Where quality puppy parents find a responsible breeder.
College Station, Texas
Person: Hey Julie, can you help me find a breeder? I want a puppy from a responsible breeder.
Me: Sure, let me do some digging. You're really smart to buy from a responsible breeder. We cultivate our lines over generations of dogs. That's how we get incredible temperaments and consistently healthy dogs. It's not like I went and bought Dog A and Dog B, bred them and gave you the product. From a responsible breeder you're getting the culmination of years and years of hard work, pedigree study, and love. This is the same reason why no one goes to a doctor or lawyer just out of school. They want experience. Someone who knows the pitfalls of their business and won't make avoidable mistakes. Most buyers don't know what a responsible breeder looks like but they want someone they can trust. Luckily for you, I know what a responsible breeder is and I'll find one for you for your chosen breed. It's going to cost you $2000 or more and there's a good chance the puppy won't be in your city or maybe not even in your state.
Person: Um, that's a lot of money.
Me: Yeah, responsible breeders put a lot of time and money in to their dogs. You can set aside a little each month and before you know it, you'll have it.
Person: Oh. Well I want a puppy this week. I promised my kid.
Me: That's tough because responsible breeders don't always have a puppy ready to go today and they're going to want to spend some time getting to know you, to make sure you're a good match for the puppy and vice versa.
1 week later
Me: I did some digging and got you a couple phone numbers. Here they are.
Person: Oh thanks. I already got a puppy. I saw one on craigslist and the pictures were soooooo cute. I went to their house and realized the conditions this puppy was living in were horrible so I had to take it.
Me: How much was the puppy?
Person: $500. But then I took her to the vet and she didn't have any shots at all. Turns out she also has worms and mange. Plus a fungal infection from being in those conditions. That bill was also $500.
Me: Well, I'm glad your puppy is cute. Good luck.
9 months later
Person: Hey Julie, I noticed my puppy is limping. What should I do?
Me: Well your breed is prone to hip dysplasia. Did your breeder xray and health test the parent dogs? Did they explain to you the related environmental factors?
Person: No, they said mom and dad are really healthy with no health problems.
Me: Well I would probably go get some hip xrays.
1 week later
Person: Hey Julie so I took Fifi to the vet. It was $500 for xrays. Can you believe that crap? The Vet overcharged me like crazy. Don't they know I rescued this dog from a bad situation? Anyways, the Vet says my dog has no hip sockets but I'm pretty sure they don't know what they're talking about, so I had them send on the xrays to the radiologist for a second opinion. Another $500 on top of being ripped off already. This is insanity. I'm in the wrong profession.
Me: So you've got $2000 invested in your dog now? Not to mention the way your daughter loves her puppy. She will really be heartbroken if something goes wrong.
Person: Yeah but I'm not worried. That vet is just trying to make me feel bad plus he needs to pay for his next vacation.
1 week later
Person: So the radiologist got back with me. My dog essentially has no hip sockets. She needs surgery on both hips. Total of $10,000. How on earth will I ever pay that? My daughter also needs braces this year and my health insurance premiums went up. Deductible went up. I'm drowning. None of this is fair.
Me: That is really sad for everyone involved. I feel especially bad for your daughter. I know how much she loves her puppy.
Person: Yeah. Breeders are the scum of the earth. They tell you the parents are healthy and then they sell you a dog that ends up breaking my daughter's heart. Now my options are to put all this on my emergency credit card, put down my dog, or give my dog away. I just don't know what to do.
Me: I wish you had bought a dog from someone that health tests and does a really good job of educating their clients on the environmental reasons for hip dysplasia as well.
Person: How sweet Julie. You just love to kick me when I'm down don't you? I knew I hated breeders.
1 week later
Person: I gave Fifi to a rescue. My daughter is devastated. But it's ok, they have another dog I can adopt for $200. She's already grown and trained.
Me: Do you know the background? Is that breed appropriate for your family?
Person: They said the dog is great, up to date on shots, and will fit in great. It's a husky/border collie cross.
Me: Um. You're gone from the house 10 hours a day.
Person: What's your point?
1 week later:
Rescue: Please help us fund for this surgery. This puppy was bought from one of those "reputable breeders" and now it has severe hip dysplasia. The owner dumped it here on us, this dog has clearly been abused, beaten, and neglected. She has obviously never seen love a single day in her life. We need $50,000, today or she will probably die of a broken heart.
1 month later:
Person: Hey Julie, I need some advice. My dog won't stop barking in the back yard while I'm at work and now she's climbing the fence. I'm worried she will get hit by a car.
Me: Call a trainer. Maybe they can break the news to you.
Person: What news?
Me: That you chose a horrible breed for your family.
Person: What are you talking about? She is SO CUTE.
Me: I agree, she's cute. But that dog is a horrible selection for your lifestyle. You're never home. That's a very high energy and intelligent mix. You really needed a stuffed animal, not a live dog.
Person: I KNEW you had it out for me. You are just like all the other breeders. Such scum. You just think if someone doesn't pay $2000+ for a dog they're beneath you.
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