Ten Things People Believe About Dog Breeders (That Simply Are Not True)

Mar 3, 2015 by

Ten Things People Believe About Dog Breeders (That Simply Are Not True)


When I created ILRDB in 2012, my intention was to provide a place for breeders, rescuers, and all manner of pet owners in between to discuss controversial issues that affect the dog community. Though we try to cover a variety of topics in our posts, the same issues tend to be brought up repeatedly on ILRDB by people who, it seems, don’t understand exactly what it is that dog breeders do.

And so here we have the follow-up to our previous post about misconceptions that people have about service dogs. ILRDB is proud to present: Ten Things People Believe About Dog Breeders (That Simply Are Not True):

 

1) Breeders “only do it for the money”

1-Dog-SavingMoney-on-dog-tr

We’ll start right off with the one that we probably hear the most often. And we’re going to make an important point from the start that you will see repeated here throughout this article: not all dog breeders are the same. Are there breeders that breed for money? Yes. Are we talking about those breeders? No.

The debate over whether it is ethical or reasonable to expect to make money as a dog breeder lies elsewhere. What we want to talk about is the breeders who are breeding because they love it. And, again as with all things, you will see a massive overlap between breeders who love what they do and breeders who make money doing what they do.

The fact is, many breeders are not actually making any money, but rather lose a lot of money on breeding. These are usually the people who have one or two litters a year and spend the rest of their time at dog shows because that is what they enjoy doing. Between show fees, genetic tests, supplies, time spent and taken off work raising puppies, and the myriad other costs (food, vet care, toys, etc) that comes with dog breeding, you would be hard pressed to find anyone rolling in funds even if they do have several litters a year.

Not to mention the amount of time and energy that goes into raising puppies, cleaning crates/kennels, bringing the adults to shows or competitions, screening prospective owners…So “only in it for the money”? This is not a career you sign up for if you hate it. Dog breeding is difficult. Which brings us to our next point:

 

2) Dog breeding is easy

 

Nope. Not even a little bit. I’ve heard so many people say “you just sit around and let your dogs breed, why don’t you get a real job”, and it completely blows my mind that somebody thinks it is really that simple.

There is a lot more to breeding than sitting around and watching dogs have sex. The very first step to being a dog breeder is learning how to read pedigrees and interpret the data. That means you have to learn genetics, especially if you are aiming to produce some very specific traits in your dogs. That alone is a skill that takes years to perfect. Case in point: I’ve been “into” dogs going on eight years now, I can explain basic genetics to just about anyone, and I still need my hand held when it comes to understanding pedigrees. In most other fields, eight years of hard boots-on-the-ground experience equates to some level of expertise. In dog breeding, you’re lucky if you can explain the basics.

And it doesn’t stop there! Once you know pedigrees, you need to have the know-how to pair dogs to produce what you want. And then you need to make the acquaintances with other breeders to have access to the dogs you need. This means spending hours at shows and on the sidelines at canine sporting events where you will meet other breeders. It also means carrying your own weight and proving that you know enough to be trusted with a litter of puppies.

 

Dog Show

2012 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle/AP

So you’re done, right? You have friends in the community, you understand genetics…now you are ready to breed!

Nope.

You still have to do the necessary genetic tests on your breeding stock, and in many circles you have to prove that breeding stock before anyone is going to give you free reign to their stud. That means going to those shows and campaigning for your dogs. That means, if you are producing working dogs, training your dogs to the level required to prove that said dog is worthy of being bred. Even if a person only wishes to produce pets, they will still need to find the right sire to match their bitch to, and that could take months of networking.

All of this and you haven’t even bred your dogs.

But what if you have two intact dogs already and plan to just let them breed? Dog breeding is easy then, right?

Again, nope.

