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rescue vs breeder - Page 2

Poll Results: Do you rescue or buy

 
  • 78% (67)
    rescue from shelter or rescue group
  • 14% (12)
    buy from a breeder
  • 7% (6)
    other-please explain
85 Total Votes  
post #21 of 89
We got our last dog, Barry, as a puppy from a shelter and he was a sweet, sweet dog (he's now with another family -- long story, but he was miserable when we moved from a house to an apartment). He was a Black Lab/pit bull mix though the shelter only told us about the lab part ... I imagine they knew the rest (or could guess, nobody knows for sure. he was found running through the streets) since it was when I took him out for walks that all the neighborhood kids identified him as a pit.

I don't think pits are \necessarily bad, and he was a gentle sweetheart, but I think if I had had small children at the time I would have been a little more disturbed at this news. So, although I answered "shelter dog" if we do get another dog I would maybe consider a breeder ... if only to get another keeshond, the kind of dog I grew up with. Hmm. Nothing like MDC to get you thinking!
post #22 of 89
I voted rescue. Reason? There are way way way too many animals out there (Not just dogs) without good safe homes. Breeders animals will always get a home eventually, and most likely to a good home (Not many people will pay good $$ to have an animal just to abuse it - Although I'm sure those sorts of people are out there) Animals in shelters may not, and many end up being put down if they're round too long.
post #23 of 89
Breeding just seems a little creepy to me at best. And at worst, cruel. Dogs are "made" to have a certain shape/look/temperament. Many of them have their ears clipped or tails docked just to fit the right look so they can win a contest. I just don't get it. Seems like playing God to me.

I live in a city where 40,000 animals are euthanized in a year. So it's hard for me to see a reason to make more animals.
post #24 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandora114
I would go with a REPUTABLE breeder, CKC/AKC registered breeder. Why? Rescue dogs can be damaged goods, and I have yet to find an upfront rescue organization about the dog.
I'm so sorry you haven't had the good fortune of working with a reputable/responsible rescue organization. That's very sad to hear. Also, my goal in responding to this post is not to sway your opinion. Everyone has their own boundaries and comfort levels that should be respected. However, I'd like to respond to a few comments for anyone else who may be reading this thread.

As I mentioned before, not all shelters and rescues operate to the same standards, just as all breeders are not committed to the same level of responsibility. If we are going to compare breeders to rescues/shelters, it's important to compare apples to apples. Whether one is adopting or buying, that person needs to do her homework and find out just how much support each provides and how knowledgable each is about the breed(s) they are adopting or selling.

I fully agree that some rescue dogs carry a lot of baggage with them. Sadly, that is unavoidable. I wish it were otherwise, but then we wouldn't be having this conversation--every animal would have a caring home and shelters/rescues would be a thing of the past. However, it is possible to adopt a puppy or young dog who is much more of a blank slate, waiting for the right family to welcome her into their home and guide her through the process of becoming a valued member of the family. Our lab and our first adopted Brittany were both pups when we adopted them. Sally (lab) was eight weeks old and Reilly was five months old. Our second adopted Brittany, Bandit, was adopted as a young adult. Both boys came from American Brittany Rescue (ABR). Our lab was adopted from an all-breed rescue.

Like good breeders, both rescue organizations had a lengthy application process, interviews and home visits to be sure we would be responsible pet owners. Included in the contracts we signed were provisions that we would surrender the animals back to the rescue should we be unable to care for them anymore. This is in their best interests as they don't want to adopt animals into situations no better than from those they were saved. We needed not much support from the all-breed rescue, so I can't comment extensively on them, but ABR provides its adoptive families with a ton of support and a nation-wide network of experts.

I don't claim that rescue is for everyone. It's not perfect, anymore than all breeders are perfect or the optimal solution. However, I would say that if people are willing to do the research they would be for a dog purchased from a breeder, chances are they could find a rescue or even a shelter dog that could meet their needs. Unless those needs require an AKC registration number and/or the animal to be intact, but that's an entirely different can of worms.
post #25 of 89
Rescue doesn't always work. We have allergy issues in our house, and size preferences, so we needed a smaller non shedding dog, which really narrowed it down. Petfinder was useless - last time I looked, it showed my 2 provinces and 3 or 4 states (that were all "local") and there was ONE dog that met our criteria. But the description for that dog was that it needed a quiet home, so we didn't meet their criteria. Between online and in person, I have been in contact with shelters within a 7 hour drive of Toronto, and there was still nothing suitable.
post #26 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrlittle
Breeding just seems a little creepy to me at best. And at worst, cruel. Dogs are "made" to have a certain shape/look/temperament. Many of them have their ears clipped or tails docked just to fit the right look so they can win a contest. I just don't get it. Seems like playing God to me.

