3 Reasons Why You Shouldnt Buy a Dog From a Breeder

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  1. how about you don’t get a pet and support this awful industry? i live next door to a backyard breeder and all i hear is barking, chains, dogs hurling themselves against the bars..those dogs are locked in cages in a garage 24×7 except for once a week they are placed outside on the driveway in their cages while their urine and feces are dumped into the street. 4 bully breeds and a sad french bulldog. a real vegan would never own a pet, period. stop this barbaric and cruel and INHUMANE practice. It is absolutely foul and disgusting in every way. One word: COMPTON. one of these stellar citizens was mauled to death by his pack of shitbulls. Thank the GODS it was the anti social asshole who had his clothes ripped from his body and his flesh rendered by these filthy beasts and not an innocent child. oh next door neighbor has children so I will not report because they will have to let the demons out and an innocent or elderly person will be the victim. No every time a breeder is killed I celebrate. You should understand that, being vegan.

  2. I feel that people who show their dogs in dog shows are some of the best breeders. They know the breed, want to see the breed thrive, and they don’t mass produce puppies. I’m totally for shelter pets, but its not fair to assume every breeder is out to make a buck.

    The problem with overpopulation in shelters is not only excessive breeding by those who shouldn’t breed, but lousy people who have no longer want responsibility of taking care of their pets. My opinion is if you can’t afford a pet or don’t want to have it forever, then don’t get one. Also people who don’t even want to breed, but don’t get their pets fixed and then the dog ends up having a litter… that right there is irresponsible pet ownership.

    You also mention: “orphaned dogs are massively overpopulated, and each time we support a newly bred pup, we compromise the lives of canines without a family. Based on these three factors, dog breeding is anything but ethical.” Can’t the same be said about humans? Look at how many children need adopted but that does not stop people from having their own children. Especially the people who spend over 10s of thousands of dollars to have their own child when it would actually have been cheaper to adopt a child. Personally, I find that unethical.

  3. Why is the link to my favourite vegan apple crumble recipe redirecting me to this blog post?!?

  4. I’ve tried to adopt a rescue dog and it was an extremely negative experience. We filled out the lengthy application and had a home visit. We hit it off well with the the person who came to our home. We had our eye on a particular dog and the person doing the home visit recommended us for this dog. The decision maker called and did not want us to have the dog due to several concerns including the fact that we had other dogs and that this dog would require a lot of time. I then spoke with the rescue’s vet consultant and found out exactly what he thought the dog would need. The vet recommend we get the dog! Eventually the decision maker gave us a firm “no.” I spoke again with the person who did our home visit and she said she didn’t understand why we were told no. Since I had no choice but to accept her no, I said OK and asked to be considered for another dog. We never heard from them again, which told me that the decision maker didn’t like something about us. All that to say –I don’t want to go through that process ever again. And our local shelters –well they are filled with chihuahuas and pit bulls. They need homes too but those breeds do not fit with our lifestyle. So –I went to a breeder. The breeder asked some questions and gave some advice, but I didn’t have to show my home and be on the defensive.

  5. Elizabeth Johnson says:

    My first dog was a purebred Aussie. Best dog I ever had. Of course, everybody says that about their dogs, but I’m highlighting her breed for a reason. If it wasn’t for my dog’s breeder, I wouldn’t have had my dog. In my state (AZ) at least, you almost never see a purebred Aussie in a shelter or rescue. In fact, most dogs in shelters aren’t purebreds.

    In AZ and most of the neighboring states, the top 3 breeds and breed mixes you’ll see in shelters and rescues are pit bull terriers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and their mixes. This ratio poses a problem for such people as first-time dog owners or families with small children. A large percentage of rescue dogs are breeds or breed mixes that are not suitable for inexperienced owners or for families with babies and toddlers.

    Interestingly, according to Rescue A Golden of AZ, there is a nationwide SHORTAGE of golden retrievers. I can’t adopt a purebred golden from a rescue here in AZ because all the golden retriever rescues have waiting lists YEARS long of approved adopters waiting to adopt.

    Another example is something a Labrador breeder friend of mine once said. Ethical breeders like her make convincing arguments, such as, “It’s not us who are filling up the shelters. You show me one purebred Labrador in a shelter in this state and I will go get him.” It’s true. Purebred Labs are hard to find in shelters out here!

