I have lurked and read a lot in these forums for a few years now.. and I see a lot of comments made that I feel obligated to speak out against here. Some might consider this flame bait, but here I go.
I have a 2 year old Sheltie, and I bought her at 9 weeks old. I went through the ringer finding a good reputable breeder... I'll be honest with you though, the whole process was a pain in the (dollar signs won't work to cover what you mean).
There were almost NO local breeder, and the few that were local didn't have any litters nor did they plan them. I started to check others that were within the realm of a day trip. I looked into out of state breeders and I found two upcoming litters. The first breeder turned me down. Why? I had mentioned my parents owned a Shiba Inu, and that I planned the two... and according to her, shibas are "nasty and aggressive dog". This was reason for dismissal, without ever meeting me. The second breeder was more reasonable, but I ended up making a 4 hour trip (each way) just to acquire the dog.
I do have a beautiful and healthy dog, but how can everyone expect that people would be willing to go through all of this?
I am trying to acquire a Beagle now, and I have to say I'm finally fed up with the process entirely. I went to the AKC website, and there is ONE local breeder (the rest in my state involve a trip of 4 hours or more). This breeder has dogs available, but is asking about $500 more than what it costs to buy in a pet store! I simply can't afford that. I inquired about the high price, and she said it "costs much more money to produce healthy dogs"... Pet stores have large overheads (especially where I live). Rent, property taxes, utilities... I don't believe that one bit.
What I want to know is how can everyone here preach about buying from a "reputable breeder" when its so difficult to actually find and buy a puppy this way??? Do the people here really expect the average person to work so hard just to FIND a dog?
My personal opinion on the subject has changed. I'm not against finding a dog from a reputable breeder. I just don't think its going to be plausible for 99% of the people. I even looked at my local shelter - 90% pit bull or pit bull mixes.. Aside from them not a single healthy puppy (some had special needs)...
As bad as it is, BYB's and pet stores seem to be filling a necessary demand. I think the attitude needs to change. Everyone is holding on to unrealistic ideals.
Just my 2 cents.
***Edited By: pyrmom on 7/2/2009 4:09:10 PM*** Reason: language
Agent I see you are looking other places. Why not try rescue Beagles, or the local dog pound?
You will find beagles there I know. We have both Beagle rescues here and animal shelters, and I would venture to say that a whole lot of them are (if not most of them) housing registered animals.
Most BYB cannot guarentee a breeds background since most do not spend the money to have the pups vet checked, shots, backgrounds on sire and bitch etc. You are taking the same chance visiting pounds and rescue groups as BYB, but I bet they have a little more info on most of their animals.
Yes it takes a lot of money and time to research, background check the parents, run tests, etc. to assure you that you are purchasing a full vetted 100% registered animal and you then have the papers to fill out and pay a nominal fee to register your pup with the proper organization.
Those costs have to be passed on. A lot of breeders do not make a lot of money, they put the monies they make over and above what it cost to raise the pups to an adoptive state, right back into research etc. so they can breed even better pups.
Please consider rescue organizations. If you do not know of any near you, put the question out there with your state/country and you will be answered by people in your area that know of or are involved with rescue or animal shelter places.
Well, I'm not too familiar with the practices of BYB's.. There aren't too many of those by me (as far as I know). I'm going to have to buy my dog from the pet store... Pet stores (in my area) always are up to date in shots and have always seen a vet (I think its the law around here).
I'm sure there vet costs are slightly less for larger organizations like pet stores... but for every dog my family and friends have ever bought from a breeder (golden labs, dobermans, yorkies..) I've usually seen breeders have lower prices then pet stores. I bought my sheltie for only $800, and they can be expensive in local pet stores ($1200-$1500). I've never seen such a high discrepancy between a breeder price and a pet store price (at least not in favor of a pet store). Its just a shame that the only breeder within 50 miles is unaffordable.
I've been to the local animal shelter, and they don't have any pure breed beagles. They have several mixes, but all are older dogs (not what I'm looking for). Like I said in the previous post, its mostly pit bulls in there...
For those who don't want to snub me, I'd take some advice on doing a health check to help avoid buying a sick puppy.. I know its very hard for an average person to tell if a dog is healthy, but there has to be some things to look out for.
Anyways, the whole point of my post is that everyone here acts like getting a dog from a breeder is a practical thing to do. I don't understand how people can feel this way. That system is horribly broken, and is verging on being a complete myth IMO.
I think it is very practical, if in fact, the main interest is getting a healthy dog that is well bred and comes with a health guarantee, etc.
In the long run, you will likely pay out alot more for your pet shop puppy. These dogs come from puppy mills, from poor quality, untested dogs with no regard to temperament or anything else. Their main purpose os to produce every heat cycle to earn their keep.
