I just overheard a lady I work with saying how she plans to get her kids a puppy in a few months. “The problem is, my husband only likes expensive breeds… He wants to get a French Bulldog, and they’re like a thousand bucks…”
I cannot express how much it burns my ass that while millions of animals waste away in shelters every day, and thousands are euthanized, people like this lady’s husband think they absolutely have to get an expensive purebred. Why? Will your dog serve as a status symbol for him? Will he enjoy telling people that his dog cost more than theirs, therefore he must be better? What kind of example does that give their children, that it’s all right to spend a shitload of money on a dog, because he’s inherently better than a shelter dog, WHOSE LIFE YOU WOULD HAVE SAVED had you bought him instead?
I can’t wait until I can go home and cuddle my $30 shelter kitty - the best cat I’ve ever owned.
We have a $57.50 pound dog at home, and another rescue coming in one week. The pup we currently have is the greatest, healthiest, smartest dog we’ve ever know (and we’re not biased, of course!) Best bargain we ever got!
My sister, OTOH, spent presumably $100s to get her purebred cocker spaniel, who is not only a mass of health problems, but is the dumbest dog I’ve ever met. (He’s 8 and still doesn’t know his name!) They just got a puppy boxer FROM A PET STORE and spent even more.
I just don’t get it. We should send a rescue link to everyone interested in getting a dog through a breeder. They have to look at 100 pictures of dogs who will be dead in 3 days’ time before they are allowed to buy their fancy dog.
It repulses me. It really does.
I see your point, but for what it’s worth, my xgf blew a few hundred bucks on a purebreed chocolate laborador retriever, and gosh, she was beautiful. (the dog, not the gf!!)
The thing is, people spend all kinds of resources doing things purely for enjoyment. And it could be argued that those resources could have been spent saving people and/or animals instead.
For example, you probably spend enough money on your shelter kitty to make a big difference in the life of some poor child in the third world. I ain’t saying your choice is right, and I ain’t saying it’s wrong. Just that it’s not a black and white issue.
I bought my dog from a breeder, for what I consider to be legitimate reasons. I had two very shy cats in the house already (rescues, for what it’s worth), so I wanted to bring a puppy into the house that was smaller than they were (but would be much larger than them as an adult). I wanted a dog that I knew as much about behaviorally as I possibly could, which indicated bringing a pure bred into the house, since a lot of behavior is hard-wired into the breed. I wanted a dog that I knew as much about the dog as possible health-wise, which indicated bringing a dog of known pedigree into the house, where the parents and grandparents, etc had been health-screened for the common problems of the breed. I wanted a dog that had a very good chance of being a good match for me, so I researched breeds for at least six months before deciding on a Norwegian Elkhound, then talked to several breeders before finding one that I liked. I also was considering participating in dog shows with my new dog (though ultimately I decided not to). There are plenty of other good reasons one might want to go the breeder route rather than the rescue route. Not everyone who buys a purebred is doing it for “status.”
Buying from a pet shop, though, is just putting money in the hands of puppy mills and other irresponsible breeders. I won’t even buy pet supplies from stores that sell dogs and cats.
That said, my next dog will likely be either a Rhodesian Ridgeback rescue, or a Greyhound rescue. I’ve met some greys that were total sweeties. Ridgies were second on my list next to Elkhounds when I did my first breed evaluation 10 years ago, but I was a first time dog owner and wasn’t sure I could handle a dog that size Now I know that most of being alpha in the house in attitude and consistency, not physical strength.
Some estimates are that up to 25% of dogs in animal shelters are purebred; although I’ve never seen hard numbers to back that up, I can say anecdotally that purebreds come into our country shelter all the time. She can definitely get a purebred dog and save an animal’s life at the same time.
This is a solution even Libertarians ought to appreciate :).
I recently met a girl who spent $1300 on a French Bulldog and had it flown in from another state. When it got here, the dog’s leg was curved outward, so she spent another $600 getting that fixed up. All together, with airfare and everything, she said she’s already spent $2500 on this dog. Cute dog, but good grief.
She’s perfectly free to spend her money any way she wants, but I’m perfectly free to think she’s a big idiot.
And my mix-breed pound puppy is the greatest dog who’s ever lived.
I hope your coworker really likes her vet, and that she really likes giving her vet lots of money. Bulldogs of all varieties are prone to a host of very serious, very expensive health problems, especially the poorly bred ones. If she’s planning to buy a Frenchie for $1000, she’s pretty much looking at a bargain-basement one. Like I said, I sure hope she’s on good terms with her vet.
