Myths & Truths

The myths & truths about purebred dogs

  • 1. Myth

All registered dog breeders are reputable.

   Truth

Just because a breeder is a member of the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) it does not automatically make them reputable. The CKC is only a registration organization which ensures proper identification of dogs proven to be purebred.

The CKC does not investigate cruelty to animal complaints or municipal licensing issues. The CKC does not restrict how many breeding dogs a breeder has or how the dogs are housed, cared for, trained or bred. Just like other major purchases, it's wise to do your homework (which you are doing right now), to ask questions and to use common sense to guide your decisions.

  • 2. Myth

A “purebred” dog from a registered breeder is cheaper without the registration papers.

   Truth

It is illegal for any CKC registered breeder to sell dogs without their registration papers or to sell them at a reduced price without them. Just like a car's registration belongs with the vehicle, the CKC registration belongs with the dog. A breeder who does not provide the registration certificates can be investigated and charged by the RCMP on a federal level.

  • 3. Myth

All purebred dogs are healthier than crossbred or “designer” dogs.

   Truth

The reality is that a good breeder of purebred dogs is more likely to have healthier dogs because they will have taken the time to test all of their breeding dogs for any breed- related health problems. Most purebred breeders want to preserve their breed and it is in their best interest to keep their breeding dogs genetically healthy.

In contrast, most breeders of cross-bred or “designer” dogs will have little, if any, health testing done. Often the background of their dogs and any hidden health problems are unknown.

  • 4. Myth

It doesn’t matter if your dog is raised in a large kennel facility.

   Truth

It DOES matter and can make a huge difference! Puppies raised in a kennel setting are often poorly socialized, unaccustomed to normal sights and sounds of daily house life and may struggle with anxiety later in life. It is important to know how many dogs the breeder owns and where they live before making the decision to purchase a puppy from his/her kennel.

The word “Kennel” under CKC definition does not mean “a kennel building”. It simply refers to the name the breeder has registered their kennel with. For example, my registered kennel name is ”Anloch”. All of my dogs' registered names will start with Anloch followed by the name I gave them.

According to municipal kennel licensing standards, dogs may be housed and raised in an outside building (kennel).

Regardless of terminology, if a breeder has more than 2 breeds and/or large numbers of dogs, be very careful. The more dogs a breeder keeps the less individual time and care each dog will receive. This is even more important with a breed that requires regular grooming or specialized care.

  • 5. Myth

Buying a puppy from a “puppy mill” means you are rescuing it.

   Truth

If you feel the need to rescue a dog, please contact your local humane society or a breed rescue organization. Remember: the mother of the puppy you're thinking of buying will continue to be bred long after the puppy she produced grows up. Buying a puppy from a puppy mill fuels this cruel cycle and lines the pockets of someone who doesn’t care about the dogs they create. Puppy mill owners prey on unsuspecting people's sympathy towards the puppies (not the mother) in order to maximize profits.

 

  • 6. Myth

To socialize a puppy it has to attend “puppy socialization” classes with other puppies.

   Truth

A properly raised puppy just spent the first 8 weeks of life with its littermates and mother. There shouldn't be much it hasn't already learned about how to be a puppy. Introducing a new puppy to completely unknown puppies can put its immune system at risk of contracting serious diseases it's not mature enough to fight off. In short, puppies do not benefit at all by meeting every dog it sees.

Socialization refers to a puppy learning about how to live with HUMANS. Your puppy already knows how to be a puppy but humans sometimes do strange or quirky things that puppies don't understand. Most houses have noisy things like vacuum cleaners, traffic, garbage cans, laundry machines, children and music that puppies need to get accustomed to. Experiences like going to the vet or groomer, navigating stairs, meeting and being handled by strangers, seeing bicycles or motorcycles, going through doors and gates and visiting new places are just a few important examples of things puppies need to become comfortable doing. Every puppy needs to be exposed to everyday things and to have as many new experiences as possible to be able to grow into confident and happy dogs.

A good breeder will make every effort to start socialization as early as possible.

  • 7. Myth

Obedience classes should start when the puppy is 6 month old.

   Truth

One must differentiate between “obedience” and “manners”. Manners should be taught the moment you bring your puppy home. This includes learning to walk on a leash with you, drop something when asked, stop behaviours like barking, biting, jumping, etc. when asked, come when called, get off furniture when asked, potty outdoors, sleep in a kennel, etc. Manners are day-to-day behaviours that you teach.

Obedience consists of stuff your dog already knows (sit, stay, come when called, retrieve, lie down, walk beside you (at heel), etc.) but he does on cue when asked.

Manners classes will help both owners and puppies learn how to communicate with each other and will make controlling a growing puppy easier. The more serious obedience training can start later when the puppy has mastered manners.

If you want your puppy to learn to become a therapy dog, contact your local therapy dog service organization (St. John Ambulance Services, Therapeutic Paws, etc.) and inquire about their training requirements. Once you know what to teach, you may begin slowly training right away.

 

  • 8. Myth

All dogs are well tempered and only people make dogs aggressive.

   Truth

While there is some truth to this, certain breeds have a higher tendency for aggression and must be raised, trained and handled accordingly. Even the personality of individual dogs must be considered before breeding. Breeding dogs with poor temperaments will almost certainly produce puppies with poor temperaments. A reputable breeder will choose only dogs with good temperaments to produce puppies that are the same. I am personally very cautious which dogs I choose to breed since most of my puppies will spend their life in a family home, often with children.

 

  • 9. Myth

As long as the health testing is done on the puppies, the environment they've been raised in doesn't matter.

   Truth

All the health testing in the world will not matter if the puppy spends the first 3 months of its life in an unhealthy environment. Filthy conditions, cigarette smoke, constant stress from noise and overcrowding, lack of mental stimulation or space to play and move all have detrimental effects on a puppy's development.