Dear Breeders: Stop. Just stop.

Seriously – if you can’t do it right, just don’t do it at all. This is definitely a stab piece against dog breeders, but not for the reasons you’re probably thinking. I’m not here to condemn dog breeders or spout the “adopt don’t shop” religion. The few good, responsible breeders that exist have my full support and respect. Of my five dogs, two were purchased from breeders, and I will most certainly buy from breeders again. I like knowing my dogs’ bloodlines, and I will pay the money for a dog with health clearances. There are plenty of reasons to get a puppy from a breeder (though there are also plenty of reasons not to, as well).

Rugby (he’s so frigging handsome, isn’t he?)








So what am I bitching about here? The breeders who don’t do their jobs. The breeders who just take their deposits and hand puppies off to the first people who write them a check. The breeders who don’t take their dogs back when the homes don’t work out. Here’s the bottom line: if you choose to bring a living being (in this case, a puppy) into this world, you better as hell make sure that animal goes to the right home. I don’t give a shit, frankly, if you have the most beautiful, healthy, conformation-perfect, whatever litters in the world – if you don’t make sure that puppy is going to a home that knows what they’re doing, you suck. You suck and you need to just stop.

I’m the director of a small, hard-working rescue in the South that focuses on Australian Shepherds and other herding breeds. We get a lot – a lot – of dogs. We pull from shelters, as well as take in owner surrenders. In the month of March, our organization received fifteen forms from owners wishing to surrender their dogs. Of these fifteen, seven were for purebred Aussies purchased from breeders. All seven dogs were under three years old. Let me spell this out for those who may not see what I’m getting at – every single one of these dogs was shopped for, purchased, and sent home, and then was tossed to the side when they started acting like, gasp!, Aussies.

Back to my rescue for a hot second. We have an adoption process, and it super-duper sucks. I mean, we put people through the ringer. We make them fill out a long-ass application, we ask lots of personal questions, then we call their veterinarians, their neighbors, even their coworkers, and we ask them even more personal questions. If after all that we still think they’re pretty cool, we send a volunteer out to snoop around their house! All just to adopt one damn homeless dog.

So here’s my question: if a rescue, comprised of a bunch of weird dog-ladies who have jobs and families and very little spare time, can manage to care enough about some unwanted reject-dogs to make sure that the people who are adopting them aren’t losers, why can’t a breeder? I mean, these dogs are born in your homes; you raise them! You probably raised their parents. You’re putting blood, sweat, maybe tears, and a lot of Clorox into the puppy endeavor. So why aren’t you being more careful as to where your puppies are going?

Kara – I bet she cost a pretty penny as a puppy. Too bad she ended up on the highway pregnant, starving, and parasite-ridden.

I don’t want to hear the excuses, because you can’t give me one that justifies your actions, or rather, your lack thereof. It’s too time-consuming? Too invasive? You’ll never place puppies? Guess what – you don’t have to breed those puppies in the first place. You really don’t.

Yeah, this is another typical rescue-fanatic “down with the dog breeders” rant. We’re crazy, and we make your lives as breeders such a bigger pain in the ass than you really would like us to. But wait! Who is it that gets to fix the mistakes you make? Oh yeah, that’s me. Yep – your dog comes to my house. Your gorgeous, pedigreed, neurotic, aggressive, bat-shit-crazy dog with no training and no socialization comes to live in my spare bedroom until I can get it to a point where it can be a member of society again. Do you know how it feels to look at an eight month old dog and wonder at what point you need to make “that” decision (you know, the one that involves a needle)?

Howie – SUCH a handsome Aussie boy. What a shame he had to been born blind and deaf because somebody didn’t know what they were doing (or didn’t care).

Maybe you’re a great breeder, or even a great dog trainer. Maybe your dogs are the image of perfection mentally and physically. None of that matters, however, if you’re breeding puppies and sending them to people who don’t know what they’re doing. You’re putting hand grenades in the laps of toddlers. And ultimately, when that bomb goes off, you’re just as much to blame. Good dogs and good breeds are being ruined because they’re ending up in the wrong hands.

So stop – stop cutting corners, and stop passing the buck. Breeding is more than good bloodlines, it’s more than Best of Breed, and it’s more than getting a merit badge by your name. If you’re going to call yourself a dog breeder, do it right and take complete responsibility for the dogs you bring into this world, not just for the first eight weeks of their lives.

