A Reputable Breeder, Eh?

Everyone knows I love dogs.  Everyone also knows I love pit bulls.  And I thought everyone knew I was involved in rescuing dogs.  Apparently I thought wrong though.    I recently got an email from someone asking me to give them the name of “a reputable pit bull breeder”.  Whoa there buddy.  YOU want ME to help you find a breeder?  That’s like asking Superman to help you locate some Kryptonite.  Rude.


I took me a few days of milling it over to decide how to respond.  My initial reaction was to send him a nasty email about how rude it is to ask someone that rescues dogs to help you buy one.  Clearer heads prevailed and I decided to try and work a few different angles.  I typed out what I hoped was a well thought out, logical explanation of what typical “breeders” are like, the expenses of adopting vs. buying, and of course, I did my best to appeal to his sense of humanity by discussing the joys of saving a life and preventing further suffering.  I offered to answer any questions he might have about adopting and I told him that I would be thrilled to help him find the perfect puppy—as long as he was adopting it.


I just received the response and it is sadly what I was expecting; he is not interested in adopting and simply looking to buy from a “reputable” breeder.  He was rude and clearly didn’t take a word I said into consideration.  Actually he didn’t even acknowledge anything I said really.  Sigh.


One of the momma dogs, and my personal favorite, while in New Orleans.

 The incident has left me wondering if there is a “right” way to deal with these situations?  Was there something I should have said different?  Maybe used a different tone?  Did I forget a key point I should have mentioned?  Or do these people that want to buy from breeders just not care about anything other than the one dog that they are buying?  They don’t care that others suffer and die?  They don’t care how the mothers and fathers are treated?  It doesn’t affect them so they just don’t care?  I can’t wrap my head around it.  Maybe there isn’t a way to reason with them.


Surely I am not the only person that has encountered this.  So I’m curious, how do you deal with people that don’t believe in adopting?  Do you have a magical line or story you tell?  Do you show them pictures from puppy mills?  What do you do?

24 thoughts on “A Reputable Breeder, Eh?

  1. I don’t run in to this as much, but I work at a vet clinic in a fairly poor neighborhood and every pitbull owner comes in with un-altered pitbulls and plans on having puppies. Its VERY hard for me to deal with. I have to be professional, but sometimes I will bring up a few facts about pitbulls and breeding. It’s very stressful to deal with. I’m sure you did everything you could. People that I know that want to buy a puppy aren’t usually willing to change their minds 😦

    • I live in a fairly poor area too and people here are always looking to make a quick buck. It really is hard to deal with and I imagine you have it even worse than I do. I guess we just continue trying!

  2. I totally believe in rescuing. I disdain backyard breeders and puppy mills. I do however see how “reputable breeders” can help certain people.

    A friend of mine has never had a dog before, they wanted one but wer nervous about the process of becoming owners. The breeder they bought theirs from took it upon themselves to give free obedience classes to the couple once they had their puppy, the breeder looked after the dog when the couple went out of town and were unable to take her, the breeder even let them borrow a dog for a week to teach my friend what kind of responsibility a dog can be before taking their puppy home. Further she signed a contract stating that her dog would be neutered (yay) and that it was never allowed to be tied outside.

    I am not endorsing this process here, I just think with this kind of breeder taking these lengths with a new parent, it’s not all bad.

    In saying this, I’ve done both – I’ve rescued and I’ve bought from a “reputable breeder”. Now I found the breed I love, but we’re going through the rescue society to get our next 🙂

    • I totally agree that there are good breeders out there, and it sounds like the one your friend dealt with was awesome, it’s just they are very rare to find. I also understand that there is something to the whole “bettering the bloodline” thing but I think that it is very rare to find breeders OR buyers that actually care about this. I think most people just like to say they have a purebred 😦

      Kudos to you for getting a rescue next time around! I grew up with Labs from breeders (and various mutts that I found and brought home) but now my parents would never buy. Hey, one victory is better than none!

