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The Fallacy of Dog Rescue: Reputable Breeders Are NOT the Problem

Dog Rescue | Dog Breeders

“…in life it is often the tiny details that end up being the most important.”  ~Lemony Snicket

Let’s start here. 

What is a fallacy?

[fal-uh-see]

A fallacy is a false notion, or a deceptive or misleading belief.  It is an argument that is unsound or erroneous.

Here are a few sentences I came up with off the top of my head to further illustrate the meaning of the word fallacy.

Mastiffs don’t slobber that much is a popular fallacy among non-Mastiff dog owners.

It is an egregious fallacy to say Big Dog Mom is synonymous with Big Mom.  Ha!

The belief that one can lose weight on a diet of Diet Coke and candy is a fallacy.  Trust me.  I know. 

And, to get more to the point of this post, and a continuation of What You Should Know About #AdoptDontShop Before You Use It,

The premise of #AdoptDontShop is built on a fallacy that dog breeders,  even reputable ones, are at the root of why there are so many dogs needing rescue.   

Is Dog Rescue Superior or a Choice?

“I have a rescue dog.”

“Here’s a picture of my dog.  He’s a rescue.”

“I wouldn’t dream of buying a dog when so many need to be saved.”

“Where did you get your dog?  I adopted mine.”

We live in a culture where the glorification of dog rescue is on par with gluten-free diets and smartphones for kids. 

Rescuing a dog from a shelter is exalted in the pet world as superior.  The right choice.  The only choice.  The purchase of a puppy from a reputable breeder is maligned to whispers at the water cooler, under the breath mumbles, or private messages on Facebook. 

Purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder is NOT a decision that is celebrated in our culture.  It is a decision that is scorned by many.  Why? 

Whether it is that people see this as an either/or choice (either you rescue a dog from a shelter or the dog dies), or that people believe all breeders are inherently bad, in both cases the premise that dog rescue is superior is built on a fallacy. 

There’s that word again.

It is my contention that not only are reputable dog breeders NOT the cause of the proliferation of dogs being relinquished into shelters but that they are the key to solving the very issue they are being blamed for causing. 

I am here to argue that, while adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue may feel good to you and be wonderful for the dog, adoption alone will NEVER solve the underlying cause of why dogs end up in shelters

If you are like me, and your goal is to reduce the number of dogs that are relinquished and re-homed each year, keep reading. 

While adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue may feel good to you and be wonderful for the dog, adoption alone will NEVER solve the underlying cause of why dogs end up in shelters. Click to Tweet

Animal Shelter Statistics – Sticking to the Facts

Reputable Dog Breeders Pin

Welcome to the Big Dog Mom nerdery where we left-brained people have some fun with numbers and where you right-brained folks can delight in this fusion of facts and feelings.

According to the ASPCA approximately 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year and each year approximately 670,000 are euthanized.

But before we can solve this, we need to first understand the root cause. 

The following statistics have been taken from the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP) whose mission is to gather and analyze reliable data that further characterize the number, origin, and disposition of companion animals (dogs and cats) in the United States.  In addition to gathering the data, they work to promote responsible stewardship of dogs and cats and recommend programs to reduce the number of surplus/unwanted pets in the United States. 

NCPPSP members include:

  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Association for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
  • Humane Society of the United States
  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • American Humane Association
  • National Animal Control Association
  • Society of Animal Welfare Administrators
  • American Pet Products Manufacturer’s Association

NCPPSP launched a series of three studies:

  • The Shelter Statistics Study – to identify all animal shelters in the U.S. and obtain national euthanasia, impoundment and adoption estimates
  • The Regional Shelter Relinquishment Study – interviewed people relinquishing dogs and cats at 12 shelters in four regions of the United States over a 1-year period (2,631 dogs) to elucidate reasons for relinquishment.
  • The National Household Survey – a mail survey focusing on the general pet-owning population in the United States as a comparison group (7,399 households, half of which had at least one dog leave the house) to quantify risk factors for relinquishment of animals into shelters.

It is based on these data that I address the fallacy of dog rescue and my continuing opposition to the use of #AdoptDontShop.

Dog Rescue has Bigger Issues – The 5 FACTS You Must Share!

1. The Majority of Dogs Relinquished are NOT Acquired by Reputable Dog Breeders

Despite popular belief in #AdoptDontShop circles, the majority of dogs relinquished did not source their dog through a breeder. 

