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10 reasons to buy a dog from a breeder

Last week I wrote about 10 reasons to adopt a dog from a shelter. I realize that no matter how many homeless dogs there are, some people will always buy a dog from a breeder. For this post, I talked with owners of purebred dogs in order to get their opinions on why they bought from breeders. Here are 10 reasons:

1. You know everything about the pup from day one.

A good breeder will tell you everything about the pup’s life up until that point. She will tell you how it was raised, if it had any health issues at birth, if it is a more dominant puppy, etc. Then, once you bring the puppy home, you have control over how the puppy will be raised from the start. You can continue training and socialization on your terms.

Buy a dog from a breeder - English springer spaniel puppy

2. You can meet the pup’s parents.

The puppy’s parents will tell you a lot about how your puppy will turn out, as far as health, appearance and temperament. With a mixed-breed dog from a shelter, you do not have this option.

3. You know the pup hasn’t had a troubled life.

When adopting from a good breeder, there are no uncertainties about the pup’s past. You know your puppy hasn’t been abused or neglected, resulting in behavioral issues. There are no questions about how it was treated before. With a shelter dog, you often will have no idea about the dog’s past.

4. You are not encouraging irresponsibility.

Mixed-breed puppies are often the result of irresponsible owners who did not have their dogs spayed or neutered. Then they try to make money off of an accidental litter by selling the puppies to anyone.

On the other hand, most breeders take pride in the dogs they are breeding. The will spend time researching the lineage of the parents and grandparents in order to produce the best puppies. They plan ahead so they can offer the mother dog and puppies the best care and find the best homes. They know they will not make a profit off the litter.

5. The breeder will have references.

At your request, a breeder will offer you references of dog owners who are happy with the dogs they purchased. This gives you another opportunity to ask any questions you have.

6. You can get another similar dog.

If you really like the dog, you know where it came from in order to get another dog just like it. If you have a mutt, you probably have no idea where it came from, let alone what breed it is.

7. There is endless information on your specific breed.

A breeder of Jack Russell terriers will tell you everything you want to know about Jack Russell terriers. There are also hundreds of others who own the breed and books written on the breed. Your resources are unlimited.

8. A breeder can recommend a good vet for your breed.

A breeder can give you recommendations on vets in your area. Especially if you have a rare breed, the breeder will know of vets who are knowledgeable on that specific kind of dog.

9.  Mixed-breed dogs might develop new health issues.

Certain breeds are prone to certain health issues and sometimes this can be avoided by adopting a mixed-breed dog. Other times, a mixed-breed dog will just develop different health issues, or the health issues it inherited from its purebred parents of two different breeds. For example, a dachshund/pit bull mix might have back issues because of its long, stocky body.

10. A breeder will be available to you throughout your dog’s life.

Many breeders like to stay in touch with the owners they sell puppies to. This is good because you will always have someone to turn to if you have a question about your dog. The breeder has probably experienced similar issues at one time or another.

If you got your dog from a breeder, why did you decide to do so?

Lindsay Stordahl is the founder of That Mutt. She writes about dog training and behavior, healthy raw food for pets and running with dogs.

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Anne

Friday 1st of June 2018

You know what? It's nobody's freaking business WHERE I get my damn dog. End of story. It's a free country and buying dogs is legal. What upsets me isn't how people get dogs but how people TREAT dogs. I know shelter dogs that are treated like kings. I know pure bred dogs who are the light of their owners lives. And I know the opposite too. Rescuing a dog does not make you an amazing person...not when you leave Fido in the back yard tethered to a pole for most of his life. The same is true if you buy an 800.00 German shepherd and do the same. Get your dog where ever you want, and treat your dog like a part of the family. Spay and neuter your dog and don't be irresponsible about their medical care. Choose your dog carefully, no matter where you get your dog. And let's talk about things that can really lower the number of dogs that are euthanized every year. Let's make people responsible for their pets. Maybe we should ticket people who don't spay and neuter. If we took care of the irresponsible dog owners who don't spay and neuter, all we would HAVE is pure bred dogs who are purposefully and properly bred.