122 thoughts on “Dear Breeders: Stop. Just stop.

  1. Leko McCulloch May 30, 2014 / 4:07 am

    I don’t know you. Yet I 💜 you.
    I could not agree more.
    It’s a not a pedigree vs non-pedigree debate. It’s about the decency of the person bringing puppies into this world.

    And, I have to say, I much rather have someone have non-pedigree litters or crossbreeds that are loved, cherished, cared for, handraised, going into carefully selected homes with the option of taking them back should they not work out, than a “pedigree” from a breeder reluctant to put any effort into breeding and just sells to the highest bidder.
    I actually believe that as a responsible organisation the ANKC (and its affiliates) would put their breeders under much more scrutiny – but it’s a business, and I don’t think it’s going to happen. And as long as it doesn’t, “pedigree” is nothing but a hollow, fancy word, and not the quality assurance people would like it to be.

    I also find the notion that purebreds are any better than crossbreeds disturbing. A good home is a good home. It’s not less of a good home for a crossbreed living there. And a bad home is not elevated by the purebred living there.
    Does anyone really think that purebreds live in better homes for being purebreds?
    Please look at the Labs who outgrew the cute-puppy-stage. The Kelpies and Jack-Russells who surprisingly enough started tearing the place apart out of boredom. The Shi Tzu who was never housetrained until the owner got the shits. The horribly mattes and flea infested Border Collie. The neurotic, territorial Heeler
    And yes, the Aussie.
    All purebreds. All unwanted.

    • Carol Stasch Nielsen May 30, 2017 / 11:52 am

      Just FYI. There are more mixed breeds (many “designer dogs”), sold for mega bucks, with no health checks, in shelters. Sometimes the temperments of the two mixed, presents more of a problem to the new owners than the purebred. I was a breeder (1 litter every 3 years). I do thorough checks on the new owners. They can keep in contact with me (most do) for any problems. I am also a professional obedience trainer. Should the dog need to be re-homed, at any age, for any reason, they come back to me, as per my contract. I also do all breed rescue, which includes mixed breeds.

  2. Annelise Lindvig Sindalsen May 30, 2014 / 6:45 am

    I don´t have an Aussie but 2 Belgian Shepherds (Tervueren) but in that breed we see a lot of mistanken dogs. Owners that doesn´t what it means to have a Belgian Shepherd or even a dog. I totally agree with your words and will comment with the sentence “If you don´t rescue don´t breed!” Do your homework as breeder and be ready to take a dog back. Don´t breed for the profit but for the love to a breed!

    • James Halpin June 11, 2014 / 7:39 am

      I’m a former breeder. You are right in most of your thinking, however the big problem about taking puppies back is people want all their money back. Then you are also opening a can of worms: at what point do you stop taking them back. I’m not taking back a 6 year old dog.

      • Amanda Swart DeWet June 17, 2014 / 9:53 am

        James, the answer to your question – the day you stopped breeding them. If you bred that pup, placed it with that family – that 6 month, 6 year or even 12 year old dog’s life will always be your responsibility. And if you don’t want to put in the time, money to rescue that dog, then putting the poor animal to the needle should be your burden and terrible decision to make.

      • Dawn Beck June 17, 2014 / 11:45 am

        You never stop taking them back, from the moment they arrive as puppies to the moment they take their last breath and leave this earth!! As breeders, it is our ethical and moral obligation as well as our personal responsibility to not only provide them with well suited homes but to always allow them to return to their first home. Because no matter WE ARE THEIR FIRST HOME, and all involved should know that yes, these puppies can always come home… that we insist on it. All these are things that should be included in a breeders contract. As for your comment on monetary reimbursement this is why breeders has a clauses for reimbursement conditions.

      • Carla 'Deuce' Dusel June 19, 2014 / 5:39 pm

        Well James, that pretty much means that you are/were a bad breeder. End of that story.

      • Morgan Jethro June 20, 2014 / 8:59 am

        Wow, James. You’re a really shitty breeder. Thanks for confirming that you’re part of the problem!

      • Carol Stasch Nielsen May 30, 2017 / 11:54 am

        That is why you have contracts that include any monies you will or won’t pay, to take the dog back!