First you have to track your bitch’s cycle, then carefully tend to your dogs while they breed so they don’t hurt each other (you know, the ever popular “rape stand” you see floating around on the hate pages- while not actually nearly as popular as people like to think, some breeders are more comfortable using these stands because they prevent the bitch from running off and seriously injuring the male). After that you have to set up the whelping box, attend vet appointments for x-rays to make sure you have a good idea of how many puppies to expect (if you don’t do this, you could unknowingly end up with a puppy getting stuck, and that will kill the bitch if it is not tended to).

Then there is the whelping process, which is basically a science in and of itself because of everything that can go wrong. I have personally sat through two births and BOTH times something went seriously wrong and the breeder’s expertise was needed. Unfortunately one of them resulted in the death of a puppy (born with underdeveloped lungs). Fortunately the other one, which was a puppy that got stuck in the birth canal, turned out okay. So- just sitting around and watching dogs breed?

Now, that has to be it. The mother has the litter and then she does all the work while you sit around and count your money, right?

NOPE!

Now you have to raise the litter. First there is socialization in the form of Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) if you are going with that method, or other early stim methods that are more recently growing in popularity. You have to Dremel puppy nails to get puppies used to the sensation of having their nails clipped. And mom is going to clean up after the puppies for you as much as she can, but you still need to change whatever bedding you are using under the puppies at least twice a day. Plus there are the times mom needs a break, and rotating puppies if you have particularly large or small litters. You need to make sure all of mom’s teats are being evenly nursed so she doesn’t develop mastitis, and you have to make sure that the puppies are all getting their share of each meal.

In the interest of making this post shorter, I’m going to move on to the next point. But don’t think it stops there. Breeding is a long and arduous endeavor. It is absolutely insulting to think the process of whelping puppies is anything but hard labor intensive work that deserves nothing but respect and praise from all manner of dog owners.

 

3) Bitches are “bred repeatedly” and abused until they waste away

 

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Photocredit: Goldnote Golden Retrievers

 

This one is just silly and anyone with any manner of critical thinking skills can see how nonsensical it is.

If the goal is to produce puppies, a sickly or abused bitch is not going to produce a damn thing. The rule is that healthy dogs produce healthy puppies. Anyone wanting to produce healthy puppies needs to start with healthy breeding stock. Even for a breeder that puts a greater emphasis on profit, there is absolutely no benefit in cutting corners when it comes to the dog’s health. While some irresponsible and ignorant people might do this, a breeder who knows what they are doing would never even consider it.

 

4) Breeders dump old studs and brood bitches at animal shelters when they can no longer breed

 

Like abusing bitches, this one might happen with some particularly cruel people, but they are the exception, not the rule. The fate of old studs and brood bitches varies from breeder to breeder- some prefer to keep their retired dogs, others prefer to rehome them so the dog gets individual attention that they wouldn’t have at a breeder’s house. The lack of individual attention is not because the breeder doesn’t care about the dog- but because the breeder has several other dogs to attend to and might believe that the dog they are retiring will be better off in a home where the owners don’t have to split their time between so many dogs.

There is nothing wrong with either decision. This is a highly personal choice and a good breeder should have the wherewithal to make that choice in the interest of the dog they are retiring. It is absolutely never easy to rehome a dog that you have lived with for such a long period of time. The fact that anyone is able to make this decision so objectively speaks volumes about the strength it takes to be a dog breeder.

 

5) Breeders kill or dump imperfect puppies

 

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Pound puppies, probably not from a breeder.

 

Here’s another one that doesn’t make any sense. And, unfortunately, it is a myth based on practices that used to occur years ago for a very specific reason. Back in the beginning of dog breeding, “culling” was a practice that meant killing any puppy that did not meet certain standards of quality.

A breeder might have made this decision because a puppy was born with a disability and technology had not allowed for caring for such an ill puppy. These days breeders have a lot more options in veterinary care for injured or sickly puppies, and humanely euthanizing ill or injured puppies happens a lot less often, though is still occurs when necessary. This is not cruelty- it is kindness. Like the puppy born with underdeveloped lungs in the birth that I witnessed, sometimes nature never intended for a puppy to make it past the first few breaths of air outside the womb. This is entirely unavoidable and, in situations like this, euthanasia is the often the best option.

