to help rescued animals in as many ways as possible, but I do search out organizations that are inclusive to all responsible animal owners. I currently volunteer with an organization that I decided to volunteer with because they are very inclusive towards people who own purebred dogs.

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                        • #32
                          Well, my family always bought our dogs from EXCELLENT reputable breeders but recently I rescued a Boston Terrier (my breed of choice) from a puppy mill where she was a discarded breeding bitch. I also bought her 4.5 yr old daughter that the breeders tried to dump on Kijiji. While they are not what CKC would consider to be perfect Bostons (I would argue with them on that!), they are not mutts , and I am still able have "my breed". I can say 100 percent that these dogs are every bit as wonderful and "Boston" as the dogs that came from the reputable breeder and I will never again buy a dog of any breed from a breeder. Yes, my two were more work because they were never house broke (they lived in a barn) and have no real training ect but it is nothing that can't be remedied. Many rescues have dogs that have been in foster care and these dogs are worked with and well trained and adapted dogs when they become available.

                          So yes, I think breeding dogs is unethical in about 98 percent of the cases out there. Just go on Kijiji and check out the purebred breeders of whatever breed. The Boston breeders out there are horrible...I can't even find one selling puppies that genetic tests or even registers their dogs with CKC. Now they are trying to breed new colors....just wonderful. These people ARE the problem. So if you are going to buy a dog from a breeder vs rescue then make sure you really are buying from a VERY reputable breeder ie this means there is a waiting list, this means they are very competitive, this means they genetic test, this means they are in good standing with their registry and that they care very much where their puppies go ect ect ect.

                          And if you need any more motivation to rescue : http://www.facebook.com/Urgentdeathrowdogs?fref=ts
                          www.svhanoverians.com

                          "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Marshfield View Post
                            The folks who want a GSP for hunting wouldn't be getting a dog from a shelter...
                            This part made me because although it was long shot, my husband's best-ever hunting GSP came from a shelter. Had issues at first about staying WITH him (or with us, for that matter) but with a tiny bit more training people were offering him lots of money for the dog and we would never give him up. He was priceless. Best kids dog, family dog, hunting dog EVER. Still miss him every day. You never know what you'll find in a shelter. No doubt in my mind he was purebred and had run off from an owner who perhaps gave up looking for him.

                            Back to the OP's question though, I have no problem with people who breed purebred dogs for a purpose, obviously. A good hunting dog, bloodhound, seeing eye dog... they're all bred for a purpose. Maybe some of them their purpose is a little less obvious to me (looking cute) but that's OK. I do wonder a little about people who would rather pay $1000 for a well-bred dog and then do nothing with it, rather than help a rescue dog, but I've talked to people who have done it and I understand their reasons. Many of them have had bad experiences with rescue dogs (or cats) with their health or behavior. They want to know what they're getting, so to speak. Like some people never buy used cars. Well, I understand that and I can respect that.

                            I've never bought from a breeder, even though we've had four purebred GSPs (2 currently). We've lucked out with knowing people who were giving away and/or that one shelter situation. Our other mutt dogs have been shelters or strays that adopted us. Cat is from a shelter. Heck, even our horses are untraceable past one owner back. I guess that's just what kind of animals I gravitate toward (I guess it's called cheap)

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Donella View Post
                              So yes, I think breeding dogs is unethical in about 98 percent of the cases out there. Just go on Kijiji and check out the purebred breeders of whatever breed.
                              As always goes without saying (or should) whenever this type of discussion comes up, is that simply mating two dogs and selling them does not make someone a "breeder". That makes them a puppy mill owner, whether it's one mating pair producing puppies every year of 100 pairs. It's the same thing - breeding for money and not breeding for a specific purpose based on the quality of the dogs

                              I was watching my kids 4H dog obedience series last week and there are two kids with Cavaliers. One is so timid it has to be dragged into the room, and the other barks incessantly and menaces people who walk by. The parent actually told me that they wanted them to be a breeding pair but the male's temperament is so shy that they had him neutered. But, they have just "acquired a new stud" for their bitch - he's 4 months old. They will just wait until he's old enough to do the job and - yay puppies! They don't know anything about his temperament or conformation or health yet...but they have plans to breed him. That's the same thing as a puppy mill, just smaller size.