    First-time dog owners and families with young children have to prioritize safety over emotion because there are SO many rescue dogs that they would LOVE to take but can’t because these dogs can’t be trusted around babies and toddlers. Not all rescue dogs are like that, I get it, but as a first-time dog owner or as someone with babies and toddlers to think about, you need to KNOW what you’re getting.

    You have to consider, too: WHERE do all these dogs in shelters come from? Because I can almost guarantee, the few purebreds that do end up in shelters did not come from reputable breeders. Reputable breeders will make their buyers sign a contract that, among other things, requires the buyer to return the dog to the breeder if, at any point during the dog’s life, the buyer is no longer able to keep the dog.

    Think about the puppy farms you mentioned…Could it be that by ONLY advocating for shelter and rescue dogs, but not ethical breeders, we’re SUPPORTING the puppy farms and backyard breeders? Because that’s probably where most of these shelter dogs came from! Another reason people opt for dogs from a reputable breeder is because they want to minimize their chances of acquiring an unhealthy dog that will cost them a ton of money in vet bills because whoever produced the dog produced the dog without doing any genetic testing to minimize the risk of severe genetic or health problems popping up.

    We have a variety of dog breeds in existence for a good reason and certain breeds are more popular than others for a good reason. What most people need out of a dog is a dog that can be an easy to train, trustworthy, family friend, and those traits are much more likely to be found in a golden retriever or a Lab than in a pit bull terrier, a Rottweiler, or a mix of stubborn, domineering breeds.

  6. Western Australia still allows pet stores to sell farmed puppies. Legislation has been written up but for some reason it doesn’t appear to be in place yet. It’s known by many that our pet stores here source dogs from eastern states puppy farms

  7. I’m looking to adopt A Yorkie a
    Small one a boy around 8lbs or 9lbs
    I look 3very day r the Shelters there’s no Yorkie’s at all I would like at least a puppy or no more than a 5 months so I bond with him
    I’m alone my Yorkie Family has all passed had a wonderful life then m Mother just passed away from brain cancer 6 months after removing the tumari really need a companion if you have anyone that will donate or charge a small fee he will have a forever home
    Pls contact me
    Above is my email
    Dee Golt

  8. Debora Weksler says:

    I appreciate this subject being discussed in this manner but I think there is a lot of , glossing over facts and emotional conclusions. You went from how different breeds were created incidentally as wolves traveled with humans and started acquiring varied traits and then went into the later tenancy of creating certain breeds for the aesthetic or character traits. You completely glossed over the working dog! Most dog breeds are working dogs. The shiatsu legend, is an ancient breed created to warm the Chinese emperor’s hands but this was an exception not the rule. Bird dogs, retriever, hounds, pointer, terriers, collies,… they all were breed for there character traits first and their appearance seemed to be connected to these behavior traits, which happens to be actually true. The industrial revolution changed our relationship to dogs and all kinds of things that served a purpose in our lives but then no longer did. Now we have dogs as companions and these residual traits become useful in other ways, a birding dog as a “soft mouth” and are very active. They could be great still as a hunting dog or just an active family and safe around the kids. In the end your and other’s accusation that puppy mills and the market of selling and buying dogs and other pets is reminiscent or almost exactly like the slave trade becomes even more relevant. This is why I do not understand why you would skip over this point that dogs served a practical purpose and now they are mostly companions unless they are hunting, therapy or security/law enforcement/military dogs, there job is to be bored in our homes until we want to pay attention to them. You wrote this article. I did not and commend you speaking your mind and making people think about how dogs/pets fit in out lives and why.

  9. Backyard breeders are not breeders who do health checks to assure the dogs are healthy before breeding and will not pass on serious health issues. Backyard breeders breed only due to cash. A reputable breeder spends so much money on their dogs that whatever is made from sales goes right back into the quality of life for the dogs.

    1. Debora Weksler says:

      yes I think this article needed to be written but it could have been better. It seemed more emotional than factual to me, even though the underlying point is important.

    2. they are the scum of the earth. i live next door to one. they are filth. they live and smell like dogs.

  10. Stephanie says:

    I’m curious if you think people should stop reproducing and instead adopt children from orphanages. If the real issue is that breeders contribute to dog overpopulation, then what should we do about the human overpopulation and parents who opt to still give birth? I hope you don’t have kids of your own and instead got your child from an orphanage to help the human population.