Puppies born with physical faults that disqualify them from showing or competing (wrong color or markings, structure not conducive to work, working instinct lacking) were killed because there was nowhere else to put those dogs. This might have happened in the days before networking and advertising to rehome puppies, but today it is extremely rare- to the point that “culling” now means “rehoming”. When a breeder decides to cull puppies from their litter today, they are making a decision on which puppies will be sold to new families. “Culling” simply means that a breeder will not be keeping that puppy.

So what about the part that doesn’t make sense? Well, a lot of people who don’t understand dog breeding like to think that breeders dump entire litters of puppies in shelters. Because, for some reason, breeders only breed to make money, but then they dump the litter that will make them money at a shelter, which probably actually cost them money to do. No. This is not a thing. Litters of puppies in shelters come from owners whose dogs accidentally bred and the owner had no idea what to do with the puppies. Unless a breeder’s dogs were confiscated, you won’t find litters of puppies from a breeder in a shelter.

 

6) All dogs from breeders are inbred

 

Inbreeding is an extremely controversial topic that I won’t get further into than I need to, partially because it would take too long and partially because, as I mentioned before, I only have a rudimentary understanding of genetics. Suffice to say that some breeders do indeed perform some level of inbreeding. But the ones who do are usually very experienced and know exactly what they are doing. Inbreeding is a tool used to produce a higher rate of predictability in certain physical and temperamental characteristics of puppies. There are multiple benefits to inbreeding, but there are also a lot of downsides. This is why a lot of breeders, if not most, stay away from inbreeding and won’t even consider it. They don’t want to deal with the potential damage that can result from a single error in calculation.

So no, not all dogs from a breeder are inbred and you can pretty easily determine whether the litter you are purchasing a dog from is inbred by looking at the dog’s pedigree. If you see the same name multiple times in the dog’s lineage, it’s time to start asking the breeder questions about how inbred the litter will be. In general, this is not something most puppy buyers need to be concerned about, but it is definitely good to at least learn what to look for.

Also, do not assume that just because a line is inbred that the line is unhealthy. As I mentioned before- a breeder who knows what they are doing will have a better understanding of the potential drawbacks to inbreeding and will inform their puppy buyers of these drawbacks. Breeders who practice inbreeding are few and far between. At most, you’ll probably come across line breeding, which is a completely different concept and does not pose the same risk as inbreeding.

 

Photo Credit: BreedingBusiness.com (How To Start & Run a Successful Responsible Dog Breeding Business)

 

 

7) Breeders hate mixed breeds

 

We’re actually kind of jumping back to the inbreeding conversation a bit here, because this is another extremely controversial issue in the dog world. Do breeders hate mixed breeds? Generally, no. The problem is that there is some amount of bias towards mixed breeds because breeders of purebreds might view mixed breeds as the result of irresponsible breeding practices. The assumption is that anyone producing mixed breeds is not keeping track of their lines and therefore has a greater chance of producing unhealthy offspring.

On the other hand, breeders who are producing mixed breeds might have a bias against purebreds because they believe the rate of inbreeding and line breeding in a closed gene pool (when breeders stick to only breeding dogs registered with a specific kennel club, that breed’s gene pool is most likely closed) will create a genetic bottleneck. Genetic bottlenecks cause a loss of genetic variation in smaller populations. Loss of variation equals a greater incidence in recessive genes, which equals dogs that end up with heritable diseases more frequently.

