AMERICAN DOG BREEDERS - ADVANTAGES
We encourage you to take a look at the previous article in our American Dog Breeders series so that you can get a full grasp of the history behind dog breeding and different types of breeders. Today we will be discussing the different advantages of buying your animal from a breeder, as opposed to adopting from a shelter.
It is important to note that we do not believe shelter animals are any ‘less’ than purebred. There are, however, certain advantages to each that should be taken into consideration before you purchase your animal. Due to the negative stigma surrounding the breeding industry, and current problems with pet overpopulation, it is important to clear up many misconceptions and be a voice of reason to an emotionally driven society. No experts support the claim that breeders attribute to the overpopulation problem. The epitome of our stance on the issue was put into words by the dog expert Krista Mifflin:
“Buying a puppy, or even an older dog from a breeder, does not make you evil and against rescue. It makes you an individual, and even though rescuing a dog is seen as the true dog lover's way of acquisition, the fact remains that buying from a responsible breeder is a personal choice and not a reflection on a dog owner's morals. Responsible dog breeders do not cause pet overpopulation. Irresponsible dog owners do, whether they breed their dogs deliberately, or don't bother to neuter their dogs in the first place.”So keep in mind, neither purchasing from a shelter or breeder are bad and the choice is yours alone to make. Don’t be pressured by the individuals who will not have to take care of your animal, and evaluate all of the consequences of your choice, both positive and negative.
Before we go any further, there is one more thing to take into consideration - all of these things we discuss apply to responsible breeders. Not to say that if a breeder doesn’t provide one of the following they aren’t responsible, but we will be working under the assumption that you as a consumer will be able to branch out and find a breeder that provides the following benefits. If you want a purebred dog and cannot find a breeder that provides these things, contact an expert who can help guide you in the right direction. This brings us to the first advantage of purebred dogs
There is a common misconception that mixed breed dogs are naturally healthier than purebred. Some believe that the mixing of genetic pools between the two breeds will eliminate the chance of genetic predisposition towards one disease or another. However, there is no evidence to support this claim; in fact, many studies show quite the contrary.
Again, there is a small number of irresponsible individuals who are not careful with their breeding and can allow for disease to spread. They are the minority. It is much more likely for disease to spread in the animals that are allowed or forced to roam the streets that breed with each other.
Most breeders take the health of their animals very seriously, even providing genetic tests to best match breeding pairs to avoid disease in puppies. With each new generation breeders want to improve their animals in conformation, behavior, ability, and most importantly health.
There are no answers that will fit every situation, and the animals might still get sick or be susceptible to breed specific disorders, but breeders do all they can to limit these possibilities, while the average pet owner likely does not. They follow strict breeding guidelines to increase genetic diversity while reducing the risk of producing dogs that carry or are affected by genetic defects. This extensive, costly, and effective process is not used on the everyday animal that will end up in a shelter, so shelter animals are exponentially more likely to get sick, die early, or cost more in the future, none of which are good for the average family’s pet (or any dog for that matter).
On top of genetic problems, if you purchase an animal from a shelter you are likely also facing bills to solve problems with infectious disease and poor care. These can cost on average an extra $1,000 for things like a severe respiratory infection. Unlike dogs from responsible breeders, shelter animals come from bad conditions and are extremely likely to have picked up a non-genetic type of disease along the way. Breeders, on the other hand are very meticulous in the care of their animals. After all, they are the livelihoods of a lot of people, and most come with a health guarantee. This brings us to the second advantage of buying from a breeder.
Animals coming from a breeder are their pride and joy, they have devoted a great deal of time and money to make the animal the best it can possibly be in health, temperament, training, and much more. That’s why most responsible breeders will guarantee all of their hard work, the puppies. A health guarantee is actually a standard practice in dog breeding, selling and purchasing, and it’s something that a shelter cannot offer.
Whenever you purchase an animal, you should be given the opportunity to look at the health guarantee so that you fully understand its significance and value. Sometimes the breeder will pay for the bills if it needs medical attention, or replace it if it dies of an illness. Either way, it is a valuable thing to have. Breeders and sellers are truly attempting to do the right thing, and they are willing to take responsibility if their puppies are not up to appropriate health standards.
We would all like to believe that nothing will go wrong with the animal that we chose. The simple fact of the matter is that if you chose to go with a dog from a breeder you and your animal are way more protected. If you want a healthy, lasting, and guaranteed animal, a breeder is the way to go.
Another amazing feature about purchasing from a breeder is that you not only bought a dog, but invested in a pool of knowledge about that animal and its breed that you can find nowhere else. The direct link to the breeder’s knowledge of the animal and their success in the industry drives them to research their chosen breed likely more than anyone else. They can tell you the best grooming methods, likely temperament and size, how to socialize the puppy, and how to keep it healthy.
As time goes on, you are sure to have questions about your animal. If you purchased from a shelter, have fun with google. But, if you purchased from a reputable breeder you just pick up the phone and give them a call.
Most breeders will make you sign a contract saying that if anything ever happens and you can no longer take care of the animal that you purchased from them, that they would take it back. They do extensive research into their customers and make sure that their animals are going into good homes that can take great care of the animal. They are obviously invested in your, and their animal’s, success.
Often times, since they have experience training animals and a connection with the dog already, they can act as a mentor for both training and even showing the animal. The value of a personal connection with a breeder, instead of a shelter with virtually no expertise, is truly amazing. They can teach you how to train, show, or even breed your own dog. To do these things, at least showing or breeding, there is one other thing that only breeders can provide.
A pedigree is a the certification that your dogs is the offspring of a dam or sire of the same breed several generations back, making it eligible for registration with recognized clubs and societies that maintain a register for dogs with that description. They carry a breed standard for their likely character and the intended job that the breed was designed to do.
A pedigree dog will bring more money if you breed it, will be easier to train and show, and (depending on the breed) be better suited for work purposes. Not knowing the origin of the dog at a shelter, they cannot provide this needed proof of the animal heritage and without the appropriate heritage work becomes harder and puppies become less valuable.
If you are an individual who has the intention of your animal being of some use to you in one of these ways, purchasing from a breeder is a great way to go.
As you can see, there are many advantages to purchasing from a breeder as opposed to a shelter. Yes, there are millions of dogs that need homes, and we’re sure that there are people out there who can take on the challenges of shelter animals. However, it is important to get the dog that will be right for your needs, family, and future.
Making a decision based on a moment of sympathy for an animal is commendable, but likely not the best option if you prefer the advantages we’ve gone over. Making a decision based on pressure from radical members of society is understandable, but unwise.
If a purebred won’t work for your family, that’s fine. We won’t condemn you for your decision like our counterparts. We will, however, do our best to inform you of the reasons we advocate for breeders and why we think they are better for consumers.