(Closed) Purchasing puppies.

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
5148 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’m all for people being responsible with their pets. But please don’t paint it like there are no downsides to spay/neuter. There are pros and cons both ways, to decision to spay/neuter, and also at what age to do it, should be researched.


  • Don’t have to worry about your dog getting pregnant
  • If done before 2.5 years of age, greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors
  • Eliminates the risk of pyometra, which otherwise would affect about 23% of intact female dogs; pyometra can be deadly (4% of cases)
  • Reduces the risk of perianal fistulas (chronic lesions around the anus)
  • Removes the very small risk (0.5%) from uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors


  • Spayed dogs (and female humans that have had hystorecomies) have a shorter life-span on average.
  • Between 5-20% of spayed dogs will have incontinence
  • If done before 1 year of age, increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
  • Increases the risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 2.2 and cardiac hemangiosarcoma by a factor of >5
  • Triples the risk of hypothyroidism
  • Increases the risk of obesity by a factor of 1.6-2
  • Increases risk of UTIs
  • If spayed before sexual maturity, increases the risk of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and vaginitis
  • Doubles the small risk (<1%) of urinary tract tumors
  • Increases the risk of orthopedic disorders
  • Increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations
  • If done before sexual maturity, the growth plates don’t close when they should, causing the dog to grow taller. In small breeds it isn’t much of an issue, but in large breeds this can cause bone and joint problems.
  • Can cause “spay coat”, the coat may be more cottony and wavy than normal for the breed. (Appearance-issue only.)

I have 2 altered dogs (1 shelter mutt & 1 pet-quality dog from a breeder bought on a spay/neuter contract) and 1 intact dog (show-dog). 

=== === ===

For those wanting to buy from a breeder, here’s my list of qualifications in a breeder:

– Test their dogs for genetic health issues in the breed, and not breed dogs carrying those genetic problems. Ask to see copies of the tests of the parents (OFA/CERF/PennHip/BAER/etc).

– Show their dogs in conformation to ensure their breeding quality is up-to-snuff. Or, if working dogs, take part in field trials or other appropriate venues to test working ability.

– The puppy’s pedigree should have the majority of the dogs titled. Titles may be in front of or behind the dog’s name, depending on what it was earned for. “Ch” in front of the dog’s name means it’s a champion in conformation (correctness of breed), most other titles are behind the dog’s name and are from events like obedience, agility, etc. (training/working events).

– The dog should be registered with a legit registry. There are a lot of scam registries out there, so beware.
Example of GOOD registries: AKC, UKC (I prefer AKC, but some breeds in UKC are not AKC recognized), Field Dog Stud Book, individual breed/group registries like American Border Collie Association.
(Check AKC’s website for registries they accept, if they accept it, it’s legit.
http://www.akc.org/rules/special_registry_services.cfm )
AVOID: CKC (Continental Kennel Club, don’t confuse them with Canadian Kennel Club, which is legit with the same initials), APRI, APR, ACA, UABR, and many more.
NOTE: Just because a dog is registered with a legit registry doesn’t mean the breeder is a good breeder, many puppymill and backyard breeder dogs are AKC registered. But *lack* of registration with a legit registry is a huge red-flag that it’s a puppymill or backyard breeder.

– Be able to tell you *why* they bred the litter and why they choose the stud they did. “Cute puppies”, “the miracle of life”, and other such answers are red-flags. The breeder should be able to tell you what traits they are after and why the dam and stud were a good match to try to get these traits. Measurable traits, such as the dog’s structure, coat, working ability, etc.

– Make sure you are a good fit for both the breed and the individual puppy. They will want to get to know you, your personality, where you live (house/apartment, yard or no yard, your plans for the dog, etc). If you live in a studio apartment and work 60 hours a week and the breeder is willing to sell you a border collie, bad breeder!

– Have a contract. The contract should say what should happen to the dog if you are unable or unwilling to care for it in the future. (Return to breeder; or if you rehome to a family member, let the breeder know. The contract should say the dog should NEVER go to a shelter! A good breeder takes responsibility for dogs they breed, even if it’s 5 years down the road.)

– The contract should also say that pet-quality dogs must be spayed/neutered. Pet-quality dogs should be sold on limited registration (meaning they can’t be bred, their offspring would be unregistered; they can still compete in AKC events, such as agility, obedience, rally, etc., except not conformation shows (dogs must be not spayed/neutered to compete in conformation)).

– Raise puppies in the breeder’s home. Not in cages outside or in a warehouse type building.

– Never breed mutts. (There’s absolutely nothing wrong with mutts, they are great dogs, but they shouldn’t be purposely bred.)