According to the NCPPSP studies, 30.8% of people giving up their dog acquired him through a friend and 22.5% through a shelter.  Significantly further down the list was a breeder (10.6%), a stranger (10.4%), and a stray (9.3%).  Pet shops made up 4% of the total number of dogs surrendered.

Furthermore, this research used the umbrella term “breeder” which did not differentiate between a puppy mill, a backyard breeder, and a reputable one.   As such, one would have to conclude that the percentage of dogs relinquished that were acquired from a reputable breeder to be significantly lower than the stated 10.6%. 

As previously stated and now proven, reputable breeders are NOT the cause of the proliferation of dogs being relinquished into shelters. 

The scorn directed at (reputable) breeders is ignorantly misdirected.

#AdoptDontShop’ers ought to consider the facts.  A puppy adopted from a shelter is more than two times as likely to end up back in that shelter as a dog who is purchased through a reputable breeder. 

But they adopted.  They made the right choice.   

What happened?

The first fallacy of dog rescue.

#AdoptDontShop’ers ought to consider the facts. A puppy adopted from a shelter is more than two times as likely to end up back in that shelter as a dog who is purchased through a reputable breeder. Click to Tweet

2. Majority of Dogs in Rescue are NOT Purebred Dogs Bred by Reputable Breeders

Foundational to what I consider a reputable dog breeder is a person who breeds purebred dogs.  I do not include someone who deliberately breeds mixed breed or “designer” dogs.  Apologies to all of my Doodle friends. 

With that premise clear, here are the facts as it relates to purebred dogs in shelters.

According to this research, 24.2% of dogs relinquished to shelters were purebred.  72% were mixed breed dogs.

While it could be that some of these purebred dogs were acquired through a reputable breeder, I believe the more probable sources are backyard breeders and puppy mills.

Backyard breeders and puppy mills are bottom feeders; profiteers whose priority is pumping out barely recognizable purebred puppies over the health and welfare of the dogs they have and produce.    

They provide no contract to their puppy buyers.  No support. 

There are no returns. 

All sales are final.  These are clearance puppies. 

The uninformed are those who bankroll this contemptible cartel.

And so with no support, and no returns, as soon as an issue arises, these clearance dogs get relinquished.  They are as disposable to their family as they are to the breeder who bred them.

Sadly, as wonderful as it is that people adopt these dogs, adopting them alone does nothing to end the influx of their siblings into the kennel they just vacated. 

The second fallacy of dog rescue.

Backyard breeders and puppy mills are bottom feeders; profiteers whose priority is pumping out barely recognizable purebred puppies over the health and welfare of the dogs they have and produce. Click to Tweet

3. Lack of Education/Knowledge is a Significant Cause of Dogs Relinquished into Shelters

Interesting, though not surprising, was the data in these studies related to dog owners’ lack of knowledge about their dogs.  Researchers asked a series of questions of dog owners who were relinquishing their dog-related to their general knowledge of pet care and behavior and the results were disturbing.

  • Over 37% didn’t know a female dog can come into season twice a year,
  • 58% believed it was true or they didn’t know whether a female dog should be allowed to have one litter before being fixed for health reasons, and
  • 43.2% believed it was true or they were uncertain whether when house training a puppy, it is helpful to rub its nose in its mess when he soils in the house.

Yikes!

The knowledge deficits of people relinquishing dogs might contribute to unrealistic expectations and inappropriate actions by owners in an attempt to solve a problematic behavior.

Among the most common reasons given for relinquishing a dog were the following:

  1. Moving (7%)
  2. Landlord not allowing pet (6%)
  3. Too many animals in the household (4%)
  4. Cost of pet maintenance (5%)
  5. The owner having personal problems (4%)
  6. Inadequate facilities (4%)
  7. No homes available for litter mates (3%)
  8. Having no time for pet (4%)
  9. Pet illness(es) (4%)
  10. Biting (3%)

Purchasing a dog through a reputable breeder mitigates most, if not all, of these reasons. A reputable breeder not only asks for but often requires, the dog to be sent back to her should the buyer be unable to keep the dog.   

Secondly, if you are a buyer with any of these red flags, a reputable breeder will likely not sell you a puppy in the first place. 

Circumspection is their insurance policy against the uninformed or unprepared.  Reputable dog breeders reserve the right to select only the best of the best homes for their puppies and to deny anyone whom they question.  And, as such, dogs purchased through a reputable breeder are NOT the ones relinquished to shelters.

