Benefits of Getting A Puppy From A Breeder

I’ve learned there are so many benefits of getting a puppy from a breeder.

We got our puppy Remy from a breeder, and it was such a positive experience.

OK, she did have a lengthy application form and a detailed contract for me to sign (yikes!) but that is to be expected.

This is not to say that going to a breeder is a better option than getting a puppy through a shelter or rescue. It’s not. There are benefits to both.

Benefits of getting a puppy from a breeder

Benefits of getting a puppy from a breeder

1. Our puppy will not be neutered at 8 weeks old (creepy).

I plan to have our puppy neutered but not until he’s around 12 months old. We’ve discussed this with the breeder, and our vet also recommends waiting until the pup is at least 12 months old.

If you get a puppy from most shelters or rescue groups, the puppy will be spayed or neutered prior to adoption. It’s common practice for rescues to spay/neuter puppies as young as 8 weeks old.

Most people don’t seem to mind this, and it’s nice because then you don’t have to worry about the expense and hassle of spaying/neutering down the road. This is also for the overall greater good of dogs. Rescues are obviously hoping to decrease the number of unwanted dogs by spaying & neutering puppies as early as possible.

However, I do not believe it is healthy for a puppy to be spayed or neutered at such a young age. You can read about that here. A dog’s balls are there for many reasons. Reproducing is just one. Same goes for a female’s ovaries.

See my post: Is spaying and neutering the healthiest choice for my dog?

2. There was no “home visit” or reference check.

And boy was that nice!

I did apply through several rescue groups and all but one rejected me for various reasons. Those reasons included not having a fenced yard, not giving out my landlord’s phone number for a reference and not vaccinating my senior, indoor cats for rabies. So I never even got to the “home visit” stage.

With our breeder, I did have to go through an extensive application process, prove that I am a “true runner” and of course pay a deposit and wait several months on a waiting list. But no one inspected my home (such an invasion of privacy!) and no one called my vet or landlord.

3. We have time to plan for our puppy.

Going with a breeder has taken away the stress of quickly choosing “the right” rescue dog.

One of the challenges with adoption is you really have to make a decision about the dog within a few days or even that day or someone else will adopt her. At least that is the case in San Diego. There is a HIGH demand for rescued dogs, especially puppies. The puppies are scooped up instantly and there are waiting lists.

Some people don’t mind making fast decisions about adoption. They “just know” the one and it works out great. That kind of fast decision making about a dog is extremely stressful for me. I spend a lot of time deciding on the right dog, even when I’m just fostering.

Benefits of getting a puppy from a breeder

4. I know I’m getting an athletic dog.

One of the benefits of getting a puppy through a breeder is I know our weimaraner will be capable of distance running, hiking and agility. There are no guarantees, but I know this with as much certainty as possible.

Yes, there are tons of rescue and shelter dogs that could make good running buddies and shelters like to market them as such. BUT, I’ve been running with dogs for 8 years as my job and I can tell you it’s actually hard to find a dog capable of distance running. As in, a dog who’s able to maintain my pace for more than 10 minutes – and I’m slow as far as “runners” go!

I run at about a 10-minute per mile pace, and most dogs start to slow down after the first mile even if they’re in good shape. Most dogs just not built for long-distance running. Walking or a slow jog is better for them.

Curious which breeds make the best distance runners in my experience? Pointing-type breeds! Dogs such as English pointers, vizslas, weims and pudelpointers. They can typically maintain my slow pace for over an hour and then sprint around the yard afterwards!

5. I’ve removed my emotional need to “rescue.”

I have this deep need to “rescue” dogs and cats in need. This is a wonderful thing, but I am also aware that this is also about me and not just about the animals. Fostering is a way for me to have a purpose and to feel good about myself, and I will definitely be fostering and adopting in the future.

However, there is something to be said about a puppy that will be loved every single day of his life. The fact that we are not “rescuing” him almost gives me a sense of relief. It allows me to just let him be who he is. Our puppy is not a “good deed.” He is a dog.

I don’t know if anyone can relate to that or if I’m explaining it right. Anyone?