– Breed no more than 1 or 2 breeds of dog.

– Should let you meet the mother of the puppies. (The father of the puppies is often off-site, as good breeders chose a stud that’s a good match for their female, not just the most convenient one.) If you hear them say they have a “breeding pair”, that’s a huge red-flag. Good breeders almost never repeat a breeding. “Breeding pair” means they are just pumping out puppies to have puppies.

– Keeps puppies with their mother and littermates for the appropriate time before going to new homes. For medium and large breeds, they puppies must be at least 8 weeks old. For small and toy breeds, the puppies should be at least 12 weeks old.

Post # 4
246 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

This is my rescue Tank and my mom as 2 as well. Getting a dog from a rescue group makes you feel great. You leave knowing you helped a dog who need a home and opened a shop for another animal who is in need. And these groups help pets that are in great need. 

Post # 5
7 posts

A responsible breeder breeds for healthy animals of good temperament. This does not involve simply putting two cute dogs together. All breeds have genetic diseases they are predisposed to. For example, a list of genetic diseases in the Maltese:  http://www.foxstonemaltese.com/maltese_faqs.htm#25.

Larger breeds tend to develop displaysia of the hips and elbows. Many breeds have problems with their eyes, such as entropion or glaucoma. Smaller breeds are prone to hypoglycemia, hydrocephaly, liver shunts, and luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps) to name a few. Some have predispositions to more serious diseases and disorders, such as Wobblers Syndrome, liver shunts, and heart conditions that can go undetected until one day your dog drops dead (common in Dobermans). Some breeds, unfortunately, have become very unhealthy due to poor breeding practices. For example, it is almost redundant to say “a cocker spaniel with chronic ear infections” or “a miniature schnauzer with kidney stones.”  A responsible breeder should learn their breed inside and out, use whatever tests are available to perform appropriate screening for genetic diseases, and do their absolute best to breed the best in health and temperament. To do anything less is simply unethical.

That said, breeders don’t kill shelter dogs. Those who buy from a breeder don’t kill shelter dogs. SHELTERS kill shelter dogs, period. Many kill shelters neglect and are even outright cruel to the animals in their “care” and refuse to change.  There are solutions to the killing of healthy, adoptable pets in our shelter system. I refer you to http://www.thenokillnation.org , http://www.no-killnews.com (news about shelters going no-kill or attempting to go no-kill around the nation), and http://yesbiscuit.wordpress.com for further research into this subject.

As for spay/neuter, there are risks and benefits. Here is an article about it. http://cne-ckcsc.org/blog/?p=24 &nbsp; Whether to spay or neuter your dog is an individual choice. Please read and educate yourself and make the appropriate decision for your situation.

Post # 6
996 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

@LizDon13:  I completely agree with you. I bite my tongue about this subject far too often because my opinion doesn’t go over well with some people. But I am 100% with you on this.

Post # 7
1370 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’ve had both shelter dogs and purchased – that being said, Darling Husband and I purchased the two dogs we have now. I don’t think we’re bad people. When Darling Husband and I were looking around at dog to add to our family, we went to several adoption events and were ignored by volunteers. We would have been turned down for a dog because we don’t have a fenced yard anyway. Several shelters make it nearly impossible to adopt and it’s really sad. We were set on a specific breed and looked into resuce groups and dogs mixed with that breed. We didn’t meet the fenced yard qualification – so we decided to buy. I’m not looking down upon rescue groups or shelters, but many people who can care for a dog are turned down for adoption.

 We do have a cat we adopted from a shelter and I rescued a kitten when it was found without it’s mom.

It’s a very personal decision on where your pet comes from, so please do not look down upon people who add animals to their family through other means.

Post # 8
2697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@LizDon13:  Not everyone buys 🙂

My love. Adopted from the ARL in East Liberty almost 8 (!) years ago when the Humane Society wouldn’t take more than 5 pits at time and the ARL was choc full. She was 9 months old and only 30 lbs when the found her wandering the city. She is the best, best dog I’ve ever owned. I’ll always, always adopt and it will probably always be pits.

Post # 9
871 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@misskoala:  I totally agree with this. I got my dog before I met Fiance so I was a single person, with a job and without a fenced in yard. Nobody would let someone like me adopt but I wanted a dog! So I bought one. The shelter I was trying to adopt from didn’t take into account that I had someone (my dad) look in on the dog each day and walk him every afternoon or that I had a lot of love to give. So I bought my dog and he is one of the most loved dogs in the world 🙂 I couldn’t be happier and neither could he!!

