If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Holly - CGC TDI

Squirrel?- Squrirrel!- SQUIRRELLLLL!!!!
Barked: Tue May 6, '14 2:44pm PST 
I'm sorry you can't fathom the kind of responsibility that owning a dog entails. Believe me, I'm very in touch with reality, I know how much vet bills cost, I know how much food costs. I have financial padding to ensure that I am prepared. Things happen. I will not put my pups to sleep because they happen to end up with an ailment that "costs too much".

You are so very focused on money and how much being responsible might cost you. I wonder that you want a dog at all. Houseplants are quite cheap.

Member Since
Barked: Tue May 6, '14 3:53pm PST 
This isn't about me, since your gripes are not my problem to solve. The onus is not on me, this isn't my industry or business. It's yours. So, wag your finger in your own face or the face of breeders over the fact that people go to pet stores and puppy mills... or here's an idea, just don't wag your finger at all.

Money is a reality. I know realities are not something taken into serious consideration among those that have checked out of the real world and checked into their own fantasy islands where winding up homeless over the burden of a dog is hailed as morally virtuous and honorable.

I do find it amusing that my taking into account realities like money, while other posters do not and think living in an alley with their sick dying dog is morally virtuous, that I'm apparently the unreasonable and immoral one in this thread who shouldn't have a dog. Should I pretend I would end up homeless for the sake of a dog and put on a show here for myself and you all, as someone else here has done? Because I think that person is full of it, I think anyone is full of it if they assert they would be out on the street before putting a dog down. You know, because in fantasyland, death isn't a reality that should be maturely dealt with like an adult. And I'm supposed to take the moral umbrage on display by many here seriously?

Doesn't matter anyway. I was honest, and shared how I felt in a straightforward fashion and didn't mince words nor beat the drum about my own imagined virtues that are no virtues at all as some have. Since I happen to be in the market for a puppy, I figured some of you might find it informative. And I'm positive I'm not alone in my feelings given the messages used in marketing by your enemies that are practically tailored to cater to my feelings.
Take it and learn from it, or invent self-congratulatory stories among yourselves about why even 'educated' people would still go to pet stores and puppy mills.

And I'm in the research process, haven't been in contact with breeders, and when I posted in the thread I was at a point in my research where I felt like most of what is said about breeders and by breeders online seems like a lot of smoke to justify the practice of selling dogs for insane prices and to shame people into not only paying them, but to do tricks and forfeit rights to the dog breeder just to get a puppy 'the right way'. Sounds like BS and a pain, the reward doesn't seem worth the cost, when cheaper dogs that seem the same to me would be just as rewarding, possibly more rewarding for all I know. How do I know you don't actually keep your puppies chained up in dark garage and swimming in their own filth before you adopt them out. I don't. How do I know you actually love dogs, you may just love ribbons and whatever prestige you think those ribbons give you. You may just love shaming people online about dog breeding and love using those moments as opportunities to boast. My conscience isn't eased by some strangers boasts.
Holly - CGC TDI

Squirrel?- Squrirrel!- SQUIRRELLLLL!!!!
Barked: Tue May 6, '14 4:08pm PST 
“I'd tried to straighten him out, but there's only so much you can do for a person who thinks Auschwitz is a brand of beer.”

Ah well.


Spooky Mulder
Barked: Tue May 6, '14 6:41pm PST 
Its funny that you've chosen to harp on the ONE point someone made about loving their dogs enough to be willing to do without in life if it would help their ailing pet.

That's not the point of all this.

The point is, you're basically saying its pointless to spend more money on a dog from a reputable breeder, when you could just get a cheaper one from a puppy mill.

Do you have any idea how much goes into breeding a dog responsibility? Forget about all the smoke and BS from BOTH sides, lets talk about this "reality" you're so set on beating into everyone's heads.

The REALITY is, taking care of an animal properly is NOT cheap. Breeding an animal even less so. Lets look at the cost breakdown, assuming you're meeting the very MINIMUM definition of what all us crazy delusionists here would consider a fairly reputable breeder.

For starters, you health test your stock for known genetic disorders. This can vary by breed, but lets pick on GSDs because they are a focal point of this thread and a common breed. To have a full set of X-rays taken, to screen for hip/elbow dysplasia, is going to cost aprox. $300-$500 in vet fees alone. To have them graded professionally through organizations like the OFA, PennHip, or the SV is an additional charge. On top of that, many vets are not well trained in the positioning and procedure for making these films grade-worthy, so many travel quite a ways to find good vets to take good films. In Birmingham (AL), I was buddies with a Rottie breeder who took his dogs all the way to Atlanta (GA) to get his dogs PennHip certified, incurring who knows how many additional fees to do so. The test for degenerative myelopathy runs about $65-75 minus vet fees, which probably make it about $100. GSDs can also suffer from diseases like vWD, heart and bone issues, and thyroid problems. All of which cost money to properly test for.