This issue is so extremely controversial that anytime we mention it on I Love Responsible Dog Breeders, we end up losing a few members. So please understand that, if you hear a breeder say they hate mixed breeds, they are probably talking about the methods with which they believe people use to arrive at producing mixes and not the actual dogs themselves. In the grand scheme of things, the controversy over mixed breeds versus purebreds is basically a misunderstanding between people who believe that dogs should be produced in one way versus another. Nobody actually hates your dogs, regardless of what combination of breeds they are made up of.

 

8) Rescue dogs and breeder dogs are interchangeable

 

This is a point that is frequently ignored by activists who believe that “adoption is the only option”. There are a lot of pros and cons to going to a rescue, and just as many pros and cons to going to a breeder. The decision to choose one over the other is extremely personal and should not be made lightly. Rescue dogs, while wonderful, might not be the best decision for inexperienced dog owners because of the myriad number of behavior or health issues that might come with a dog whose background is entirely unknown. On the other hand, hundreds of thousands of people successfully get a rescue dog as their first dog every year. My first dog as an adult was a rescue, and I came from a life of minimal experience with dogs. Those considering a rescue as their first dog would be best off going to a private rescue where somebody will be able to assist them one on one in finding a dog for them. This kind of situation offers prospective owners with the same benefit of experience and guidance that one might get from a breeder.

But what about experienced dog owners looking for another dog? Well, it depends entirely on what you are looking for. If you want a pet and are comfortable with not knowing the history of the dog you are getting, a dog from a rescue or shelter is a fine choice. My personal experience with rescue dogs is all over the place- I have three, and two cost me an ungodly amount of money due to health issues from their former life. But one of those expensive dogs is my heart dog and I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. I spent four times what I would have on a dog from a breeder when I got him, but I don’t care because I love him. So, once again, this choice is extremely personal.

If, on the other hand, you are looking for a dog to do a particular type of work, especially if that work depends on a particular instinct, you are better off going to a breeder.   This is for the owners of dogs actively involved in hunting, herding, search and rescue, service dogs, guardian dogs, etc. A breeder would be able to offer these people the benefit of knowing the working history, ability, and style of the litter’s parents, and provide information for the potential for health issues down the line. Breeders might also offer more support than a high capacity animal control facility might.

Once again, this is a decision that depends entirely on the personal preferences of the individual getting the dog. Buy the dog that is right for you.

 

9) Breeders are responsible for overpopulation

 

There is no overpopulation in the United States. Other countries may vary.

 

DogOverpopulationMyth

 

 

Say what? But we euthanize thousands of dogs a day in the US! How could there be no overpopulation?

The word “overpopulation” is used to indicate that the population of a species has exceeded the carrying capacity of the environment that it depends on. That is to say, speaking strictly in dog terms, there are too many dogs and not enough homes.

This isn’t the case. With 23 million people adding a dog to their household every year, 6-8 million dogs ending up in a shelter, and only 1.5 million dogs being euthanized, the science overwhelmingly points to the fact that the problem is not overpopulation. 23 million people can house THREE TIMES the amount of dogs that are actually ending up in shelters. Think about that. Not only are there enough homes for shelter dogs, there are three times as many homes as we actually need to rehome ALL shelter dogs.

So why are we still euthanizing them?

The problem is not as black and white as people want it to be.

The first point it is important to mention is that the dogs recorded in these shelter statistics are not always healthy. The numbers include dogs that were ill, injured, or aggressive upon arrival and are euthanized by their respective animal control facilities when their owners did not turn up to reclaim them. This means that some percentage of these numbers also probably accounts for stray dogs that simply had no home because they were born on the street. This isn’t because the environment wasn’t sustaining them, but because the dogs were caught in an effort to clean up the streets and avoid situations like countries that are truly overpopulated with dogs. Because of these numbers, shelters will never be obsolete.

