A Dog for the Family
The Perfect Pet
Of Mutts and Men
The Terrible Ten
When Less is More
Glossary of Dog Terms
Types of Breeders
Dog Personality
Dog Behavior
Little Shop of Horrors
The AKC Pure Bred
Breeding Your Dog
The Top Ten
Frequently Asked Questions


Little Shop of Horrors (cont)

Puppies will grow up to be 
like their parents.

Even puppy mill puppies who are whisked away from their mother at 4-6 weeks in order to get them into the store window at 8 weeks of age will be like their parents.  Keep in mind, puppies learn many lessons in their "native tongue" from their mother and littermates from 4-8 weeks of age.  These are lessons which will enable your puppy to fit in with a human family and can not be taught later in life.  Puppies not so instructed almost never adjust properly to life.  In order for your 8 week old puppy to make it to the mall, it is a certainty that his lessons were cut short and he will suffer for it.   

Puppies will grow up to be 
like their parents.

All puppies carry all the genetic material passed on by their parents.  If both parents suffered from PRA or hip dysplasia, your little puppy probably will too. (Be sure you have plenty of equity in your home if your puppy grows up to have either of these diseases.  You'll need to tap it to pay vet bills.)  However, it's possible your puppy will have problems neither parent has.  Like a hemophilia, a disease that must be passed on by both human parents to exhibit symptoms, dogs are also affected by a myriad of health problems not exhibited but carried  by either the sire or dam of a litter.  Only careful screening of breeding stock and selective breeding will result in uniformly healthy puppies.

Puppies will grow up to be 
like their parents.

Your pet store puppy may not be the purebred he/she was advertised to be.  If the puppy's parents aren't purebreds, then he won't be either.  Even if the puppy has it's AKC papers, that is still no guarantee both parents were purebred.  

The AKC is just a registry and nothing more, which does not exercise any judgment over the quality of the dogs it registers.  To have any dog judged against the breed standard, one must enter the dog into an AKC conformation event.  

Since the AKC is only a registry (and a huge one at that), having a litter of AKC registered puppies requires only two things: ethics plus the ability to do paperwork and operate a mail box.  Amazingly enough, the AKC operates on an honor system.  This is where the ethics part comes into play.  The AKC assumes that the breeder actually saw the two AKC registered purebred dogs consummate the act and that those dogs are actually the dogs whose names appear on the AKC papers.  

Only Natural Pet Store

Unfortunately, breeders whose focus is entirely on profit usually have few reservations about misrepresenting a litter's parentage to the AKC.  When a puppy mill's Rottweiler stud dies, they may merely substitute another dog who looks like a Rottweiler.  Only if they get "caught" will the puppy miller be unable to register their litters with the AKC.  

While the possibility of getting "caught" is slim, even if lightning does strike, there are plenty of other registries around.  There are actually  registries where it isn't even required that both parents to be of the same "breed". One well known registry will register a dog on the basis of a photograph alone. 

Puppies will grow up to be 
like their parents.

When you purchase a puppy from a pet store, your odds are roughly the same as if you picked up a puppy from the local shelter of getting a quality dog that will fit in with your family.  However, you'll pay a lot less for the shelter puppy and the shelter also offers adult dogs, about whom temperament, size and personality are all offered as a matter of fact and not educated guessing.  

If you're going to take a gamble on a puppy, take it on one that will be put down if it's not adopted.  

Take a chance on a puppy that will not encourage a puppy miller or poor breeder to breed yet another litter to foist upon and unsuspecting family that hasn't visited this page.  

If you're going to take a chance, take a chance on a puppy or dog from the local shelter.  It's cheaper and a life depends upon it.

You may use this article on your website or newsletter as long as the following is included.  Contact Kathy for a formatted version for your publication.

Written by Kathy Hendershot-Hurd, this article originally appeared on the website "A Dog for the Family" http://www.virtualimpax.com/klhh.