  3. Kate Smith May 30, 2014 / 8:18 am

    I am the rescue coordinator for a breed club. I see alot of sad cases were our breed has been sold to the wrong person who really doesn’t have any idea what time and effort is required when raising a puppy, so it becomes a good social well trained member of society, allowing this dog (family member) to lead a complete and happy life. Unfortunately when this doesn’t happen automatically they are a “bad dog” and given even less time and attention until they really get over them and decide to rehome them!! Some people just don’t get it and should never own a dog let a lone breed dogs. They are living, breathing, loving, trusting, giving, protecting, honest creatures with feelings that deserve nothing but kindness and the best. As breeders and owners we are in total control of their destiny. When will humans wake up to themselves!!!!!


  4. Michael Bennett May 30, 2014 / 9:55 am

    We need to stop blaming the breeders just because they are the easy target. Obviously many back yard breeders are producing unhealthy and/or mentally unsound dogs, but still the problem lies with pet owners. Just as responsible breeders should vet the purchasers, pet owners should vet the breeder.

    Also,iIt is not uncommon for pet owners to dump their dogs on rescues or shelters because they are too ashamed to contact the breeder, who they promised to provide a loving home to for the life of the dog, and admit that they are giving up on that. I know of several breeders who have flown dogs across the country when they were informed one of their dogs had wound up at a shelter.

    No one wants to chastise the people who made the half hearted commitment to the dog they bought because they are people who we meet and they appear to be alright people who regret their decision and we can empathize with them. It is much easier to demonize and blame the breeder we have never met and create a burden of due diligence that they are responsible for that takes the blame off the shoulders of the pet owner. I bet if you found the breeders for most of these dogs and told them that their dog had been dumped at a shelter they would show just as much regret for selling the dog to the person as the person shows for dumping their dog at the shelter but we don’t need to empathize with them since they are just the irresponsible breeder, an object for us to judge and not a person we have to meet.

      • Cory Magel October 10, 2014 / 5:36 am

        This: “… at what point do you stop taking them back. I’m not taking back a 6 year old dog.” is very different from what you just responded to. You said, outright, that you won’t take your dogs back. Not even in the same ballpark.

    • Carolyn Edwards June 12, 2014 / 7:40 pm

      Well why not?You know breeders are supposed to be just like a K-Mart!There have been times&occassions over the yrs.,not very many!,where people have called up,and wanted a full refund,and also all the healthcare they have put into the dog,before they will return it!One party in particular,changed their minds on devoting any additional time towards the continued obedience,and socialization of a beautiful 4 mo. old gsd girl i sold them.By the way,she already had 2 mos.,basic work into her!they decided to just stuff her in a crate for 6 mos.,in their basement,because they could not deal with her.can you imagine what she was like when i got her back at 10 mos?She took 4 mos. solid reworking to find her brain againI spent several hrs. with these people when she was sold,all references ck’d out etc.when she was returned,only the husband showed up,the wife had demanded a full refund,on this dog,and would not sign her paper work back over to me,unless she got that or a replacement puppy.!over my dead body!This girl is now 2 1/2,is in residence with my friends brother,who had just previously lost an older girl from us.She is a very balanced,fabulous companion for this single older guy,who continued on the good work with her.and yes PEDIGREE does matter,she is sired by a Select Champion,who had over 10 Obedience titles also,and who just passed at 12,her mother who is still going strong at 9 is sired by a Select Champion,who recieved his title at 7 1/2 yrs.,lived till 11,and guess what all health testing done,within 4 generations of her,She should lead a long happy life!So yes,Responsible Breeders should not be expected to be a K-Marts!When if ever are the “General Public going to be held responsible for their actions?

    • Carolyn Edwards June 12, 2014 / 7:57 pm

      Agreeing so much with you guys,James&Michael.In todays society,”The General Public”,and then their kids will assume no responsibility for their actions Its time to hold them accountable.As a very responsible Gsd breeder of quality animals,I do find myself breeding less,only when I want something to show or compete with,and several friends,other fellow breeders,and well known acquaintances want something,as I know so few if any of the “General Public” appreciates a quality GSD.I get calls all the time for puppies,and if you do not have one that day,most of them will just go to a backyard breeder who has one that day,then call me up later when they have several health issues,and temperment issues with it.Anymore,I just tell them to call “The Backyard Breeder”(who normally does not return their calls once they have the money in their grimey little hands) that they got their had to have that day,impulse puppy from,and then you know where they finally end up!