6. Health screening and pedigree

Good breeders test for several genetic health conditions such as hip dysplasia. They will only breed animals that are healthy and not likely to pass on any genetic health issues to their pups. They will also provide you with a pedigree from each parent going back several generations.

What are some other benefits of getting a puppy from a breeder?

Or, what are some benefits of getting a dog elsewhere, like through a shelter? Let me know your thoughts!

Related posts:

Reasons to buy a dog vs. rescue a dog

When a dog rescue volunteer buys a puppy from a breeder

Benefits of getting a puppy from a breeder

28 thoughts on “Benefits of Getting A Puppy From A Breeder”

  1. Family health history. You know at least 4-5 generations back who is in that pedigree. If you’ve paid attention, you can pick up on a lot of useful information on who throws what and with whom. If your puppy comes up needing some tests, it’s really helpful to know what’s in that health history and possibly narrow down which expensive lab work to try first.

    Health guarantee and lifelong support. My pup comes with a guarantee for X number of years during which if she turns up with a genetic disorder, I’m entitled to a replacement puppy. Now we all know I would rather have her than replace her, but it tells me that the breeder stands behind their dogs and will be there to offer moral support and advice in the event of an issue. And I’ve also seen breeders quietly replace dogs even past/outside of the guarantee, because the dog died and the breeder felt that offering a new pup when the time was right was the right thing to do.

    Predictability. Temperament is genetic, and you can get a good idea of how your pup will turn out. My puppy was frighteningly like how the breeders predicted she would be! It was uncanny. Because they both knew the parents and their ancestors, they were able to make a solid breeding decision and predict with accuracy what the puppies would be like.

    Breed-specific pointers. Different breeds have different tendencies, and oftentimes this will inform how you raise and train them. A breeder will be knowledgable and thrilled to share their experience with you as you figure it out for the first or tenth time.

    A social network. Even when still on the waiting list, I was put in touch with other owners (both future and current). Many of us are now friendly outside of our relationship with our breeder. We train together and support each other in raising, training, and titling the pups. I’ve received so much wonderful support from other owners and from trainers, and it’s fun now to be on the other side sometimes and share what worked for us.

    I could go on and on, because my breeder pup is the best decision I ever made, but my final one kind of touches on your last, which is that my dog has known nothing but a happy, secure life. I like that. She’s so confident, and she meets the world head on because she’s never been given reason to do otherwise, and I love that about her. She’s a solid dog I can take anywhere and do most anything with, and I don’t have to worry about her beyond making sure we are being courteous and safe.

    There are so many benefits, though, and I think you’ll be really happy you made this choice. I’m excited to read all of the posts about your new pup!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Yes, all of those are such good points. I’m glad you can understand the benefit of knowing the dog has had nothing but a happy, secure life.

      1. I got to see the difference firsthand, and while it kind of broke my heart for the older dog, I was all the more certain I had made the right choice.

        Background: I bought my dog as a pet but also as a competition partner (obedience for now, and we’ll pick up another dog sport or two in time). At the time, therapy work was also a serious goal.

        In my neighborhood is another shepherd who was a rescue from a pretty bad situation. She’s a sweet dog but extremely shy and afraid of her own shadow. She’s come a long way, but she isn’t ever going to be confident or stable enough to be a therapy dog, and a show or trial environment would be a huge stressor for her. I realize that’s not every rescue, but I certainly would have been risking my primary goals for the dog if I’d not gone the breeder route and raised my puppy myself.

        Shortly after my pup came home, we ran into this older GSD and her owner on a walk. The owner asked if they could meet. The older dog looked frightened and nervous even at a small puppy. She wasn’t aggressive and she was under control, but she was clearly afraid of my dog. By contrast, my pup assumed this new dog was going to be a positive thing and walked right up, tail wagging. The meeting went just fine and the older dog behaved perfectly, but it made me sad how scary it obviously was for her at first. The contrast was stark. And I was so thankful that my pup had never known whatever it was (trauma or simply the neglect of not being socialized) that made everything scary to this older dog. It’s important. It cemented for me that a breeder was the right choice.