4 hours is not a long drive to acquire a well bred healthy puppy. If you deal with somone who shows, sometimes you can find that they are attending a show in your area that is closer to you and make arrangements to pick your puppy up at the show.
If you would like to PM me, I would be happy to try to assist you in finding a reputable Beagle breeder. i am involved in Beagles, have none available myself, but do have connections and can shoot out a email to some other show folks and see what i can get you in your area.
I know the shelters and resuces in my part of the country ALWAYS have moer beagles than they can handle. Many are put down every week because of this. Usually when you get a dog from rescue the dog is fully vetted and has been temperment checked. The dog should be fostered in a home, so the foster parents know the personality etc of each dog. Also most resuces take their dogs back of for ANY reason the adoption doesn't work out.
Puppies bought in stores come from mills and these places are horrendous. The dogs are considered a "crop" and are treated that way. The breeder dogs often have no contact with humans, except when they are being breed. They breed from the earliest time they can and this keeps up until the dog dies or is killed. Vet care is absolutely minimal - if it doesn't interfere with the breeding, they don't take care of it.
When you buy from a pet store you are supporting the appalling conditions these dogs are forced to live in.
I applaud you for doing the homework you have, but will still urge you to consider rescue.
I do want to avoid the pet stores, I've seen problems in the past. Back when I was younger, I even had a pet store Beagle that had bad health problems.
I will give lpn69 a PM to see if anything can turn up...
I understand the horrible conditions some of these dogs go through.. and that so many of them end up in shelters because their owners can't take care of them...
On the other hand though, for those who are adamant that people like me should go through a breeder - something really needs to be done here. LPN said 4 hours isn't much to acquire a puppy.. and I have to disagree. I should have a convenient and safe option to buy a dog. What if I drive 4 hours, and don't like the personality of the dog? Drive another 4 hours, to someone else? There need to be a better way to get good dogs to the mass public.
I know there are breeders here, and if you really care about stopping the cruel puppy mills, then things really need to change. Maybe this means you have to become more commercial, produce more dogs, sell to pet stores.. I don't know. I'm sure the puppy mills will never go away, but until the responsible breeders start putting more puppies in the arms of prospective buyers, the puppy mills will be getting all the business. The only way to stop puppy mills would be to drive their business away... With the way things are now, that's never going to happen.
I'm still trying here to exhaust every option to find a good quality puppy here, but how many people will bother? I'm sure a lot of people have wanted to avoid the pet stores, but simply gave up.. I like a lot of the ideals held by good breeders, but I think the same ideals have produced a situation where the production of healthy dogs is the exception rather than the rule...
Initial cost of an additional $500 for a healthy, guaranteed pup will cost far less in the long run than a pet store pup. Read the hundreds of posts on here from folks who purchased a pet store pup or one from a BYB only to spend thousands within the 1st couple of weeks on medical care. In some cases, only to lose the pup, despite the best efforts of owner & vet.
I understand how frustrating it can be, but patience is it's own reward.
"Some days you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant". author unknown
I understand what you are saying, but its not that I am being cheap.. After I factor in the costs of normal vet visits, shots, new crate,new food dish, etc. - that extra $500 would hit me very hard. While I simply wouldn't be able to afford vet procedures costing several thousand, if I did have vet bills I couldn't immediately pay for I could at least work something out with the vet..
I just can't buy a dog with money I don't really have.
I'm sure a lot of very enthusiastic dog lovers have travelled further than I have.. but don't you think the fact that you had to fly into a different country, just to get a dog you were happy with, supports my point?
I'm not suggesting that I need to have a breeder in the same town.. a few in the same or adjacent area codes would be nice, or within an hour or two drive...
If not, its an open field for the puppy mills. There is no competition around. Only a minutely small percentage of people will actually bother to go to a breeder at this point.
No local breeders for buyers = more puppy mill sales.
I don't think Agent is being "cheap" by having to go to a pet store because even the sticker price on a pet store pup is outrageous compared to a breeder most of the time. The pet stores charge twice what I do get for my pet puppies and yes I do my health testing even beyond what most do and show quite often. I think he/she knows this, just having a hard time finding a decent breeder.
I wouldn't prefer them to get one from a pet store but I think some people do kind of give up on a search because either there aren't any in the area of they aren't making them selves known to exist in the area.
I don't think 4 hours or $500 is too much to ask. In fact, I think $500 is cheap for a reputable breeder. I paid $400 for my BYB Rottweiler (before I knew better, btw) and the cost of living in West Texas is pretty cheap. I would expect to pay at least twice that for a well bred pup of any breed, more for some toy and rare breeds. Not sure where you live but sometimes reputable breeders are willing to bring a pup to a dog show, so the new owner doesn't have to drive as far. You said you checked out AKC's website, but last I checked the breeders listed there don't have to meet any requirements, just give a CC #. Try the national breed club, they will have a list of breeders that are held to a code of ethics. Many are willing to refer you to non-members, who may be closer or have available pups.