  5. Janice Kiser May 30, 2014 / 10:09 am

    God bless you, Heather. I went through the vetting process to get a Cairn rescue. I appreciated the extent they investigated me before they gave me a dog. My poor little dog is so messed up, and I love her. She was treated so cruel as a puppy mill momma. I can tell by her demeanor she must have been the best mom ever, but her life must have been hell. she eats well now and still thinks she is starving. She eats worms and dandelions if i turn my back. The robins are amazed at the dog that can find and pull a worm from the ground. All the dogs you save and find homes for are better off because of you.

    • Linda Hobbet May 30, 2017 / 2:20 pm

      Most every dog I’ve had, dogs who never lacked great care from puppyhood on, believed they were on the verge of starvation. I think it’s written into the DNA of a species that millennia ago never knew where their next meal was coming from 🙂

  6. Kristina Sherling May 30, 2014 / 2:22 pm

    Buyers who do not honor the contract they sign with the breeder, allow their dog to have an *oops* breeding, go behind the breeder’s back and try to find someone with a mate of the same breed, that will agree to breedings. These buyers abound all over the place. don’t tell me to spay/neuter my pets at 8 weeks of age, medical research has already shown how detrimental this is especially to young animals who need those sex hormones to grow normally. People who buy purebred dogs just for the love of the breed but have a problem with keeping the bitch safe until she is old enough to spay (2 yrs and after) or keeping the male safe and not letting him wander, or worse yet, people have a problem seeing *no balls* on a male dog, are the irresponsible owners that do turn their purebreds in, just like the crossbreds and mutts.

    PEOPLE NEED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY WHEN THEY ACQUIRE A PET, whether dog, cat, horse, fish, gerbil, hamster etc., TOO EASILY THEY FINGER POINT AT THE BREEDERS and say its their fault when in fact, a breeder may have done all that is humanly possible to make sure that is a good home…but slick is slick and slick isn’t limited to used car salesmen.

    As to animals not being imported from other countries’ shelters, open your eyes!!!!

    Those are just a few about importing dogs from other states to fill adoption demands/shelter needs as well as foreign animals needing homes.

    • Carol Stasch Nielsen May 30, 2017 / 11:57 am

      Easy fix. I ask for proof of spay/neuter in my contracts. Upon receiving that, I refund some monies to the buyer.

  7. Kristina Sherling May 30, 2014 / 7:51 pm

    Becky Brooks, no, records of vaccinations does not mean a good dog owner. Unfortunately, veterinarians are subject to lawsuits if they say anything except something vague, like, yes, they regularly bring their dogs in for vaccines, wormings, etc., Some will venture out and say, oh, you should feel 100% about sending a puppy to my clients, they are great dog owners. Rarely does that happen. So breeders have their hands tied about getting 100% truthful information from the veterinarians, that is all we have to go on. I have turned down people for puppies because they cannot even give me ONE reference, whether vet, dog trainer, groomer etc.,

    • Becky Brooks May 30, 2014 / 8:52 pm

      What happens if someone has not had a dog before so they have no vet or groomer? I would imagine that happens. I did not have a dog until I was 43. I think I did a pretty good job with my little guy even with no experience. Like you said, unless you are psychic you really are in the dark a little and have to go on your instincts. I did not do a good job picking a breeder the first time. My Riley had all kinds of health problems but he was family and we loved him just the same. I wouldn’t go back and trade him for a perfect dog now if I could, and I never would have considered dumping him when things got tough. I do not like seeing breeders being bashed here. I think we all need to work together and not beat each other up. A little kindness goes a long way. Thanks for the conversation.

      • Kristina Sherling May 31, 2014 / 9:55 am

        Becky Brooks, if they live close by I will do a home visit, invite them several times to come meet my dogs because my breed is not for everyone. I would need to talk with them, watch them interface with my dogs and possibly agree to sending a puppy home with them, but never an adult. If they do not live close by, and have never had a dog before? No, I cannot take the risk of sending a dog to them, puppy or adult because as I stated, my breed is not for everyone. No affront to the first time dog owner but they should start with a breed that best suits their experience.