        1. Lindsay Stordahl

          Definitely sounds like it was the right choice for you. Of course, everyone has different goals and most people just want a companion. I’m like you and want a dog I can take anywhere, do certain sports, etc.

          My dog Ace is somewhere in the middle. I got him directly from his previous owner when he was 1 year old. While he (I’m pretty sure) was just a pup from an accidental litter on a farm, his previous owner did a good job caring for him and doing the best she could. I like knowing my dog has known nothing but love in his life and I got to see where he spent his first year. I’ve given him a good life but his life wasn’t bad before I had him. I’ve always liked knowing that.

          1. For sure – you got a nice deal with Ace because you had that background on him but you adopted an adult dog with a pretty well formed personality. And he seems like he’s just an awesome dog.

          2. Interesting – I’d have said the opposite: If held at gunpoint and forced to rescue, I’d take the puppy, hands down. At least with a young pup, you have control over how the dog is socialized and trained. With an adult, I have no idea how those first 20 weeks went. And I don’t particularly like surprises. Had I found the dog was ultimately incompatible with my goals, I would be far more likely to return it, versus with a puppy I would have more influence (and investment and accountability) on how the dog turned out.

  2. Another benefit is knowing your puppy’s lineage and, by extension, health history. You can be better prepared for some health issues to occur if they occur in the family (or make a better decision to not buy the puppy, if that’s your bend). For instance, we know that there is little history of hip dysplasia in Bella’s line. We also know her mom suffered torsion, which has shown some indication of being genetic, so that helped me make the decision to have a gastropexy done when Bella was getting neutered.

  3. my breeder states that i cant sell, give away, my dog, if i die the dog goes back to her, i cant breed the dog, if she finds out the dog is not being taken care of it goes back to her, if i dont want the dog anymore it goes back to her. also i know that i am getting a dog free of disease or inherited problems, because she is very careful of her breeding lineage. i can contact anytime with any questions regarding the dog. she is a small breeder, does not ship, you have to fly in and pick up or drive. she has extensive contract as do most repubutable breeders. i know of a friend who had a breeder fly in from the west coast to do a home inspection b4 they would sell them a dog. some breeders do home inspections. i know my girls have wonderful temperments as all of her dogs do, she is a certified therapy trainer and most of her dogs even her show dogs are therapy dogs. i do believe in adoption and wholly support rescues, etc. i donate alot to rescues in my area, food, toys, etc. on a regular basis. you can even adopt a breed specific show dog that did not make the show grade, maybe b/c of height, snow nose, etc. but you are still getting a great dog with great breeding. if i could afford it i would have tons of dog, both breeder and rescues.

  4. The fenced yard thing really gets me. We don’t have a fenced yard – we have big, spoiled indoor dogs. A fenced yard, to me, says that they have a license to leave a dog home alone outside. We walk our dogs daily, get them exercise and take them all sorts of places. We’re very active and our girls are very well taken care of. I think they really need to remove the fenced yard thing and look at it case by case.

      1. Right!? Dogs need humans that will love and care for them in the best way possible. I challenge anyone to say my girls have a horrible life because they don’t have a fenced yard.

      2. My breeder emphasizes a fence but it didn’t seem to be a hard and fast requirement. We chose to install one for our own convenience, but we could have chosen to simply never leave her in the yard unleashed.

    1. Wendy Walecka

      I agree Apryl. I have a corner lot. Several years ago, I almost rescued a pit bull. She was the most loving thing. First time we met I was waiting on the patio. She charged out of the house, tongue flapping. She took a flying leap and landed on my lap 🙂

      I can sort of understand, but there were so many rules the wanted me to follow. I was not going to put a six foot fence up (my house and garage are situated that it cannot be done close to a door. Might as well walk her).

      They wanted me to map out a walking path that would not bring her near other dogs. Impossible in my neighborhood. Every other family has a dog. And they wanted me to get a leather waist leash.