Whether you choose to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder or rescue one is your choice.  Both are fine choices.

But, unfortunately for the #AdoptDontShop folks, neither choice is correlated to why dogs are surrendered and what we need to do to prevent it.  

Education is the answer, not a boycott of reputable dog breeders.

The third fallacy of dog rescue. 

Education is the answer, not a boycott of reputable dog breeders. Click to Tweet

4. Relinquished Dogs Lack Training and Veterinary Care

The Fallacy of Dog Rescue - Dog Breeders

Most of the dogs represented in these data (96%) had not received any obedience training and 33% had not been to a veterinarian. And when you combine these data with owners’ lack of knowledge about normal canine behavior and pet care, it is no surprise that these dogs end up in animal shelters and rescues.

Behavioral problems were the number one reason dogs were given up. And owners who relinquished their dog due to behavioral problems were likely to have owned them for less than three months.

Additionally, dogs who showed fear or aggression, soiled in the house, damaged things, or were overly active were more likely to be relinquished.

Intervention can happen in all stages of puppy development, whether through a trainer, shelter or veterinarian. These experts can help struggling dog owners solve common behavioral problems resulting in fewer dogs being relinquished.

Reputable breeders contractually require obedience training and regular veterinary care for their puppies. It is, for this reason, I can confidently declare reputable breeders are NOT the cause of the proliferation of dogs being relinquished into shelters.

The fourth fallacy of dog rescue.

5. Dog Owners’ Lack of Commitment with No Skin in the Game

#AdoptDontShop’ers like to bring up the evil that is the exchange of money for a puppy or dog.

To them, the purchase of a puppy from a breeder is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme devised to line the pockets of the breeder. Whereas, the minimal financial cost of adoption from a shelter is a means to an end. A worthy investment in a higher calling.

“…in life it is often the tiny details that end up being the most important.”

84.1% of people who relinquished their dog into a shelter reportedly paid $100 or less for the dog.

$100 or less!

Dogs obtained at no cost and with little effort are at increased risk of relinquishment, reflecting a lack of value to the dog owner and a lower level of attachment or commitment.

Some might call these bargain puppies, but I call them victims. Victims of an immediate gratification culture bloated with entitlements, and a lack of commitment to anything that requires work.

A final analogy to drive my point home.

Imagine you just bought a $2500 television and it stops working. What do you do?

Now imagine your friend gives you their old television and after a week it, too, stops working.

Most people are completely comfortable with setting FREE TO GOOD HOME TV out by the curb, yet are inclined to move Heaven and Earth to fix $2500 TV.  Why?

It’s about investment. Skin in the game.

The work required to land a terrific and reputable dog breeder is not for the faint of heart. It takes time and commitment. It takes patience and resolve.

So, to all the #AdoptDontShop’ers who believe ALL breeders are bad, I ask,

Is it better that I obtain a dog for free or spend a little time and money to make sure I have skin in the game?  Which, do you think, results in a higher level of commitment?

The fifth fallacy of dog rescue.

**NOTE: I am not suggesting that people who choose the rescue route are not investing in their dog.  Most of the dog owners I know who have chosen to rescue a dog spend countless hours and dollars to ensure their dog is well cared for.  This is directed toward those who use #AdoptDontShop as a means to denigrate ALL breeders, not just backyard breeders and puppy mills.  These data prove that with minimal investment, you get a minimal commitment.  That is not always true.  But it is true a statistically significant amount of the time.  

To read the other posts in this series, click here:

The work required to land a terrific and reputable dog breeder is not for the faint of heart. It takes time and commitment. It takes patience and resolve. Click to Tweet

Reputable Dog Breeders a Solution?

Reputable Dog Breeders Mastiff -2
© 2019 Big Dog Mom, LLC

#AdoptDontShop advocates would like you to support bans on the breeding of purebred dogs.  Until there are no more dogs in shelters or rescues needing to be saved, proponents of #AdoptDontShop won’t rest.

I get it.  I don’t like that there are dogs in rescue any more than they do.

However, the premise of #AdoptDontShop is built on a fallacy that dog breeders, even reputable ones, are at the root of why there are so many dogs needing saved.

As I have covered in this post, there is no evidence to support this claim.

So, while reputable dog breeders are NOT the problem, can they play a role in solving it?

I believe they can… and should.