So aside from the aggressive, ill, and injured dogs, are we euthanizing healthy dogs? If we are, it isn’t because of breeders. It’s because a lot of the shelters with high euthanasia rates have regional overpopulation, where these particular shelters experience a higher population than the environment can sustain. These are often rural shelters where incidences of unaltered stray dogs are higher and therefore incidences of stray litters of puppies are higher. The rural shelters also suffer from a lack of funding, which directly translates to a lack of hours for animal control officers to spend networking and a lack of adoption hours for the general public to view and choose the dog that they want to bring home.

And then there is the point that if overpopulation really was such an issue, rescues wouldn’t have the ability to be so picky about rehoming their dogs. While it is admirable to want the best for the dog you spent a lot of time and energy on rehabilitating, there is validity in the point that a truly overpopulated environment would not be so concerned about finding the perfect home. If the lives of dogs are really hanging in the balance and depending on those dogs already in a rescue to find a home, it stands to reason that these groups would be much more lenient on the homes they approve to get a dog.

 

10) Dogs don’t need breeders

 

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A depiction of domesticated dogs by ancient Egyptians.

 

Last, and probably the most important, is the idea that dogs will breed without the assistance of breeders.

Believe me when I say that even if that were true, you do not want that. Dogs are special because they developed to live around humans over a very long period of time. The history of the domestication of dogs is anyone’s guess, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the herding behavior we see in today’s modern stockdogs originated in the time when tribes used wolves and wild dogs to hunt. This practice turned into a mutually beneficial relationship where the dogs were able to track and corner the prey for the humans, and the humans were able to kill the prey and feed what they did not eat to the dogs.

Selective breeding has come a long way since then, to develop all varieties of breeds and crossbreeds with particular talents. Sled dogs pull sleds, stockdogs herd livestock, hunting dogs hunt, and in turn their owners provide them with food, shelter, and medical care. We have continued an ancient symbiotic relationship and facing the prospect of giving that up now because a few misinformed people believe that dogs don’t need dog breeders is tragic.

I will go so far as to say that dog breeders are the unsung heroes of the dog community. We know that rescuers are recognized for their hard, seemingly thankless work because they are often inundated with ill and injured dogs, and we give those people credit for making the sacrifices that they do. This post is about doing something a little differently- this time, the credit belongs to the breeders. The ones who spend countless sleepless nights watching a whelping bitch, who wake up at two to four hour intervals to feed and rotate puppies, who spend all of their free time researching pedigrees, screening puppy applications, learning socialization methods, and working to improve their breeding program. Dog breeders are the reason we have dogs, and we should never ever forget that ever again.

 

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31 Comments

  1. S B Nass

    Excellent Article!! I have bookmarked it.

  2. shared on FB, but do you mind if I share on my website too?

  3. thanks for publishing this. It’s about time we spoke the truth.

  4. Excellent article! Thank you for writing this!

  5. Awesome article

  6. Dean Younger

    Excellent article. Very well written, factual, and succinct.

  7. Maureen Keane

    Nice webpage. Most of what you say here also applies to purebred cats. My present cat is a retired breeding queen (she only had two litters of kittens before being retired). I know cat breeders spend a lot of money doing tests on queens and studs to rule out genetic disorders. They do not make money breeding.

  8. Thank you for this – hope you don’t mind if I make this available on my website.

  9. love this article, well said…

  10. Donna Chancey

    Thank you for an excellent article. I too would like to add it to my website with your permission,

  11. Thank you very much for this article. Very strait forward, and so very true!

  12. Elaine

    I like how you only posted b.s. comments about how awesome you are – why don’t you post some comments from a dog rescuer who knows all of your article is pile of crap?

    • Farm Dog

      Hi Elaine,
      I haven’t censored any of the comments I’ve received on this post. Would you like to elaborate on what part of the article is “full of crap”?

      • VLM

        I don’t see this article as crap, and I am very active in rescue. My husband manages an animal shelter, I work with a number of breed rescues, and we foster dogs often. We own both rescues and dogs from responsible/ethical breeders.

