You hear it a lot. Adopt, rescue, re-home a pet. But what does it really mean? Are the puppies given up for adoption so they can have a better life? Are the rescue pups in danger for their lives? Is the dog needing re-homing destitute?
The reality is that many dogs are bred without much thought and puppies are left to raise themselves. You might be surprised how many of them are imported from Egypt, Indonesia and other third world countries - bringing foreign diseases with them. Many mature dogs available for rescue or adoption have had a rough start to life and as a result, many have difficult behaviours. Maybe it's biting or howling or fear of people.
Those cute, cuddly puppies at the pet store don't have pedigree analysis and health testing of their parents. You won't meet their parents, meaning you won't be sure what you get until they are mature. How big will they grow? Will they be following a scent and howling like bloodhounds? Will they want to run without restraint, like huskies? How long will they be with you? What diseases should you watch out for?
Then there are the puppies advertised online that say they are purebred but not papered. What does that really mean? It could mean that their parents were purebred with papers and the breeder never bothered to apply for AKC registration for the pups. Or it might mean that it was an accidental or unwise breeding that the breeder does not want publicly known. Was it a mother-son breeding experiment? or sister-brother?
Why would a breeder not belong to their breed parent club? Do they have something to hide? Do they disagree with testing parents for known health problems? Do they not like to share experience and learn from others? You should ask them.
With mixed breed dogs, and especially those from less reputable breeders, none of these questions have answers. That's why we prefer purebreds - for our dogs, our horses and even our cattle. The beef may not taste too much different, but we know that birthing the calf won't kill the cow. We will know which diseases are most likely and watch for them carefully. And we'll only keep animals to breed that are particularly good, healthy examples of their breed.
Bar TT Entlebuchers breeds and raises dogs that you can live with for their lifetimes, hopefully long and healthy lives, and stable, friendly personalities you don't need to worry about. Puppies raised in a home with the sounds and sights of normal family life are better suited to continuing their lives with humans. Even very young puppies benefit from sensory stimulation. It creates more stable temperaments and easy going dogs. With modern health testing, you are able to rest assured that hereditary diseases like prcd-PRA blindness will not plague your dog and that their hips have a good chance of remaining pain free, even as they age.
Maybe you aren't planning to show compete with your dog. Show dogs are rewarded for conformation - structure that suits their work and helps them to avoid long term injury as well as the appearance and behaviour of the breed. Competition dogs have tested their structure against high level training and competition and remain sound and injury free. Aggressive dogs aren't allowed in either of these venues. So, although you don't plan to compete, you may actually want some of these characteristics.
Don't feel bad about purchasing a purebred dog - a puppy planned, raised and selected to fit your lifestyle. Insist on top quality bloodlines, health tested parents with genetically distinct pedigrees. Meet the parents and previous offspring. See the whelping area and talk about puppy socialization. Get to know the breeders - they will be your first line of support and help if problems arise.
Do your homework and know before you buy that your pup has a full, fun life ahead and that he has been socialized to enjoy all aspects of your life together.