If the root cause of people surrendering their dogs into shelters is a lack of knowledge in one form or another then education is the key to solving this issue.  In my next post in this series, I will take a deep dive into possible solutions so please stay tuned.

For now, I’ve created the How to Select a Reputable Breeder – The 6 C’s to Landing Your Dream Dog.  It is a step by step process for finding and selecting a reputable dog breeder.  Click HERE to get your copy.

Lastly, let me just say that, while I do NOT believe it is BETTER or a solution to the problem, I do believe pet adoption and dog rescue is wonderful.  I commend those who work tirelessly on behalf of breed rescues.  It is a thankless, never-ending job, I know.

But to those on both sides, let’s get rid of the superiority complex and come together to find solutions.

Solutions that include education, not denigration.

Consider this the next time you start typing #.

One of the many “tiny details…”

References & Additional Reading

Terrific Blog Articles on this topic:

Fidose of Reality: Is It Okay To Get A Dog From a Dog Breeder?

Budget Earth: How to Find a Reputable Breeder & Why They Are Important

It’s Dog or Nothing: Breeding Great Pyrenees: Does Job Matter?

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17 Comments

  1. Bow wow wow! I couldn’t love this post more, Stephanie. I love solid research; it gives me the warm fuzzies to the max. I love that you broke this down and quantified the myths. Contributing to the myths is something our series helps to break down. Dog parents talking and being able to do so with facts serves the ones who are most important: the dogs. Well done!

    1. Thank you so much, Carol! So well said. I am hopeful people found the statistics as interesting as I did. I feel like so much of the #adoptdontshop movement is focused on an either/or proposition (either you adopt or the dog dies, greedy breeders get rich, the pet population explodes, etc.), rather than targeted at the real enemy… ignorance. And when I say ignorance, that includes both the uniformed puppy buyer as well as the greedy and evil BYB and puppy mills.

  2. Okay – the nerd in me is all giggly with the statistics and numbers. I love seeing facts in arguments, but I think that is something that comes along with our breeds, in all honesty. Thank you so much for talking about so many of these myths and I was honestly cheering at my computer. So many people don’t realize that each breed has their own, unique purpose and it is more than just buying ‘a dog’. In a society of advertising, ‘adopt, don’t shop’ is just that – advertising. Rescues make far more money than a reputable breeder ever will, mostly because, at best, they break even. People don’t breed for money, they do it out of pure love for the breed. As someone going through testing (as you know), it is ASTOUNDING how much of these tests costs, all of which are usually being done by non-profit organizations.

    Rescues and reputable breeders should be working together to end these problems. Rather than fight among ourselves, we need to work together to create legislation to stop backyard breeders and puppy mills from existing. We need to do this for the betterment of dogs. I also couldn’t argue more about education. 9 out of 10 times, if a purebred is brought to a shelter or rescue, it is from pet parents having no clue what they got themselves into….

    1. Thank you so much, Susan! I couldn’t agree with you more, especially about reputable breeders and rescues needing to work together to solve this problem. I agree that often it is pet parents not knowing what they got into with the dog they have. But I will say that every REPUTABLE breeder I know will take that dog back for any reason at any time. It is the backyard breeders who produce litters of puppies then disappear. There is no support or mentorship whatsoever to ensure that puppy develops as it should according to its breed. This is why I am convinced that reputable breeders are absolutely NOT the problem. And you are right… I don’t know a single one that makes a profit from a litter of puppies. Especially in Mastiffs. Not only are Mastiffs usually inseminated (don’t breed naturally), they often don’t deliver naturally as well. Those two factors, plus ultrasounds and any number of possible complications… the list goes on. You are right, most reputable breeders I know do it for the love and betterment of their breed. Period.

  3. Are you kidding me with this? “Is it better that I “rescue” a dog for free or “invest” time and money in a forever friend?”

    You can ask this question regarding money for people who buy from BYB and puppy mills, but it’s a complete fallacy to say that because I adopted, I haven’t invested time or money in my dog. I’ve invested countless hours training him and learning about dog nutrition to feed him a homemade raw balanced diet. I’ve invested real money in professional training to make his life exciting and offer off-leash adventures.

    Some of your thoughts are correct, but you’re attacking the wrong group! Those who adopt and those who seek reputable breeders tend to want the same thing. It’s BYB and puppy mill owners – and the people who do not invest time and thought before purchasing a victim-dog – who are the problem. As well as those who do not learn about their animal to make an educated decision about either spay/neuter or isolation when dogs are in heat.

