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?
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!
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.