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Why do reputable breeders sell puppies?

Breed fanciers have litters for one basic purpose and that is to produce puppies to enhance and shape their own breeding line to emulate the breed standard as closely as possible as defined by the breed collective and governing bodies.

Breeders invest a great deal of time and effort in reviewing, understanding and defining breeding programs. These programs are based on pedigrees and blood lines of a large population of breeding stock. From this analysis and 'hands-on evaluations' breeders define strategies and planned programs to continually strive for achievement in meeting the breed standard and addressing the overall health of the breed.

The breed standard defines the complete and ideal prototype for the breed and includes elements of structure, size, color, coat, movement, job role, attitude and temperament. Each breeder is on a pathway or journey to move their breed line toward the ideal. Needless to say this journey requires multiple steps to move toward or reach the goals.

A high level of time and intensity is required by the breeder to make each step add the utmost value to their breeding program. Based on this commitment many breeders will only produce a small number of litters per year, unlike Puppy Mills, who are in it for volume and profit.

Each litter provides the breeder another opportunity to take the next step and move closer to the goal. If the breeder is fortunate the litter may produce one or two puppies that will demonstrate the traits the breeder is looking for to take the next step in their program. As the puppies grow, some may start to demonstrate the specific attributes the breeder is looking for such as a short length of back; long neck; ideal ear set; etc. These puppies will be raised and watched through their development and shown through to their championships with the intent to be used as future breeding stock for the next step in the journey toward the ideal.

The remaining numbers in the litter are placed as companions. Some breeders refer to these as 'Pet Quality' puppies. We prefer the term 'companion' because generally speaking the quality of the entire litter is usually the same. The entire litter gets the same care and attention as they develop. At Heirloom Wheatens this care includes intensive socialization, complete health checks periodically, including kidney ultrasound, and puppy temperament testing.

Puppy placement with adoptive families or individuals is not taken lightly by reputable breeders. Most good breeders take responsibility for every puppy they breed for life of each. With this responsibility each breeder wants to make sure each puppy is placed in an environment that will assure the very best quality of life and the development of well adjusted family members and companions. The well-being of each puppy and the reputation of the breeder depend on this successful placement effort.

In summary, the motivations between reputable breeders and puppy mills are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Breeders have the best for the breed at heart first and foremost, and are dedicated to continually enhancing the breed they are dedicated to. Puppy Mills, in direct contrast, strive for large volumes, low costs and big profit streams at the expense of the breeds they produce.

"Pedigree is what the dog should be.  Conformation is what the dog appears to be.
Performance shows what the dog actually is."

© Copyright 2005- Heirloom Wheatens. All Rights Reserved

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