    1. Hi CJ – I have to apologize. I am going to edit that statement to mean more clearly what I meant. I can completely see why you took it the way you did and I’m sorry. With this entire post, I am really only speaking to those people who are against buying a dog from a breeder and whom don’t differentiate between a BYB/puppy mill and a reputable one. I am also arguing that adoption alone isn’t going to solve the problem because as long as there are BYB and puppymills, there will be dogs, like yours, that need saving. That, to me, is the true crime here. I love that you adopted your dog and, of course, have invested both money and time into ensure you give him the absolute best life possible. You are to be commended for that. 100%! I am not against adoption whatsoever or people who make that choice but whom also agree that reputable breeders have their place. My message is ONLY directed at those people who use #adoptdontshop as a means to denigrate all of us who have chosen to go through a breeder. The numbers and facts don’t lie. Reputable breeders are not the problem and should not be lumped into the “shop” category.

    2. In all actuality, it isn’t the BYBs that are responsible. It’s the irresponsible people who feel a need for immediate gratification or who only want to spend a couple of hundred bucks on a dog because “I don’t want a show dog or anything” who are responsible. Let’s place blame exactly where it belongs… on the people who keep perpetuating the cycle.

  4. While I LOVE you and respect the amount of work put into this post – I do not care what the “statistics say” – at this point in time we should NOT be buying dogs. I am sorry – but when I see hundreds of dogs killed every day, hundreds dumped in forests and landfills (there was just a story today about a dumping ground in Iowa — many purebred dogs were in that picture BTW) – there is no reason for people to support breeders.

    Reputable breeders should VALUE the lives of dogs if they are “reputable”. If they are breeding chihuahuas and see the statistics of how many are euthanized EVERY DAY (the 2nd most killed by the way) – they should stop breeding them entirely.

    There is so much more to this than what is here — the breeder dogs that are rehomed without anyone knowing, the ones that are dumped and the ones that are returned to shelters but not properly identified (yes, this happens a lot).

    I am anti-breeder at this point due to the extreme issues we have in the animal welfare world. Even reputable breeders are in this for money — and as long as we are murdering dogs there is no excuse for that. My opinion of course…..but there are plenty of purebred dogs out there that people can adopt if they just take the time to look.

    1. Jill, I so appreciate your honesty and willingness to comment on this despite your disagreement with my conclusions. I understand why you feel the way you do. I HATE that dogs are relinquished by their owners that are supposed to love and care for them and, even more, that dogs lose their lives because of it. But even if reputable breeders stopped breeding altogether, there would essentially be NO CHANGE to the number of dogs relinquished and those euthanized each year. And even if all of the people who would have otherwise purchased a reputable breeder’s puppy, rescue instead, again, it wouldn’t change the number of dogs relinquished. That is unless rescues take seriously what they need to do to stop the extremely high number of shelter dogs that are relinquished. I will also say that I don’t know of a reputable breeder that is “in it for money,” because by definition (my definition) they wouldn’t be. A reputable breeder is breeding for the betterment of their breed. That includes things like health, temperament, and physical qualities that only improve over time with breeding. Again, I totally understand your point. I don’t disagree with your sentiment and the emotions behind it. What I believe we need to do as dog lovers and champions of animal welfare is consider the facts so that we can institute solutions that will bring about meaningful change for them.

    2. Absolutely ridiculous. I don’t even know where to start with this other than to say that anyone with their eyes so tightly closed as yours can never be educated anyway.

  5. Fantastic article. And, I’m a breed-specific rescuer and foster of Boston terriers. In the South. I wholeheartedly support the work that reputable breeders do – genetic testing, excellent puppy rearing, and developing relationships with their customers that last far beyond the “gotcha” date. I probably will purchase a Boston puppy from a carefully selected breeder in the future. Although, my rescue is beginning to raise our litters from rescued pregnant females using a popular puppy rearing protocol. Rescues raising litters MUST begin to be intentional in raising puppies so that we are introducing well-socialized puppies back into the community. Otherwise, we rescue them all over again.