Second, you need some sort of proof your dog has a temperament worth passing on genetically. Not everyone believes in showing dogs as a means to justify breeding them, but some BASIC test needs to be administered to prove the dog has at least passable temperament. This most often is expressed through training and titling in some venue. Not every dog who is titled is breed worthy, but those that are should have SOMETHING behind their name to prove it, and this is the least objective way. Depending on what you title in, your level of training knowledge, your access to good clubs and equipment, so on, you're talking hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in training, titling, and travel fees. I know for fact I've spent well over a thousand in my own dog's personal training (agility, schutzhund, personal protection, tracking, herding, formal OB), and I'm not even a breeder OR a serious competitor... but that's what it took to reach the level I'm at with them now, a degree of intimacy about my dog's physical and mental characteristics that ANY breeder who sets out to breed their dog absolutely NEEDS to have before they can make a single damn claim as to what their dogs are like. As a consumer, you should expect no less... being good with the family's kids or playing nicely with the family's dogs means a who lot of NOTHING when you find out your dog is incapable of handling anything beyond the minimal amount of pressure experienced living in a typical home environment (or WORSE, locked in a barn with the absolute minimal possible contact and socialization). Worse yet, its going to mean a whole lot of SOMETHING when that same dog bites a strange child who runs up unexpectedly from behind and spooks your nervy dog. And before anyone ventures to claim otherwise, oh yes, temperament very much IS genetic, IS passed down, and no amount of what the lay person considers "socialization" will "fix" a dog with poor nerves, low bite thresholds, and a generally poor genetic temperament. So, congratulations buyer, the onus is totally on you! Aren't you glad?

Another point is unexpected complications. Pregnant dogs are like pregnant people, in that sometimes things just go wrong. C-sections, emergency life support for preemie puppies, dogs going into shock, dogs catching diseases like pyometra, bitches refusing to or unable to lactate, all things that are complicated, expensive, and NOT something that should be taken lightly. These things happen all the time- probably more than most realize, and if one isn't ready and able to deal with them when or if they should occur, they shouldn't be breeding dogs.

Finally, lets consider how the breeder actually takes care of their dogs- large breeders invest thousands into good kennels and runs, to ensure all of their dogs are contained properly. Smaller breeders also invest a lot into the personal care of their animals- in either situation, feeding diets that aren't absolute garbage is expensive (in large enough numbers, even the garbage is expensive), basic vet care is expensive, caring for, housing, feeding and vaccinating litters of puppies is EXPENSIVE.

WHY then, you must ask yourself, can some people get away with selling their dogs for dirt cheap?

Its NOT because they love and care and just want the best for those dogs. Not on the scale that we're talking about- we're talking about millers here. And millers only manage to turn a buck because they do NONE of the above, most do not even properly feed,shelter and routinely vet their animals in accordance with the MINIMAL STANDARD OF THE LAW. I believe multiple instances were already posted here of these millers being arrested and charged with animal cruelty... so lets forget about this imaginary "high horse" you keep pissing on about, lets talk about the REALITY of animal cruelty. Just because some are clever enough not to get caught, does NOT make what they do any less wrong, and in the eyes of the LAW, which you enjoyed mentioning earlier, they very much ARE committing crimes. Breeding dogs isn't illegal, no, not even in absurd numbers... but keeping them in cramped conditions, with inadequate food, water, shelter and vetting IS and THIS is the reality of basically every puppy mill in existence today. If you think otherwise, then all the pissing in the world will do you no good, because, plane and simple: YOU. ARE. WRONG.

Now lets bring this back around for a moment, for anyone who might read over this with half a brain or the slightest bit of conscious- sure, well bred dogs are expensive. What DOES one do when they cannot afford this mythical white stallion of legend sort of dog that gets brought up on forums like this?

Well lets talk about that. For starters, always for starters, there are rescues. In the vast majority of cases, excluding absurdly rare breeds, there ARE purebreds in shelters or the rescue system in need of homes. Many have their own national breed-specific rescues which can be contacted and which can almost always put you in touch with fosters or groups with animals in your area needing homes. The average cost to adopt a dog, pure bred or not, is STILL vastly less than what it costs to buy a puppy from a puppy mill or pet store (which for some reason you seem to be under the impression is so much vastly cheaper than the average breeder- I don't know what figures you're pulling up, but the last pet shop that I had contact with that was selling dogs, was selling them for between $800 and $1200... which you could easily find a reputable breeder selling for these prices).

Next, you do have the people on craigslist re-homing dogs or "oops" litters, the unfortunate neighbor down the street who's unfixed female got loose, or that one relative who just didn't realize that Fi-Fi would actually breed with his little sister. Now this may not be a popular opinoins... but frankly these are viable ways of getting dogs too. Personal experience again, but I was buddies with a lady who had a very nice GSD. Got him from a top flight breeder, loved him dearly and was working towards titling him in schutzhund. Well, one day her husband decided to bring her home a puppy as a gift, another GSD from someone who'd had a litter at his work. Long story short, when the female went into heat unexpectedly, her male broke out of his kennel and mated her. She was devastated... but at the same time knew she had to do the right thing by these puppies. Of course she gave a few to friends and family, but she also spread the word at some of the local training places she'd been with, and other doggy-related venues, where she sold the pups for a nominal fee. Now, she offered me one for free, which I declined, and never bothered to ask what she wanted for them... but I can guarantee you, with amount of time, energy, and money she put into those puppies (she kept them til 10 weeks, fed and vaccinated them UTD and put some training on each before they left), she didn't make a single dime of it back. And that's the reality for many people- they do love their pets, have an accident or sometimes don't and do it deliberately, but realize its a LOT more of an investment than they realized. I don't consider my friend a bad person- nor do I consider any of the people in similar situations bad, or that the dogs they bred bad. I don't consider them REPUTABLE breeders... but those puppies need homes too, and for what amounts to the price of shots and 10 weeks of care, I could see paying a hundred bucks for a well-loved "oops".