As for bargain dogs, I’ve got you all beat! I’ve never paid a red cent for any mammal I’ve ever owned (except Dr.J, of course; I had to pay the state of Louisiana $27 for him). They all just kind of show up, either at someone’s home or the clinic, and I take 'em in. I’ve wound up with what appears to be a purebred white German Shepherd (Alsatian) that way, as well as a wonderfully healthy lab mix and assorted cats.
But yeah, it chaps my ass that people who just want something to hang out with feel the need to spend hundreds of dollars on a purebred that’s going to have them in the vet clinic every couple of months, while hundreds and thousands of animals that would serve their purpose as well or better die. What chaps my ass even more is when these self-same twatnuggets then refuse to get their pets vaccinated, or sterilized, or use heartworm preventative, because “that’s too expensive.” I used to get calls like that all the fucking time when I worked in a general practice, and it made want to reach through the receiver, grab the moron on the other end by the throat, and scream into their face, “You mean to tell me you’ve got $400 for a puppy, but you don’t have $40 to have it vaccinated? What the fucking hell kind of bullshit is that? Look, assmonkey, next time you want a puppy, go to the pound. For $60, you can get your puppy, your spay/neuter, and the first set of shots. Then you’ll be able to afford to get the rest of the vaccines, now won’t you?” Idiots like that are why Claudia the VunderHund (the aforementioned shepherd) had heartworms and pyometra when I got her.
You know the part that burns my butt most of all, though? On top of the various breed-specific rescue groups, you can usually find purebreds at the pound.
Irresponsible breeding practices is what CAUSES all those poor pound dogs. While i appreciate their plight, When it comes time finally purchase my Newfie pup i’m going to do so from a reputable breeder. I want to know that a dog of that size and strength has a good loving set of breeders and parents behind it. Also I want to ensure she’s free of health problems. 1000.00 or more for a pet though is absurd. I won’t pay more than400.00 for ANY dog.
Puppies of the breed I own usually go for twice that. I chose to buy an expensive purebred because the behavioural properties of this breed are consistent and suit my lifestyle very well (and they have almost no health problems–hooray for not being overbred!). I love my dog dearly.
I can spend my money however the hell I please, and your silly little “WHOSE LIFE YOU WOULD HAVE SAVED” swipe makes about as much sense as condeming people who go to restaraunts instead of eating in and sending the money saved off to “feed the starving Africans” charities.
I try not to judge people based on their purchases. But I admit it’s hard not to shake my head at a $1000 dog.
Perhaps the $1000 ensures that the dog is healthy and all that? Surely there has to be a good reason why it costs so much.
It cost me $160 to bring Monstro and Joanna home from the pound. Why the Newark Humane Society charges so much, I don’t know. But I love my cats so much that I’d pay a hefty ransom for them if they were kidnapped.
I worked my way through college and grad school to end up with an MS in engineering. I worked my ass off between school and whatever work I could find. There were days I was so poor that I didn’t have money for food. When I graduated I was nearly $20,000 in debt but I had a good job. Now fifteen years later, I have done pretty well. I make a very good living. I’ve continued to work hard to get to where I am. A couple of years ago I spent $1000 to buy a purebred chow chow from a reputable breeder. She’s healthy and happy and one of the joys of my life.
As I said, I worked hard to get to where I am and I will be god damned if I let some snot nosed, sanctimoneous malcontent tell me the appropriate way to spend my own hard earned money.
Here are some of what I consider the right reasons for buying an expensive purebred. By “buying a purebred,” I mean “buying a purebred from a breeder mutt. Not everyone can provide the space and excercise that an Australian who knows the breed’s standard well, shows their animals, and understands how to breed healthy, conforming animals.”
[li]Purebreds have more consistent behavioural traits. This means that you can pick a breed that’s more likely to fit into your lifestyle then a pound Shepherd needs; not everyone has the time or inclination to keep an Afghan groomed; not everyone wants a territorial dog that will bark a lot, etc.[/li][li]Purebreds–from responsible breeders–can have fewer health problems then any random dog.[/li][li]Asthetics. Some people think some dogs look better then others, and purebreds have much more consistent appearances then random mutts. It’s not as important a reasons as some others, but it’s still valid.[/li][li]Buying from a (responsible) breeder gives you access to a wealth of information as you raise your dog.[/li][li]If you’re looking for a social pasttime involving dogs, some (e.g., conformation showing, lure coursing) are only open to purebreds.[/li][/ul]
My sister is currently going through pound cat heartache.
