We are looking to adopt a dog and finding it impossible. We are considering breeders. We are not happy about that--and are actually embarrassed--but here we are.
One, are there alternatives we haven't considered?
Two, how do you find a non-revolting dog breeder?
Here are the facts:
1. Our dog died suddenly four months ago. We were and are devastated, so if people could maybe not look down their noses at us for considering a breeder, that would be swell. She was a shelter dog. We'd prefer a shelter dog. We aren't 'dog breed' people.
2. We're in the northeast and have been going to shelters constantly. The dogs are mainly pitbulls, or are too old for our family, or too small to go hiking with.
3. The main (no-kill) shelter we've been going to opens at noon. There are always five to ten people outside waiting to descend on a handful of dogs. There is no chance to get the 'right' dog because the right dog for us is probably the right dog for half the people there. The kill shelters are mainly pitbulls (I know people vigilantly defend them, and I know they are largely lovely dogs, but we are not interested and don't want to derail on that point.)
4. We had a very bad
experience using Petfinder, along the lines of this person
and we will not be returning to Petfinder or any unvetted rescue group. We will not have someone inspect our home or refuse to give us the dog we want for some unpredictable or arbitrary reason like our disinterest in crating or anything else. We're responsible, caring pet owners. We cared for our dog for ten years. We are professional people who can secure glowing references. We love animals.
If you can recommend any rescues that have reasonable, humane standards that are respectful of prospective pet owners, (which means, we're not going to be disqualified for being anti-crate or having jobs or whatever) by all means please pass those on to me. We're in Western Ma. but are willing to travel to deal with competent, reasonable people.
I am not interested in defenses of rescue group policies.
For the record, I have in absolute seriousness considered getting in my car and making my way south through kill shelter after kill shelter until I found my dog, but I feel like the time and the emotional cost would just be too much for me right now.
So anyway, here we are, narrowing down dog breeds, trying to figure out how one goes to a breeder and gets a dog and doesn't contribute to genetic failures, puppy farms, or any other doggy misery WHATSOEVER. We don't even *want* a breed. We just want a mutt, like our previous girl. But this is absolutely insane.
So: how the hell do you find a reputable breeder?
The breed we are considering, after a lot of research, is a Belgian Sheepdog. Interested in other dogs also, with similar traits (smart, medium-small to medium-large, loyal to family, happy to hike, happy in a big yard, not too skittish.) I don't want to confuse the issue by making it a thread about breeds, but if someone has a lightning bolt of an idea, I'm interested.
This previous question
touched on some of the issues of dog adoption in the northeast.
Would deeply appreciate no finger waggling on this topic.