IMO, if you buy from a petstore, knowing where those puppies come from, you are no better than a puppymiller. You are helping to keep them in business, afterall. If you absolutely can't (or won't) find a reputable breeder, then buy from a BYB. At least them you can make sure the pup came from a home where it was loved and you can see/meet it's parents. Although you're still supporting bad breeding and irresponsible pet ownership and assuming a big risk when it come to health. (BYBs would be the ones who advertise in the local classifieds.) A lot of time finding a reputable breeder or going through rescue requires patience. It's often the "I want what I want, when I want it" folks that can't seem to find a good breeder or rescue.
I take great offense to you calling reputable breeders a myth. You found one when you got a Sheltie, didn't you? You also seem to have found one while looking for a Beagle, you just don't want to drive that far or pay that much. IMO, the easier it is to get a dog, the easier it is to write it off.
Maybe it's just not the right time for you to get a dog. All of the dogs that we have gotten have basically fallen into our hands, like a friend of a friend knows a good shelter dog that needs home, and people know we love animals so they call us. And sometimes you jsut know somebody, a lot of the times the dogs just come to you. But it's your decision and you have every right to get what you want. Good luck with your search. and possibly try a Beagle breed rescue in a different state that will make arragments.
Shelties: Not enough words to describe how much I love them.
For people who want to find dogs locally, it can be a problem. You have to be willing to look else where. I shipped all 3 of my dogs in. I have had people stay overnight to pick up their pup. I will probably drive 15hrs one way in Aug. to pick up a new baby. You are right, if you don't want to put the time and effort into finding the right breeder, it is a hassle. Many people care more about health, then how far they have to go to find that healthy dog. If 4hours is to far for you, then you get what you pay for.
"I don't think 4 hours or $500 is too much to ask. In fact, I think $500 is cheap for a reputable breeder."
I think you misunderstand.. Its $500 MORE than the local pet stores... $500 is like 3/8 the asking price. I would've jumped on it.
As far as those of you who ship your dogs, that is a completely foreign concept to me... I mean, don't you want to see what kind of personality the dog has? I'm sure its different if you want to show your dog, or something like that.. Looks are probably the most important thing. I'm looking for a friend, personality is the most important thing... I would think this is a normal prerequisite for most people..
"I take great offense to you calling reputable breeders a myth. You found one when you got a Sheltie, didn't you? You also seem to have found one while looking for a Beagle, you just don't want to drive that far or pay that much."
Don't take offense. I'm not saying there arent reputable breeders... I'm saying that the concept, where anyone can just go out and get there dog from a breeder is impractical and somewhat unrealistic. I'm just one person. How is the whole general public supposed to do this? As far as the Beagle I found, its simply too much for me to pay. As I said, I'm very suprised at the cost. The breeder has a litter of 7, and at her prices she'll net close to 9 grand (if they are all sold). I'm sort of shocked the breeder can't be more competitive with a pet store (considering the financial overhead in my area).
I'm mostly just venting, but like I said - with the way things are there is basically no alternative for most people other than puppy mills supplying pet stores..
I understand what you are saying Agent. It's a lot of work and stress.
But I would prefer the forum community to keep it's very strict stand on this issue. Chances are most people who come for advice here on purchasing their new puppy will not take the advice they are given. At least the few that does care and take the advice seriously will not be given a very vague desicription of what is a good breeder and consequently support a bad breeder.
Naturally it is harder to by from a reputable breeder because the demand for them is so low. I can easily buy a pup from a pet shop or a neighbor and be done with it. People love convenience. It's like cheap frozen microwave food full of salt. It's fast, easy and yummy. But it's not very healthy. Good food takes time and money. so do dogs.
Part of buying from a reputable breeder is that they are able to assess their puppies and chose the one that best fits your family.
If there were not some many people wanting to buy pups to breed or cross breed it would not be as hard. I know that many poodle breeders raised their prices and changed their selling practices and contracts to help prevent their dogs from being used to make what ever doodlemutt is most sought after that day. Beagle breeders may be following suit as there are many beagle crosses showing up now.
"Naturally it is harder to by from a reputable breeder because the demand for them is so low. I can easily buy a pup from a pet shop or a neighbor and be done with it. People love convenience. It's like cheap frozen microwave food full of salt. It's fast, easy and yummy. But it's not very healthy. Good food takes time and money. so do dogs."
Excellent analogy! Buying a dog shouldn't be easy. Dogs often live well into their teens, most marriages don't last that long, so why should buying a dog be so easy? If someone's not willing to put in the work to get the dog, are they going to be willing to train the dog, are they going to tough out the hard times? Sorry, but all those dogs that get dumped at shelters, and the millions that get PTS every year, were probably pretty easy to obtain.