If you are a regular visitor to Our Dogs World 101 you would realize that I love my dogs!
There are no boundaries when it comes to the size, breed, pretty dogs, ugly dogs (Is there even such a thing!), mixed breeds or pedigree, to me I love them all.
I remember a time when the “IN THING” was to own a purebred, it didn’t matter what breed that was just as long as you could say they were purebred.
Thinking about it now, back then it was fashionable and had somewhat of a status symbol attached to it.
Move on a little and it was the adopted dogs that were the fashionable thing and even more so if they were a rescue dog.
As someone who owns a purebred Mastiff, I often have people ask me should I feel guilty for buying a purebred dog instead of adopting one and I can understand that question, I mean who doesn’t like rooting for the underdog?
In this article I am going to try to answer the questions I get most asked from my customers (I am a dog trainer), family and friends when it comes to deciding on buying a purebred dog or adopting one.
Should I feel Guilty For Getting A Dog From A Breeder?
Remember at the beginning of this blog I said that it was now the “IN THING” to adopt or rescue a dog, well with that came a lot of backlash and negativity against buying purebreds from reputable breeders, not the puppy mills we hear so much about.
Here at Our Dogs World 101 we encourage the “Adopt Don’t Shop” philosophy and I have always worked closely with my sister who works at a dog refuge center here in Western Australia to promote this.
But what we really need to remember is that without reputable dog breeders, the dogs we have grown to love, have fun with and witness their ultimate loyalty over the many, many years could one day cease to exist!
The scariest thing of all is that there are already some dog breeds that are already categorized as being an endangered breed.
I have two pure-breeds, 1 pure-breed Mastiff who I bought from a breeder and a pure-breed Black Labrador who I rescued from a rescue shelter.
So many of us with pure-breed dogs feel we need to explain ourselves on why we bought a pure-bred when there are so many dogs in shelters looking for homes.
And trust me, there have been many occasions where I have been asked if my two dogs are rescues, and I have often thought of lying and just saying, most definitely, I mean why buy a dog when there are so many looking for homes.
Of course, I don’t, however I always feel I then need to justify myself on why I went with pure-breeds.
Is It Wrong To Buy A Dog Instead Of Adopting?
I am probably going to be shot down in flames here, but it needs to be said that not everyone will choose to rescue a dog and trust me that’s OK.
Are there some great dogs, purebred or mutts in our dog shelters that will be the perfect addition to your family? Most Definitely there is!
However, are there good quality, healthy, properly weaned and socialized purebred puppies in these shelters? More than likely not!
Good breeders don’t produce litters only to send them off to animal rescue shelters and if it is a purebred puppy that you have your mind set on then a registered breeder is where you will need to buy them from.
The best advice I can give you here is to thoroughly research on whether you really want to spend the time, money and sometimes very trying times raising a puppy which I have covered in Before You Get A Puppy – Everything You Need To Know, or if you would prefer to skip that and go straight to the grown up stage.
It especially important to do your research on older dogs in regard to any behavioral issues, training they may have had, and if they were indoor or outdoor dogs previously.
Do this research for a rescue dog and who knows you may just have found your new BFF (Best Furry Friend) in an animal rescue shelter.
Are there good dogs from dedicated and professional breeders? Again most definitely!
Again it will all be in the research you do regarding this breeder.
Most countries have a dedicated breeders register where you can find reputable breeders who pass all the requirements and have a long breed history.
So whatever you decide to do your new dog or puppy will still take some time to settle in and through training and some patience, purebred or mutt you will have a friend for life.
Is It Wrong To Want A Purebred Dog?
Did you knows that the ASPCA have said that nearly 1.2 MILLION dogs are euthanized in animal shelters every year?
All dog activist groups advocate that you should be adopting dogs over buying purebreds whenever you can as it is a lot cheaper, a lot of the dogs are already house-trained, spayed, neutered and have had all their vaccinations.
They say that by adopting a dog from a shelter helps fight the battle against puppy mills and by adopting a dog from a shelter you are helping to create room for the next.
As an owner of two purebreds I personally think the whole #AdoptDontShop thing has probably gone a little to far.
There are legitimate reasons for buying purebreds, and mine personally was for the love of the two different breeds.
I am sure this is the reason a lot of other purebred owners purchase the purebred dog they have.
If you are simply looking for a pet and are not crazy for a specific breed then I reckon you would be better off adopting your BFF from an animal shelter or rescue center.
Outside of my reason a lot of owners buying purebreds are looking for working dogs with a certain specific temperament or characteristic.
There is nothing wrong with anyone buying a purebred dog as long as it is done for the right reasons and done responsibly.
Police dogs, military bomb and search dogs, drug sniffer dogs, cattle dogs and service dogs just to mention a few all must have come from careful breeding to make sure they produce consistent results.
Don’t get me wrong, as an ex-military vet I have seen some great bomb dogs that were a mixed breed, but trainers and workers of these dogs, who will end up investing thousands of dollars into these animals, are not going to go randomly looking for any old puppy.
So if, you are the type of person that is willing to put in the many hours of training your dog then a well-bred dog from a working line breed will definitely make your job a lot easier.
Is It OK To Buy A Dog Without Papers?
Whether your new puppy has registration papers or not doesn’t change the actual make up of their genes or DNA inside of your dog.
I knows of many purebred dogs that don’t have papers, and unfortunately during my career have seen many dogs with registration papers that are not actually purebreds.
This is why it is so important that if you have decided that you will be getting a purebred puppy to do your research.
I have listed some of the best research tools to find reputable breeders below and urge you to look at these if a purebred dog is what you have your mind set on.
- American Kennel Club (AKC)
- Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)
- The Kennel Club UK
- DogzOnline Australia
- Dogs New Zealand
The only real way to be assured that your new puppy is actually a purebred is to get their DNA tested.
