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Pure Bred Dogs-a Bad Idea?

BKM

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I read an interesting article (in my Subaru freebie magazine) claiming that anyone outside the "dog fancier" world who buys a pure bred dog is aiding an abetting the pet overpopulation problem. Such persons (pet owners) should, the article claims, be adopting the mixed breed dogs that need a home-and there is no reason beyond snobbery to get a pure bred dog. Buying a dog from a breeder directly contributes to the misery of pet overpopulation.

I have both "types" (two mutts and a basenji), so I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, my mutts are great-my Collie/shepherd mix is to me a more beautiful dog than the pure source lines. On the other hand, I have to admit a fascination with basenjis-and I did adopt her through a rescue organization. So, it is hard for me to dismiss entirely people who select a particular breed.

What do the dog owners think about this article's conclusions?
 

Repo Man

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2,550
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There are definite differences in breeds that make them more suitable to different owners, so I would disagree with the snobbery argument. Some people are allergic to dogs that shed a lot, so they need a breed that doesn't shed. Some breeds are more tempermental and shouldn't be around children. With a mutt, you don't know what kind of dog you are getting, although in my experience mutts have been the best dogs I have ever had and if I get my own dog, I would look at the Humane Society first, but if I was unsatisfied with the options there, I would look to a breeder.

I also don't like that they blame people buying mixed breed dogs for overpopulation. Irresponsible pet owners that don't get their dogs fixed are the ones that contribute to the over-population.
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
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674
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BKM, I wouldn't be conflicted at all if I were you. Adopting a purebred through a rescue agency gets you off the hook on this one anyway, right?

I'm a mutt guy, myself. The best dog I ever owned was a, er, beaglador some moron had dumped near my work. Shots and license was all it took to make a smart, loving, beautiful dog my own. I don't have a huge problem with folks who want a purebred, but I've never really been able to quite "get" it myself. Chalk it up to "to each his or her own," I guess.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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jtfortin said:
Some people are allergic to dogs that shed a lot, so they need a breed that doesn't shed.
That's one of the arguments I use in justifying to others why I have two rare breed dogs, instead of two Chow/shomething else mutts from the SPCA. When I was a kid, I was allergic to dog dander; around non-shedding breeds, though, all was well. Last time I had allergy testing, there were no dog allergies. Still, though, I don't want to get a shedding breed, only to develop allergy problems later on. You CANNOT find non-shedding dogs in animal shelters, except for the rare toy Poodle or Bichon Frise whose elderly owner died.

Another thing is that I wanted a medium-sized dog. That meant dropping big bucks on a rare breed yuppie puppy. There's only a few medium-sized non-shedding breeds out there; the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog, and the Portuguese Water Dog. Wheatens are the most common of the three and I had my name on breed-specific waiting lists at many animal shelters. No Wheatens ever showed up. I gave up, and started networking through the breed groups. The opportunity to get a Portie puppy came along, so I took advantage of it.

Defending the ownership of a rare breed dog, much less two dogs of the same rare breed, must be akin to defending SUV ownership. I've had to give the speech one too many times, after being faced with the usual "why didn't you get a shelter dog?" question. Fortunately, at dog parks, I don't often encounter this sort of reverse snobbery. All dogs go to heaven, after all. :)
 

SW MI Planner

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I agree with jfortin. Plus a question...if the only people that should have purebred dogs are breeders, who/what would the breeders breed for? The article doesn't really make much sense.
 

jmf

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594
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17
I guess both purebreds and Heinz-57 have their place.

Having adopted a dog from the pound last year ( a purebred German Shorthaired Pointer) I certainly recommend to people to look there first but some people have very specific pet needs: non-allergenic; energy level; grooming needs; temperment concerns (like being around small children or newborns) etc which may be difficult to find at the pound.

I think it is important for more people to take advantage of pet rescue programs but these dogs often come with a lot of baggage and strange habits. New pet owners have to have the time, energy and money (yes, we consulted a puppy shrink) to deal with those problems. Our dog is quite afraid of men; has eating issues (we used to have to sit beside her for her to eat) but these are far outweighed by the way she has filled our home since her arrival.

The one thing I WILL NEVER do and will always speak vehemently against is buying and selling dogs in a pet store.
 

Zoning Goddess

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It's pretty much economics with me. I go for the mutts because they're usually great dogs, and they don't cost much. I can't afford to spend a lot of money on a purebred.

Even though having purebreds may sometimes be a snob thing, another reason is that the breed may be what the person is used to. People who had poodles as kids may naturally go for poodles as adults.
 

BKM

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Maybe I didn't summarize that part of the article very well. From the tone of the article, the author was acknowledging (it almost seemed reluctantly) that there is a group of "dog fanciers"-people into that (admittedly somewhat wierd) dog show scene. He admitted that these folks would continue to want pure bred dogs. His question was: why pet owners choose such dogs rather than the mixes.

