A dog breeder holding all her puppies.

Is Dog Breeding Okay To Do?

5 mins |

Our love for animals, especially dogs, has got us to the point where we create gruesome and disturbing living conditions for them just for the cost of getting what we want. But is all dog breeding bad? Is dog breeding ever okay to do?

While not all breeders are bad, many breeders don’t treat their dogs well, raise them purely for profit, and do so even though there’s already an extreme overpopulation of dogs. There are many loving dogs waiting in shelters for their forever homes, so consider adopting one of those instead of going to a breeder.

Do We Need To Put A Stop To Breeding Practices?

There are around 471 million pet dogs worldwide. Sadly, our love for dogs created a system where the exploitation of animals is at its highest rate than ever. 

But to fully understand why we need to put a stop to breeding practices, let’s first delve a little deeper into the topic. 

There are two key things to consider when it comes to dog breeding. 

First, there is an overpopulation of dogs worldwide, and sadly, most pet owners leave their dogs in shelters through no fault of the dog. 

Possible reasons for this are that the pet owners think they can easily care for dogs (which, contrary to popular belief, is not only cuddles and smooches), or they are in a difficult financial situation. 

According to the ASPCA, 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters, 3.1 being dogs, and a third getting euthanized.

So, there are a lot of dogs in shelters waiting to find a new forever home, but excessive breeding doesn’t allow it, which ends up being a vicious cycle where the ones hurt are the dogs. 

Second, the living conditions for puppies in puppy mills are unimaginable. We will talk about it more in a minute. 

And lastly, and probably the most gruesome reason breeding is not a good option, is the artificial selection of dogs. Almost every human in the world cannot resist puppy eyes, so much so that they breed dogs to create new breeds to fit into their standard. 

Also, breeding only purebred dogs for centuries leads to some deformation in the dog’s body. For instance, German Shepards had flat backs, but now their lower back is a bit slanted down. 

Puppy Mills

Puppy mills, also known as puppy factories or farms, are domestic dog breeding operations.

Hundreds of dogs are resold or brought to pet stores through puppy mills for humans to just walk around the store, choose one, and take it home. 

However, most dogs are already sick and might die even in the first few hours when entering the house. Or they might have some chronic illness that would take forever to care for. 

Not that dogs cannot live happy lives with a chronic illness, but you’ve signed up for a healthy and cared dog, right?

Most dogs bred in puppy mills do not receive the proper care and often remain confined in small cages. After all, there are hundreds of them, and workers cannot pay equal attention to all. 

And do not get us started on the conditions they live in. For example, most puppy mills leave the dogs to sit in their filth, which often leads to severe health conditions. Also, the puppies do not receive the proper socialization and exercise. 

Sadly, they are bred only for profit; the owners of the puppy mills do not care about the dog’s health. 

And if this wasn’t as bad as you might have thought, resellers smuggle the puppies across the border (especially the sick ones), post them online, and make money out of it. 

Worse yet, the whole process takes place with physical money, so you can’t track the transaction. 

Do not get us wrong, there are some puppy mills, although very rare, that care for their breed dogs, and these examples mentioned above are just the most extreme cases. 

California is the first state to ban the sale of puppy mills in pet stores. Yeah, it’s a long way to go, but every little step makes a slight change. 

When Is Breeding Acceptable?

Some breeders holding their puppies.
Hopefully, this puppies were bred ethically and safely.

Responsible breeding is about being diligent and very considerate of their dog’s health and overall mental condition.

Usually, the bitch goes into heat every 6-7 months. And while breeders try to take advantage of the female dog situation and want to mate more and more purebred dogs, responsible breeders do the exact opposite. 

They are well aware of the dog’s situation, are very considerate, and won’t mate the bitch every time it goes into heat. Also, while they do make a profit out of it, responsible and reputable breeders put the dog’s health before anything else.

Additionally, they do not keep the dogs confined in small spaces or kennels. Instead, most breeders breed their dogs in their homes, where potential owners can always come and visit the dogs and take a look at the living conditions.

We cannot point out enough that responsible breeders care so much for their puppies. They care so much that not only will they not mate the bitch every heating cycle (as we already said), but they won’t breed it with any dog, as well. 

They go through a whole screening process and usually have another male dog that fits the criteria of producing healthy dogs. 

Final Thoughts: Is Dog Breeding Okay To Do?

There are some good and bad sides to dog breeding. But when you look at the bigger picture, there are millions of stray or homeless dogs looking for a forever home. And when you have that, breeding really starts not to look okay. 

But what do you think? Is dog breeding okay to do? Share your opinion in the comments below. 

Sandra is a veterinary undergraduate student based in Macedonia. She combines her two passions: veterinary medicine and writing, and she also tends to raise awareness about animal welfare as much as she can. As a student, she has attended many seminars and conferences related to the veterinary profession, and currently, she is focused on veterinary content writing. Although she owns a cat, she strongly claims that “dogs are her favorite people”.