You will find that any good breeder will have already submitted these to one of the organizations I have listed above, and a copy will come with his registration papers.
If you are buying a dog or puppy without papers I honestly think you are better off getting your new BFF from a shelter or rescue home.
Breeders who don’t offer papers in my opinion are either hiding something within the breeding line or they are simply in the business of making quick money, and for me that is no different from running a puppy mill.
How Do You Get Papers For A Dog That Doesn’t Have Papers?
Taken directly from the Continental Kennel Club, Inc. they have said that people often ask is it possible to register a dog without papers and they say they have a couple of ways to do this if that’s the situation you find yourself in.
They also state that if your dog is not a purebred then the “Non-Purebred Canine Registration Application” might be the better APP for you.
However if your dog is a purebred, and you would like to have it evaluated, you can use their “CKC Paw Application”
How To Complete and Submit a Paw Application – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7Dq7X44Ka4
How To Take Pictures For A Paw Application – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA9cuUmD-Vw
The Continental Kennel Club, Inc. say The Picture and Witness Program, or PAW Program, is a dog evaluation program unique to CKC.
It was put into place to allow valuable lost genetic lines to be reintroduced to a breed population in an effort to combat dwindling gene pools and population bottlenecks found in many pure breeds today.
What To Ask When Buying A Puppy Privately
So what should I ask?
This is regarding questions to ask a breeder before buying a dog and not relative to getting your dog from a shelter.
How Long Have You Been A Breeder? – Like any career (And yes reputable breeders consider this as a career) the more experience you have in your field the better you are at it, well it’s no different to dog breeders. Your breeder should be a wealth of knowledge regarding their specific breed.
Can I View The Parents? – A good breeder should be able to show you both the Mum and the Dad together, or at the very least the mum. When watching the puppies parents take good notice of their overall temperament and general health as this will be a great indication on what your pup will grow up to look like and behave like.
Have The Pups Been Socialized and How? – Do a google search on Puppy socialization and you will soon see how vitally important it is in those first 4 – 16 weeks to introduce them to other dogs and humans. This time period will shape the future of your new pup and should have been started by your breeder within the litter.
Vaccinations and De-Worming – You need to make sure that the breeder has taken you new puppy to the vet and gotten all the necessary shots etc and they should have all those records available to you along with the contact details of the vet. Make sure you fully understand what shots are still required and when they are due before taking your puppy home.
What Do You As A Breeder Do If My Puppy Becomes Sick Or I Can’t Look After Them Anymore? – If your new puppy becomes severely ill, and by that I don’t mean has a sniffle what will your breeder do? Some breeds are knows for inherited diseases or medical conditions.
If you purchase a puppy that falls into this category make sure your breeder can show you tests to confirm it hasn’t effected their line. I purchased my Mastiff, Saffron as an 8-week-old puppy, and this breed are known for hip issues due to the fact they are classed as a Giant Breed.
My breeder was able to provide me with both hip and elbow scores from both parents which showed a healthy line of breeding.
This is Saffron at 8 weeks old.
You also want to knows what your breeder will do if you can no longer take care of your dog.
This is Saffron who is now 2 years old.
Do You Have Any References? – A good breeder will have a list of previous buyers and vets that they will happily let you speak to regarding their credibility and reliability as a purebred dog breeder.
My advice would be to call these people and get some feedback on their dealings with the breeder and how their puppy is going.
When I bought Saffron I spoke with people who had bought puppies from the last two litters and had nothing but positive feedback from them all, this is what you are looking for when you go to purchase yours.
Being Able To Call The Breeder Once You Have Taken The Puppy Home – A good breeder will always be contactable and in most cases will request that you keep in contact with them regularly to keep them updated and to ask questions if needed.
Breeders think of their puppies as their own children and as such love to knows how they are progressing.
In fact, with the ever growing and popular social media presence a lot of very good breeders actually have their own Facebook groups and pages and these are often great places to keep in contact and send updated photos of your puppies development.
Saffrons breeder has their own Facebook group which is Kara’s Babies. Kara is Saffrons mum.
I also have a Facebook group if ever you would like to have a look which is Our Dogs World.
What Would You Like To Know About Me? – A reputable breeder will want to be sure that their breed suits you. In my case before I even got to meet the breeder and my future puppy I had to fill out a questionnaire regarding me wanting to own one of their dogs.
I had to outline my knowledge of the breed, my lifestyle, if it was to be an indoor or outdoor dog, what kind of yard I had, my previous experience with the Mastiff breed and a lot more.
If your breeder doesn’t ask questions, I would be very concerned!
The Best Day Of Your Life Has Arrived – When Can I Take My Puppy Home? – All puppies should stay with their mother and sibling until they are at least 8 weeks of age.
This allows them to be properly weaned and socialized.
A good breeder will never allow a puppy to go to their new home until they are between 8 – 12 weeks old.
My Final Thoughts
I hope this blog has helped answer the question, should I feel guilty for buying a purebred dog instead of adopting one? and assist you in making that decision.
The above picture is Narla and while she has no papers, I got her from a great shelter where my sister works and because of this knew that she was healthy, had all of her vaccinations and was a great temperament.
So if, a purebred is what you are after, then the biggest piece of advice I can give you is don’t rush in, do your research and use this article as your guide and I can guarantee whether it’s a rescue dog from a shelter or a purebred from a breeder you will have a BFF (Best Furry Friend) for life!
If you have anymore questions on buying a purebred dog or would like to share your experiences buying from a breeder please leave your comments below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Once again I leave you with our quote, “May Your Home Be Filled With Love And Dog Hair”
Founder of Our Dogs World 101