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  1. You must be joking. The only reliable place to buy pets from IS,
    A Registered Breeder ,this applies to anything. Purchasers can view perants grandparents & sibblings to what they are buying.
    Also most registered breeders give garentee on their stock

  2. There is a huge issue with people obtaining intact females and then breeding them with any available look alike male dog with the idea of making money. These are not back yard breeders, these are criminals that need to be arrested. The puppies that result from this type of breeding end up sold to other unsavory characters, dead or dropped off (the lucky ones) at the SPCA. That is a huge issue that no one, including yourself, seem to want to address. Puppy Mills will eventually die out if stores refuse to buy their puppies, meanwhile these criminal breeders are free to pick up their slack and continue this horrendous behavior.
    When will this be addressed?

  3. As someone who’s been working with and training dogs for a number of years I would like to make a few Corrections here. To start with the foundation’s dogs are not descended from wolves nor were they domesticated by man. Numerous Studies have shown dogs and wolves actually diverge from a similar ancestor, and since then both have taken different evolutionary paths. Numerous recent Studies have also supported the findings that dogs, based on their interactions with humans from very young ages without influence, are actually self domesticated. Basically as much as we found a benefit to having them around, they also founded benefit to being around us.

    Another thing I would like to mention is that you also, probably intentionally, neglected to mention something extremely important with all of your shelter facts. That being the majority of dogs in shelters are actually returns from other shelters. These are facts you should, and everyone who reads should, look up for yourselves. The truth is most people like to blame breeders because thats the easiest scapegoat. The truth is much more depressing: that a very small minority of dogs in shelters (12% when I checked last) actually come from breeders to begin with and in most cases they are the result of people who adopted from a different shelter, or people who had accident puppies because they could not properly manage their unfixed dog, or people who got their dog cuz Joe down the road thinks his dog is the best and wants another just like him.

    For anyone who truly wants to reduce the pet population what needs to be done is much more complex than simply refusing to purchase dogs from ethical breeders (those who do not see dogs as a business, who spend hours and hours of time researching genetics pedigrees health and wellness, and providing their dogs with the ultimate Foundation of a good long life.) What it involves is rigorously scrutinizing people who want to own dogs and in many cases excluding unfit owners from having them. In all honesty anyone who wishes to own a dog should go through the exact same type of preparation it takes to own a car. You should have to go to classes involving basic understanding of canine body language and behaviors and training. you should have to pass a basic test of your knowledge, and only then can you get a license to own a dog.

    We do not have a breeder issue in this country. We have a pet owner ignorance, and straight up negligence issue. As a case in point most pet owners don’t realize that its actually physically detrimental to spay or neuter dogs before 2 years of age. Yet the reason veterinarians suggests puppies be fixed is because they know full well the average pet owner is not mentally or emotionally prepared, or even willing, to make the necessary adjustments for owning a dog that has natural urges to breed and procreate.

    Unfortunately we live in a country and a world where people feel obligated to literally everything, and telling somebody that they are not equipped to own something is basically the equivalent to taking away their constitutional rights. We will never, not even if we eliminate every single ethical dog breeder in the world, never ever be rid of the pet overpopulation issue, simply because the issue has to do with pet owners not breeders.

  4. Hi, I’d like to say, most people who are against breeders think that they make all this money and only breed to make money.

    This is false. Responsible, ethical breeders hardly make any money after all is said and done at the end of a litter. They take the time to care, raise, socialize, train, and love their dogs. And it costs them, they actually Don’t make much money.

    And even then, they don’t do it for the money. They do it to better the breed.

    I know I’ll be purchasing my next dog from an amazing breeder.

  5. This whining is so so yesterday. There are 8.3 million dogs required in America every year. There is a huge shortage on dogs right now. Why? Because of the sissy/neuter campaign snd the shelter guilting ad campaigns. Stop it already. You’ve done your work and overdone it. Things have changed. Find another cause!

