(Closed) Adopting Vs. Buying, and How to Tell if Your Breeder is Responsible

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
2586 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Even if you are looking for a specific breed, a little PetFinder searching and some patience will get you a breed-specific rescue.  My grandparents have had 3 consecutive purebred Akitas from an Akita Rescue Club.  They’ve had to wait months for the right dog to become available, but with the alternative being a puppy mill or a breeder, they wouldn’t have changed a thing.  They also had the added benefit of knowing a bit about the dogs personality before they brought him home, which you simply cannot get with a puppy.

Our neighbor also has two purebred German Shepherds – both from a rescue in NY.

Post # 4
1075 posts
Bumble bee

I personally think that the only time a person should worry about getting a dog from a breeder is if they really want to get into showing (which I have my own problems with but that’s another post). Breed specific rescue associations are out there, and I think that most people really don’t need bred/AKC dogs.

That’s just my opinion, and personally the only time I would really judge a person for the decision they make is if they buy from places that are clearly selling a dog from a puppy mill. My own little guy was a stud at one for years so I’ve seen what kind of damage they do.

People can do what they want with their dogs so long as they are keeping them and any progeny healthy and happy!

Post # 5
826 posts
Busy bee


-I am fully aware of the messed-up stuff that can go on in the process of breeding purebreds.  However, on the whole, I feel that the breeding of designer dogs is a much bigger problem.  

-I believe people should seek to adopt first, though I understand that some people feel they have a legitimate reason for wanting to purchase a purebred.  

-I believe that a shelter dog should fit the needs of the vast, vast majority of dog seekers.  Ideally, there would be a very small number of people seeking to purchase purebred puppies.

-This post is intended to assist those who insist on purchasing a purebred puppy.

Onto the actual post!

For those who seek something very specific in their new family member and therefore decide on purchasing a purebred, be aware that a reputable breeder must fulfull every single one of these requirements:

-breeds purebreds
-their dogs regularly compete in legit dog shows and/or competitions relevant to the breed (retrievers compete in retrieving, etc…working/sporting dig stuff)
-finds the best mate for their dog (in other words, having the father on the premesis is usually a red flag)
-does genetic testing and removes any dogs that “fail” from their breeding program
-screens potential buyers and matches them to the right dog
-requires that all animals sold as pets be spayed/neutered and never bred
-agrees to take back any animal they sell if the new owners find themselves unable to keep it (in other words, they hold themselves accountable for every life they create)

I might be forgetting some things, but these are some of the main points. 

Post # 7
2854 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Our bully was FI’s first dog – and since we just started dating, he was really in the drivers’ seat with that decision. I think he picked a good one. He found a woman who seemed like she had a good breeding philosophy, produced super good looking, healthy dogs, etc. She kept all her bullies in the house with her. The screening process was intense. When we got him, it was clear that he’d been handled a lot and was just 100% ready for every single person to love him and give him cookies. He’s had health problems, but none of them breed-specific, just bad luck. 

Our second dog is a pug rescue. It was actually really hard to rescue one – we put in probably a dozen applications before we got a call. Once we did, it went really fast. I love our puggy, although I see the effect of the earlier neglect in a lot of his behavior and it breaks my heart a little.

Anyway…  we’ll rescue again, but I was happy with our breeder experience. We just think more along the lines of the OP.. we’d rather save an unwanted furbaby. 

Post # 8
1115 posts
Bumble bee

My baby is a rescue 🙂 she’s inspired me and SO to only bring in other rescues as additions to the family. 

I once met the head of a rescue who takes in A LOT of dogs. He was amazing, SO and I talked to him about how we loved and really wanted an American Bulldog/Pit Bull mix, but didn’t believe in buying one. He actually told us to get in contact with him when we were ready, HE WOULD FIND US THAT DOG.  This man was literally willing to search shelters and OTHER rescues for us to find us the right dog. Or even better, to find that dog out there a home.  🙂

Im trying really hard to find out the name of the rescue. He literally kept a hardcopy “catalog” and an online database filled with dogs that needed homes. The catalog was HUGE and had dogs of every breed, size, age, you name it, even purebreds. 

Post # 9
4371 posts
Honey bee

@DeadlyNightshade:  Wow that is awesome! Let us know if you find the name of that rescue Smile.

Post # 10
726 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I consider a reputable breeder to be somebody who meets the following criteria.  

  • they breeds only purebred dogs
  • they breed only one or two different breeds
  • they don’t breed too often 
  • they keep their puppies until they are at least seven weeks old
  • they sell their puppies under limited registration if they’re not going to be shown
  • they require that all pet dogs will be spayed or neutered
  • they will take their dogs back at any time if the owner is unable to keep them 
  • they do all necessary genetic testing
  • they are members of their breed club
  • they show their dogs in conformation or other breed related sporting events
  • they carefully screen potential buyers
  • they sell their puppies under limited registration if they’re not going to be shown
  • they require that all pet dogs will be spayed or neutered
  • they will take their dogs back at any time if the owner is unable to keep them 

Post # 11
1348 posts
Bumble bee

My SO wants us to get a dog from a breeder but he’s agreed to look into rescue groups… with cats it’s really important that we find a dog that gets along with them. We’re planning on moving to the EU and the breed we adore isn’t really found over there so we’ll probably just adopt something similar (mutt). I love mutts… they also tend to have a lot more unique features.