      • Absolutely. They were fantastic. It’s hard to transition some people to understand that if they want a purebred, that’s their choice – but I usually try and tell them if that’s what they really want – they can find it through rescue as well. For example, there have been 3 beautiful labs that came in and out of our shelter in the last month.

        I try and tell people that there are all different types of reasons why a dog is surrendered to a shelter. It’s not usually because there’s something “Wrong” with the dog. Perhaps the owner was older and passed away, perhaps the dog was a stray and never able to reunite with its family, or my least favorite – they just didn’t have time (grrr). It could be an amazing addition. Usually I try to see if they’ll come out with me for an hour and walk some of the dogs, therefore showing them that there are amazing dogs out there, ready for a great home.

        Rather then concentrate on “please pick a rescue dog because”, I usually try and educate on what the shelter is all about. I find there is such a negative connotation on shelter dogs – when after all, it’s not their choice they’re there.

  3. I’m all about adopting and spreading the word with people about it. However, I seem to on occasion run into the person who will have none of it, they want to buy a puppy. One of the biggest reasons when I ask why is that they want to be able to see the parents and know the puppy’s background while when they adopt a puppy they most likely don’t know anything about the puppy’s background.

    I always try and talk them out of it but it seems to go in one ear and out the other. In these situations it’s best to just move on because no matter what I say I can’t change their minds. At least I know I tried.

  4. I do understand that people want a specific breed or to have the puppy’s parents known, but unless our dog overpopulation problem suddenly disappears, I’d have difficulty recommending buying a puppy from a breeder. That said, if someone is going the route of purchasing a dog, I would rather it be from a “reputable” breeder who is trying to improve the breed.

    They should be able to meet the mother, talk to father’s owner (presumably, the dogs won’t be at the same home), learn about the parents’ temperaments, strengths and weaknesses, see the parents’ medical history, and ask about the grandparents’ medical history. They need an essentially perfect medical and behavioral history. The dogs should have genetic testing for the breed’s common diseases done before being bred, pedigrees available (even though these don’t mean much) and be bred only rarely. The buyers shouldn’t get a puppy from someone who breeds their dog before they have a sufficient list of people lined up who have committed to taking a puppy, doesn’t guarantee the health of the pup, or won’t take the puppy back if something happens. The puppies should have received any standard medical care like deworming, sufficient socialization, and if the price seems like a good deal, it’s probably not. The breeder should not be willing to toss the puppy in the airline cargo hold for delivery or allow them to take the puppy before 8 weeks old. They should also be able to match puppies with those on their waiting list based on the puppies’ personalities.

    With all of those things said, there should also be discussion of breed specific rescues, non-breed specific rescues, shelter dogs, and the problems with backyard breeders, accidental litters and puppy mills – the type of thing you were trying to tell them. If they are really, really, set on getting a purebred, it would be a lot more expensive, time consuming, and difficult to find a “reputable” breeder than adopting a rescue dog.

  5. When people ask me about breeders I usually tell them about how much better adoption is. they decide they want to still go with a breeder…. I will find the best breeder I can. I feel if I do find a good one.. they will either be denied if not a good home… or will be responsible if the breeder does give them a good dog. Maybe… a list of very reputable breeders could be put together if people didn’t want to adopt.

  6. My mom has not figured out the magic formula yet either. Her friends and family even ask her for advice about getting a dog and she explains about a billion reasons why to adopt and spends a lot of time answering questions and then they just don’t listen in the end because they have a certain idea in their mind and they cannot change it.

    Not to mention that when mom was working at the shelter you could find two month old pittie type pups there pretty much any day of the week. Most of them probably came from a “breeder” who lost one their pregnant dogs…

    • Tell your momma I know just how frustrating it is when people are sooo stuck in their ways and won’t even consider anything else. I think little pittie puppies are quite possibly the most common type of puppies in the shelter system. They tend to attract that bad breeders that just want to make a quick buck and don’t want to keep the puppies if they don’t sell or don’t care for the momma well and they pass away. It’s really just so so sad.