  6. This is one of the few articles I have read that didn’t demonize dogs as “meat heavy and horrible for the environment” and humans as “ignorant of the impact”. I have a dog that was purchased from a world class, independent and private breeder. I love her, but she’s my last dog purchase. I will be adopting another dog in approximately 1 year, as her human parent has advancing dementia. This dog was also privately bred. This is for the sake of the dog- not me. I purchased the other dog as a friend and guardian, because I live in the middle of nowhere by myself and that can be frightening sometimes. She comforts me.
    I appreciate this article in that it’s realistic and considerate to both dogs and humans- their history with one another. Most people have no idea of how puppy mills work, that there are better ways, and how to decide whether or not you actually need a dog. It’s refreshing to see this agreement in print!

  7. Dear Michael,

    Thank you so much for sharing your toughts on Dogs. It is a really difficult and often emotional subject.
    In the past we adopted and bought. But now we decided not to “have” pets anymore (there were some cats in our lives as well).
    It is becoming (or already is for a while) an “industry” we do not want to support any longer. The food, all the chemicals produced to keep your pets flea/tick free etc. And it clashes more and more with our views on veganism.

    So no pets anymore. But I’m so grafeful for the ones that were our companions and traveled and lived with us for some time .

    I’m looking forward to your next article, I really enjoy them. I’m not sure if I ever thanked you. I love the journey you two are on and really admire the way you share it, very respectful.

    Good luck with Chewy, he looks adorable!


    1. Hi Marnie, thank you for your kinds words. That means a lot.

      You make a valid point, as we’ve also struggled with the operations of the pet industry. Something to consider in the future. In saying that, it’s hard to imagine life without Chewy in our lives.

      Take care, and I hope you continue enjoying the content.

  8. Thanks for a great informative post. I wondered if you would consider adding a piece about Amish breeders for your US readers. They are in some ways backyard/private breeders but are big suppliers of puppy mills and treat their animals as livestock. (I currently have the pleasure of being the caretaker for a former Amish stud dog.) It really is horrible what they do yet people often assume that because the Amish are involved that everything is well and good.

    I also wanted to ask what your opinion was with regards to rescue groups and adopting from them. While not a shelter, I would think they might be considered to be similar even if they are breed based.

    Finally, with regards to if breeding can be done ethically, I do question if it possible even under “good conditions” for the profit reason you mentioned but also due to what artificial selection and breed standards/trends has done to the dogs themselves. i.e. hip dysplasia in shepherds along w/ fear aggression issues and pugs needing to be born by C-section etc. I would think those issues might be problematic even under “ethical” breeding situations.

    Sorry for writing so much but this is obviously something i feel strongly about.

    Again thanks for a great post about an important topic.

    yours in choosing adoption,
    Jacquie (and pup Tee)

    1. Thanks for reading and taking the time to add value to this article, Jacquie. I wasn’t aware of some of these Amish breeders. But, wow—I’ll be sure to look into it.

      As for rescue groups, you’re spot on. I’ll this as another adoption option in my next update.

      Regarding ethical/responsible breeding, I agree. Just trying to make the distinction between commercial and indie practices.

      Thanks for your passion, and I love that you refer to yourself as a caretaker. I’ll have to steal that 🙂

  9. Hello Michael,
    Interesting article you have penned in relation to buying a dog from a dog breeder. The subject matter has little relevance to food and cooking per se, yet you use the popularity of “Minimalist Vegan” to write about the pitfalls, (in your mind) of purchasing dogs from sellers other than from those you recommend in your albeit well researched article. I cannot overlook that you have chosen to write an article which does not in itself embrace all things good about veganism. ‘Happy cooking only.’
    Kindest regards,

    1. Hi Frank, thanks for taking the time to read the post and leave a comment. While our site appears primarily focused on food on the surface, since day one, our message has encapsulated much more than that, as evidenced through our articles, podcast, and book. We hope whichever medium you find The Minimalist Vegan; readers are open to a range of topics that go beyond cooking and vice versa.