                              Good breeders have a plan; some sort of method for evaluating quality (conformation titles, field titles, performance titles) in addition to their breadth of knowledge, and have a specific audience to which they market their puppies - maybe they don't have 8 buyers ready before they even breed the litter, but they know that there is a demand.

                              I feel bad for GOOD breeders who get lumped in with "Craigslist" breeders.

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                              • #35
                                My first dog came from the pound. He was on his last day there, and he was the 'perfect' dog from day 1. I was incredibly lucky to have had him for 16 years. Smart as all get out, no 'baggage', and always seemed to know what I wanted him to do before *I* even knew what I wanted him to do. He was likely a puppy mill dog, and he was found running loose in Camden.

                                My 2nd dog came from a breed rescue. I really do believe he has way more baggage than most rescue dogs have. He has always been a tough dog to deal with, but he has come around significantly in the 9 years I owned him. He still has a lot of issues. He is still a difficult dog. But, I know what they are and make allowances.

                                My 3rd dog came from a good breeder. Dog #2 has so much baggage, including being dog aggressive out of fear. So I wanted a well-socialized, 'right in the head' dog as that type would get along best with Mr. HeadCase. I also didn't think I could deal with 2 dogs with major issues at the same time. And HC dog and new puppy (now over a year old) get along wonderfully, better than expected.

                                I feel no guilt about getting a puppy / young dog from a good breeder. I got him partly for me, and partly for Mr. Headcase. He's worked out great, is a great little guy. A friend of mine who is heavily involved in rescue gave me a hard time about getting a puppy rather than a rescue. But she's not the one who is living with my dogs, is she ?

                                My next dog (I am limited to 2 at a time) will be a rescue.

                                I think there is nothing wrong with buying a puppy with 'proven' parents, from a reputable breeder. But I don't agree with purchasing a puppy with questionable origins from the pet shop. In fact I will not buy pet supplies from a pet shop that sells puppies like that.

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                                • #36
                                  So yes, I think breeding dogs is unethical in about 98 percent of the cases out there. Just go on Kijiji and check out the purebred breeders of whatever breed.
                                  0% of serious, responsible and professional breeders advertise their dogs on Kijiji or Craigslist.

                                  I do agree that those advertised on places like that are probably 98% silly folks who never bothered speutering their animals and shouldn't be producing puppies.

                                  But really serious, professional breeders sell via word of mouth, from shows/trials, vet referrals, etc. Not unethical at all.

                                  I agree with the comparison of buying a horse from a breeder vs a rescue for a purpose being similar with dogs too.
                                  If the breed can have inherent health issues or is being obtained with a specific purpose in mind, a pro breeder is the way to go. As with many to most large to giant breeds...*serious* joint problems can be rampant and when the joint goes in a poorly bred one, the cost to repair will be many times the cost of a well bred puppy of the same breed. So I'd be leery of adopting a purebred large/giant breed to avoid not so much the cost of replacing joints but to avoid second-hand support of producing them. Although I'd not be leery of adopting a large mutt due to the averages of hybrid vigor.

                                  I've "rescued" or adopted almost every single dog I've had over the ages. But I've had a handful of purpose-bred, purpose-bought ones too. I've loved all of them, but the ones from good breeders have definitely been healthier and had excellent temperaments and athletic abilities. But with personalities that's mostly been due to the breeds and/or circumstances the "rescues" came from. (high risk dogs) We knew what we were getting into.
                                  You jump in the saddle,
                                  Hold onto the bridle!
                                  Jump in the line!
                                  ...Belefonte

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                                  • #37
                                    I'm a pound puppy fan myself, and have been lucky with the dogs I've adopted in terms of temperment, trainability, etc. Why do I go this route? Because there's no specific breed I'm hooked on. I have no job requirements other than companion dog. Because there is a sense of joy when a rescue dog settles into his/her new home. Because they are there.
                                    On the other hand I have friends who are hard core in their desire for particular breeds. They have their reasons, needs, and checkbooks - and have some really lovely dogs - and a couple wacky ones!
                                    Will some breeds disappear - maybe. I dont know if that's good or bad. Are some breeds being changed for the worse? Yes, and I think that's bad. I'm not involved enough or knowledgeable enough of dog breeding to say much else. (with the editorial comment that puppy mills suck, and sadly they sell most of their puppies to less than knowledgeable dog people. I admit to having a couple friends who went this route...)
                                    In any event, I pretty much believe each to his/her own...
                                    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      Originally posted by Emryss View Post
                                      Sure, I'll bite...