Post # 12
4371 posts
Honey bee

@ThingsThatShine:  Can you explain why having the father dog on site is a red flag? When I looked into reputable looking breeders for GSDs, I found most of them had the studs on site.

Post # 13
2601 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I have a pitbull mix who is my dearest, dearest. Such a lovebug! So I am pro-adoption. 

But I also understand that people have certain attachments to certain breeds–it’s not the pro-purebred attitude, it’s the anti-mutt attitude that I don’t understand (“You don’t know what you’re getting!” –Yes, but that’s true for purebreds too!) I know two professional breeders–one for labradors and one for Tibetan Mastiffs. Here’s what I think people should know about breeders before they purchase: 

1. Everything Irish Terrier said


2. A purebred will be expensive. Seriously. The reason is because a lot of time and money went into their conception, birth, and puppyhood. Good breeders invest in their dogs and use high-quality food, provide excellent vet care, and these things cost money. If you’re spending a couple hundred, then I would run. If you can’t stand the expense, then go adopt. You CAN get a purebred through adoption and it’s much, much cheaper. 

3. A good breeder will be able to tell you the dog’s ancestory–which bitch and which stud sired your dog and which two sired THEM–usually further back than that! The breeders I know would also say that you should expect the dogs that they breed to have won some titles and been on the show circuit. 

4. A good breeder CARES about the breed. They are excited and enthusiastic about their particular breed–that’s why they generally only deal with 1 breed, 2 tops. And they can be choosy about who they sell their dogs to because some people just aren’t right for the breed. If you put a dog in the hands of the wrong owner, you will have made a poor ambassador for the breed and no one wants that. 

5. (to reiterate) They have a return policy and will take dogs back if there’s a problem–believe me, serious breeders will want to know if the puppy has a personality issue AND if there are health issues cropping up. That will suggest to them that they should stop breeding a particular line. 


Bottom line: Either adopt a dog OR do your homework and spend a wad of cash on one from a reputable breeder. DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT purchase from a pet store. Even if they claim they don’t source from puppy mills, if they can’t tell you what a breeder can, and if you can’t trace their dogs back to the source, then their dogs come from mills. 



Post # 14
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

@SoupyCat:  It is very rare that a breeder will breed a particular pairing more than once. So it doesn’t make sense for them to invest in both sexes. When the time comes to breed one of their bitches (usually once ever few years or so AFTER the dog receives their championship in showing/working competitions) the breeder will try and find the best match from other quality dogs.

They are looking for a pairing with traits that complement each other and work to further the progression and improvement of the breed. 

Showing and titling dogs is hard work, so it wouldn’t make sense for a breeder to have both males and females if they are trying to get the dogs appropriately titles as well as find the best matches for their upcoming litters.

That’s not to say that if a breeder *does* breed to the same male more than once that they are automatically a “bad” breeder. It is just a red flag to look out for. Breeders should be able to appropriately explain why they chose to breed the pair they did breed and what they expect/hope to get out of that pairing.

I hope that makes sense.

Post # 15
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

One other thing to throw out there, just because a breeder registers their dogs with the AKC does not make them a reputable breeder.

Most puppy mill dogs are registered with the AKC.

All and AKC registration means is that the dog is purebred. It does not say anything about the quality of the breeding lines or the reputability of the breeders themselves. You can easily find dogs who are very poorly bred that are AKC registered. For example there are a lot of “oversized” Golden Retrievers or German Shepherds who are well outside the breed standard as far as size and usually have major health problems (like hip dysplasia) that are still “AKC Registered” because their parents were also AKC registered members of that breed. 

If you are looking for a purebred dog from a breeder, the best place to start is the national breed club website.  They will usually have a “breeder list” of breeders they believe to follow the breed standard and reputable breeding practices.

You should still do your own due diligence, but that is a good list to start with.

Post # 16
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We recently got a puppy – she’s a white German Shepherd. We looked at all the shelters around us and up to an hour away. We did a lot of research and had narrowed it down to either a GSD or a labrador. We walked past a pet store (don’t flame me please!) and spotted this;


We werent exactly READY for a puppy, but who could resist the perfect baby for us? Our local pet store sources puppies responsibly, they have pictures of the parents and their details, their papers etc. I know this doesnt excuse buying a puppy from a pet store, but it seemed like every shelter pet we saw was a staffy or some kind of cross. We have house rabbits. They don’t mix with staffys.

I have fostered before and i honestly think (at least here in Australia) that the cat population is way more out of control than the dog. We have fenced in yards on almost every property so dogs tend to roam less. Cat Haven has just had to put a stop on its foster program because it has way too many kittens and cats to deal with.

I am a huge advocate for rescue (my bun is a rescue!) but in our situation, it just wasnt feasible.

And to conclude, gratuitous pet pictures!

Nikita in her big-girl bed (she’s about 6 months in this picture);


Isabella Bitey cat (a ‘free to good home’ kitten);


Morrison (rescue bun with the grey ears) and Amelia;

It seems that i have a theme of white pets going on Tongue Out

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