This, still, is not what is being described here. That is NOT a puppy mill situation, and while not necessarily ideal, is also not the shining face of cruelty that mills are.

14- Years- Young!
Barked: Tue May 6, '14 7:26pm PST 
You say you have done ‘research,’ but I’m a little skeptical. Puppy mills/pet stores (and that is mainly the type of breeder being discussed in this thread) are notorious for overcharging for their ‘product,’ especially considering the ‘quality’ of said product (since the financial aspect seems to be your only concern.)

I know where I can get a puppy for $1200 from health tested, titled parents from a breeder who has trained and worked multiple generations of their own stock, knows their lines inside and out and has a written guarantee against genetic health problems. Or I can buy a pup of the same breed for $2500 to $4500 (depending on if I buy from the mill directly or from a broker) of unknown health, no health guarantee, from generations of dogs who’ve done nothing but crank out puppies for profit (hey, as long as the breeder is making a couple bucks, who cares if they’re unhealthy, genetic nightmares or have unstable temperaments, as soon as they cash your check it’s no longer their problem.)

And sorry, while there may be some grey area and differing opinions on what constitutes an ethical breeder, I really don’t care how you try to spin it, a breeder, ANY breeder, who doesn’t do health testing is highly unethical. Period. There is no grey area there. No excuses.

Also, not sure why you feel breeders aren’t meeting the demand for dogs? Quite the opposite, we currently have too many dogs, go volunteer at a shelter and see for yourself.

For the record, I am not a breeder, and have no interest in ever becoming one. I also live in the ‘real world,’ as much as I love my dogs and I do spend a good deal of time and money on them, frankly I could NOT afford a $20,000 vet bill, that’s more than I made last year working 2 jobs. I have known people to spend that much on a terminally ill dog, and I will not judge them for it, just as I would hope no one would judge me for not being able to afford that.

Ice cubes? YES- PLEASE!
Barked: Tue May 6, '14 11:28pm PST 
Then for the love of dog, get an animal from a backyard breeder, if you are so up in arms about the seeming economic injustice of top-notch breeders!

Puppy mills typically overcharge and almost always breed misery. They have virtually no de facto means of controlling the "product quality" if you are so interested in treating dogs as manufactured goods instead of live animals. If it breeds and doesn't die after 2 years in a cage with cheap food, they sell its puppies. Usually, this means dogs die at young ages, medical mysteries appear, cute puppies become psychotic adults. If I wanted to get a flock of broiler chickens, there is no way I would get one from a factory farm. Genetic disease and developmental anomalies are rampant, just like in puppy mills. I'd rather choose from hand-raised stock that's actually been selected for good temperament and hardiness. That's if I completely disregard the ethics of the situation.

Backyard breeders, while considered almost evil by a few, are the ones who should be filling the demand for cheap dogs. Why? Whether or not the breeders care, they will always be more inclined to get healthy, low-maintenance dogs of good temperament. This especially holds true if you seek out a breeder who keeps their dogs as house pets and has bred from older adults. They typically don't put their dogs through the suffering of unnatural, filthy conditions.

But believe what YOU want to believe, bud. "It's a free country." Just watch out for the consequences because they won't care what you have to rant at them with.

To all other Dogsters:

This guy is a troll. Don't feed the poster and they will lose their fuel. Ignoring is the best way to shake off a troll because they feed on negative attention.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Wed May 7, '14 12:52am PST 
Shadow came from a small 'mill'. Puppies were sold for $600 if I recall, I don't know I didn't pay for the dying puppy I left with. Over half that particular litter died in that garage, laying in a filthy cage. That's half a dozen or so pups who were born and died in misery, cold, filthy and starving. Born to a mother who was little more then a pup herself and had spent her life fighting with the other dozen or so dogs on the property for what little food and water was available.
Further investigation revealed that perspective buyers were shown the pups and mom inside the house, not ever shown the misery that existed in the garage.
Before she was 1 year old, my cute little rescue had cost me thousands in vet bills, so much for a free dog. By some logic I should have had her PTS and moved on to the next 'free' dog. So how many dogs should one be allowed to kill in their quest for a free dog? At what point does the sacrifice become unacceptable? These are not cars, or watches, or cell phones. These are living, breathing , feeling companions. They deserve the same respect and level of care we would afford any other companion.

As an aside the 'german shepherd type' puppy in the pet store last week was $1499, the breeder that I am buying from is charging me $1200.
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