Post # 10
1235 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Many of your cons to spaying/neutering are misnomers. As a veterinary professional, when clients bring up some of those concerns about not altering their pets it’s super difficult to not want to shake some sense in them that spaying and neutering is way more beneficial than not.

Post # 11
996 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

@Ittypurt:  “That said, breeders don’t kill shelter dogs. Those who buy from a breeder don’t kill shelter dogs. SHELTERS kill shelter dogs, period.”

Maybe not directly, but breeders contribute to the pet population problem…resulting in healthy, innocent animals being euthanized.

“There are solutions to the killing of healthy, adoptable pets in our shelter system. I refer you to…”

I checked out your links and I couldn’t find the solutions. Maybe I’m missing something? All I saw as their solutions were adoption-which is wonderful-but not a solution to the population problem. Does it not make sense that if fewer dogs were bred (and bought) that there would be more adoptions, resulting in a decrease/elimination of the euthanization of healthy adoptable pets in our shelter system?

Post # 12
3059 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

If you really think there’s nothing wrong with buying a dog, you’ve never really researched it. Yes, there are many reputable breeders, but dog store dogs mostly come from puppy mills. And in PA it’s nuts down in Lancaster- those Amish love to breed breed breed. 


Im not telling anyone what to do bc we all defend our choices, but be clear & correct in the info you’re sharing. 

Post # 13
120 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

We rescue! There’s no better feeling than giving a homeless doggie a home. I have a puggle asleep on my feet right now and he came from a kill shelter. He is beautiful and we love him SO much!

I truly believe no one should be allowed to breed until all of the homeless dogs in the world have a home. People love designer puppies, but there’s nothing more beautiful than saving a dog who has been sentenced to death.

Post # 14
1944 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I’m all for rescuing/adopting and have in the past and will in the future. However I refuse and honestly quite sick and tired of people telling me I’m an irresponsible pet owner or a horrible person bc our 2 labs were bought from breeders. People that look down on those who do buy dogs need to get a life. 

Post # 15
3059 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

There is a difference between a breeder & a puppy mill. I understand wanting a lab or goldenOrr whatever and going to the effort of finding a great, honest breeder. It’s not my choice but I don’t look down on it. I think going to the mall & buying a dog should be outlawed unless they are coming from reputable breeders. This is coming from someone who walked into the mall in1998 & left w the cutest/ sweetest choc lab. I know better now. 


Post # 16
5148 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@MsNarwhal RE: “Many of your cons to spaying/neutering are misnomers..”

Actually, I heard most of this from a vetrinary oncologist who was a guest speaker and talked about cancer in dogs at one of the meetings for the AKC-affiliated dog club I’m a member of. You can’t just remove a body part that regualtes hormones in the body and expect there to be zero consequences.

I’m not against spay/neuter. I will likely spay/neuter pets in the future. But the decision of WHEN is a big one. I had the female dog I currently own spayed at 5 months; but in the future I will never spay a dog before sexual maturity again. This is even more important the larger the dog as, as large and giant breed dogs, the risk of orthopedic issues due to early spay/neuter is even greater and more important.

@kelmacRE: “Maybe not directly, but breeders contribute to the pet population problem…resulting in healthy, innocent animals being euthanized.”

Puppymills and backyard breeders contribute to the pet population problem.  Everyone wants to blame all breeders lumped together as a whole, nobody blames their next door neighbor who’s dog has puppies every year and they put a sign out “puppies for sale $100”. That’s a backyard breeder!

And irresponsible owners. People that walk into a petstore and impulse buy a puppy, then don’t take any time to train it and give it away when the kids get bored with it. Or an adult that gets rid of the dog when they get married or have a baby.

Some statistics on pets that end up in shelters:

  • The majority of the surrendered dogs (47.7%) and cats (40.3%) were between 5 months and 3 years of age.
  • The majority of dogs (37.1%) and cats (30.2) had been owned from 7 months to 1 year.
  • Approximately half of the pets (42.8% of dogs; 50.8% of cats) surrendered were not neutered.
  • Many of the pets relinquished (33% of dogs; 46.9% of cats) had not been to a veterinarian.
  • Animals acquired from friends were relinquished in higher numbers (31.4% of dogs; 33.2% of cats) than from any other source.
  • Most dogs (96%) had not received any obedience training.

Reputable breeders are actually part of the SOLUTION. They refer to rescue and often take in foster dogs, they carefully screen potential buyers of their puppies, they have spay/neuter contracts for dogs placed as pets (i.e. non-show-dogs), and they have legally binding contracts that the dog must be returned to the breeder if no longer wanted (never given away or placed in a shelter). And also the rest of the list I posted earlier.

The topic ‘Purchasing puppies.’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors