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No, I'm not thinking of getting another dog. This is mostly because I'm curious.
No, I'm not interested in breeding any dog of mine. Ever.

I also know that this is a very sensitive and controversial subject, so we'll have to try to respect each other's opinions...no inflammatory responses please! I'm sure we won't be changing anyone's opinions one way or the other.

Most of the people I know who have dogs got them from shelters, rescues, or off of friends who couldn't keep them anymore. Only one (that I know of) was definitely from a breeder. I've noticed, though, that lots of folks on this forum talk about getting their dogs from breeders and a few talk about breeding their dogs. So this seems like a good place to ask:

If you got your dog from a breeder, what were your reasons? If you breed, what are yours? If you rescue, why?

You'll have to excuse my lack of knowledge on the subject of breeding - after all, that's why I'm posting this! - but to start things off, here's my two cents:
I have no doubt that responsible breeder's pups are fabulously cute, healthy, smart, well-adjusted, happy, etc. I don't have a problem with breeders making a little (or occasionally a lot!) of profit off a litter. I think all animals have rights, but I'm not one of those animal rights freaks who thinks that pet ownership is inherently wrong. My big issue with breeding is that it seems awfully silly to me to pay someone a great deal of money to bring more dogs into this world when millions are literally dying for a place to call home (or lack thereof). Am I missing something here?

I guess what I'm really asking is whether someone can comment on the ethics of breeding, whether responsible or not? I read the "Ethics in Breeding" link on the sticky page "So you want to breed?", but it was all about responsible breeders vs. BYB's, and nothing about whether breeding itself is ethical. Opinions?
 

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Frankly, I think it's a little silly (and buying a little much into the overpopulation presumed-conclusion) to even debate whether breeding is ethical. To make the assumption that intentional breeding is NOT ethical is to assume that companion animals should die out- because the only ones produced would be from shelters or rescue, which are automatically not breeding candidates since any responsible shelter or rescue alters their dogs.

If we want healthy, sound, drivey (purebred or strainbred) dogs to be available in 10 years, responsible breeders need to be breeding them now.

I have heard people say "Well, if everyone just STOPPED for a year/5 yeras/10 years, we could get on top of the shelter population." And the thing is, I just don't see where they're figuring that. First, that assumes that everyone who was breeding intentional litters would obey the law. (Just like they obey their local licensing and sales tax laws? HAH.) Secondly, this depends on the assumption that people who are going to get a dog will take pretty much any dog, and that any dog can fit into pretty much any situation with a small amount of work. And that just plain isn't true. All dogs aren't created equal, and the demand for small to medium sized dogs who are relatively easy to live with FAR outstrips shelter supply, even if vet care, transportation and training were increased to allow dogs who are currently unadoptable due to medical conditions (such as mange, HBC, luxating patellas- all maojr expenses to treat and must be done beofre placement, so they also tie up a kennel run), temperament problems, or location (for example, it's relatively easy to find a chihuahua in a shelter here in TX if you're not picky about behavior, but the same dog would get snapped up in a shelter in NYC.) And some types of dogs- notably pit bulls- have a surplus pretty much wherever you are. So people are still going to want to get dogs, and they're not necessarily going to be able to find (or want naything) that is available from their local shelters. It'll result in underground puppy sales and imports from Mexico and Canada.

A dog generation is basically 10 years. Bitches can't generally be bred safely any older than 8 (and that's pushing it as an average- most breeders won't breed a girl past 7) and dogs generally are not fertile much past 10 or 11. You can save semen, but there's no replacement for those bitches whose entire reproductive career would be missed. ANd suddenly, you have entire breeds where the ENTIRE population that is still intact is those belonging to people who broke the law- the ones who stayed underground, who didn't health test or show or make themselves visible in any way. Is that REALLY who you want controlling the future of dogs?


I got my first dog from a breeder because I could not find the dog I wanted in rescue. I had a specific size range, I wanted a certain personality, and it was plain not available in rescue. The breed rescue for that particular breed gets approximately 100 dogs per year across the entire US, and if you want a young, sound dog (ie, for agility competition), you can literally wait YEARS. Then I got interested in showing. And it just grew from there. My life revolved around DOING stuff with my dogs. I grew up and moved on to another breed, where it was very difficult to find people who were balancing health, temperament, and breed type in a way I was satisfied with. If I wanted the exact blend of priorities that *I* felt were the correct way, I was going to need to do that myself. And that's where I am right now. Drive, health, temperament, all in a typey body- a dog who looks AND acts the way the breed is supposed to, with the drive and soundness to WORK for a living as a sports dog or a service dog, as well as being beautiful- but if I have to sacrifice something, it's going to be the finer points of looks as compared to the breed stnadard- nothing else.
 

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Well first I think one needs to consider what it would be like if there was NO breeding - which is what some very pro rescue people (I'm not meaning you specifically) believe should be the case. What would happen to all the breeds that exist today? They certianly wouldn't be put on hold until shelter numbers went down and it became 'ok' to breed agian. Lines wouldn't freeze in place, ready to be picked up agian. Rather we would lose A LOT of valuable and hard word when it came to the art of purebred dogs. Those rare breeds that are barely hanging around at is it would likely become very very scarce if not totally extinct in some areas and what little stock we have of them now would age and die off. Even the established breeds would suffer as those lines that are currently bettering them and striving to meet the standard would also dissipate. You'd basically be looking at losing a whole lot of history. Generations of time and energy when into creating each and every one of those breeds...and all of that would gradually disappear were we to end breeding complete - even on a temporary basis. I think putting a pause on breeding is a lot more drastic (and unrealistic - but if we're imagining the effects...) then most people realize.

Next I think one needs to understand and realize that rescue and adoption is not for everyone. I work in rescues and fully understand the desire to find these dogs homes and the whole ticking clock thing when it comes to how much time they have. But I also know that every family has a specific list of requirements they are looking for in a pet. Sometimes this means they aren't suited for a dog that comes with possible or frequent behavior problems, unknown backgrounds, and mystery breeds. Some families need some semblance of assurance when it comes to 'what they're getting' in a dog. This is where breeders come in.

I will say that my own dog is from a breeder. We live in an apartment and at the time she was purchased I was fairly young and my parents weren't exactly versed in dog ownership. They wanted something small, manageable, apartment friendly, right grooming/energy requirements, etc. And while they did scan through the rescues a few times it was eventually decided to go the breeder route. With Dakota we had a 'profile' of what was generally expected of her breed (Rat Terrier) and were therefor better able to not only meet her needs but assure that she was the right fit for our situation. I'm not say this is impossible with shelter dogs but the outcome is slightly less sure at times.

To sum it all up, I sit on the fence when it comes to breeding vs. rescue. I see the benefits of going both ways and encourage families to investigate what will work best for them. I think ultimately it's important to remember that everyone is in a different situation and there isn't one cookie cutter solution that will fit them all. It would be great if we could somehow bring the abandoned animal number down to zero but unfortunately that's not a very realistic goal. So in the mean time you've just got to deal with what you've got. Get the information out there, educate people on their choices, and hope they make the right one for themselves.

Hope that kind of answered your question some - that yes, I do think responsible breeding is ethical, as I also think rescuing is ethical and don't put one over the other. Another important note is that a lot of responsible breeders are ALSO involved in the rescue and placement of their breed as well. Many pull dogs from shelters and help to get them into new homes. So it's not like the two 'sides' are totally separate - rather often they are working together.

Edit: Dogstar beat me to some of that. I type too slow :rolleyes:
 

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I wanted a golden puppy from health and temperament tested parents.
 

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I prefer pure bred dogs and I enjoy sports that require my dogs to be specific pure breeds. My breed of choice, greyhounds, happens to have plenty of retired racers available through adoption channels (I don't like the blanket term "rescue") so we have all retired racers. There are a few other breeds I'm interested in and we'll be going to a breeder if/when we ever decide to bring another breed home. Why? Because I will want that dog to have been bred for a specific purpose (lure coursing and/or racing), in addtion to being a pet.

Good breeders are stewards of a breed - preserving and enhancing the qualities and skills that make that breed special. For every dog that was bred to do a job, I think this preservation is important.
 

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over my lifetime I have had both.
My very first dog, a min. poodle (when I was a young child) came from a breeder. I ahve no idea how my parents found this breeder. It was many years later when i worked at a Veterinary Hospital did I find out that the kennel was well known.

2nd dog was a Lab mix I got from a neighbor. Their grown truck driver son brought the puppy home when his wife was pregnant with their first child. Needless to say, he was never around and his parents felt sorry for the dog and took her home. I happen to dog sit the dog one summer and they let me keep her.

3rd dog, Border Collie. By now I am a 18 year old and was interested in AKC obed.

4th dog. Shep mix. we got our current mix, Scooby when i was pregnant with my 3rd child. I knew I would not have time to show a dog so we went to the shelter.

5th and 6th dogs Collies. Now my daughter is into dog shows we are back to purebreds.
 

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Frankly, I think it's a little silly (and buying a little much into the overpopulation presumed-conclusion) to even debate whether breeding is ethical. To make the assumption that intentional breeding is NOT ethical is to assume that companion animals should die out- because the only ones produced would be from shelters or rescue, which are automatically not breeding candidates since any responsible shelter or rescue alters their dogs.

If we want healthy, sound, drivey (purebred or strainbred) dogs to be available in 10 years, responsible breeders need to be breeding them now.
I definitely agree with the above...
 

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I got my GSD puppy from a breeder because she's my first real dog (previous dog was more a family dog when I was very young so it doesn't count). I wanted a dog that had a reliable and predictable temperment because I would find it really difficult to handle an adopted dog whom turned out to have a problematic temperment because I have little experience with dogs.

I have absolutely nothing against shelter rescue dogs and I'll most likely be getting a resuced retired greyhound as my next dog since I'll hopefully be much more experienced in case the dog has any issues.
 

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I have acquired several rescue dogs in my life most of them Border Collies and a few mixed breed herding breeds. Most of them came with many problems to include genetic health issues such as CEA ,HIP DISPLASIA, and other stuctural issues. Some of the dogs required a good amount of time and resources in addressing these issues. I find it so sad to know and experience a dog that suffers because of poor social conditioning, management, and health issues not to say that all rescue dogs have them or come with them .

I like and unlike others
participate in various sports with with my dogs such as agility,flyball,SAR, and herding and for me it is important that not only does the dog need to be well socialized, well tempered, and biddable but also as healthy as possible and that is where responsible well thought out breeding practices play a important factor in my choosing a dog. It is not only disheartening to own a dog that has been neglected in some form or fashion but one that often has a shortened or less fullfilled life because of irresponsible breeding practices.

For some people it is simply a matter of sharing a life of love with a dog and who cares if it can be a performance or work dog and needs help with disabilities. For others it can be and should be beneficial to acquire a dog who's breeding has been well thought out in considering bettering the breed.

Who's to judge whether certain breeds with major inheritable structural,health, and temperment problems should ever be bred in the first place? Why some people choose to breed regardless of breed/s or health concerns will always be a question of vanity when you really think about it regardless of being strictly a compainion dog, work or performance dog.

:)
 

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If you rescue, why?
Wrong question for me...should be why not? I wanted a Mini Schnauzer puppy to be my companion dog. I found a Mini Schnauzer puppy through a rescue. Breeders (and I use the term loosely) have generated more than enough surplus for me to wade through their discards to find and adopt the dog I would want, and no thank you, I don't need a dog direct from a breeder to find an awesomely companionable dog for me.
 

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I was typing out this long thing and I got bored of my own response, so I'll get right to the point....

I have both, two dogs from breeders, one from a rescue group and one from a shelter. My previous dog was also from a shelter. I got dogs from the shelter when I wanted a nice companion, an adult dog, and maybe a general look, but nothing specific. I got dogs from a breeder when I had alot of specifics in mind, size, looks, temperament, drive...and fortunately for the breed I chose, they are few and far between in rescue.
 

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I believe a reputable breeder should re-home any dog born through them. If this were the "norm" then one could rescue a dog directly from a breeder.

Both my dogs are rescues.
 

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I love purebred dogs, but I'm of the opinion that the closed registry system has to end. I think that as long as it continues, even the responsible breeders are fighting a losing battle against the hereditary disorders we're seeing so much of. Alaskan Huskies and working Border Collies are able to retain breed characteristics with open books; there's no reason why it can't be done with others. For dogs like English Bulldogs, I think the survival of the entire breed depends opening the books.
 

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I got two dogs from a breeder and two from the pound.

If you got your dog from a breeder, what were your reasons?
I wanted a particular breed all my life. Once I was in a position to get one, I did the research and decided I wanted one with health testing and temperament testing. I also wanted a puppy to raise in what I consider to be the right way. I wanted a clean slate, not someone else's mistakes.

If you rescue, why?
My first two puppies came from the pound. I guess this is considered a "rescue", though I don't think of it in those terms. The reason I did it was because I wanted a dog and it didn't much matter to me what breed it was. I just wanted the experience of having a dog in my life.

I have never regretted either choice, but I much prefer a puppy from a breeder. One of my pound puppies has pretty severe hip dysplasia. That's why I will buy from a breeder in the future. I can't stand to see my dog in pain and not be as active as I know she'd like to be.

[quote[ Am I missing something here?[/quote]

Only the fact that getting a dog from a rescue is FULL of unknowns and getting a dog from a breeder has many fewer unknowns as regards health and temperament. You can learn a LOT by going over a pup's pedigree.

I guess what I'm really asking is whether someone can comment on the ethics of breeding, whether responsible or not?
Well, IMO, irresponsible breeding is NOT ethical. Responsible breeding is. And IMO, it comes down to this. Responsible breeders are in it for the breed. Not for making money or anything else. To better the breed that they love. To guarantee that there will be healthy GSDs and Border Collies and Bernese Mountain Dogs in the future.

If all responsible breeders just stopped, eventually, all we'd have would be unhealthy, dysplastic and temperamentally unstable dogs...
 

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I believe a reputable breeder should re-home any dog born through them. If this were the "norm" then one could rescue a dog directly from a breeder.
ALL of the reputable breeders that I know not only REQUIRE by contract that the buyer returns the dog should it no longer be wanted, needed, or properly cared for but in addition take in rescue dogs outside of their own breedings, rhab them, and then find them a appropriate home.

My dogs breeder has many dogs that they rescue posted on their web site and in addition contributes many resources to helping rescue.

Now if only all breeders could be reputable/responsible that would be another issue.:)
 

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I believe a reputable breeder should re-home any dog born through them. If this were the "norm" then one could rescue a dog directly from a breeder.

Both my dogs are rescues.
Yes this is totally true ...ALL breeders should do this ..

I actually have a girl being returned to me next week the couple's child has developed severe allergies and they don't feel comfortable medicating the child.So I said definitely bring her back :D
 

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The “millions” of dogs you are talking about do not come from reputable breeders... Honestly... have you been too you’re local shelter??? There are mutts galore available for adoption - bred by people who thought it would be fun to have “max’s” babies... without the slightest consideration that they know NOTHING about “max”, his genes, his breed, his ancestors etc. But because he needs to at least have s*x once before he’s neutered! (Like he would even know what the hell the difference is!)
Shelter/rescue dogs is not a result of reputable breeders breeding dogs and neither do reputable breeders influence what happens in shelters! Shelters/rescues are a result of people supporting puppy mills, byb and “oops” my dog got pregnant now what do I do?

They are a result of un-educated... irresponsible people who got a pet without considering all the aspects involved in caring for another living thing! There wouldn’t be shelters if people didn’t dispose of their pets like they were last year’s fashion item.

Reputable breeders will NEVER have their pride and joy end up in a shelter somewhere in another state!
They rarely make any profit off of a litter, cause reputable breeders don’t breed just cause their dog needs to get some. They do extensive research before even considering breeding... they are 100% involved in the breed they breed.
They only breed their best dogs... (which incidentally it costs money to travel and have your dog compete in dog shows etc. in order for them to gain a Champion etc. title!)
They health test for genetic diseases to make sure what they produce is excellent quality(which costs A LOT of money)
They might have to pay a stud fee for breeding their champion female to a champion male. (which costs money)
They need to confirm pregnancy and mostly does it by going to the vet for an ultra-sound (which costs money)
They have their female on vitamins and a great diet so they’ll know that when the pups arrive she won’t run out of milk or have problem due to lack of nutrition. (which costs money)
If there are complications at birth, they won’t think twice about taking her to the emergency vet. (which costs money)
They feed and care for the mother and her off spring for 8 weeks or longer depending (which costs money)
Reputable breeders often don't break even (they might if they are lucky!!!)

Go to your local and go and look at the dogs they have up for adoption.... I keep an eye on whatever goes in and out of my local shelter cause they have a website which I visit at least once a week. I very rarely see a purebred dog there, VERY RARELY!!!!
Cause reputable breeders take back their puppies if ever an owner can no longer care for a dog. No matter what!
 

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If you got your dog from a breeder, what were your reasons? If you breed, what are yours? If you rescue, why?
I have paid for one dog from a breeder. This was a long time ago and I will never do this again. I fell in love with dogs about 15yrs ago when I paid for my first dog. I never new how much more I enjoyed a dogs company over a human :p
They are the most loyal companions you will ever have in your life. They are truly my best friends.

Since I've realized this I also realized I could never pay someone for a dog when there are so many great dogs out there being killed everyday due to irresponsible bad dog people. If I want a certain breed I will look for a breed specific rescue shelter. So far I have just gone to the local pound and picked one up at a time. Or I have taken in dogs from friends or friends of friends who thought their dog was just bad or couldn't keep it anymore.

My latest adoption was a Pit. A breed I never thought I would get. Not due to vicious reputation but the status symbol people have made of them. I saw one I couldn't resist (the pound was full of them) and thought it would be a perfect opportunity to show people around me they are not vicious killers but great lovable dogs all the same as any other dog.
That's my new vicious killer Pit in the middle on my avatar.
Oh and I will also never again have a puppy. I much prefer to work with a dog that is at least 2yrs old with good or bad habits it's all the same to me.
 

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The “millions” of dogs you are talking about do not come from reputable breeders... Honestly... have you been too you’re local shelter??? There are mutts galore available for adoption - bred by people who thought it would be fun to have “max’s” babies... without the slightest consideration that they know NOTHING about “max”, his genes, his breed, his ancestors etc. But because he needs to at least have s*x once before he’s neutered! (Like he would even know what the hell the difference is!)
Shelter/rescue dogs is not a result of reputable breeders breeding dogs and neither do reputable breeders influence what happens in shelters! Shelters/rescues are a result of people supporting puppy mills, byb and “oops” my dog got pregnant now what do I do?

Go to your local and go and look at the dogs they have up for adoption.... I keep an eye on whatever goes in and out of my local shelter cause they have a website which I visit at least once a week. I very rarely see a purebred dog there, VERY RARELY!!!!
Cause reputable breeders take back their puppies if ever an owner can no longer care for a dog. No matter what!
Our local Humane Society almost always has purebreds of some kind or another. Their website says approximately 25% of the dogs that come through there are purebred. Now, whether these are the result of some BYB, puppy mill or responsible breeder, I can't say, but they are pure breds nonetheless.

The dog I owned as a child was a mutt. I'm not sure where my parents got him, but I suspect it was an ad in the paper giving away free dogs more likely than not. They got him as a puppy. The dog after that was a lab who we also got as a puppy from someone advertising in the paper.

When I moved out, I got a corgi/terrier mix who's horror story I've told before. He was a rescue. The dogs I have now are both rescues and both purebreds. Zero is a purebred spaniel with an amazing temperament. I get compliments on his behavior everywhere I go. I got him from the Humane Society though so I have no idea what his background is, nor do I care especially. Brutus is a purebred basset although the lady I got him from suspected he's mixed with dachshund. I suspect Cerberus may have sired him, but have not been able to confirm this. Anyway, I got him from a breed rescue so that's probably not the best example.

I will likely never deal with a breeder. I don't have the time or the energy to keep up with a puppy and the local shelters are full of dogs with great personalities who already have some training.
 

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Im not the most experienced when It come to dogs but for my family the main factor in buying a pup from a breeder for me was alergies. we needed a yorkie because we needed a small dog that didnt shed and we had had a yorkie before without any reaction ( they started when we got a cat) so we had to get a purebreed to ensure that we new what we were getting.We looked at getting a rescue but were I live the shelter only had large hairy dogs that shed alot so that really ruled that out. :)
 
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