This is one of my favorite quotes. It is amazing how many people take the advice of the breeder or even the pet store clerk over ours. It is beyond frustrating. So much for the years I spent gaining an education in veterinary medicine.
To be fair there are some good breeders out there, but they are few and very far in between. In my 20 year career I have met only three and two of them were not “professional” breeders. They were clients that had dogs that were temperamentally and genetically perfect and had a love of that particular breed. If you have your heart set on a pure bred dog (I am partial to King Charles Cavaliers and Golden Retrievers) be sure to find yourself a
GOOD breeder or better yet you can contact a breed specific rescue and get a dog or puppy that way. You might also be surprised to learn that 25% of all dogs in the shelters are pure bred.
There is a great check list provided by the humane society that will help you decipher a good breeder from a back yard breeder. They need to fulfill ALL of the points on the checklist and not just some of them to be considered a good breeder.
Ideally, dogs should be bred once every 2 years after 2 years of age, but certainly no more than once per year. Your average back yard breeder does so every 6 months. Breeders make hundreds to thousands of tax free dollars on the sale of every puppy! You might want to let that thought sink in.
For us in the veterinary world, it is often an uphill battle of, “my breeder told me this and my breeder told me that”. Please bear in mind your breeder did not go to medical school and should not be giving you medical advice. PERIOD. A good breeder will have a working relationship with a veterinarian and have all the puppies vet checked and be given at least an initial vaccination by a veterinarian prior to you getting custody of your new puppy.
During my years in emergency medicine, I saw too many dystocia (obstructed labor) cases to count. They more often than not ended in euthanasia, when the owner refused to pay for the emergency surgery necessary to save the mother and puppies’ lives. Never mind that these people had been making money off their dog every 6 months for her whole life. These dogs are treated as a commodity, not a living breathing entity.
OUR job, is to care for these animals, even if all we can do is end their suffering.
If you are thinking about breeding your dog, know that if you do it responsibly, you will lose money. The testing necessary to make sure you pet is genetically sound is very expensive. Things go wrong and when they do you need to be mentally and financially ready for them. The AKC has a checklist of sixteen things you should do before breeding your dog. Also, please remember before you do, 2.7 million dogs and cats are put to death every year due to pet overpopulation.