I think Dan and JFortin both make good points/reasons for choosing a particular breed. I didn't choose my basenji for any such rational reason, but watching my basenji striding regally down the street is just plain neat. I have trouble dismissing people who do love this breed-even with its difficulties. I have to admit that I might have eventually gone to a breeder-except that basenjis have a very active rescue organization (they are NOT a dog for everyone).


And, I have to admit going the pound route can create its own problems. I had a pound dog once (R.I.P.) that, as beautiful as she was, had some serious temperment problems. I still miss the little she-devil, but I know my other dogs don't.
 

nerudite

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I grew up with purebreds (all Lhasas... my parents got their first one in the mid-60s)... but personally I prefer mutts. I don't really see a problem with owning either. In some ways, I think if someone plunks down a bunch of cash to own a dog, maybe they will actually spend time and money maintaining the poor things. I know of a few people that have adopted from the SPCA and then wouldn't take their dogs to the vet, ended up feeding them crap food, etc... Of course, adopting a dog and taking care of it is preferable for the dog population, but if someone really wants a certain kind of dog and they are prepared to take care of it... then good for them!
 

Plan Man

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What sense does that make? The reason that there is a pet overpopulation problem is that there are too many stupid and ignorant "wannabe" dog owners - owners who get bored of pets.

We own a young Great Dane bought from a reputable breeder. Yes he is purebred. Are we snobs? Not that I know. Do we brag that he is a purebred - no, we don't mention it unless asked. He's a show quality dog, but he's neutered, so we cannot show him. He's just a pet - a very good pet.

Great Danes have special health considerations, and in my mind require the dedication of conscientous breeders who are striving to ensure the best combination of temperant, health and physical appearance in such a large dog. Hence the hefty price tag ($1000). How is this contributing to overpopulation? For the one dog that I purchased (who will not breed), thousands are created (not bred, but created) because of ignorance.

We were set from the start on owning a Great Dane. As to the adoption route, I do not want to inherit the problems of a 150 lb abused Great Dane because someone moron thought it looked cute when it was a puppy, but did not realize it would grow up, and simply disposed of it.

This may be overly nasty, but this topic gets to me.

There, now I can breath....
 

Habanero

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I wouldn't ever have a mutt if I didn't know exactly what was in it. I don't want to get a dog and not know the temperment of the breed or how large it's going to be. I got Hatcher because I knew he would fit in and I knew what I was getting into, and also knew the health history and size of his bloodline.

Either way, being a dog owner is great, whatever your dog is- as long as they make you happy and you love them to death- what's the big deal about breed?


Side note: Plan Man, we're looking at getting a Great Dane for Hatcher, from your experience do you think a weimie would make a match for a Great Dane?
 

BKM

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All good arguments. I thought the writer was a little extreme, myself. There ARE a lot of reasons for getting a pure bred dog beyond snobbery. Aesthetics can't be totally ignored. For example, I don't myself like labs or lab mixes very much, but I like the looks of basenjis.

As I said, all three of my dogs are great. Five years from now (longer, I hope), I will probably replace Max with a specific breed dog (Aussie, maybe) (although no dog will replace him), but if a mixed breed steals my heart when he passes on, so be it.
 

kms

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I agree that you know what you are getting with pure-bred dogs - temperment, size, shedding... It's the wannabe dog breeders that are irresponsible and breed dogs for profit without giving it much rational thought.

I selected an English Setter because I knew what to expect from the breed, and she is a better dog than I expected.

I guess it's "to each his own", and I hope every dog owner is responsible and loving.
 

Plan Man

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Side note: Plan Man, we're looking at getting a Great Dane for Hatcher, from your experience do you think a weimie would make a match for a Great Dane? [/B]


TexasPlanner,
Sure, our dane loves them. He's very socialable with all dogs, but there's a few breeds that he will go straight to before any others (boxers are another). Its the classic battle of david vs goliath, speed and grace versus size and size. As long as you get a well-tempered Dane, they are fine with all dogs.
 

Chet

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I've had mutts and pure breeds. I think the argument doesn't hold weight - the prior comments that responsible owners don't breed dogs 'for fun' is true.

Zoning Goddess mentioned her choice was a matter of economics. Well guess what -- soetime you get what you pay for. One benefit of pure breeds is knowing lineage for health reasons. For example, larger breeds such as Rotts and Bernese are especially prone to hip dysplasia. If you're looking for one of these dogs, a responsible breeder will have xrays of the parent dogs (and farther) in order to demonstrate that the genetic defects have been bred-out. Similarly, Dalmations are prone to deafness, and it can be bred-out of them, but its much more difficult to document.

Well, that's my 2 cents.
 

Zoning Goddess

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Originally posted by bturk

"....Zoning Goddess mentioned her choice was a matter of economics. Well guess what -- soetime you get what you pay for. One benefit of pure breeds is knowing lineage for health reasons..."

Maybe you get what you pay for with purebreds, but I've never had any problems with pound mutts. Our 5-year old one-eyed, 65-lb mutt is sweet, cuddly, and super protective. We just looked until we found a dog that "clicked" with us, was friendly, etc.
 
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