Purebred Dogs

OK class, how many of you believe that if you buy a purebred dog you're killing a shelter or rescue dog? Raise your hands please. Higher. OK, you can put them down. Now I want you to go to the back of the room marked "gullible people sit here."

That's one of the many things we've been told so we'll head to the shelter for a dog instead of look on Craigslist. I'm gonna burst your bubble. Someone set on a Yorkie, Doberman, Newfoundland or Berger Picard isn't making their local shelter the first place to look for the breed of their choice.

Now I know someone somewhere just got their panties in a wad saying they found the perfect purebred agility dog at the shelter. Good for them but they're in the minority. I'm talking about the huge majority of people looking for something very specific in a dog...the shelter isn't the first place they're gonna go.

Why do purebreds go so quickly when they come into a shelter? 
Why are shelters giving the mutts fancy sounding names, like Fire Tailed Cockerbull?
Why do potential adopters frequently ask what breed a dog may be?

I'm gonna surmise that it's because we want predictability. We want that dog to have a name, a breed, something for us to call it. 
If we see a dog that looks like a Lab we feel good adopting that dog because we can look up what traits and characteristics a lab has. They're known to be great family dogs. If we see a dog that has Doberman characteristics and coloring we're gonna assume it will be an athletic watchdog. I hear about the skin issues that the purebred Shar Pei's and Pei mixes have. Aussies, Border Collies and Cattle Dogs are high energy, nippy, and easily trained. Lots of predictability from a quick and easy online search. Heck, there's even a club for naming crosses between two purebreds. The American Canine Hybrid Club.


So back to our lesson. If John and Mary Smith on 123 Maple Street in Happy Town, USA decide they want a dog to hike, bike, fetch a ball and do AKC agility with they probably aren't heading to the shelter. They're gonna do their research and go with a breed that's got a proven track record for fitting in that criteria. And a shelter dog won't die the day they buy their new purebred dog. Why? Because they weren't going to the shelter to get their special purpose dog anyway.

Speaking of AKC Agility...one of the smartest things AKC ever did was embrace the mixed breed dog and unregistered purebred dog. All American Dogs and Purebred Alternative Listing dogs (dogs that look purebred but have no proof of parentage via registration papers) can compete in some AKC events. If AKC wants to increase their conformation entries they will start allowing spayed and neutered animals to compete. A dog doesn't have to be intact to be a great representation of the breed and lots of people (me included) won't own intact dogs for any reason.

So those of you sitting in the Gullible Seats can stop losing sleep over buying a purebred dog versus getting one from the shelter. It's no one's business but yours where you get your dog from. No one can make you feel guilty unless you let them. Let me repeat that.

No one can make you feel guilty unless you let them. It's your life. Get the dog you want from where you want and enjoy it!

amanda hillegas