Breeder v. Rescue

posted 2 years ago in Pets
Post # 16
9042 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I am not a supporter of breeders at all. But I think there should be stronger rules around pet ownership overall, whether from a breeder or a shelter.  The UK has made some great steps towards this but most other countries are really lacking. It is a priviledge to own a pet and not a right like some people think. I hope we get to a day where we don’t imprision animals/own pets of any kind purely to fulfil our own human selfish wants.


Post # 17
3 posts

I was living in a country different from my home country for a few years, and decided to get a dog. I lived on a horse farm with 60+ acres, and I also worked on the farm. I thought it would be the perfect place to adopt a dog and bring it to because I would be outside all day with the dog and it would have lots of space to run, and other dogs to play with (the other workers’ dogs). It could come into the barn anytime and hang out there if it didn’t want to be outside.

I figured I would adopt from a rescue centre and give a dog there a home. Unfortunately, I was denied from the ones in that city that I talked to because my yard was not fenced in. Each centre I talked to had this requirement, and wasn’t willing to budge even after I explained the situation. (I understand if you don’t have a yard or a small one it can’t even get out in). I thought that was extremely rigid, and there should be flexibility for things like that, as I can’t see how life on a farm with the owner there everyday is worse than keeping it in the pound. It was as if these people jsut go off a yes or no basis instead of looking at the bigger picture.

I ended up buying a dog from a breeder, and I could not be happier with her. She gets so much love, attention, exercise and socialization with other dogs. I’m not sure if rescues in other countries or places are as strict, but things like that could deter people from rescuing. (PS the breeder really cared where the puppies were going, came to my place, asked a million questions etc. etc. so they weren’t just passing them out to anyone).

Post # 18
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I have two dogs. One of them is a rescued bully breed mutt, and looks like a 110lb pitbull, I’m assuming he’s got some mastiff and american bulldog in him. I wanted a pet, and I am a certified dog trainer, therefore, well equiped to handle any issues he might have being adopted at 5 years old from the ACC shelter (he had some serious issues at first.) 

My second dog is my therapy dog, from a breeder that produced proven therapy dogs. We spent the first half of her life traveling to hospitals and nursing homes with her. She’s retired now, but she was perfect for it. I knew what my needs were and preferred to go to a breeder to ensure I would not have a dog that would wash under the rigerous training. I know that there are rescue TD dogs out there, but I was not in a position to deal with rescue related behavioral issues with the second dog. My first certified dog passed on suddenly so I needed to replace him quickly. 

I thnk it’s highly dependant on what your needs are for your dog. Most people can do well with a rescue as long as they are highly discerning. I also know rescues that take advantage of well meaning folks who don’t know any better. I’ve also worked with some wonderful rescues who take every possible chance to match the perfect dog with the perfect owner. 

It’s all about being careful as an adopter, and as difficult as it is, NOT letting your heart dictate. 

Post # 19
2473 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I’ve heard people having these opinions but no one has ever been outright rude to me about it. We have a pure bred black lab with papers and he came from a reputable breeder who is very wealthy and made it clear she is not a puppy mill and does not breed her dogs strictly for money. She actually became a good friend of mine after we purchased our dog because she connected with me and my situation at the time. She keeps in contact with me and sends our dog gifts in the mail.  Far from a puppy mill. The opinions I have heard others say is that people who want pure bred dogs overlook dogs that are in shelters and need homes. But I personally think to each their own. Between my husband and I our lab is the only pure dog we’ve gotten from a breeder and I researched for 3 months prior to getting him. All other dogs have been rescues and thats probably a good 15 to 20 dogs total between the both of us or more. So I see no problem with it. 

Post # 20
1960 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

KittyYogi :  100% agree that people almost never NEED a particular breed, unless their plan is to show and/or breed the dog. I have relatively strong feelings about adopting; our cat and dog are both adopted, although my thoroughbred horse was purchased after his racing career was over. Our dog, who we adopted as a young-ish adult dog from a local shelter (who rescued him from the streets of Tiajuana as part of a program), is mostly hypoallergenic, looks recognizably like a spaniel, and is 100% the sweetest, most friendly, people-loving dog ever. He’s not perfect; we’re still working on leash reactivity to other dogs, but for what my husband and I wanted in a dog — friendly, cute, athletic, medium-sized, he’s everything we wanted, and we hardly even had to look hard or wait a long time at the single shelter we worked with to find him.