  8. Champers Ands June 1, 2014 / 10:30 pm

    Overall, agree heartily. I do have a question that I would really appreciate it if the author would answer. How common is it for rescues or shelters (or at least your rescue) to ask the owners if they tried contacting their breeders for help in rehoming? Responsible breeders usually have clauses in their contracts that say the dog needs to be returned to them or they need to be contacted, but what is the actual follow through with that? Maybe the owners forgot about the contract, maybe they were embarrassed, maybe they didn’t think the breeder would really help out.

    Regardless of the reason, are breeders getting the actual opportunity to do the right thing? Are they getting notice about their dogs’ situation either from the owners pre-surrender or from the rescues? At least in my experience working/volunteering with both shelters and rescues, there are many who just plain don’t like breeders (all breeders) and don’t want to network with or contact them. How much does that play into their willingness to contact a breeder to let them know they have one of their dogs? Do you think some just keep the dog in rescue, rather than put it back into the hands of a greedy, scummy, evil breeder?

    While I would love for all the backyard breeders, irresponsible owners of “oops I forgot boy+girl = offspring litters,” and mills to quit producing puppies, let’s not forget the other half of the equation. The buyers. This blog summed it up pretty well, IMHO: Yes, the breeders should be weeding many of these out, and I understand that is what you are getting out, but I still think the buyers have responsibility here.

    Anyways, I would love some feedback on the question I asked above. I’d optimistically love to believe that breeders are getting the chance to take responsibility for their dogs if/when the owners failed to contact them themselves, but realistically, I’m doubting that happens often.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Heather June 2, 2014 / 11:51 am

      Hey Chelsea! I’m happy to respond 🙂
      I can attest that my rescue specifically asks in our surrender form if the dog was acquired from a breeder, and if so, which one. If we learn the dog is from a breeder, we then respond asking if the owners have contacted the breeder about returning the dog. I know that the other breed rescues I work closely with do the same, as well. Sometimes they have, and the breeders refuse. Other times, the owner says no, and they don’t think going back to the breeder is in the best interest of the dog (many of the “breeders” in a certain area of my rescue territory are very sub-par – the owners tend to recognize that, even if they gave them money to support their breeding operations). We can’t force the owners to contact the breeder, and I don’t personally feel it’s my job to contact the breeder myself. Some might disagree.
      Personally, unless I know for a fact that a breeder is going to subject a dog to less-than-adequate living conditions if they take the dog back, I would greatly prefer a dog go back to the breeder. It lightens my load and allows me to take dogs in shelters.

      • Champers Ands June 3, 2014 / 1:09 pm

        Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. 🙂 I’m really impressed by your rescue’s (and the others’) practices that you describe, and for me, it definitely adds to your original post. I, too, have encountered dogs from breeders to whom I’d never send them back and breeders who have not stepped up for a dog they clearly bred–frustrating. Anyways, thanks again for the reply. I look forward to reading more.

      • James Halpin June 11, 2014 / 8:21 am

        Because no body lies. So now you just admitted that you don’t contact the breeder. So I can come drop off a dog and say the breeder wouldn’t take the dog back. Which most likely happened is that they never contacted the breeder and if they did they wanted their money back. I am a former breeder and on the 2 occasions that someone wanted to bring their dog, that’s right DOG back they wanted a full refund. There was no way that was happening. We did end up paying for their belongings, mat, dog bowl, and such.

        As for checking into people’s homes, you have a staff that can do that. I did not. I did require multiple visits to my home. Many of battles with buyers because of that. This is a new member of your family you should want to send every possible second with them.

        So just stop picking out one person to blame. Because I could easily turn the blame to you, a rescue organization and say that you are enabling the bad behavior in everyone. Breeders wont care about where the puppies go because they can be rescued. Irresponsable dog buyers won’t research the dog breeds because they can take them to dog rescues if things don’t work out.

