Dogs are almost a dime a dozen; with shelters and rescues stuffed to bursting due to a lack of spaying and neutering, and backyard breeders flooding the market with ‘designer mutts’ (haphazard cross-breeds), it’s almost a shame to spend money on the dog you want. But there is a very good reason to pay the sizeable fee for a purebred dog, or to pay the adoption fee and go through the screening process required for a pound pup. Find out why!
The idea behind breeding a specific purebred litter is to further the breed. This means that a reputable breeder will research his (or her, but let’s stick with his to keep from complicating things) dogs very carefully. With expensive veterinary testing to check for genetic conditions that could affect future litters, hip-scoring to make sure the dogs’ hips are in good condition and unlikely to suffer from issues such as dysplasia in the future – both because this could affect a bitch’s health during and after the carrying of a heavy litter of pups and because it could be passed down to the puppies. Additionally, there is all the vet care required for a pregnant dam and, later, for the puppies. The idea behind it all is to create the most successful litter of pups, both in conformation to a physical standard and in an even temper.
Remember to research breeds carefully, choosing one whose typical temperament will suit your lifestyle. While there are placid Beagles and aggressive Golden Retrievers, you can significantly increase your odds of getting a puppy whose temperament will suit your requirements to a T.
What this means for you is that a puppy from a reputable breeder is less likely to suffer from conditions such as hip dysplasia, or other conditions both likely and unlikely in the breed. You also get support and help, as well as a guarantee, from your breeder – this can really help if you have questions or issues and need advice, and can mean you get a refund if your puppy should suffer from certain conditions.
A pound puppy costs more than a free dog from Craigslist or AdTrader, and as such, a lot of people think they’re better off just grabbing a free pup. But pound dogs come with vaccinations, vet checks and either a spaying or a neutering. As such, they represent a very good deal indeed. What’s more; many shelters and rescues perform temperament testing. This allows them to give you an excellent picture of the dog’s behaviour in stressful situations, and can provide you with an overview on what he or she needs to be trained into or out of. You can also easily adopt an older dog who is already house-trained and avoid a whole bunch of headaches.
Getting free dogs from the paper or the internet is a tempting proposition, but paying for a pup is not a bad financial decision. After all, you can’t put a price on your pet’s good health and happy disposition.