    I do hope that one of the ways that breeders and rescuers can join hands and talk about solutions to the pet overpopulation problem is to get good legislation on the books. Breeder licensing, for starters, with enough inspectors to get the job done. The AKC really needs to do more, or get out of the way, in my opinion. In Alabama, for example, there is a prolific puppy mill in one county that is producing and selling scores of sick puppies every month. We cannot get any intervention. It’s tragic, and I end up rescuing them because families cannot pay the high cost of specialty vet care some of these puppies need. I totally agree with you on your points about the lack of education around pet ownership. I’m hoping to partner with veterinary clinics, trainers, and even breeders to offer free classes to the community to teach the basics of dog (and cat, for goodness sake!) behavior, care, and management. One of the reasons we have such a stray dog problem in the south is that folks don’t understand that if they have a fence or tether (yikes) and food and toys in the yard, why the dog would try and leave the property. The simple concept of “dogs get bored” is foreign to so many. And don’t even ask them to bring their intact female inside during estrus. They don’t want puppies but don’t want to be inconvenienced, either. We do have a BIG problem, and I look forward to the day when rescue organizations are put out of a job. I’m quite tired.

    1. Thank you so much Betsy – your comments are so well said and I commend you for all the work you are doing for rescue in your area. My father lives in southern Alabama, so I am well familiar with the folks and the mentality that you are referring to as it relates to dogs. Education is absolutely the key! I love your idea of partnering with clinics, trainers, and reputable breeders in your area. I know one Mastiff breeder in your area that I’m sure would be open to helping. Respectfully, I do not agree the legislation or regulation of breeders is what we need, as this serves to put unnecessary limitations on reputable breeders. Legislation and regulation of breeders is not the answer because that inadvertently hurts the good guys, and does not put the bad guys out of business which is our goal. Education is key. We need solve the supply/demand issue at it’s core. Educate the people and we stop the demand. With no demand, there will be no money in mass producing puppies through puppy mills, BYB, and retail rescue.

  6. Thoughtful, incisive piece. The statistics were very helpful!

    One thing I would add is just as you took a nuanced approach to the topic of breeders and rescues, I don’t think it’s fair to write off all doodles across the board. There are a few that are considered “breeds in development’ just as all purebreds once were. Two examples are the Australian Cobberdog and the Australian Labradoodle, both of which have breed associations, codes of ethics, registries, etc., and many dedicated breeders who are checking all the boxes that are thought of as prerequisites for being considered reputable and working toward consistency and great health, temperament and confirmation. The breed purpose of the Australian Cobberdog is therapy/service work and my own Cobberdog is in the process of being certified. Her breeder works very hard to breed therapy and service quality dogs. Not all doodles are a retriever and a poodle getting together with almost zero thought behind it. 🙂

  7. The biggest reason dogs keep being put in shelters IS the lack of skill set with handling dogs. Pure positive trainers are jokes. So many of them tell people to kill their dogs or give them away and make owners feel helpless. The “fur mom” trend is turning owners into “parents” and treating their dogs like children which leads to so many bad behaviors and making owners miserable with their dogs. I think we need to derail that train and get people on board with real world balanced training and respecting their animals as animals. There is tons of free content on YouTube where you can find solutions to fixing bad behaviors. Solid K9 training has so much free content and answer owners questions constantly, i don’t understand why more people aren’t taking advantage. My dog was returned to the shelter multiple times. I applied the training, I have the best off leash trained dog now, within WEEKS. House manners are great. All because of free content and putting in the work. Owners need to stop getting dogs because of what the dog does for them and get the dog because of what they can do for the dog. Owners need to put in the work, structure their homes, set boundaries. This will require the mindset of saying “no” to your dog, which a lot of people are tricked into think is bad for the dogs “emotions”. It’s not true. In order to solve bad behavior, you have to have a consequence. Nature does it all the time. Dogs do it on their own sometimes (running into glass doors, dog nipping another dog for getting too personal, even a fence is a form of punishment, it’s a boundary) training a dog to exist in the real world will make keeping them in your home way more pleasant. More shelters need to get on board with using training tools, it would give owners way more leverage with owning a dog. Too many shelters are way too dog oriented and not owner oriented enough. Half the time they don’t tell you what the dogs bad behaviors are, they give a sob story and guilt people into adopting their dogs, then dog gets returned because it’s biting people or destroying their house, then the shelters have a whole $100-$500 back in their store to sell again. I’ve watched dogs go through the cycle.

  8. Great article! I feel the same way and I know the statistics support it!

    As a dog breeder myself, I’ve always felt that if I do my job right, the shelters and rescues won’t have one!

    Thank you for all the work you’ve done!

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