        As my Grandfather used to say, “Don’t point out blame because there is 3 fingers pointing back at you”

  9. Deirdre Gallagher June 3, 2014 / 10:29 pm

    i used to do auction rescue, 25 years ago before most people knew what it was. Chinese Cresteds, mostly. except one day i couldn’t get them because the Amish beat me to them. so, I saw a male dog, resembling a cross between a catfish and a pig all by himself in a cage, happy to see me as he demonstrated by trying to lick my face through the bars of the cage (unusual for a mill dog, right?)
    I had only seen a picture of a French Bulldog before, never one in the flesh (this was clearly before they were so popular). so I snagged him for 300 dollars, got his papers, and drove 6 hours home, with the newly monikered Marcel loving every minute of the car ride. Again, unusual for a puppy mill dog. Somebody had socialized this dog.,= being sold into miilldom even more painful when a dog has known loving human contact.
    the next day I tracked the breeder down in a distant state to tell her that I pulled a dog of hers from auction. she told me that she had sold him to the “wrong guy”, knew that he had been put in a puppy mill because she knew of a previous auction sale but couldn’t afford to get him out.
    Well, that really supports your point about not giving a shit. two words for her, and they aren’t “happy birthday”
    I have a friend in the Fancy who is a breeder. she tells me that really good breeders don’t sell puppies-they wait to see if the dog will work in their breeding program, and if not, then they sell them when they are about a year old. I dunno a lot about breeding. I just hate people who think kids and dogs are accessories

  10. Ginger Kenney June 5, 2014 / 11:49 am

    Reblogged this on Ginger Kenney and commented:
    This is excellent, I totally agree. There are many responsible breeders, a good place to locate them is to start with the national breed club. Ask questions, too. When you do find that good breeder take advantage of the chance to build a relationship. They know a lot and can more often than not help you through challenging times with your dog if you ask. Please too, if they had you sign a contract that among other thing says you will return the dog to them if for any reason you can’t keep it, do it! They poured their heart into that litter and will always want what is best for any puppy they whelped if it is a breeder worth their salt.

  11. Janet Leigh Watson June 11, 2014 / 2:23 pm

    I think the issue is when you go thru hell and high water to find “THAT SPECIAL DOG”, and then a couple years later down the road, you have to move and the excuse is…oh I have to give her away cause I can’t take her to my new place….well guess what…here’s my story…right now as I right this I own four rescues, as well as two cats….I live in my sisters house, she is having me removed by sheriff tomorrow….she told me my house full of stuff can stay till the end if the month, but we have to go. We are going to three different pls place till we can save enough for our own place….and you sure can bet every one of my dogs are going with me. If we’re displaced, so are MY DOGS!!! My sister asked my hubby about my two latest dogs….”well can you send the last two back”….he told her NOOOOO. Like would you send your kids back…my other sister is gonna look after my two cats….and we’ll have the dogs….like WTF is wrong with you when you adopt, you take them with you thru hell and high water. My pets are my life…and they go where I go!!!!!

  12. Jessie White Davis June 12, 2014 / 10:35 am

    As a breeder I will turn down a puppy buyer for any reason I feel is valid. In my most recent litter I refunded deposits and refused to sale a puppy to TWO different people who I had screened and felt good about. As things went on I found out things about these people and decided I did not feel good about selling them a puppy. Both owners were furious when I informed them of my decision and BOTH threatened to sue me. So I’m guessing that may be the reason that some of these breeders don’t go as far as I did. I knew my rights and that it was my right to refuse to sale a puppy to someone. They are MY puppies, I brought them into the world and I am the one responsible for them. Me and only me. If I don’t feel you are a good home….then go ahead, sue me! One of these people even contacted our breed club and slandered me. It was a huge hassle, but at the end of the day it just confirmed that if these people were like that….then I was thrilled I didn’t sale them a puppy.

  13. Susan Hettinger June 12, 2014 / 11:44 pm

    I took back a 14 yr old dog! I DEMANDED the return of a dog that I discovered wasn’t being cared for properly. I refused to place a dog after the “applicant” was offended by the questions on my application. I circulate a 17 page “manual” I wrote on proper care, including training, and they sign a statement that they have read it from cover to cover before the adoption can proceed. To prospective buyers, you adopt your dog, you buy your breeder. I can’t say I really enjoy breeding (so I have limited litters) because I don’t like dealing the a public that thinks I AM the crazy one!