        You CAN do rescue and support responsible/ethical breeding practices. The issue is not black and white. While shelter and rescue dogs work for many, they may not work for every situation. Why should we force people to choose only rescue, when they are making the decision to bring a dog into their home?

        Most responsible/ethical breeders also support rescue. Most breed specific rescues came around from breeders. Those aren’t dogs from their programs winding up in the shelter, but they are working to save them. Just because my neighbor is irresponsible and dumps his puppies at the shelter, does not mean I have to adopt them.

      • Elaine

        “There is nothing wrong with either decision. This is a highly personal choice and a good breeder should have the wherewithal to make that choice in the interest of the dog they are retiring. It is absolutely never easy to rehome a dog that you have lived with for such a long period of time. The fact that anyone is able to make this decision so objectively speaks volumes about the strength it takes to be a dog breeder” There IS something wrong with dumping off a dog in its mid-to-late life! It’s harder to adopt out older dogs, they frequently get depressed and stressed out in the kennel so they don’t present well to potential adopters and then they end up on the “kill list”, older dogs often develop seperation anxiety or other bad habits and get returned. If these breeders truly cared about dogs as living creatures and not about them as a COMMODITY, they’d have only as many dogs as they could love and support – FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. It IS about making money when breeders dump the older dogs in order to get younger models.
        “There is no overpopulation in the United States”. ?!?! Then where on earth are all those dogs in our shelters coming from?!? ANSWER THAT! If there were only as many dogs as there are good homes – WE. WOULDN’T.NEED.SHELTERS!
        Explain to me why we continue to see hip dysplasia in labs if there is no such thing as breeding in deformities. Why can’t pugs breath anymore?
        I can’t go on. It takes all my energy, every day, to rescue dogs. I’ve personally had 14 dogs in the last 20 years, never more than three dogs at a time. I’ve had so many because I’m willing to adopt and commit to those “old studs and bitches” that you think end up in disneyland. Where they really end up is our shelter, eventually, and then I clean up the breeders mess.

        • Farm Dog

          Hi Elaine,
          First of all, the breeder in question isn’t “dumping the dog”. They are rehoming it to live in an environment that the breeder feels would better suit the dog’s needs at that stage in its life. The vast majority of breeders that make this decision are not dumping their dogs in a shelter. Let me repeat that- the vast majority of these breeders are NOT dumping their dogs in a shelter. They are finding homes for the dogs on their own and the guarantee to take back the dog for life still stands, even if the dog is no longer a puppy. This has nothing to do with shelters as shelters are entirely removed from this equation.

          A lot of breeders do only keep as many dogs as they can support for their entire lives. But, once again, that is a personal decision. Who are you to tell somebody that is wrong?

          Regarding overpopulation: Read the statistics. There is no overpopulation, period. Overpopulation is a greater population than the environment can sustain. The environment has no trouble sustaining the population we have. There are not packs of wild dogs running in the streets throughout the United States. There is no overpopulation. The environment (shelters included) is sustaining them.

          We will ALWAYS need shelters. People will always end up in situations where they need to give up their dogs. That is entirely unavoidable. Shelters will always be responsible for euthanizing injured, ill, and aggressive dogs. Also entirely unavoidable. What we CAN reduce is the number of healthy dogs euthanized in shelters (likely less than 1 million, but that’s speculative guesswork and nobody is actually sure what the number is).

          Hip dysplasia is a multi-gene disease that depends as much on environment as it does on genetics. Seriously, do some research on the subject- it’s both fascinating and impossible to prevent at 100%. There will always be hip dysplasia because it’s a disease that affects dogs, just like there will always be cancer, parvovirus, and Addison’s disease. Disease sucks but it’s part of life. The only thing we can do is take the necessary steps to prevent the disease as much as possible.

          Pugs are an entirely different issue. I agree with you on that to several extents.

          I’m sorry that you feel you are cleaning up a mess that all breeders are responsible for, but you need to understand that there are bad breeders just as there are bad rescues. This is not a black and white situation. I also ran a rescue for several years, spent tens of thousands of dollars of my own money to pull dogs from shelters, nurse them back to health, and find them new homes. So please don’t assume you are the only one trying to help.

        • Anna-Marie

          Your heart is in the right place, but your information is flawed. When rehoming retired dogs and bitches, a good breeder is even more picky about where they go. I personally have a couple of retired dogs. They came from a loving home where their health was maintained and they were properly socialized, so their acclimation into our home was nearly seamless. They were not “dumped.” They were placed with us because their breeders trusted us. We keep in contact with their breeders by phone and email, and Internet access makes sharing photos and videos easy, and because they know their dogs’ history and lineage, they were able to answer any questions we might have. It has been a win/win.
          We also have rescue dogs in our home whose history is more or less unknown, and temperament and health were quite an issue for some of them. I have been personally involved in rescue for years, including dogs that came to us before they ended up in a shelter. Over the years, some have been rehomed,some have remained with us, either because the right home was never for them, or because we could not bear to part with them. Many dogs end up in rescue, because people get “cute little puppies,” but they have no idea of the amount of work or responsibility required to care for them. Some come from owners who don’t bother to spay or neuter their dogs, which results in accidental breedings. These are the circumstances where entire litters are dumped at shelters. Hopefully, the owners then learn their lesson and remedy the situation, but many do not. These are the dogs that are of unknown parentage, with major health issues and temperament problems. A responsible breeder will health and temperament test their animals, and those that don’t make the cut will be altered before placement. This why you find labs, shepherds and others with congenital hip dysplasia, pugs that can’t breathe and dogs with aggression problems. Responsible breeders will not hesitate to say no to a prospective buyer that they feel will not be able to successfully keep one of their puppies. Some of the most expensive dogs I have ever had have been the “free” or “rescue” dogs.

          One other point that the article didn’t mention is that many breeders are also involved in rescue. I have many friends who have at least one other breed in their home, along with their own particular breed. There are good and bad breeders, just as there are good and bad rescues or good and bad shelters. Sweeping generalizations can be very dangerous. The mess you are “cleaning up” is probably more likely due to irresponsible owners and indiscriminate breedings of poor quality animals than to those breeders who spend a fortune vetting their dogs and countless hours caring for them and their progeny.

    • Joyce

      Based on the judgmental flavor of your comment you probably aren’t aware of this (perhaps because you CHOOSE not to be aware, preferring instead to swallow the lies spewed by animal rights radicals), but most purebred rescues were STARTED by breeders and are supported by breeders.

      • Elaine

        I don’t do “purebred” rescue. I do DOG rescue. ANY dog, ALL dogs. I am aware and quite frankly, I’m not much more impressed with specific dog breed rescues than I am with breeders. I am judgmental and I won’t apologize for it.

        • Farm Dog

          You can be judgmental, but in the end the people working for purebred dog rescue do just as much work as the all breed rescue folks do. I ran a rescue for herding breeds because I could only handle herding breeds. I know them best, I’m most comfortable with them, and they fit my lifestyle in a way that other breeds tend not to.

          Acknowledging that you are judgmental is one thing, but I’ll be happy to take this opportunity to point out that your judgements are based on fictitious beliefs and have absolutely no basis in reality. Your anecdotal experiences are not indicative of the entire dog community.

  13. Diane O'Neal

    Elaine…the breeders I am aware of which is a small number of Alaskan Malamute breeders do not dump their older dogs at any shelter…they go to homes of people that are delighted to get them and lavish attention just on them for the rest of their lives. Perhaps you need a rest from rescue because you sound a bit burnt out. I for one am tired to death of the accusation that if I buy a dog a shelter dog dies…sorry, that is NOT my fault, that is the fault of the irresponsible owners of that particular dog…mine is asleep behind me being bedeviled by his cats…who are rescues by the way.