DanaR

Thursday 23rd of March 2017

I live in Manhattan and am close with my family who have homes in the suburbs. My mother is allergic to dogs that shed so I grew up with standard poodles. My husband however grew up with labs and after visiting his family's home I realized that I too am allergic to dogs and especially cats.

When it was our turn to get a dog we compromised on a labradoodle which didn't shed and was medium size (under 40 pounds) because it could life happily in our apartment, still run and hike with us, and would not effect my allergies.

We made an educated and responsible decision on what qualities we were comfortable with. - Had we adopted a dog from a shelter, later to learn that they shed, we would have been in a terrible situation. - Had we adopted a dog who the shelter guessed would weigh under 40 pounds and turned out to 50 or 60, over out building's limit, we would have been in a terrible situation. - All of my friends who have adopted, even from the most reputable placed in the area, have received dogs that they loved despite growing significantly larger than they were told and also showing signs of being a pit mix. If I opened a home I would be fine with a pit mix but many Manhattan buildings do not accept them.

I am tired of being judged for being elitist for not adopting. I think adopting is great. I wish I could but it's not that simple. Shelters can't guarantee what breed a dog is and therefore cannot predict as accurately what the resulting dog will grow up to be like. I know there is no guarantee from a breeder but my breeder has multiple generations of dogs backing up her ability to generalize on the outcome.

This is all to say that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. It's a complex decision for many and it's too easy and unfair to generalize about why people do what they do.

Lindsay Stordahl

Thursday 23rd of March 2017

Such good points

Tilly Barker

Tuesday 21st of February 2017

Wow what a bunch of judgmental people. Guess what? Dogs are available from breeders, rescue groups and humane society. Where you choose to get your dog is your business not anyone else's. It is highly likely that we will never have a law that outlaws breeding, it's going to be around forever and so are shelters and rescue groups. I would suggest the people who are so high and mighty about rescue dogs and strays preach to the a-holes who put those dogs out there in the first place. Because it's funny, I've never encountered a good breeder who lets their dogs carelessly breed a bunch of mongrels that nobody wants. If you get a dog you're not ready for and abandon it, you suck. If you have dogs that you dont spay or neuter, you suck. If you have dogs that you let breed with no plan as to what to do with the offspring, you suck.

Erin

Monday 24th of October 2016

Our family adopted an adorable "Puggle" from rescue for Christmas a couple of years ago. I adored this seemingly sweet 10 pounds of cute, as did my 10 year old son and 4 year old daughter. We were incredibly loving to him, and he was sweet 99% of the time, but over time it became but it became clear he had some anxiety/fear and he must have had some sort of abuse in his past: he was about two and a half when he came to us. Without warning, he started to be very possessive of me and to not like my daughter. He was skittish and nervous occasionally, but we were shocked when he bit my daughter's face bc she put her face right next to his. Even after that trip to the emergency room, we tried classes and behaviorists, but not two months later, with literally no provocation, he bit my daughter again and on the eye. We had no choice but the heartbreaking decision to return him to the foster, who accepted him back gracefully. But BOTH my children were devastated, and frankly so was I; my husband was very angry that my daughter got hurt and that it could have been so much worse. We were lucky. Our daughter could have easily lost an eye. So it's not so simple. We tried to do the "right" thing by getting s rescue, and taking a dog into our home who needed loving. But obviously you can't expose your child to a dog who might snap for no reason. At this point, they really want a dog again, but I will not go the rescue route if we do it, which pains me. But when you have little kids they are always first priority.,

audra

Tuesday 19th of April 2016

this stigma that breeder dogs are superior to shelter dogs needs to end. in fact, majority of dogs from shelters are from breeders. you may be able to train a puppy from a breeder right away, but shelters have puppies just the same. your dog is going to behave the way YOU train it to, you cannot just leave it up to the breed. also, saying that mixed breeds develop more health issues is very untrue, most pure bred dogs have more health issues due to smaller gene pools and inbreeding from irresponsible breeders. that being said, there is really no such thing as a responsible breeder if they are aware of how many dogs die because someone decided to purchase from them instead of rescue.

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 19th of April 2016

To me it seems like there's a stigma that rescue dogs are better than breeder dogs.