I definitely understand there are shelter dogs that would be difficult to adopt (missing limbs, deaf and/or blind, significant behavioral issues), but there are so many that aren’t and would be perfect dogs for people who just want a loving companion.

I would never demonize anyone or berate them out loud or anything for choosing a dog from a breeder; the world is full of adults who make their own choices, etc. etc., and I’m sure I make many choices outside of pets that others would find questionable, but I do feel that rescuing is a viable option for many more people than who actually do, and our family will definitely only rescue for any future household pets.

Post # 21
297 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I am all about rescue.

Our fur-kids are strays and poundies.

I can’t be vain enough to want a specific breed.

If there are allergies, then maybe with incredibly thorough research and inspecting the breeder’s property myself, and again only maybe, would I consider a breeder. This would also include information about genetic predispositions/genetic disfigurations/deformaties etc.

There are way too many puppy farms out where I am, and more and more are being exposed as fradulantly marketing themselves as “reputable breeders”. Unfortunately, the number of breeders who give a damn about their animals is far and few between.

Post # 22
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

The breeder vs shelter debate seems so irrelevant to me, yet it seems to be a super sensitive topic that people get fired up about. I have had both breeder and shelter dogs (straight up mutts with no idea what their breed mix is). 

This belief that going through a reputable breeder will “guarantee” a healthier, better mannered dog is nonsense. Just as the belief that shelter dogs are more likely to be aggressive, dangerous, or badly mannered is also ridiculous. I think people need to spend more time learning how to train and manage dogs vs deciding and arguing where to source them from.

I also think the belief that getting a puppy is better because it’s a “clean slate” is also a dangerous mindset. I do agree that if you have a specific purpose in mind for the dog (e.g. hunting, herding, therapy work, luring) then going to a reputable breeder increases your chances of getting a dog that will be suitable for that. When I look at breeders I always make sue that they show their dogs for confirmation/temperament but also that they do the “field” competitions with their dog. Even if I’m not serious about competing or even training the dog in that area, I want to see that the parents demonstrate the aptitude and trainability for the activities their breed has been bred to do.  It also is evidence that the breeder is genuinely interested in engaging and training their dogs rather than breeding for profit.

I think more “casual” dog owners (ie people looking solely for a pet and not a training partner/competition animal) should actually be rescuing older dogs – especially first time owners. Being matched with a dog that actually demonstrates the personality traits they’re looking for rather than getting a puppy (it’s always hard to tell temperament when they are very young) and hoping for the best.

And for gods sake the people who get breeds that are TOTALLY wrong for them, it turns out horribly, and then they say “Well I did everything right because I got the dog from a reputable breeder and so this isn’t my fault”. Well….did you ever think that getting a Shiba Inu puppy as your very first dog when you have never before had or interacted much with dogs and you work 40+ hours a week and haven’t arranged daily care for the dog while you’re gone MAY IN FACT HAVE BEEN THE PROBLEM. (yes, I am going through this with an acquaintance at the moment….)

Who cares where you get the dog (I don’t even care about accidental or family* breedings — just stay away from puppy mills and other places that don’t take adequate care of the dogs), I just wish people devoted time to figuring out what they want in a dog, finding the right match, and learning how to properly train and manage the dog!

*by family breedings I mean people who do the random occasional breeding. Around here it’s common for farmers/rural families to breed a litter every few years so they can get a puppy from their dog or the neighbors dog or whatever. They keep one and sell the others at very low prices to essentially recoup the vet/care costs of the pregnancy. I don’t consider them backyard breeders because they don’t make an operation of it.

Post # 23
1017 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I don’t hate when people buy from reputable breeders who breed show quality animals (as in they are actively showing/perpetuating the best of the breed, would win competitions and would have very limited litters.) Terrible breeders don’t show, and churn out as many sub-par pet-quality puppies a year as they can in order to make a profit so they are basically fancy puppy mills.