I live in a city where 40,000 animals are euthanized in a year. So it's hard for me to see a reason to make more animals.
Every single puppy in the US comes from a breeder. There are no wild dogs here, so every born puppy came about because somebody let their female dog get pregnant, and many times *wanted* their female dog to get pregnant. If you own a female dog that gets pregnant, you are legally and morally a breeder, and you are playing God with every puppy you produce.

So you can't escape from "creepy" breeding, unless you want to sterilize all the dogs in America and end the canine population in ten years or so.

If you don't want to do that, then you have to divide the breeders into two groups: those who deliberately breed for specific traits like appearance, temperament, coat, working ability, and so on--and those who throw their dog's cha cha toward any male who comes down the street (or, and this is in my opinion worse, decide that because their girl is purebred or looks purebred, they can make some money if they get her together with Uncle Marv's similar male). If they can't sell the puppies, they go to the shelter. If someone buys one and then that dog bites someone, off it goes to the shelter too. One of these breeding choices is, to me, creepy--but it sure isn't the first one.

The "contests" we go to are far more positively motivated and contribute more to the health of the breed as a whole than you think--show breeders are open to peer criticism and their pedigrees are an open book. Because I am a show breeder, I can steer you toward a dog likely to be healthy, look like it's supposed to look (and function the way it's supposed to function), and so on, even if it's not my own or even close to my breeding. Do some dock and crop? Yes, but many do not, and even those who do are generally doing it because they're passionately devoted to the historical and traditional appearance of the dog, not to win contests (i.e., docking/cropping are a function of the dog's original job--they became a practice long before dog shows even existed). I don't crop, even though my breed is traditionally cropped, and I feel perfectly free to make that choice and not be penalized by my friends and peers.

Every breeder is the diety of the puppies he or she produces--there you're right.

I'll continue to say: Many rescues are wonderful. Many shelters function under an impossible workload and crushing grief and do the very best they can. If you have the time, resources, and money to rescue and rehab a dog, and you don't need very specific things in terms of health or coat or whatever, then the shelter/rescue should be the first place you head. But there is absolutely nothing morally or ethically wrong with buying from a responsible, ethical, high-quality breeder instead, and for some families it is the far better choice.
post #27 of 89
Tara, indeed a breeder can predict the things you are speaking about temperment and workability wise. It's actually what I do. Any dog entering our breeding program will have the pedigree researched for months. Before using that dog or purchasing that dog I will be able to tell you about the working ability, drive, tracking ability, agility, size, and what motivates pretty much every last dog in his background. While not a guarentee, it is NOT something you can say about rescue.
Many dogs in rescue are indeed damaged goods, the average person does not give up the perfect dog just because he's perfect, it happens, owners die, someone becomes allergic, what have you--but the large majority of animals currently in the rescue "loop" are there because something is wrong with them--it may well be something easy to fix, but it's pretty much a guarentee that if they're there as young or older adults that they have NOT had the benefit of a proper upbringing as a puppy--for someone who works their dog, if I'm going to loose the big trial, I want it to be because of something *I* did, not something someone else did wrong.

I can tell you that the #1 reason my stud is used is to increase tracking drive, so I'm not sure what kind of dogs your parents are raising or how qualified they are in doing so, but the things you are stating can't be done are exactly the things that are done by *good* dog breeders.
post #28 of 89
Joanna : ChaCha :

: :
post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleMonkeyMom
While I do agree that a good breeder can predict the general temperament of a pup (assertive, submissive, easy-going, timid, etc.), to my knowledge there is no way to definitively predict if a dog if a dog will have a love of competition, a desire to perform consistently, perfect conformation and enough natural instinct and talent to perform the job each particular breed has been bred to do. I also know of no breeders who can absolutely guarantee that a pup will not grow up to be a barker, a chowhound, a couch potato (comparatively), etc.
Good grief, of course we can. Like I said, BEHAVIOR depends on you. But I can certainly say to you as I hand you an eight-week-old puppy that I am reasonably certain that if you do everything I tell you to, this dog will like showing x amount (based on pedigree and temperament tests), will have this or that conformation strength or fault pattern, is probably (or probably not) going to be a barker, whether there is good food motivation and good eating in the pedigree, etc.