  14. Mickey Cherneski June 13, 2014 / 1:52 pm

    I find the term “reputable breeder” laughable at best. In May a woman in Calgary had 33 dogs seized from her home. The house was so filled with urine & feces that it could be smelled from outdoors. When somebody delivering fliers reported it, the city police, the dept, of health & the Calgary Humane Society went in to help those dogs. They had to wear hazmat suits and the air was so filled with ammonia they need respiratory masks as well.
    This woman was highly regarded in the dog show world and had been for years. It was her peers that deemed her a reputable breeder. The dogs that were seized had various owners & co-owners and some had been sent to her for training (lure course etc). And when the dogs were seized and her home was condemned all of these people got their panties in a wad because these dogs were all at the Calgary Humane Society.
    And the worst of it? Out of the 33 dogs that were seized, only 12 were claimed by their owners, the so called “reputable breeders”. The rest were adopted to new families. All of them papered, registered purebred dogs.

    • Kristina Sherling June 13, 2014 / 1:59 pm

      Considering there are 100s if not 1000s of dog breeders in any given pure breed, using ONE example of “12 dogs are claimed by their owners, the so called “reputable breeders”.” doesn’t necessarily mean those 12 that claimed their dogs were good breeders either. There is an entire sub culture of crappy breeders out there that follow the same mantra: Minimal care, no health checks, dump puppies before they are ready to leave littermates/mom (usually at 5, 6, 7 weeks of age), sell to anyone even within the breed *just because*….I could say the same about *so called rescues* that confiscates dogs that are in numbers but are kept in fine conditions then turn around and sell them for a profit, often before the court throws out the rescue’s claim. Of course, by that time the breeder can no longer recover their dogs as the rescue sold them quickly.

  15. Melinda Hayes June 17, 2014 / 2:00 pm

    Agreed. Now do a blog on irresponsible buyers. Please use lots of swear words(:

  16. Karen Lien Kennedy June 17, 2014 / 4:44 pm

    I flipping agree with you 100%. As a breeder of Australian Labradoodles… I get a lot of flack from people as you might image(have to deal daily with the whole “mutt” thing which is a whole different blog). But I don’t care… it still does not stop me from my goals of breeding a healthy, sound, dog with a fabulous temperament meant and bred for a family dog. For me this is the first step in solving the problem of unwanted dogs(I too have volunteers at rescue’s and rescued my share of dogs in my life). The second step for me is making sure buyers are responsible, which I do a lot of questions and interrogation to find out whether they are ready for the responsibility of owning a dog FOR IT’S ENTIRE LIFE. I do make sure every family knows that if they find a time when FOR ANY REASON they don’t want the dog anymore they are REQUIRED BY CONTRACT to return the dog to me NO QUESTIONS ASKED. If they don’t want it.. I do. SImple as that. If every breeder would do such a thing along with a spay/neuter contract or early spay/neuter, I really feel your spare bedroom would not see as many dogs. Thank you for posting this, love to hear the other side. As a breeder and a lover of all animals…it helps!

  17. Elaine Isaksen June 17, 2014 / 9:04 pm

    I consider myself a good breeder and my contract insists the dog be returned to me for any reason they are not wanted. Over the years I have only had two returned…and I was able to re-home them quickly. I did not refund (both these dogs were a year old) but I also did not charge them boarding or vet checks…I also placed the dogs for the cost of spaying and vaccines if it is not already done.

  18. Betty Peyton June 19, 2014 / 2:28 am

    As the director for a humane society, we always ask folks if they can return the dog to the person or place they got it. This includes mutts. Why. Some animal shelter and rescue groups have a contract that says if you can’t keep the dog to contact them. Our contract states that. We want our dogs back if you can’t keep it. Even a few years later, we will take it back. Not that we want to, but would rather screen the next adopter than the dog end up living on a chain.

    As for breeders, I have a friend who is a very responsible breeder. And yes, she will take back any of her pups at any point. She has in her contracts that she will not refund the money. There is alot more in her contract than that.

    I believe all breeders need to take back their pups if it does not work out. And if you are a backyard breeder who keeps having accidents and breeding the wrong dogs to each other, then stop breeder. You are the big problem shelters and rescues have.

