Copper and Chaos

Agility adventures

You paid HOW much?

People often reply this way when they find out how much I paid for the bad red dog. It’s usually followed by the questions ‘You could have adopted one& saved a life AND money!’ or ‘Do you know how many shelter dogs could have benefitted if you donated that?’ Yes. I am aware. Do you want to know why I didn’t go the shelter route?

Shelter dogs are gorgeous. Seriously ..look at this dog ALSO named Penny!

Shelter dogs are gorgeous. Seriously ..look at this dog. Penny is clearly the name for all beautiful dogs.

I love shelter dogs ..they have big character, unique looks& pull at my heartstrings when I search Pet Finder. In fact, I am the first person to encourage others to check out the shelter if they aren’t looking for anything specific. Shelter dogs are fabulous dogs& I would never say everyone needs a breeder dog or to spend a fortune purchasing one. The opposite is true. I think the general pet owner would be more than happy with a shelter dog.

It is also not the well-bred dogs that are ending up in shelters or breed specific rescues. How is that, you say? Puppies from a responsible breeder have a built-in safety net. They have a forever home in their breeder. If a person purchased a puppy& it wasn’t working out for some reason (it happens), then that puppy ends up back with the breeder. The purchase price also included a lot of things that aren’t included in a shelter dog. Like health clearances in the parents, known lineage, puppy testing for energy, drive, confidence, etc.. I also had very specific requirements for my puppy. I do have to live with her for the next 10+ years (…somedays this feat seems daunting) so I better like her. My requirements were met by only a handful of breeds& I narrowed down from there.

People tell me I could have found everything I wanted in a dog at the shelter. Could I? Possibly. It would have taken a very long time& looking at a lot of different dogs. I also needed a dog that could hold to a lot of physical activity. I have more of a chance of getting that when I know the parents of my puppy are healthy. A shelter dog is a crapshoot in terms of health& functional structure, especially as they age& have physical demands placed on them. Penny may still end up with issues but knowing her parents were exceptionally healthy (along with every dog on her pedigree), she has a much better chance of being able to handle all I ask her to do!

I am a mean momma. I make her jump bunches of knocked down trees.

Those ears act like wings on a plane. She almost took flight.. those ears are like plane wings!

Along with my need for functional structure, I already have one puppy mill dog. He’s extremely food aggressive, people aggressive& reactive. Some of this was avoidable (he was a family pet I couldn’t train despite 4H& obedience classes) but I lived that life. I wanted a dog with predictable behaviors. Not every Vizsla is Penny& Penny isn’t every Vizsla. A well-bred breed should, however, be fairly generalized in the grander scheme of things. I needed a dog that was less aggressive, easier to train& more willing to work for me. I am hesitant to believe I could have gotten a dog with 0 issues from the shelter. Even a puppy I wouldn’t know the parents temperament. That was a really important factor for me ..knowing I would be stacking the odds in my favor to have a kind dog.

Penny’s parents exemplified a Vizsla. They were snuggle bunnies with drive to hunt, endless energy& very kind. Penny, to me, is a fabulous dog. She is exactly what I imagined when I imagined bringing home my new puppy. So, yes. I paid that much for my dog. I didn’t put another dog in a shelter because I have her& I didn’t cause another dog to be put to sleep. Me (and everyone else) purchasing a dog from a responsible breeder does not have anything to do with shelter dogs not finding homes.

I am aware rescuing is the ‘in’ thing to do these days& I really do think it is fabulous that people are looking to shelters to find their four-legged friends. It just isn’t the only way to go about it& I hate the judging that follows people finding out that I purchased a purebred dog from a breeder. We should all try to do less judging. We’re all dog owners trying to do the best we can for the dog(s) we have. Just enjoy meeting my Vizsla& I’ll enjoy meeting your dog.


6 comments on “You paid HOW much?

  1. Em
    December 7, 2013


    Excellent post.
    Occasionally running in vegan circles sees us going to “world vegan day” and such, and I’ve stopped taking Lu because, of course, they asK: “is she a rescue!?” to which I reply no, and then watch their very judgemental looks as they sidle away (seriously). Like you, I needed and wanted a very specific dog. Not that she isn’t without her issues, and I agree, yes, maybe I could have found my dog in a shelter… or maybe not.
    So, thanks for this post.

    • yv0nnej
      December 7, 2013

      Yeah, I get ‘rescue?’ a lot& then disparaging looks& comments when I tell them I paid good money for her from a breeder aha it’s always nice for us with breeder dogs to remind ourselves why we went this route despite everyone pushing shelter pups!

  2. Yankeepants
    December 7, 2013

    I’ve had shelter pets and breeder pets. In addition to all you mention above, I see nothing wrong with supporting responsible breeders who try to breed and raise healthy animals and place them in reliable, “forever” homes. Unlike the puppy mills, good breeders often make very little money at the end of the day — it’s a labor of love for them, out of dedication to their favorite breed. I like supporting these sorts of caring folks so they can continue to do what they’re doing.

    • yv0nnej
      December 7, 2013

      So true! I forgot to mention that is a true labor of love for the breed that drives a responsible breeder.

  3. jeaninerenzoni
    December 8, 2013

    Yes the popularity pendulum swings away from getting a pup from a breeder and way too much dismay is expressed about not adopting a second-hand dog. I liked your post.
    The judgement needs to be the kind you expressed, about knowing what you wanted in a dog and then pursuing finding her. Not the impulse, sympathy driven, populist driven purchase. Because shopping and adopting are actually the same thing, the one just has more transfers and maybe a sadder story behind it – they are both acts of looking and then purchasing a pup/dog from some entity (except the one entity has the implied threat of death and basically no history about the dog).
    But if dog lovers want better quality, standard traits, thoughtful breeding practices then the good dog breeders need to be valued. Otherwise, given not too many years of this and they may decide it’s not worth the public hassle (certainly I already see it happening).
    As a dog trainer and a long-time dog person I currently have only 2nd hand dogs that I got as adults. Since so many of my clients had adopted I wanted to personally experience the process and training – I wasn’t greatly pleased with the process, and with the poor foundation of training they had it took months of positive reinforcement training rehab, but they are really great dogs now. Pups, I would never adopt from a shelter, too much is unknown and having them required to be neutered so young is too likely to render them not physically fit for high action activities.
    Next pup? Not anytime real soon, but I am leaning towards going the breeder route. There is so much initial training that my adopted dogs didn’t get in those early months and no way to recapture the time. And I seem to be not liking the pressure/marketing that is currently in fashion.

Thoughts here!

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This entry was posted on December 6, 2013 by in Random and tagged , , , .
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