      She was not an alpha dog, really did not seem nervous to me. She is in a rescue situation, so there are other dogs around. Well, they decided I did not seem committed enough since I did not comply. Maybe it is better for her, I don’t know. Regardless, it took me probably another five years before I tried again. I adopted my girl from Pet Smart who has a partnership with our humane association. They go down south to high kill shelters on the Bark Bus to bring dogs up here to adopt. She is the best possible dog for me!

      That’s not to say I would not consider getting a puppy from a breeder, but considering that I live alone and have long work hours, I would rather have an adult dog.

  5. One benefit is obviously knowing the pedigree of the puppy and knowing the breeder does required health test for the dog that they breed. Some breeds of dog have so many genetic diseases that is can be scary adopting one from a rescue because you do not know anything about the dog and it would be so heartbreaking if they were diagnosed with a genetic disease. I also like that you can ask the breeder for advice as well as recommendations of how and where to go if you are interested in getting the dog involved in sports like earthdog or barnhunt.

  6. I agree with much of what you said. There are other ways to satisfy the emotional need to rescue. For me it can be met through volunteer work, donations, fostering like you said, and promoting educational awareness about behavior and health to reduce the chance of future rehoming. I’m not afraid to say that my dogs are from breeders or that I’m a lisenced breeder in training. I think it’s a great thing. I love the fact that there’s a community of deeply dedicated breeders who adhere to our registry standards and ethics around breeding. For example, the geek in me gets excited to put together a 7 generation health assessment on a proposed pairing, as part of a greater portfolio for review and approval. What’s more is that with our registry, we do full temperament and confirmation exams on the pups at 8 weeks before they are placed in homes. The way we work is that we have extensive conversations with our puppy people, and a pretty comphrehensive packet is filled out by them to which we use to place a puppy with them. It’s kinda radical, but very rarely do our puppy people get to choose their pups. We do an 11 point evaluation on the temperment and behavior of pups and based off of that and the physical attributes of the pups, we place them with their new family. That family has told us as breeders what kind of dog they want, we assess and make that happen. If there isn’t a pup that meets their needs, they wait or can be moved over to another breeders waiting list. We very rarely have a rehome happen due to improper placement. Anyways. I get excited about the subject. But I fully believe in improving dogs within their breeds through best practices in breeding.

    1. That’s a really good point! I don’t know that the process was so formalized – I am seriously impressed by your puppy matching protocol – but I know the breeders were on the phone reviewing notes my breeder had taken regarding what we needed and wanted in a dog, and information my puppy’s breeder had on the litter as they were going through their first weeks of life. They were very thorough and had multiple conversations on the topic.

    2. Lindsay Stordahl

      It’s encouraging to hear your reminder that volunteering and donating are important too, not just adopting and fostering.

      I can relate to your “geekiness.” Ha!

  7. For someone who wants a puppy and not an adult dog, there is simply no comparison between the information and “predictability” you get from working with a breeder than going through a shelter or rescue.

    One thing I like about puppy raising (and I tell more people to consider it!) is that the puppies being bred to be assistance dogs, which means that there is an expert organization that is making sure they are only breeding “the best” for health, genetics, and temperament. Organizations that train assistance dogs cooperate with each other with breeding too. And different types of assistance dogs need slightly different characteristics, so there is some variety in terms of finding a puppy raising situation that fits best for you.

    When people see how well-behaved and remarkable these puppies are, obviously a lot of that credit goes to the hard work we put in with socializing and training them. However, we got a major boost from the fact that we are starting with high quality breeding.

  8. When you rescue or get from a breeder, you must consider your lifestyle and how your new dog will fit. Chances are, you will not change. Your dog will need to fit into your lifestyle. We have seen the up and down side of rescuing and the advantages of getting a dog from a reputable breeder.
    Sometimes with a rescue you inherit problems that are insurmountable. Other times you my find the perfect gem.

    We rescued two 2 year old Rhodesian Ridgebacks that had been loose on the streets together. Beautiful dogs but even after significant time in training, they were never going to be dog park dogs. They had done what they needed to do to survive in the wild and small dogs were prey. We trained them, loved them and gave them a wonderful home. They lived to be a ripe age of 14 but our activities with the dogs were limited. We couldn’t take them with us to car shows or many of the other activities we enjoy. I wanted a dog that could share more with me.