  19. Carol Mckay June 19, 2014 / 5:43 pm

    I have never bought a dog from a breeder mainly because I couldn’t afford it. I work in retail & can agree with both arguments out there. Yes breeders should take as many precautions as they can when homing a puppy or a dog. Yes they should try to have a contract. Realistically, sometimes nothing will work. One of my dogs as an adult was a German Shepherd, the vet agreed if she wasn’t purebred she was the next thing to it (not that I cared). The people I got her from had her 6 weeks I got her at apprx. 10 months. You figure out how many homes she had in between & why. She was a delight if a little bossy sometimes, I only hope she enjoyed our life. I have now applied to adopt a “rescue” dog, & yes I filled out a 7 page application., & yes I will pay a fee for him. He is not a purebred, he may have some issues but I am going to love him & hope he grows to love me. End of story.

  20. Iam Rainwalker September 20, 2014 / 12:15 am

    I don’t breed dogs, but…I’ve always gotten my pets from shelters anyway. Rescue dogs are the most wonderful pets I’ve ever had. To be honest, as much as I adore dogs, I haven’t had a dog companion in years. Not since my dog Bud had to be put down. I still miss him and think of him every day. He was a wonderful boy but he ended up getting stomach cancer in his elder years and was in tremendous pain. We simply loved him too much to let him suffer out of our own selfishness, and wanting him ‘here’, with us…. I will say this, though. And again, I’m not a breeder, so…It’s just an opinion. There are a lot of dog breeds that are more prone to certain health-related issues than other breeds are. Hip dysplasia, certain cancers, eye problems, problems with the reproductive organs (pyometra, etc.) and I feel that as good and well-meaning as some home-grown breeder are, a lot of them fail to let potential dog owners know (well before adoption) that no matter how healthy the puppy is, he/she could be prone to health problems in adulthood. I think a lot of people re-home,abandon or otherwise have older dogs euthanized needlessly; because they simply aren’t well informed about these things from the onset. Which is a terrible thing, and horribly unfair to the animal, but also true. I have never had an animal put down so long as the animal was not in pain and had a good quality of life. But there are a lot of vets who push euthanasia on uninformed dog owners that don’t know any better, or agree to euthanize perfectly healthy dogs for something as ridiculous as the occasional seizure (which is easily controlled with medication) or distemper . . I would also have to agree with what some of the breeders are saying. For a lot of people, breeding is livelihood. It is how they support their families, whether in whole or in part; and it would be unfair for the breeder to have to take back an animal that they adopted out six or seven years ago after having done (to the best of their ability) a thorough check on the family..And refund the owner’s money to boot! Particularly not if they made every possible effort to put the dog in a good home; and to explain to the owner whatever it was that they might be getting themselves into. Perhaps it would be wiser to have some kind of a clause in adoption contracts which states that the breeder will help to re-home the animal in the event of an issue, but that refunds should not be expected after a certain amount of time had lapsed. Maybe the breeder could contract with independent fosters or with a good, reputable, no-kill shelter and charge the owner a small finder’s fee to help them re-home? Just a suggestion.

    • Kristina Sherling September 20, 2014 / 11:30 am

      I am a breeder and I do NOT count on puppy sales as a livelihood. To me, being a breeder is part scientist, part seer, part artist and no one can guarantee 100% healthy adult dogs from puppy hood. Crossbreds (designer dogs) and mutts can carry a myriad of problems as well, often hidden within that dog’s generation but subsequent generations, if heaven forbid, they bred on?

      I do require owners to return the dog to me if they cannot keep it for whatever reason. If the dog is old and they don’t want to deal with euthanizing it, I will take it back but i will make their life a living hell until the day I die. Abandoning a family member because you don’t want to step up and do what is right for that animal who gave you years of unconditional love? You CS, you wimp, you coward!

  21. Kristina Sherling October 10, 2014 / 11:02 am

    I take back every single puppy I produce BUT…I also have a contract that states, NO REFUNDS until I am able to 1) assess the dog, 2) any health/vetting required, 3) feed/groom/work the dog (exercising) and finally, 4) placement in a new home. If the animal is not neutered/spayed and was sold as a breeding/show quality, I will take it for showing which enhances my chance of finding a new home. If placed as a companion, the animal should already be sterilized (per my contract buyer signs). Then I will place the companion animal as a pet, again. IF, after all the care, assessment time, health care, feeding is deducted from the original price the buyer paid, they will get a refund of the differences. Usually it works out in the negative and no refund.

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