                                      I have two feelings about it - one is, people are free to spend their hard-earned money as they please.

                                      My concerns begin when people get dogs without consideration for the needs of the dogs. Pet store/puppy mill pups are the produce of torture. I could never support that. I have a difficult time with commercial breeders (who do not neglect their stock, but also do not care for them as pets, either) because dogs are meant to be companion animals, not whelping machines - there are more moral ways to make a living.

                                      It bothers me to see people breeding their dogs with no clear goals in mind, other than to have a litter of pups. The first person with money gets the pups. Those are the pups that end up in the shelter - not the the puppies from caring hobby breeders, who breed carefully and infrequently, who will hold onto puppies until they find the right home, and who will take back their puppy, no matter the age or reason for needing to.



                                      I do. I look at the breeds today, and I see the history of dogs and humans together. It's a living, breathing testament to that relationship, which helped build the whole of civilization. Mankind almost certainly would never have gotten where he is without the dog.



                                      We have and we may yet see breed extinction. They can also be recreated - dogs are amazingly plastic creatures. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a recreated breed.

                                      I agree. In the area I'm from, I feel as though most people are really uneducated on puppy mills, backyard breeders, pet stores that "sell" puppies and kittens, etc. It's more of a trendy thing to have a certain breed, so that's what they go get. Good breeding, or breeding for a purpose, doesn't matter to them. I think that's what I have a problem with.

                                      If you want a dog for a specific purpose, to do a specific job, then by all means, seek out a reputable breeder. But for many people, it's a status thing. And by seeking out their desired breed without being educated, they are supporting the cruel, money-making practices such as puppy mills and people who have no business breeding their dogs just because they can.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by dappled View Post
                                        How do you feel about people who spend thousands of dollars on purebred dogs when there are shelter dogs being euthanized daily purely due to lack of space?
                                        Different dogs for different reasons. I have both rescue dogs & from-a-breeder dogs in my house and I love them all. It makes me angry that people blast those who buy good dogs from good breeders. They want people who didn't make the shelter mess to clean it up, while the real problem people do nothing. And now that shelters are actually importing dogs because they don't have enough of their own, while still blasting high-end dogs...ugh, I'm sick of it.

                                        Originally posted by dappled View Post
                                        Do you put value on the maintenance of breeds?
                                        Absolutely. Positively. You bet.

                                        Originally posted by dappled View Post
                                        Do you think we will ever see certain breeds go "extinct?"
                                        Sure. And why not. Although most breeds tend to morph into something else. However, you can Google extinct dog breeds and get quite the list.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          I don't have a problem with it either way. When I was a kid, my family tried to adopt a few dogs from the shelter. We tried three times. Two dogs came with major fear aggression issues and after spending lots of money on trainers and behaviour experts, they were put down, one after it bit my brother in the face. One dog was a sheltie cross and could not handle kids running around. He would try and herd us and would nip our ankles if we didn't comply. We rehomed him with an elderly couple who had no kids. My parents ended up getting a purebred Golden Retriever who is 16 now and is the most wonderful dog. I think we got unlucky with the shelter dogs but when young kids are in the picture, it's hard to keep trying and failing. I think after three tries, my parents couldn't take the heartbreak that my brother and I experienced every time the dog had to be rehomed, so they went the safer route with a puppy from a breeder.

                                          My husband and I now have a 2.5 y.o. Ridgeback. We bought her from a breeder with an excellent reputation. We did months of research. This is the breed of dog we wanted, and there are no rescues in our area so we had to buy from a breeder. I picked her out of the litter at 5 weeks and she came home with us at 8 weeks. She turned out to be even better than what we could have imagined. I know her temperament and intelligence is not a fluke - she was bred carefully and we met both her parents, and her grandparents, along with her entire litter, when we went to pick her up.

                                          Bottom line is that I help when I can. If it helps, my horse is a reject OTTB who was in bad shape when I got her, not a $$$$ fancy horse from a breeder.
                                          http://www.lucysquest.blogspot.com

                                          Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments

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