    1. Debora Weksler says:

      You bring up an interesting point but you forget whom you are addressing. Let me remind you, theminimalistvegan.com. Vegans don’t eat honey and they hey do not wear leather because it is produced by an animal. Veganism is misunderstood as a dietary choice. It’s an entire re-framing of our relationship to other animals including insects. Certainly, there are vegan environmentalists who would hold that as an ideal to adopt a needy child vs creating others (selfishly) but there are none vegan animal activists who are probably on the carnivore diet who would be against puppy mills and dog breeding. I know some. Clearly you are not familiar enough with this issue to realize that conflating parental choices with buying a dog from a dog breeder is only superficially a theoretically good argument. I get the knee jerk reaction, to pose such an argument, if this is all a new concept to you.

    2. That’s not the same thing. It would be if you forced people to have babies (think Handmaid’s Tale). The animal doesn’t get a choice, humans do.

    3. Elizabeth Johnson says:

      Hmmm, good point. Why do we want to produce children of our own with our spouses instead of adopting? Is in not because a child that you and your spouse is created is a part of you and a part of him, something that cannot be acquired from just anywhere?

      My reasoning for getting a dog from a breeder is similar. My first dog was an Aussie, and I may get another Aussie one day. If my dog wasn’t already fixed by the time I inherited her, I would have loved to have seen her have a litter of puppies so I could keep one or two and sell the rest (not purely a profit motive). I would have LOVED to have had a dog that could continue on my dog’s legacy.

  11. Great article, I read from start to end.

    While I absolutely agree that adopting dogs is ethical, and I truly respect people who adopt those poor unwanted dogs, I also believe in buying puppies from reputable and established dog breeders who do rigorous tracking of the puppies’ lineage, and who do DNA testing and health checks for the potential bitch and stud before even considering to breed puppies.

    Coming from someone who adopted a dog who died of congestive heart failure, I must say that my heart is still broken by how this genetic disease killed my dog. There’s a huge risk that the dogs we adopt might have genetic issues that would manifest as they get older. I was with mine through and through, and I underwent depression blaming myself for not doing better, when in fact heart diseases are likely passed down and are a ticking bomb.

    What’s wrong with going to an indie breeder who loves all their dogs and puppies? For someone who has gone through a devastating (and financially draining) time as I accompanied my dog to the end of her journey, I am going the extra mile to find an ethical breeder for my next dog. An ethical breeder would take pride in being able to produce healthy dogs with great temperament. An ethical breeder would try his best to screen potential pet owners by meeting them personally. An ethical breeder would not breed a bitch more than twice a year, and she should only breed a maximum for 4 litters in her lifetime. And as a potential owner, go down to the breeder’s place and observe the environment, the bitch and stud and puppies. Ask for photos of previous litters. Ask to connect with previous customers. A breeder who actively builds a community is proud of his job and his babies.

    We can and should adopt, but at the end of the day, we need to look at the water source and not the end of the stream. Education, knowledge, proper screening, tighter laws.

    A lot of people misunderstand the breeder business. Just like how people say we need to desex our dogs very early but neglect the importance of sex hormones for our puppies development. Responsible pet owners-just DON’T let your dogs out when they in heat. Watch them with both eyes and don’t play with your phone.

    1. Debora Weksler says:

      I think the that the point is that for every dog which is bought from a breeder there are, something like 10 in a shelter or a pound and even though you don’t realize it we are compounding the issue each time a breeder has a new litter to sell. how many people end up loosing, mistreating or giving up on the dog. My triplet brother got a dog shortly before getting a divorce. They both agreed to give the dog to a shelter. too many people a to fickle and uncaring about these animals we have bred to be there for us and all to often we aren’t there for them!

