Join Date: May 2008
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Buying from Good Breeder Vs. Rescue Puppy Mill Dog
Hello, I have been lurking around this forum since I bailed on going through with getting a Hav back in the Spring and Summer. You were all so helpful, but for whatever reason, I just wasn't ready. Turns out I'm now ready, despite the major bummer of winter potty training, and I have found several good breeders, at least one of which who has puppies ready to go home sometime around Thanksgiving or a little later. We may be going today to see them, and if not today, then next weekend.
I have found that almost everyone (friends & family) I mention this to, that I'm planning to *buy* a purebred from a breeder at some level kind of wags the finger of shame at me for not adopting a rescue. That was my original intent, also, and I tried it and failed with a dog earlier in the year. Partly because I really chose the wrong breed combo (before I knew about Havs, fell in love and realized a Hav was the perfect match for us), and partly because she had many, many issues I was unaware of ahead of time and knew I was unprepared to deal with.
The breeder we are hoping to see today actually took in a 1 1/2 yr. old rescue recently and is fostering her, she was given up by a family that lost her home, though from the sounds of it, I don't think she was being well cared for prior to being surrendered. She was going to be my first consideration, but it turns out she is having major difficulties with potty training, it looks like no one ever taught her and she is not learning well. I'm not sure I am up to that task if she'd have a continuing problem, and I know it would bother my husband. She's also very shy, though that could change with time. The breeder wants to get her spayed and have her checked out medically, then work with her longer before finding just the right home for her.
I'm really torn. God bless everyone who helps these poor dogs, but I am not sure I want to sign up for the possible health and temperament issues, since it looks like the majority of Hav rescues (on Petfinder, anyway) are puppy mill dogs. I know there are seizures at some mills, but I've also read that they are often bought at auction by the rescue groups - is that true? As much as I understand the desire and motivation to save individual dogs, aren't they then just seen as customers by the millers and encourage more mill breeding?
The decision I came to was that I just want the best chance at a healthy, even-tempered dog from a responsible breeder who will be there for coaching, and once I get my feet wet with care and training again, I might consider fostering or adopting in the future. I also routinely make donations to animal shelters and rescues, but I'm still feeling guilty that I'm not doing the right thing.
What do you think? I'm surprised at how many mill rescues I'm seeing on Petfinder who are Havanese - are they likely to have heartbreaking and expensive health issues later, or emotional and temperament problems that can't really be healed? I know some of you have found great dogs this way, but it seems like a gamble....though I know there are no guarantees even with a well bred dog. I'm feeling quite conflicted today...