I'm now in my third generation of breeding in my own house (making me a very young breeder). I have also spent a huge amount of time with the two generations before that, including littermates, cousins, etc. My own breeder, where I got my first dog from, has been working with the same direct line for about ten generations. I know, or know of, reasonably well, probably 100 dogs that either contributed to or are direct ascendants of a puppy I'm selling. It becomes like knowing a family well--Oscar's kids are a little sharper with other dogs, no matter who he's bred to, so socialization and early discipline are important. Luca was an absolute mush, but died of bone cancer early and so we're watching that in any dog he's closer related to. Fresca's kids and grandkids all tend to love and do well with babies, and so on and so on.

This year I'm becoming a first-time puppy purchaser again, because we're buying a Cardigan Corgi for my older kids to have a more direct hand in dogdom (the Danes are simply too big for them to handle, and if I tried to convince myself otherwise I'd be doing all of us a disservice). So we're introducing a new breed, and since that's what I "do" with dogs, we're getting a show-potential bitch and we will eventually breed her if she shows successfully and passes her health tests. I started talking to the breeder a year ago, waiting for just the right litter, and when she talked to me even back then, she said, "Oh, well, we're thinking of a litter in the summer with [let's just call him Jack]. You'd have fun--they're fabulous show dogs, work really well with owner-handlers or handlers, they'll have great shoulder sets, but every single Jack puppy is a barker." This breeding was a twinkle in her (or Jack's) eye, but she could still predict very easily what the litter was going to look and act and even bark like! That to me is a sign of a breeder who really knows where her towel is.
post #30 of 89
Joanna,
We're coming from two totally different places. I just don't get it. I could care less if my dog as you put it, "functions the way it's supposed to" , "looks like it's supposed to look", or has a HUMAN'S imposed "historical and traditional appearance". I just care about animals period, no matter if they fit into some mold. We have a really bad overpopulation problem in this country and animals are suffering because of it.

And until we don't have tens of thousands of animals in our city dying each year I certainly don't worry about the canine population ending anytime soon. For that reason I think everyone should head for the rescues.
post #31 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrlittle
Joanna,
We're coming from two totally different places. I just don't get it. I could care less if my dog as you put it, "functions the way it's supposed to" , "looks like it's supposed to look", or has a HUMAN'S imposed "historical and traditional appearance". I just care about animals period, no matter if they fit into some mold. We have a really bad overpopulation problem in this country and animals are suffering because of it.

And until we don't have tens of thousands of animals in our city dying each year I certainly don't worry about the canine population ending anytime soon. For that reason I think everyone should head for the rescues.
There is a huge overpopulation problem with humans as well, with children living in squalor and dying everyday because they don't have good safe homes. Did you adopt your son or did you breed him at home?
post #32 of 89
I voted other because I believe it depends on the circumstances. My whole life, my parents had rescued dogs (with one exception) and rescued cats. They were all great. They had the first dog 4 years before I was born, so they knew her well before they had kids. As I have a small child and two persnickety cats, purchasing a dog within certain breed parameters was best for us at that time in our life. My child was 1 and we did not want to adopt a dog from a shelter and then find out there was some problem with the dog and the cats or the dog and the kid. Plus, my husband's family have always purchased dogs from a breeder, so there was an argument there for consistency (as opposed to so many unknowns with a rescue). As all the purebreed rescues in our area would not adopt a dog like we wanted to a family with a child under 5, we bought. We are very, very happy with our dog and the decision was absolutely the best for us. But, when my dd get older, say school age, we plan to get another dog, this one rescued. And, from then on out, we will absolutely rescue a dog.

Except, I do have this thing for pugs. I just love them! My dh hates them, as they are soooo far removed from wolf. So, I either have to leave dh or stick with big dogs.
post #33 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs
This year I'm becoming a first-time puppy purchaser again, because we're buying a Cardigan Corgi for my older kids to have a more direct hand in dogdom (the Danes are simply too big for them to handle, and if I tried to convince myself otherwise I'd be doing all of us a disservice). So we're introducing a new breed, and since that's what I "do" with dogs, we're getting a show-potential bitch and we will eventually breed her if she shows successfully and passes her health tests..
JR Handling FTW!!

post #34 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannon0218
There is a huge overpopulation problem with humans as well, with children living in squalor and dying everyday because they don't have good safe homes. Did you adopt your son or did you breed him at home?

post #35 of 89
Joanna and Shannon, please don't misunderstand me. I am not knocking the value of a good responsible breeder. I am not arguing against breeding dogs. There are absolutely situations when the right thing to do is to buy a puppy from a good breeder. And I'm not trying to get into a pissing contest (Ha! I slay me! ) about who knows more. I absolutely respect that you are both clearly know your stuff. I'd just like to state for the record that my parents have raised, trained and handled with sporting dogs, and I personally have participated in the raising of four champions, including a national champion, as well as a dual champion and hall of fame dog. I have also volunteered with rescue. While I'm not involved in the dog world in either way now, I'm not without some experience, as that has been called into question.