  12. Hi Michael, interesting article but there is an important point you and most who write on this subject forget about. People may want dogs of a specific breed or shortlist of breeds for a purpose, whether as a family pet, a police dog, an assistance dog, etc. I have always had adopted dogs and have had many breeds over the years, mainly small terriers and a Kelpie x, however when I had my daughter and she wanted a dog, and we already had two cats, I wanted a bit more certainty as to the temperament and all I could find at shelters were dogs that the shelters themselves said were not suitable with young children and cats – I looked for months on and off before I was lucky enough to find and adopt a 4 year old Labrador from a shelter. He was found wandering at a school they said and the owners on the microchip couldn’t be contacted. I hoped for the best (and got lucky again) that he was trainable & not aggressive to cats. We called him Lucky, naturally. But now that I can’t take him to doggy daycare anymore as it is too far from home and work, and he is getting lonely as I am working from the office more often, I want to get him a playmate to give him company. But we still have the issue of our cat, who, as much as Lucky tries, will not play with him. And I have not been lucky this time in finding a dog that’s big enough to play safely with Lucky, and is also cat friendly. My daughter is now old enough that she is not restricting the type of dog we choose, but the cat is. You see that as much as we may see that gorgeous greyhound or spritely husky x or whatever at a shelter, I would be very irresponsible bringing them into my home after the shelter and my own research warns me they are not good with cats and will likely kill her. The issue of the previous homes the animals have come from is also a problem – many have been neglected, abused, or simply not trained or socialised properly, so they aren’t usually suitable for homes with children under 5 or sometimes even 12, or with cats or pocket pets, and they aren’t always good with other dogs either. So do we put or other pets or our children in jeopardy as well as the new adoptee and hope for the best? We need responsible breeders who breed for temperament, who properly socialise their animals to be good with other animals and with kids, and carefully select the adopters to make sure they are suitable as much as is possible anyway. This will reduce the number of animals ending up at the shelters in the first place. What we don’t need are all the other breeders, and the abusers and irresponsible owners having access to animals they can hurt. Breeders should need a license, background check and regular inspections, and I think that those who want to have animals in their care should as well.
    Further, whilst I enjoy the company of all of my beautiful fur babies there is one thing about the idea of breeding animals for pets that makes me as a mum and a compassionate person very uncomfortable. For every animal sold or adopted as a pet, it had a mum and possibly both parents who grieved when they were taken away from them. Yet no one really mentions that.

    1. Totally ignoring the problem of overpopulation. Dogs are not here to serve our every need, they are individuals deserving of life and love. That’s why it’s tragic for good animals to have to die so you can buy the “perfect” dog. I’m sorry it will be hard to find the perfect dog for you but that’s better than buying from a breeder and contributing to the overpopulation problem, which leads for perfectly healthy dogs to be killed. Think about that.

      1. Elizabeth Johnson says:

        Do you have to concern yourself with the safety of babies and toddlers living with you? Do you know anyone who needs a guide dog or a seizure alert dog? Do you know anyone who is a potential first-time dog owner?

    2. Hello Jenny,
      In answer to your last question “that for every animal adopted or sold as a pet, had a mum and possibly both parents”, admittedly I can’t comment on dogs but I can cats. When 3 stray cats came to us (whom we adopted), one of them was pregnant and had 4 kittens (whom we all kept), she was a brilliant mother, moved them around every so often, protected them, fed them etc but when they got older and were being weaned off her milk by their mum, she started pitching into them, attacking and having a go for no apparent reason. We asked our vet about this and she said that it is the mother’s way of pushing the young out. We read in a book that “when the mother cat (coined the “queen”) starts to wean her young, she will then start rescinding away from interacting with her young, only watching from afar and then eventually having virtually nothing to do with her offspring again”. It went exactly like that and now, their auntie (one of the other stray cats we adopted (well they adopted us) we coined her the kittens auntie) shows them more affection than their mother does now! My mother said to me “maybe that is why people rehome the youngsters when they are old enough, because the parents push them away and to avoid confrontation”. And in the wild, many animals (foxes, bears etc) will often sadly turn on their young and push them out when they are old enough. It sounds very sad but that is life for some animals although there are always exceptions and certain species are probably more prone to staying in a family unit (apes (us), primates, dogs, horses, sometimes rabbits etc) rather than others living independently (cats, foxes, bears etc). I hope this helps answer that for you.

  13. We need to stop making dogs an industry. 19 out of 20 people who own dogs have no business doing so. They do not honor needs as animals and canines.

  14. Luann J Kelly says:

    The problem is not responsible breeders. The overpopulation problem is solely from not spaying and neutering puppies! Very few pre breds are in shelters. Only 10% of dogs in shelters are spayed or neutered! All puppy mills must be shut down and the owners put in Federal prison for lifetime sentence.

  15. Mrs highley says:

    What about responsible buyers? The issue isn’t responsible breeders, it is people buying for the sake of ‘cute’ or just copying celebrities. Because it is a new trend. One excuse a person gave when surrendering their puppy to a shelter was “it doesn’t match my kitchen colours”. And a puppy bought as a secret santa gift to someone that couldn’t care for this surprise puppy. I understand the issues you mention about puppy farming, they need to be stopped, it breaks my heart……but instead of shaming responsible breeders, that provide the best start and lifetime of support/advise…..we need to educate people to buy responsibly and be aware of red flags with puppy farms. Alongside mentioning adoption is a rewarding choice, if this suites their lifestyle. I’m not a breeder, but see so many people irresponsibly buying puppies and months down the line they realise the puppy isn’t tiny and cute anymore, is hard work etc. Education is key!