  7. Pingback: Reputable Breeders: My Perspective | Dream Big, Bark Loudly

  8. This actually reminded me of Levi’s owner a long time ago, who we tried to convince to neuter Levi and give him heart worm preventative but he just wouldn’t listen. I won’t go on a whole rant in your comments section, but I did write a rather lengthy ‘response’ to your final question – hope you don’t mind! (Actually, I can see a link to it in the comments section, which is odd, I didn’t know it would do that haha.)

  9. Unfortunately, some people have a specific mind-set and they will not deviate no matter what. Since “their” dog will always have a home they don’t really care that so many of the rest of the litter may not.
    I know Ray’s mother and I’ve known him since birth, but that doesn’t mean I could predict what his personality would be 14 months after we rescued his family. You just can’t predict that and a reputable breeder should say the same.

    • I know, when people bring up the temperament I try to explain to them that SO much of a dog’s temperament comes from it’s experiences and how it is treated and managed, not it’s genetic makeup! But you are right, very rarely, despite our best efforts, will people deviate from their mind-set.

  10. Something that I like to say is that when you adopt, the shelter or foster home can tell you exactly the personality of the dog. This way you get a dog that fits in with your lifestyle…not just a “cute puppy” that ends up being way too much for you to handle. Also, when you adopt from a foster home, there is less potty training to do:)

    • haha I forgot to mention the potty training! I did mention that when it comes from a foster, they can tell you a lot about it’s personality but I completely forgot the potty training! I bet that would have done the trick…

  11. That would be frustrating. I think some people are just impossible and no matter what proof they have infront of them, it doesn’t matter. I am not one myself to judge on buying from a breeder or rescuing (as I have done both) but learning what I have known in the last year, I can tell you I definitely took that on board, and when I do get my much anticipated “big dog” one day it will without a doubt be a rescue. I find this person particularly troubling though in the fact he is asking a person who is known for RESCUING pit bulls, and also the fact that pit bull mixes are usually the majority of animals getting euthanized! Simply because they do not have a home.I think you handled it perfectly.Some people like i said are just impossible.

    • My dad actually used to buy pure bred Labs, so in all honesty, I am not one to really judge too harshly if a person buys from a breeder and just doesn’t know any better BUT like you said, this guy KNEW I was involved in rescue, even after I did my best to educate him, just didn’t care! You’re exactly right – impossible!

  12. You know when I get something in my head I usually don’t give up…….I think I would email him every few days some little bit of information. He might just hit “delete” or you might just begin to open up his mind!

  13. My first dog was a purebred cocker spaniel. My parents got him from the best, most reputable breeder in town. (I know, I know. But I was 13. And that was the only dog we ever bought — all dogs since then have been adopted or rescued.)

    Even though we met the dog’s parents and the dog actually had AKC papers and everything, he still had quirks. I’m not sure that knowing the parents and the genetics is any guarantee of what kind of pet a dog is going to make. Especially if the breed is very popular, and therefore overbred, even by breeders who know what they are doing.

    On the other hand, if you adopt a dog from a foster home, you have tons of clues as to what kind of dog you are getting. You have a foster parent who knows the personality, the quirks, the issues, and the joys of that dog. I don’t think it gets any more certain than adopting a dog that someone else has fostered and even worked with on potty training and basic commands before you even meet the dog! Maybe that’s a good argument for someone who thinks they need to go to a breeder to be certain they are getting a certain kind of dog!

  14. I applaud you for sending that email! This might sound stereotypical, but with men, they need to take in the information, let it sink in, then react to it logically. 🙂
    Hopefully, this will happen to the man who emailed you.

  15. I’ve worked with people like this as clients that come into a vet hospital. Not just with breeding… other things like spaying, neutering, etc… it’s extremely frustrating and some people are just so hard headed. All you can do is continue to try and educate people and maybe one day they will understand after they learn the hard way or hear it enough times. Less than ideal, but I think that’s just how it is sometimes.


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