I also want to apologize for using the phrase "luck of the draw" earlier. I was careless in my writing and should have worded my original post better. I absolutely, totally agree with the statement that a good breeder can predict certain traits in their dogs. But predict is not the same as guaranteeing (and by guarantee, I do not mean the one a good breeder issues to her clients. I mean an absolute guarantee that X or Y will or will not happen). Unless there is highly advanced genetic research and gene mapping going on, researching pedigrees alone cannot yield absolute results. I'm not saying that it is not helpful nor useful nor necessary nor responsible. It is all of those things!

However, a good rescue person who knows the breed and has lived with or at the very least has evaluated a rescue dog can tell a potential adopter that this particular dog has specific personality traits, specifc physical attributes and these specific problems that need to be addressed. That to me is a known quantity, so I think it is unfair to say one can only get that from a good breeder.

Bringing a dog into the family is always a lot of work and not without some amount of risk, no matter what. Rescue is not for everyone, yet I think that the misconception that it is only with a breeder that one knows exactly what she is getting is far too widespread, and does rescue dogs a huge disservice.
post #36 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannon0218
There is a huge overpopulation problem with humans as well, with children living in squalor and dying everyday because they don't have good safe homes. Did you adopt your son or did you breed him at home?
I don't believe you really think that's a fair comparison. And if you do, then I can't really take this argument further anyway.
post #37 of 89
I'll never use a rescue or shelter again. In my own experience, shelter dogs are fine dogs for most folks, but I expect more from my dogs than most folks do. Before I go to the time and effort of getting a dog, I want to maximize my chances of getting what I want. If I don't, I'm just setting myself and the dog up for a frustrating experience.

Aaron, using Michelle's account...
post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrlittle
I don't believe you really think that's a fair comparison. And if you do, then I can't really take this argument further anyway.
Actually, when facing the reasons YOU used for being against purposeful breeding of dogs and cats, I think it's an excellent comparison, that said, I think your reasons don't hold water.
You state that breeding dogs in a climate where there are too many dogs without good homes is irresponsible, how is it NOT irresponsible to look at orphanages with hundreds of children dying and think it's responsible to purposefully breed a human child. After all, every one of them that is produced on purpose takes a home away from a child already here (again, by your logic, not mine)

If it is so horrible to bring dogs into this world when there are dogs who have no home, please tell me exactly WHY you find it perfectly acceptable to bring a human into this world when there are so many without homes. Do you feel it is impossible to love an adopted child the way you can your own? What is it that makes it fine to leave a child to die in an orphanage but not fine to leave a screwed up dog to die in the pound?? Please, enlighten me.
post #39 of 89
Thread Starter 
We are getting way off topic here but...while I realize life in an orphange is less than optimal I do not think that children are dying daily in orphanages.

In the us there are not unwanted babies--they are daopted immediately, now children that are older are definitely searching for their forever homes.

I think it is really hard to compare the two different sets of overpopulatoin especially when in varies greatly from country to country.
post #40 of 89
I disagree, children do die everyday in orphanages--that they may not be in this country does not mean we should ignore them.
Numerous people have pointed out that they feel it is irresponsible to purchase a dog when other dogs are out there without homes--why is it in this country that we place homeless dogs of higher importance than homeless children. As for infants--most people here are NOT talking about adopting a puppy, they're talking about adopting a grown dog who is in need of "rescue", but again, the 4 and 5 yrs olds under our own noses also in need of rescue just don't seem to carry the same level of importance, of sympathy. It's actually a very direct correlation, why is ok to purposefully produce a child when other children are out there with no home and noone to love them (and yes dying--my friends had 4 babies from china die after the match was made but before the adoption could become final) but it's NOT ok to purposefully produce an animal--even when in producing animals a good breeder's number one goal is to produce better than what we have.
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