  16. Yes there are very Responsible dog Breeders that specialise in a breed of dog that they deeply care for & love. Most of them do the right thing. They breed to better their specialised breed. And some only breed when they want another for themselves and sell to other Breeders for the show ring. As for consumers they should be able to choose the type of pup they want and who they get it from and their choices should be available.
    Yes all those dogs that are in pounds and shelters is devastating and often makes me extremely upset. Puppy farms should be banned and should never have been allowed to operate in the first place.
    Now as far as irresponsibility goes it’s not the Breeders fault that all these dogs are in shelters. Infact u rarely see designer dogs or purebred dogs in these shelters. Well not in Australia anyway. The irresponsibility is infact the people that get these dogs and dump them and mistreat & abuse them. Most reputable Breeders love their dogs and treat them better than their own children, they are part of their family and are treated as such.
    I appreciate what u are trying to say but it is not entirely correct to blame responsible Breeders for the orphaned dogs that they do not breed as responsible Breeders only breed pure bred dogs. Breeders rehome dogs to the best home they can find not dump them in shelters because they decide they just don’t want the dog anymore.
    I’m just sick of people bad mouthing the good Breeders who do the right thing. Yes there are good Breeders.

    1. Yes!!! Most shelters near me have lab/pitbull mixes. I adore dachshunds. Always have. My mother bred a few litters (responsibly) when I was a child and my parents and I have a breeder friend who is 100% doing the best for her resulting puppies, including background checks, checking for hereditary issues, etc. You have to form a contract with her. If you don’t take the puppy to the vet within the first 48 hours, she can legally come and take the puppy back. If any genetic anomalies arise, she no longer breeds those dogs. Each mom has a maximum of two litters a year. I have a small home with a small yard and some physical difficulties. I have no business with a lab/pit mix. It would be miserable here and I would be stressed. I did adopt a dachshund/Yorkie mix and have had him for 10 years so far.Its sad to think that we could lose our favorite breeds over the attitude that when we choose a responsibly bred dog, that we adore and care for extensively, we are killing a shelter dog. I’ve lost friends over my lifelong love of dachshunds, even though I only have one, and had one that passed early this year.. which broke my heart. Dogs are bred to herd cattle, to be police dogs, seeing eye dogs etc and some breeds are just better suited than others. I have one purebred dachshund (and the Doxie/Yorkie mix I mentioned) and they get the best food, heartworm and parasite prevention, one is neutered and the pure dachshund will be spayed as soon as she’s old enough. I am not contributing to dogs landing in shelters. My heart breaks for them, but I had nothing to do with it. I hate that it’s such an issue. I know people who won’t post their well-bred, pure-bred puppies on their own social media accounts and I get it, as I mentioned, I’ve lost friends over my dog preference, which I’m sure others are afraid of.

      1. Elizabeth Johnson says:

        I get that fear of losing friends over, of all things, your dog preferences. I’m one of those rare animal rescue volunteers that also believes in the necessity of responsible dog breeders. I have good friends that are rescue-only advocates and other friends that are responsible dog breeders. It’s rough trying to keep both sides content!

  17. Hello,

    I have bred my Golden Retriever once in my time. I have wanted to become an animal breeder since I was a child. When I have done this I have made sure that the buyers know that if for any reason they find they are struggling with caring for their pup to bring it back to me, no matter the age or conditions. Also I do agree about some breeders to certain extent, but an honorable breeder will be educated and will not breed their dam back to back. They love their animal and babies as family and want a good home for them. Anyway I’m writing because I am confused as your stating to not buy from breeders, even if they sell them in a store, if that’s the case wouldn’t that just send those pups to the shelter too because no one is buying them? The pups wouldn’t disappear because you didn’t buy them. Also It’s not all the breeders fault for the dogs going to the pound or shelter. I have been to animals sheltered and I have yet to find pure bred dogs or the new breeds. Also if it’s anyone’s fault it’s the person who bought the animals. They decided they wanted the animal and they made the decision letting what ever happens to it. Either way you buy your animal you are responsible for it.

  18. Phillip Adams Adavale Kennels says:

    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

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

    1. Hi Ren, thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge. These are all interesting (and alarming) points. I’ll be sure to look into them when I get around to updating this post.

  21. 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.