    • Farm Dog

      Perfect response Diane.

    • Anna-Marie

      I agree. Mine are currently hogging my bed, until such time as I give them the yummy treats that they expect as their due. ;-)

  14. Wonderful article. I agree that most of the people think that breeders do all the things for making money which is not true. I am professional breeder and things like this hurts breeders.

  15. I think Farm Dogs is 1 of the most sensible & well written articles on this subject I have read, & considering (not being condescending) the writer staes he has only been involved for 8 yrs he is extremely knowledgeable & committed – its a great article! I admit to horrors of horrors I’ve been a dyed in the wool show exhibitor & hobby breeder dog owner since the late 60’s. I breed periodically for me when I want a dog, I keep no more than 3/4 (not the room anyway- all live in the house)all my pups are endorsed & contracted not to be bred from except in certain circumstances this is always accepted & agreed by their owners. again horror of horrors my retired show dogs sometimes go on to new homes to ensure they are in a 1 to 1 basis – their owners are vetted as much as my puppy owners, maybe more. Like most respected responsible breeders I’m proud of my reputation for good natured, well bred & healthy dogs & I CARE. Some of what you write Elaine makes sense but you’re tarring everyone with the same brush….! rotten apples are in all sports; in every aspect of life in general we will never change that, but there are far more caring ‘proper’ breeders than you give credit for. As with all races there are good & bad in everybody! A fact of life. Don’t forget Dianne that many times its not the way dogs are bred the problem often lies with the owner because Joe Public can be so ignorant of their needs – yes unfortunately there are puppy farmers/commercial breeders (even in numerically small breeds) I’m as much against them as you are but the public sometimes do not research properly & buy from these aforementioned breeders & the more they sell the more they’ll continue to breed. The public needs to be educated, but HOW!? Rant over.

  16. Mvprogers

    So you breed dogs? I did not know that there was a shortage. I Disagree with this article. There is no such thing as a responsible breeder . Once the puppies you sell or rehome are gone you have no idea what circumstances that animal will end up in. People who love their animals rehome and shelter drop all the time. So the 12 puppies you sell as a breeder very well could all end up dead in a shelter or causing the death of others to make room for them. There is an overpopulation issue. There is an issue of not strict enough laws or consequences. The statement that a breeder will get rid of a retired dog because they don’t have time for it is such crap. That’s they same excuse that lands thousands in shelters and rescues daily. If you don’t have time for your dog stop bringing more into the world you won’t have time for. If you love raising puppies go to a rescue or shelter and bring home all the pregnant mama dogs and raise those puppies! I just don’t see how there is any logic in this article or the thought process of a breeder. You are lying to yourself to make things seem ok. No amount of explaining will ever make “responsible” dog breeding ok. Make the lives of those who are already in this world better before you bring more in to make it worse. We live in such a crappy dismantled world I would feel bad bringing more living creatures here to suffer the unknown at the hands of the almighty human. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.

  17. Sam

    I work in rescue, and I am a dog trainer, and while I do not breed, I have the utmost respect for the breeders in my world. Many of the folks in my rescues ARE breeders and are indispensable members of those rescues. The points made above about overpopulation I am in total agreement with. It is a fact, that more than enough homes exist for the number of animals that are euthanized annually. So, it is not an “overpopulation” issue, but a marketing issue for shelters and rescues. Why aren’t more people adopting from shelters? I think you need to look at that particular shelter’s policies if they have an usually high “kill” rate. Because plenty of shelters are enjoying 90%+ “save” rates. So if your shelter doesn’t, I think you need to ask “why”?
    Are there bad breeders? ABSOLUTELY! But are there bad rescues? ABSOLUTELY! Are there bad shelters? ABSOLUTELY! When examining a problem, it is necessary to examine it from all perspectives…not just one. In addition, I don’t believe breeders are the responsible party with animals being surrendered to, or being impounded by, shelters. OWNERS are!