    My next Rhodesian I got as a pup from a great local breeder. I wanted a breeder that was close enough to visit and willing to address any questions we might have. We discussed temperament, and she worked with me to find the proper match. He is magnificent, sweet, strong, intelligent and loving. The breeder’s careful attention to breeding for temperament and health yielded a perfect specimen. It was up to me to ensure that he was given all the training and socialization opportunities to reach his potential. This breeder also works tirelessly to assist with Rhodesian rescues..

    When he turned two and was fully trained, I started looking for a playmate for him. It took me about 6 months to find the right match. This time, I looked for a rescue. I fount a 14 month old half Rhodesian, half Redneck Coonhound mix. She was raised in a loving family with 3 little dogs and 3 teens. She had been given lots of socialization experiences. Her previous owner had health reasons for giving her up for adoption. My new big girl is learning from her big brother. Leash walking, taking treats nicely and sitting to greet are all getting pretty dependable. This was a great rescue! It took time and patience. I looked at many many dogs before we found out match. This is a commitment for the lifetime of the dog. Don’t make a hasty decision.

    These dogs go with us out to dinner, play at the beach, visit the dog park at least 4 times a week and walk every day. They love everyone: humans, canines and even felines. My new dog needed to be able to do all that we were already doing with my other dog. I didn’t want to rob him or us of the activities so important to us. She wasn’t ready when we first brought her home but all she needed was some obedience training. She had been socialized.

  9. i like everything you say here….we never see posts about why it’s good to get a dog from a breeder. We got our GSP from a breeder (another excellent distance runner….at least mine is) This was after being turned down by a couple of rescues for having a pool in the back yard, working full time, etc. Benefits for going with a reputable breeder – you know the dog has good genetics, typically the dog has a “guarantee” against any birth defects not noticed by ‘go home’ day, and with your own proper research, you can get exactly the dog you want, without rushing to take home the first rescue you qualify for. Great article. thanks.

  10. Zequek Estrada

    My husband and I have been debating about whether it would be better to get a dog from a breeder, shelter, or pet store. From the sound of it, there are actually more benefits of getting a puppy from a breeder than we had originally thought. We’ll have to do more research before we make our mind.

  11. I am a bit surprised that you did not mention the benefit of health screens (hip clearances, eyes, other genetic clearances) and (hopefully) correct conformation. Both are very important if you want a dog who is able to be athletic long into their senior years. Also, you may want to consider not being hard and fast on neutering at the 8 month mark. It is important that the dog be full grown/fully mature, with growth plates closed before neutering and that does not always happen at 8 months.

  12. i am all for rescuing animals, but for health benefits, i think going to a well known breeder that has a good reputation, is great. you know they history of the dogs, background, also most respectable breeders respectable breeders require you to neuter or spay, will not let you sell, give away the dogs, not even to a relative, some do home inspections, will take back the dog for any reason, will certify the dog is free of disease, inherited problems, etc. you may still end of with some problems but not as many as you would with a dog coming from a puppy mill or abandoned. although i may not adopt a rescue, i still give back by promoting and donating to many rescues, also if you do not want a show dog, there are many breed specific rescues where the dog may not have made it to the show ring b/c of a color, snow nose, coat, etc. that would not affect their health. with a breeder you know if there is a history of any health issues in the line of breeding. in addition, many rescues are expensive, you might pay 300-600 for a rescue and only pay a few hundred more for a dog from a breeder.

  13. When we tried to rescue, we were told because we rawfed, did little to no vaccinations (only rabies because it is required by law or we would not do that either),had no single vet we used (we used holistic vets but did not need to see them because our dogs were healthy and that was used against us because they did not go to the vet on a regular basis) and had some dogs that were not neutered or spayed (we did not breed them but it is healthier to not spay and neuter after the research we did), we were turned down. I understand why rescues have criteria but a lot of good doggie owners are turned away and a lot of dogs get missed that way.

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