On another thread that had already drifted quite enough - certain people were accused of trying to "scare" people out of breeding their dogs with highly inflated cost and time analysis. So I thought that this could use it's own thread where these issues could be addressed. Here's a partial quote that brings up some misconceptions. " I think a person who has a family dog in good health who wants a litter for his children to see is NOT our nations problems. These are not the dogs found at shelters and rescues. And trying to scare him with huge vet bills and cost of raising a litter with absurd prices, come on.. The mother dog and her 3 pups I rescued from the shelter cost me about 200 bucks (probably not even that) to raise, vaccinate and to get the mother dog spayed afterwards. Not to mention all 3 pups were neutered before adoption too. Not all the vets rip you off. And if your cost of raising a litter is accurate how are these puppy mills making money??" First; I think a person who has a family dog in good health who wants a litter for his children to see is NOT our nations problems. These are not the dogs found at shelters and rescues. Actually, go volunteer or work at the shelter. Those are EXACTLY the dogs found in shelters and rescues. If you ask people who are giving up the dogs where they got them (and many shelters do) the most common answers are; from a friend, I called an ad in the paper, someone was giving them away/selling them (cheaply) at <fill in public place> So yes, people with a family dog in good health who just want a litter for the children are directly responsible for a good number of shelter dogs. Second; That there are very few purebred dogs in shelters. Well, there is a world of difference between purebred and well bred. I once had an acquaintance - knowing I'm a dog person - show off to me his new dog. As I petted him I said "He's sweet. What is he? A coonhound mix?" The fellow's face fell and he said. "He's a purebred German Shepherd. With papers." No joke. And those huge, pendulous ears actually could prick with the right motivation... And have you ever seen an ungroomed coated or wirehaired anything? It looks like a mutt. So yes, there are very few pure Basengi or Borgoi in shelters, but there are plenty of very poorly bred "purebreds" of the common varieties. A brown Aussie is a "chocolate lab X" Ooooh, please lets not forget the "designer dogs" here. Those really ARE mutts and lots of people let Fluffy have a litter of them. Labradoodles get BIG. These are not all small fluffy things. Yes, they find their way to pounds. Third; Cost. Lets do a case by case analysis here. Health testing- Breeder - Lots of health testing for every conceivable thing. X-rays, bloodtests, genetic screening, the works. This costs $$$ Backyarder - During the yearly visit for shots, vet pats dog and says, "This is a beautiful dog. She's nice and healthy." The dog isn't lame and runs around the backyard with the children. That skin thing is just fleas. Puppy mill - It eats and breeds. It's healthy enough. Shots and vet costs. Breeder - Worms and shots are on a strict schedule. While, yes, they can give shots themselves, they take them to the vet anyway because it's an important part of socialization. Lots of them bring pups to the groomer for the experience too, even though they are also capable of doing it all themselves. Socialization. Again $$$ Backyarder - May or may not remember to do it. May or may not bring them to the vet for shots or at all. May or may not cost money. Puppy mill - If pups are lucky, they will get one shot and a dose of horse wormer before being shipped. The wholesaler may employ a vet who will give the rabies jab and will fill out a health certificate for anything still breathing. Advertising and puppy sales Breeder - Spends $thousands$ going to shows and trials. Backyarder - Spends $20 on a newspaper ad, tells friends, prints out a couple of flyers and/or has a box and a sign in a parking lot somewhere. Puppy mill - This varies alot. I live in the Land of the Puppy Mill and there are lots of dog auctions here. Also ads in the newspaper (as you always get a better price from the end costumer then a middle man) And sometimes big, full color ads in magazines. Lots of very fancy websites that all shout "We are NOT a puppy mill, Our dogs are part of the family" (I assume anything that has to tell people it's not a puppy mill is a puppy mill - I don't walk up to people and say, "I am not a con artist" - As I'm not, the subject doesn't come up) And for leftovers there is always that reliable parking lot box or sometimes they'll dump on a rescue. One way or another it is Gone by 10 weeks. Oh, one thing they never do is show in any way. Always because of the politics and corruption of the show/trial circuit. These are just a few of the reasons that backyarders and puppy mills have low costs and make money, and breeders loose it. There are more. Discuss away.