Buying a puppy from a breeder is a "gamble" - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Buying a puppy from a breeder is a "gamble"

Do you buy it? Are there enough documented cases of people seeking a breeder producing dogs suited to the buyer's needs, but in the end the dog didn't turn out as anticipated?

In my opinion, I've played the gamble game with my pet store dog. My next dog, I plan on "removing" that gamble by purchasing from a breeder producing dogs that are well suited for what I have in mind.

Where I'm going with this is really the push towards rescue when people ask about buying a dog (regardless of breed). Seems to me, even in an adult dog where you can more/less see their personality, temperament, structure, etc- they are still every bit as much of a gamble as a puppy from a reputable breeder. Do you agree or disagree? I'm just not sure getting a puppy is really all that much of a gamble when you've done your research.

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post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 11:13 AM
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Dogs are living, breathing, creatures. So yes, buying a puppy from anywhere is a gamble. You can increase your odds of a healthy, stable puppy by buying from a good breeder. But, IMO, there are always risks involved to some extent.




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post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 11:13 AM
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While Kyleigh is only 18 months old, I have to say that I haven't had any "surprises" (yet). Physically she's perfect (so far), mentally, ... well, we're still working on me LOL ... but in all seriousness, so far, I have what I wanted / expected.

Ky is my first "purebred" dog. All my other dogs were rescues / mutts or whatever you want to call them.

Personality wise, I had no issues / problems with any of them ...

Health wise ... I had thousands of dollars of problems with them ... and pet insurance didn't exist way back when ... I did have it with my last two tho so that helped.

Hard to say because I've read so much on here with people having purebreds, and having tons of issues ...

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post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 11:14 AM
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You can really see what they are all about when they are about 4 months old. Structure and temperament.

Puppies need a really keen eye (good breeders!) to pick them. I know some breeders hold a few of their favorites back to really see how they develop. And even, tho, sometimes the dog is not interested in the same type of games you are!

Adult dogs come with baggage and buttons that you may or may not want/like.

Some just observations from an old, grumpy lady..lol!!

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post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by wildo View Post
I'm just not sure getting a puppy is really all that much of a gamble when you've done your research.
I think this line is the key. Of course buying from a reputable breeder where you can see what they are/have produced is much less of a gamble.

I also think adopting adult dogs from organizations that do temperament testing, an observation period (min time of 3-4 wks in a qualified foster home) and vet check ups is also much less of a gamble than picking a puppy up from a pet store, out of the paper or even the shelter.

The problem is the general public does not do their research no matter where they obtain their dog. They adopt because they are told it's the right thing to do or buy a puppy so they "know what they are getting" but don't know how to pick a breeder, evaluate or even raise dogs.

Jamie

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post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 11:20 AM
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When people say things like gamble or crapshoot it makes me think the odds aren't good, like 50/50. That I do not buy. At least in my own personal experience/anecdotal evidence every dog I've purchase or adopted directly from its breeder has been healthy and has not let me down nor been any different in temperament or conformation than what I expected based on my research and what the breeder said would be delivered. I think what makes the odds go down are when people get obsessed about certain details like whether every dog in the 5 gen pedigree is OFA excellent or whether the breeder has an air tight contract. I believe I've had good success so far because I focus on the *dog*. More than once it has taken me 2+ years of research to decide what I wanted in my next dog. At that point, finding a breeder wasn't really that difficult. I place emphasis on the dog I am getting and not what the breeder tells me about their contract. For example if good hips are a priority then I would research the hip production of the pedigree, backwards, forwards, and horizontally and not just be satisfied with a breeder saying they offer a "hip warranty".

I place the responsibility on myself as the buyer to do the research and to know and understand what I want and why. I don't believe it is the breeder's responsibility to have to flesh all that out and hopefully provide me with what they think I want. I'm not really convinced either way with regard to fancy contracts and warranties and guarantees. I've bought with and without.

Nothing in live is ever 100% certain so of course there's always that margin where it can be a "gamble" but IMO that goes without saying.

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post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I agree that they are living creatures and thus there will be some uncertainty there. But often the "logic" (I quote that because I'm skeptical that it's actually logical) is that when one buys from a breeder, there is risk that the dog will not turn out to meet the buyer's needs, while on the other hand, a buyer could rescue a dog which they are more able to interact with the dog to see if it meets their needs or not.

I'm making the claim that if the breeder is consistently producing dogs that have a structure that you prefer, whose breeding stock holds a temperament that you prefer, whose dogs are producing wins in the sports you prefer, whose dogs are maintaining a modicum of health that you desire-- then such "gambles" are so far reduced to be almost negligible. But rescue, you generally don't know the baggage, or the health, or the background, or really anything that you get when buying from a quality breeder.

I just don't see the logic in stating that a rescue removes the gamble that a puppy brings.

Willy

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post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
I just don't see the logic in stating that a rescue removes the gamble that a puppy brings
The only thing I can think of for this is that if the dog is "rescued" / adopted around age 3 and up ... the gamble's not as high since they've likely had a chance to do all the temperment testing, etc. And healthwise, they can do x-rays for hips, and all the other stuff ... with a puppy ... you haven't a clue ... because none of these traits have shown up yet

For example: size, weight, hyper, calm, etc ...

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post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by wildo View Post
I'm making the claim that if the breeder is consistently producing dogs that have a structure that you prefer, whose breeding stock holds a temperament that you prefer, whose dogs are producing wins in the sports you prefer, whose dogs are maintaining a modicum of health that you desire-- then such "gambles" are so far reduced to be almost negligible. But rescue, you generally don't know the baggage, or the health, or the background, or really anything that you get when buying from a quality breeder.

I just don't see the logic in stating that a rescue removes the gamble that a puppy brings.

Agreed. And maybe getting off topic but another thing I always find odd is when people argue that breeders are not needed because there are nice, purebred dogs in rescue. OK where do you think those dogs came from? Someone carefully and purposefully BRED them!!!

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post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Kyleigh View Post
The only thing I can think of for this is that if the dog is "rescued" / adopted around age 3 and up ... the gamble's not as high since they've likely had a chance to do all the temperment testing, etc. And healthwise, they can do x-rays for hips, and all the other stuff ... with a puppy ... you haven't a clue ... because none of these traits have shown up yet

For example: size, weight, hyper, calm, etc ...
But this is no different than getting a dog from a breeder. If you get a puppy from a rescue they can't tell you any more than a breeder could, in fact a lot less because usually the pedigree is unknown (I foster mixed breed puppies and always caution potential adopters that the dog they see now might not be the dog they end up with). I got a 3.5 year old dog from a breeder, already had her hips checked, knew the health and temperament, etc. I asked for a healthy, athletic, adult dog that wasn't extreme in drive or any aspect and would be suitable for pretty much any dog sport and that's exactly what I got (and did half a dozen dog sports with said dog).

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