Know what you are buying. Not knowing could cost you more than you ever imagined. In one case, it cost the owner their own life.
Dogsbite.org: In the 9-year period from 2005 to 2013, Pit Bulls killed 176 Americans and accounted for 62% of the total recorded deaths (283). Combined, Pit Bulls and Rottweilers accounted for 74% of these deaths.
List of Riskiest Dog Breeds.
Why buy a "pure breed" dog that is really just another mixed breed?
Can't afford a true "pure breed" with health clearances? Consider the Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue!
Back yard breeders & Puppy Mills. As you shop around for a pup, keep in mind, the reason BYB's & Puppy Mills can offer pups so cheap is they have invested nothing into their breeding stock and they do not take responsibility for the life of the pups they produce. They directly contribute to the pet overpopulation problem. When you buy a pup from them, you support the lack of values that continues the shelter cycle.
In Sun City, a boy was badly mauled by 3 rescue pit bulls who escaped, a Gilbert boy suffers a broken eye socket after being mauled, 9 year old mauled to death. It seems that just about every 3rd episode of Judge Judy is regarding a dog! Dogs can be dangerous!
While adopting from a rescue or shelter might seem like a good idea, many dogs at the shelter are there for a reason. Many of our clients and I have suffered significant financial and or physical damage as a result of adopting from a shelter or rescue. For example, one of our clients had their 2 year old grandson's face mauled and is now permanently scarred. :(
Not all shelter / rescue animals are dangerous. Sometimes people just suck at life and they turn in good dogs - usually those dogs get adopted quite quickly and stay adopted.
It is a high risk fantasy to think certain breeds are safe.
Some dogs are just crazy or pose a higher risk period. A bad breeder can easily take a good breed, breed it wrong,and end up with a whole different breed. In a recent study, they took 8 fox cub litters and selected just 2 of the most social, easy going fox cubs, bred them and within the 1st generation their fox red color changed to light colors and their ears started to turn down. Many of the risky breed activists blame people. I largely agree, it is people's fault, namely the breeder who bred them and sold them to unprepared, uneducated buyers. As a result, many homeowner's insurance won't cover them, or if they do, they want more money. It has taken centuries for the Labrador Retriever to come about. Years of selective breeding for the right personality and aptitude are what make the Labrador Retriever famous.
Ongoing vet costs for a poorly bred dog.
I have met several people over the course of time where the shelter or rescue dog was a continuous vet expense, so much that in one case, an old lady who was too sweet to take the dog back to the shelter, had to get a job at age 70 just to pay the ongoing vet bills. Of course, this could be the case for any ill bred dog and often times Back Yard Breeders are also to blame.
Beware of the myth that mixed breeds are healthier and they don't get the diseases that pure breeds get.
While it is true that every pure breed has it's set of genetic flaws, a mixed breed has greater potential to carry more diseases. The more mixes he comes from, the more diseases he is able to carry. For example, if a a Poodle and Labrador Retriever mate, the Mixed breed offspring now have the potential to carry ALL of the different genetic diseases for BOTH breeds. Unless a mixed breed was genetically tested and selectively bred, he has a higher carrier and affected rate than a pure breed dog does.
Many shelters and shelter statistics claim a dog is pure breed.
Always ask: How do they know it's pure breed? Did they do a Breed Identification Test?
Rescues, shelters, animal welfare people
They are needed in society. We pay our kennel and licensing fees that support local shelters and we specifically direct all of our clients to license their pups in which the proceeds go to keep our communities safe, pay for spay/neuter vouchers, and to run shelters.
There is a small portion of the animal welfare people who criticize responsible breeders and try to make a case that there shouldn't be pure breed dogs or pure breeders. I say to them: "Stop using breeds in your description then! .. just say they are mutts, then educate yourself on where the shelter animals come from because you're barking up the wrong tree." Unfortunately some animal welfare workers intentionally lie to unsuspecting people about the dog's breed just to find the dog a home. In doing so, the home proves to be temporary and people are suffering financial and physical harm. Only 5% stay adopted, the rest are returned. Out hope is that someday people who adopt from a shelter will be given the opportunity to run Breed Identification Tests before adoption, receive counseling based on the characteristics of the major breeds found in the mix, have the dog's temperament tested, and then be given some sort of insurance to cover damage during a "trial period".
"Cash only" "Cash due on pick up"
Taxes support our communitiesand pay for our civilization: Law enforcement, public services, roads, schools, and more. No one likes to pay taxes, but we all use public services. Breeders that accept cash only or ask you to send money via PayPal as a friend or family member are not likely reporting the income, probably don't pay taxes, and many cash only businesses are manipulating welfare and disability benefits. Good luck getting your money back if you've paid this way!!
"Call for more information" They do this so that nothing is in writing. Legitimate breeders have everything in writing and have a legitimate business or "hobby".
Unscrupulous breeder's tactics
Most often we find that breeders claiming "pure breed" based on AKC registration. While AKC registration is a great start, AKC registration is often and easily manipulated. Our experience is that 40% turn out to be mixed breeds. In addition, we've come across many breeders claiming health clearances for particular diseases found in Labrador Retrievers but when we've asked for proof, they don't have it. We've even experienced breeders using stolen photos in their advertisements. If a breeder cannot provide you with proof of what is claimed, it's likely not true. Print off the advertisement: If they claim "pure breed" and you have it tested and it comes back mixed, you can get your money back plus you can win damages for fraud...but you have to have proof of their false advertisement. Beware of breeders that want to give you the information over the phone. If it's not in writing, it's hard to prove. As Judge Judy says "you got it off Craigslist, what did you expect!"
"No Papers” are an indication that the pups may have been bred from stolen dogs (yes this was a huge problem during the last recession!), the pups are a mixed breed, the pups are the product of inbreeding, or the pups are not eligible for registration. Puppies from inbreeding often have weak immune systems, and suffer behavioral, physical, and health problems throughout their life including diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Breeders who offer AKC Limited Registration make future litters ineligible for registration. They do it for a reason: Some do it to protect their investment (why would a reputable breeder spend 10's of thousands of dollars to improve on a breeding line, just to give it away to a Craigslist breeder?) the pups carry disease and should not be bred. Unfortunately, many back yard breeders will breed them anyways. If you see "No Papers" but the breeder states that one or both parents have registration, or they "opted not to register"; They are probably not supposed to be breeding their dogs, it's a lie, or (based on how widespread canine diseases are), they are likely spreading disease, and/or there is a good chance the pups are a mixed breed.
Breeders that sell puppies too young have no regard for the health and emotional state of the pup. The buyer and the puppy pay the consequence with health and behavior issues that can last a lifetime. Puppies that are sold too young tend to develop Parvo and Distemper primarily due to a weak immune system. Many of them die within a few weeks of their new home. The ones that survive are likely to suffer Cancer and Diabetes. The absolute earliest a pup should go home is at 6 weeks. Ideally, pups should go home at 7 weeks+ when they have the full aptitude of a full grown lab.