Breeders vs. Adoption


When thinking about adding another member to the family, there’s an important question to ask yourself: should you adopt a dog or buy one? I put together a list of the positives and negatives in both adoption and breeders from my own experience and that of friends and family. Pet shop dogs are never a good idea; pet shop puppies usually come from puppy mills, where dogs are treated inhumanely and conditions are far worse. As a result, these puppies have a much higher chance of developing a chronic illness. Some pet shops now have puppies from the local Humane Society for an adoption donation to the shelter; this is totally different than a ‘pet shop pup’. Before choosing a pup, do your research but also consider where you will get him. I hope these following tips help in your search for your new fuzzy friend!

Breeder Positives

-You’ll know the breed of dog you are getting and usually receive registration papers. This is necessary if you plan to show your dog.

-You’ll receive your puppy’s complete medical history, including list of all shots received from a licensed veterinarian. You should also receive a written guarantee the puppy has no known health problems and is healthy. Many breeders offer a health guarentee for a period of 1-3 years and all should agree in writing to take a puppy back in the case it develops a chronic debilitating illness over a reasonable amount of time.

-Breeders should be able to show you both parents of your puppy. Though not foolproof, it can be a good indicator of temperament and health. Always ask how often the mother is bred.

Read more about finding a registered dog through a breeder or rescue group from The American Kennel Club here.

Breeder Negatives

-Breeders contribute to the massive overpopulation of dogs. Millions of dogs are euthanized every year, simply because there are not enough homes for them. Breeding significantly contributes to this problem. How is it responsible to keep bringing more dogs into the world when so many are killed every day?
—->Please read Sarah’s comment below.

-It can cost from $500-$3,000+ to buy a dog, compared to an average $50 donation to the organization you adopt from.

-Usually, the puppy will not be spayed/neutered due to young age. All breeders should require you to get your puppy fixed before a certain age (usually 1). Beware of those who do not; this is not responsible!

-Unless you have trusted references, it’s impossible to know if you’ve found an honest, knowledgeable, quality breeder. You can never be 100% sure, especially if you find a breeder from the internet. When searching the internet, the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts is a good place to start .

Adoption Positives

-It costs very little compared to buying a dog. There is usually an adoption donation of $25-$75 to the organization. This is how the organizations are able to operate. Many offer promotions throughout the year where they offer free dog adoptions.

-If the dog is older than 2 years, you will have a good idea of his size, temperament, and activity level.

-Unless the dog is too young, he will be spayed/neutered and have all shots and usually a microchip, too.

-You will know that you are saving an innocent animal from death and a terrible life. Many dogs come from abusive situations, where they have been hurt, neglected and left to fear people. When you make them part of your family and show them a loving home, they will be eternally grateful and love you forever. Many dogs become very loyal to their new adoptive parents. There’s really no better feeling than saving an innocent animal’s life.

Adoption Negatives

-You don’t have a complete medical history unless they were born at the facility. There is no way to know, therefore you can’t be sure if they are prone to any chronic illness or have any undiagnosed problems.

-You also don’t know their personal history. Many dogs are abused or neglected but there is no way of knowing their exact past. Some dogs have a violent history and this could be scary if you are not aware and prepared to handle the situation ahead of time. Try to ask as much as you can when choosing a new family member. Some adoption agencies will let you take a test drive and bring the dog home for a night. If the option is available, I highly recommend it!

-There is no way to be 100% sure of the breed, temperament, or history of the animal and all of these things can be very important. Of course, with pups from breeders, you can’t be completely sure of temperament either.

What do you think? Do you prefer dogs from breeders or do you like to adopt? I feel nothing beats adoption! There is truly no better feeling!

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4 responses to “Breeders vs. Adoption

  1. Thanks for following Bongo’s blog. I’m following yours now as well. Bongo was adopted from a shelter and says he’s very happy that we rescued him from dog jail.

  2. Thanks for following us- so glad you made Bongo part of your family!

  3. While you raise very valid points when comparing buying vs. adoption, I have to say that, in my mind, there is no such thing as a “good” breeder. Any breeding is irresponsible due to the millions of dogs euthanized each year. Why should anyone bring more animals into the world when we kill so many each year? Not only is it financially irresponsible but, much more importantly, it is inhumane to contribute to the overpopulation. It is estimated that at least 25 percent of shelter dogs are purebred, meaning that many of these breeders are directly contributing to the number of dogs killed in shelters…whether they intentionally do it or not. I love reading your website, so please keep posting!!

  4. I agree with you, Sarah-I wish everyone would think the way you do, you are an inspiration. I did not know the 25% estimate-thanks for all the information and thank you especially for all your work saving innocent dogs with your rescue work!! Dogs are awesome 🙂 Thanks for reading; I’m glad you like it!

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