To Breed or Not To Breed – That is the Question

January 27, 2016

There is a Facebook post making the rounds that has a dog dressed up like Yoda saying “Adopt or Adopt Not, There Is No Buy.” The post is clearly designed to get people to adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue group rather than purchasing from a breeder (or presumably a pet store if you live somewhere where pet stores still sell live animals).

I wholeheartedly support the work of animal shelters and rescue groups, both through financial contributions and through adopting a pet from them; of our current clan of three dogs, 2 were adopted from San Francisco Animal Care and Control and 1 was adopted from Newfoundland Rescue. That said, I’m not convinced that I won’t again purchase a dog from a breeder (I don’t ever see myself purchasing a pet from a pet store), and here’s why.

I am completely in love with Newfoundlands. I love the breed and want to support those who work to maintain the health and integrity of the breed. I believe that maintaining the integrity of a breed has value (which does NOT mean that I think hybrid breeds lack value), and I want to support those who love the breed as much as I do and want to maintain the traits of the breed that I love. Granted, my breed of choice is not prone to over-breeding and I’ve never seen a Newfoundland in a pet store, so perhaps I’m not as attuned to the concerns of purchasing a pure breed dog as I should. So while I certainly support the idea of adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue, and would without hesitation “rescue” another Newfoundland, I also know that when the time comes for me to bring another Newfie into my heart and my house that I will certainly consider purchasing a dog from a reputable, trustworthy breeder who loves those big drooly dogs as much as I do.

So – what do you think? I’m a just some middle aged guy suffering through puppy love or is there merit in preserving the individual traits and characteristics of the litany of dog breeds?

Thanks for reading.

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