It’s amazing how many people I’ve come across who are perfectly fine to buy a dog out of a boot of a car in some petrol station car park! It’s a filthy, flea infested dog obviously puppymilled but could somehow manage to overlook all that cause it was a certain ‘breed.’ Ireland is the puppymill capital of Europe and the puppies here regularly get shipped all round Europe due to demand esp Yorkies. Plus we have seriously pathetic animal welfare and cruelty laws so anyone who gets caught with a puppymill might get a fine and a ban from owning animals for a few years.

Post # 24
2179 posts
Buzzing bee

For me, I don’t see the point in purebred of any animal. There are so many animals in need of good homes, I can’t understand the draw of a purebred, there are even shelters specific to breeds if you want a specific one. I just can’t wrap my head around why its important to anyone that a dog ONLY have certain bloodlines…I just don’t get it,what is the point? 

I think the hostility comes from people who ONLY get purebred, thinking it somehow makes THEM better, more that they want a prop in their life/bragging rights or whateveter. Then when the animal behaves as an animal OR that person’s life changes, they just dump them at shelters or outside. 


Post # 25
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

babygrandmabee :  I agree to a certain extent, but there are definitely still breeds that people look for because of their working traits. I’m not active in the small-breed world so don’t know much about that. However, I do know that in the hunting and herding world, going for specific breeds is very much in the interest of getting the breed-specific working style of those dogs. E.g. GSP’s tend to be great upland dogs that are farther ranging but more ‘sensitive’ personalities while Draathaars are better in colder climates, have “sharper” and more independent approach to hunting, , and are more focused-intensity in their hunting style. It’s not that every individual will be like this and the differences are subtle but important. 

In that respect I totally understand why people go to breed specific breeders. For the average pet owner though….it makes no sense to me.

Post # 26
1842 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I would never buy from a breeder or support one. Regardless of the fact that my heart breaks to think of the precious animals who are killed every day when they are overpopulated, I have a philosophical problem with the concept of breeding. I don’t think it is humans’ right to force matings and create new souls specifically to fit a certain mold (hypoallergenic, good with kids, etc). If a standard dog does not work for a family, to me that means they should not have a dog. Breeding, buying, and selling living creatures sounds a whole lot like slavery to me. It breaks my heart that others have to die because of this system. I will never understand it and there will never be a good excuse in my book. People are passionate about this for a reason. 

Post # 27
1105 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

When we made the decision to get a dog, I wanted to adopt one because I thought it was the “right thing to do”. So we adopted a dog named Duke. Everything was fine for the first…4 hours. Then Duke tried to kill us. No joke, he pushed my larger than an average man Fiance backwards over our coffee table. (Dog was 170lbs). We snapped at us for asking him to get off the couch. And then the morning after we got him, I walked past him to the door and he literally came after me and jumped on my back.  FI had to pull him off. I was petrified, and I’ve never really been afraid of a dog before. I was bawling my eyes out telling Fiance to return him. Luckily they understood. We can’t have a huge, aggressive, unpredictable dog in our house. The dog was over 50lbs bigger than me. So he was returned the following day. We waited a few months and then contacted a Weimaraner breeder and bought my babe ❤️ Best dog I’ve ever had! We had to drive 6 hours to get him, but coincidentally his litter-mate sister lives in the town next to us and they have play dates! (He’s the darker colored one) 

Post # 28
9192 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

our rescue is a purebred

Post # 29
1903 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

ChasingZenith :  I get shamed often for my purebred lab. He is a hunting dog, so it is extremely important for us to have him as a small puppy, and to know his history. When a dog is going to be near firearms, you need to know without a doubt that they are ok. That is why we bought our dog from a breeder. However, we were very careful in selecting a breeder, making sure she wasnt a backyard breeder, the dogs had all their clearances, etc. 


Post # 30
1407 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Does the person who criticized you have biological children? I suppose you could respond by asking why she didn’t adopt instead?

I love the idea of adopting from shelters, and would probably do it if I wanted a dog. But it is not so clear cut. We had purebread labrador retreievers when I was a kid, and they really are very gentle and good with cats. We also adopted an older dog from the shelter. I loved that dog to death when I was a kid, but it also came with issues and was a threat to our cats, even killing one of them.

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