She just lost a kitty she’d had for a few years. She tried everything to save this kitty. She got this kitty at the pound. (The kitty’s illness was rare and not related to being in the pound.)
My other sister and I encouraged her to replace this kitty (she really wanted to get a new one right away) from the pound. Save a life and all that. Well, she got a new kitty from the pound. The sweetest thing. Trying so hard to be loved, to be a “keeper.” That’s the most heartbreaking thing—these cats know why they’re in the pound and they know that if they don’t wanna go back, they’d better be extra good.
So this kitty was extra good. After just a few days, she got sick. My sister got all sorts of tests done, and it turns out that the kitty had feline luekemia or something horribly fatal. My other sister (more of an authority on this sort of thing) thinks that the stress of getting a new home and trying so hard to “impress” her new family triggered this kitty’s disease to accellerate. So, after having this kitty for maybe a week, it’s dead. It died. Two dead kitties in just a few weeks. My sister is pretty broken up.
I told her that at least she gave this forlorn and forsaken pound kitty a good and happy home for the last week of its life. It knew it was wanted and loved. But damn. That’s heartbreaking.
I told my sister that as far as I was concerned, she can beg off getting a pound kitty next time. Get one that’s all checked out and 100% okay. Because this is awful. She’ll probably get her next kitty at a no-kill shelter. (But she’ll have to wait a few months. Apparently what this recent kitty had was so contagious that it’ll take a lot of disinfecting and a lot of time before it’s safe to bring another cat into the house.)
To set the record straight, though, I’m all in favor of adopting pound animals. That’s where we got our little kitty Tangie, who is the sweetest thing ever and is still so obviously grateful that we rescued him.
No, darlin’, it doesn’t ensure that at all. As I said, poorly bred bulldogs are just chock-full of health problems. Chronic skin problems, joint problems, and breathing problems out the yin-yang are the biggies, and all of those can be really expensive to deal with.
The lowest price I’ve ever heard for a Frenchie was $1200, and that was from a puppy mill. More commonly, they’re $1800-$2000, and a show-quality Frenchie will run you well over $3k. A French bulldog that only cost a grand is pretty much guaranteed to have tons of health problems.
There is a good reason for them to cost so much, though. There aren’t very many people who breed them, so you’ve got that supply-and-demand thing going on.
The next dog I get will probably be a purebred dog from a reputable breeder. This is because I now KNOW what qualities I want in the breed I love (Australian Shepherd). I’ll just have to find the right breeder and the right dog. The right dog is worth whatever you have to pay for it.
Of course, my 3 current dogs are all rescues, and I wouldn’t hesitate to take a rescue Aussie if it was The Right Dog For Me.
Bulldog breeds often have to have Caeserian sections because the puppies’ heads are too big to pass through the birth canal. So a puppy from those breeds will cost more, to cover the veterinary costs involved.
The breed my parents own (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) has a high incidence of mitral valve disease, which can result in crippling heart failure and premature death. Responsible breeders of this breed always take their breeding stock to a veterinary cardiologist for a yearly heart exam, which includes a Doppler echocardiogram to check for any signs of mitral valve insufficiency. Several other breeds also require similar expensive medical checks to minimize the likelihood of passing on serious defects to their offspring. The resulting pups are pricier than those produced by a backyard “breeder” or a puppy mill, but they’re worth it - at the age of 10, my parents’ Cavalier doesn’t show a trace of heart disease. (In contrast, it’s not uncommon for a poorly-bred Cavalier to develop serious heart failure at the age of 5 or 6!)
The more testing a breeder has to do to insure reasonably healthy puppies, the more those pups will cost. Some breeds have more extensive testing requirements, while others are blessed with fewer genetic ailments in their gene pools (or ones that are easier to detect) and the breeder doesn’t have to do as much expensive testing to insure reasonably healthy puppies.
If a person isn’t willing or able to pay the puppy prices the GOOD breeders are charging for the breed they fancy, they should either consider a different breed, look into getting a dog from a breed rescue, or check out the local animal shelter. Buying a “cheaper” purebred puppy from a petstore or a backyard breeder should never be considered as an option!