    1. I agree. It is time consuming. No one takes in how expensive it really is and the efforts you put in making sure your mama is healthy and strong along with her babies too. Or what it’s like to losing a puppy. The vaccines and wellness checks for mama and each puppy. Mamas Ultrasounds or emergency surgery. The right food for mama and when it’s time for pups to eat solids, etc. There is more, but no one sees that this is not a business you can make money off of, you rarely can even call it a hobby. This is something you have to really love doing knowing that you won’t get much in return. Those that do make money, you know they are not doing it because of love for their dog/cat or what ever animal they are breeding. Serious breeders seriously care about their animal above money.

  22. Anita Leeis says:

    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!

  23. Brenda May says:

    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!

    1. Hi Brenda, thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us. It seems that we share similar perspectives on the pet dog industry.

  24. 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.

      1. Elizabeth Johnson says:

        This is what happens when people take animal rights activism to an extreme. First they say we should never breed dogs and cats, since cats and dogs are individuals that shouldn’t have their sole purpose being to serve us. Then they say that we shouldn’t even have pets at all! How much farther will an extreme love of nature take us?

        What about the fact that there are certain animals we NEED, like dogs and cats? Cats make better pest exterminators than harmful chemicals do, and if we say that animals shouldn’t be viewed as purely to serve us, than it’s wrong for us to set mouse traps to stop the mice from eating our stores of grain, right??

        Do people NOT need dogs? What about the homesteaders that need a reliable source of protection for their crops when they’re growing food on plots of land too large to be entirely fenced and roofed off to keep wild animals out? What about the people who struggle with seizures, autism, or anxiety? Should they be forced to use medications only when a more natural, living option like a dog can bring more lasting comfort and aid than any medications ever could?

        What about the plants? Plants are individuals. If they shouldn’t be used to serve man, than I guess it’s the right thing to do to endure the cold of winter instead of burning wood to keep us warm? If plants shouldn’t be used to serve man, I guess we’re better off not building houses and other buildings for ourselves, right?

  25. 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 🙂

  26. Frank Kovacs says:

    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.

      1. This is pervasive PETA nonsense. Ethical breeders do not contribute to the dog overpopulation problem. Backyard breeders do, and the two are NOT the same. Backyard breeders are the reason for dog health problems, not ethical breeders who both health test and genetically test their dogs prior to a breeding. AND work with their puppies to give them the best head start before entering a home. It is irresponsible of you to push this misinformation about breeding, a topic you CLEARLY have not looked into, out of some perverted sense of justice.
        Dogs are bred for a purpose, not always to simply fill the role of a pet in a home.
        Furthermore, it is additionally irresponsible of you to push the “adopt don’t shop” mind on people. People have no reason to feel guilty for an inability to dedicate time, energy, and money to a dog that will likely require a LOT of the three. But they will, because ” internet animal activists” spread this toxic, dismissive mindset.
        A mindset that needlessly villainizes responsible breeders, and ignores how BROKEN the adoption system can be. And I’m saying this as someone with both a responsibly bred dog, and an adopted dog.

        1. At the end of the day, whether responsible or not, a breeder is forcing an animal to get pregnant. Pregnancy, for humans and non-humans alike, always has some risks. I would think the more you breed the more risk. If breeders love animals so much why not adopt and care for an already born animal?

        2. What Kathryn said!

          I am an ethical, preservation dog breeder. My bitch has produced 18 healthy puppies in 3.1 litters (one litter resulted in a singleton) after genetic testing, and intense searches for just the right sire that resulted in puppies that improved up
          on their parents.

          Each person who purchases a puppy from me is also intensively researched. They are required to sign a contract that forbids them from surrendering their pet to a shelter or rescue group. Instead, I insist they return the dog to me, no questions asked, no matter the dog’s age, and no matter the reason.

          The contract also requires that the puppy be no less than 18 months old before neutering if a dog, or 12 months old before spaying if a bitch. Sex hormones have been proven to be vital for canine growth, and development; it’s iniquitous to keep a puppy from reaching its full potential.

          Very few of my breed-choice end up in shelters. Our national club’s network acts swiftly if one does show up. Usually, the dog is rescued within hours, then either returned to its breeder, or placed in foster care for future placement depending upon temperament analysis.

          Please stop vilifying those of us who believe dogs bred for a specific task, be it herding sheep, rodent control, law enforcement, finding a lost soul, or simply providing comfort and unconditional love to someone should be saved from extinction.