Purebred vs Non-Purebred Dogs



The Ad I Found On Craigslist

So I was browsing around Craigslist this morning and came across an ad that said “German Shepherd,” having a GSD myself I quickly clicked on the link to find the cutest puppy staring at me from my computer screen, she looked just like my Zoey it was incredible! The ad read:

” I am giving away my 5 months female pure German shepherd, She is a sweet heart and very good around kids. still at a perfect age for you to teach and train her the way you want. we just found out that our son is allergic to pets so we cant have her in the house and I feel bad keeping her outside. I have her birth certificate and shots record are all up to date you don’t have to worry about any shots for at least 6 months from now when she turns one year old I also have her registered with the Broward county and she has her tag as well.also she has been into puppy behavior classes done by a Petco certified trainer and she has her class certificate as well. I will also give you her large crate that I bought for her as well as all the toys and a large box of food, treats, bones, toys and leash. I am asking for re homing fee of $750 to cover what I have paid for shots, food, toys and crate. I am not selling her so I won’t ask for any money in return for taking care of her, I just hope she finds a good home and a loving owner to take care of her. Please txt only Eddie xxx-xxx-xxxx”

I think I stared at this ad for a good 5 minutes before deciding to pick up my phone and text “Eddie.” I honestly couldn’t tell you what I was thinking except for the fact that this dog was ADORABLE and that maybe, just maybe I could convince my husband to let us keep her! And another part of me was just shocked that a dog like this, who looks just like my dog, would be worth $750! As it turns out the real reason why this dog was worth so much money wasn’t so much all the bells and whistles that came along with her but the fact that she was a purebred German Shepherd, registered with the AKC with a birth certificate to prove it.

I was still in shock and couldn’t believe that any person in their right mind would spend $750 on a dog when they could have easily gone to an animal shelter and picked one up for $100 if not less. It got me thinking: why do people care so much if their dog is purebred or not? I’ll admit when I found out our gsd was purebred I was a little elated. Here we have this purebred german shepherd considered to be the best of the best, from this impressive bloodline yet not knowing what it truly meant to have a purebred dog.

The Epiphany

What I came to find out was that having a purebred dog isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be and I blame breeders. Not all of them, just the ones who have no idea what they’re doing. The thing to understand about this whole purebred concept is the fact that in order to have and maintain this “pure breed” you have to keep the breeding pool limited and that’s where the problem lies. In keeping this limited number of dogs you run the risk of inbreeding, breeding dogs with relatives can result in acquiring similar genes and if some of these genes are good genes then great you have a perfectly healthy dog but if some of these genes are bad genes like say hip dysplasia or blindness then you have a not so healthy dog. Have you noticed the number of pets that have autoimmune diseases, hip/elbow dysplasia or blindness? Part of the reason, if not all, is due to improper and irresponsible breeding procedures. And not only do these pets have these issues to deal with but they’re also changing… in appearance and not in a good way! If you look back at pictures of English Bulldogs from the 1880’s you’ll notice they look like a completely different dog if you compared them to one from the 21st century, it’s alarming. The English Bulldogs today are suffering from breathing issues (stenotic nares & elongated soft palete), skin problems and eye problems to name a few. And it’s not just these dogs that are suffering and changing it’s a ridiculous number of dogs from different breeds.

For the record I’m not saying that purebred dogs are bad and that you shouldn’t spend $750 on a dog (although I would always advise adopting over shopping being as how there are thousands of pets in animal shelters looking for forever homes) with a great bloodline, if you can afford it then go for it, but if you do feel compelled to buy one make sure you find yourself a reputable breeder practicing a responsible method of breeding.

 Reputable Breeder Checklist

Make sure that the breeder you have chosen:

– Breeds for balanced traits i.e temperament, health, skills, intelligence, structure

– Avoids repeat breeding, using the same two dogs more than once or twice

– Uses at least two of a litter for future breeding instead of just one

– Uses a variety of males and females from the breeding pool

– Avoids incest

– Analyzes parental pedigrees before any breeding occurs

– Keeps a high generation time i.e generations separated by 4 years as opposed to 2

– Uses assortative breeding i.e using unrelated parents with similar traits


I’m sure if all breeders practiced responsible methods there would be far less animals suffering from genetic problems and more happy, adorable looking puppies!


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Lori Waters

Lori Waters

Animal Expert Extraordinaire! at The Litter Sitter, inc.
Lori Waters is the author and voice behind Thee Inside Poop as well as the owner and operator of The Litter Sitter, a local dog walking and pet sitting company in Miami Beach, FL. When she's not busy blogging and taking care of clients' pets you can find her running around with her german shepherd Zoey or having in-depth conversations with her two fur balls, Michi and Oakley!
Lori Waters