So, Adopt-Don’t-Shop-Crowd, Tell Us Again Why It Just Doesn’t Matter?

We’re always reminding you that our purebred dogs are more than fabulous companions, working dogs, and service dogs. They are legacies of cultures that created them for a reason, and if we lose these breeds, we as good as lose that culture.

Once upon a time, say, four thousand years ago or more, men, women, and their children crossed the Bering Straits when their tribes headed East from Siberia. Their way of life depended upon the dogs they brought with them. Please understand. These dogs were essential not just to their way of life, but to life itself.  These people called the Mahlemuts had a special relation with their dogs that was based on mutual independence and respect. Regardless of the season, the dogs hauled freight, tracked polar bears, hunted seals, moved meat from the hunt back to home base, alerted to bears, and guarded caribou. As such, it’s fair to say that the dogs were their most prized possessions, and they were treated humanely and fed well.

Guess what else the Mahlemuts did right? They used only the most reliable dogs, and those were the dogs that were allowed to breed. Often, all male dogs other than lead dogs were neutered which insured that females were bred only by the best dogs. Desirable traits in the breed were determined by one factor: Survival. It is these dogs from which today’s Malamute is descended.

The Alaskan Malamute is one of the twelve ancient breeds, and certainly one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs. Today, most Inuit still hunt because food prices are very high in their community stores. Traditional food is still very much eaten, food that’s gathered for seasonal preparation for long winters, and to share. The Inuit hold great respect for the land and animals, then and now, and Malamutes were a pivotal part of that history. So, adopt-don’t shop crowd, tell us again why a dog is a dog is a dog, and breeds don’t matter?

Whatever your breed, it has a history, and we ask you to know it. The deeper you dig, the more in awe you will be of the dog at your feet.

“Siberian Leisure by Lourry Legarde is available as a print, poster, towel, and many more formats you’d like to own. Find them here.


14 thoughts on “So, Adopt-Don’t-Shop-Crowd, Tell Us Again Why It Just Doesn’t Matter?”

  1. They have blinkers and minds focussed solely on their obsession. Sort of the Maoists of the canine world: smug, self-righteous and intolerant, like all zealots.

  2. Adopt a retired Greyhound racer
    A breed that has been around since ancient times and breed initially to hunt and now race
    You get all that you state are the function of a dog beside being the most loving animal

    • Can’t disagree, Stan. We don’t oppose adoption from a rescue or shelter group (a rescue dog is a family member in our clan). We support getting the best fit of dog for oneself after doing one’s homework, and if that’s a rescue dog, great; if that’s a dog bought from a heritage breeder, also great. We support respecting the choices people make for themselves, and then doing right by the dog.

  3. 1. Logic Fail. Millions of dollars in “awareness” money says that since we euthanized large numbers of dogs for over a decade thirty years ago, we should not raise well adjusted, healthy, trained dogs anymore. It’s a natural mistaken belief based on how much we love dogs.

    2. Numbers. Many people don’t know how to manage and train a second hand dog but shelters and rescues are finding and supporitng people who want to. Neutering, despite the health risks, is the best way to manage these dogs as pets. No one knows for sure, but estimates are that 70 – 90 million pet dogs live in the US. Around a million see the inside of a shelter every year and far more than half are lost dogs reclaimed by their owners. A half a million dogs per year will never meet the needs of those who can provide a great home for a dog. The idea that “designer” mutts or rescues breeding dogs is the answer is shocking.

    3. Politics. A philosophical argument against raising dogs, is that dogs were created by man to meet his needs and this is a moral crime. This belief ignores dogs and nature having any role in a partnership that has persisted for 30,000 years. In fact, that’s how we solved the problem of dog populaiton – caring about our partners.

  4. Amen! I’m so sick of the “Adopt Don’t Shop” crowd! I have Purebred dogs. I ALSO have adopted dogs in my lifetime and I currently run a Purebred Rescue. There is room for both BUT let’s b clear…we wouldn’t have to adopt if people weren’t so intent on owning a dog breed they no nothing about and doesn’t fit in their household! So what do they do? They give it up! And don’t get me started on those who get a cpl dogs…know nothing and breed “just to have a litter or so the kids can c the miracle of birth”!! Get over it!

    • We agree, Barbara. We feel that people should do their homework and get the best fit of dog for themselves. If that’s a shelter dog, great, and if that’s a dog bought from a heritage breeder, also great. Do right by the dog, and respect the choices people make for themselves.

      • Let’s not forget also that a responsible breeder will have done their homework on a potential new buyer and should know whether or not that person is a good fit for their breed. They should also know what puppy in a litter is the best fit for that particular household.

  5. The adopt-don’t-shop crowd (including myself) only want to eliminate the puppy mills. Licensed, legitimate breeders should be left to continue what they do to keep breeds going. There will always be irresponsible owners that don’t fix their dogs so there will always be puppies, mutts or otherwise. The writer of this article needs to get off their high horse and understand what’s really going on.

    • As they say, Diann, walk a mile in another’s moccasins. We know people who bought a dog from a heritage breeder, then told everyone it was a rescue dog to avoid the grief. We know of relationships fractured, friendships strained, and family meals falling apart because a dog was bought from a breeder. Rescue has changed from the days when “rescue” really did mean saving a dog from imminent death. These days, there is big money involved, too little oversight, if any, and a moral superiority being assumed by some – not all – owners of such dogs. We suggest that you may want to visit the National Animal Interest Alliance to see “what’s really going on.” Find it at

      • I fully agree about the frustration over some rescues straying from the original mission to becoming for-profit businesses. I must say that I have never heard of anyone ruining a relationship over buying a dog from a breeder – and I have been involved in purebred rescue of several breeds for over 2 decades.

        I used to find quite the opposite was true. Rescued dogs were looked down on by breeders and breeders’ customers… When dogs I rescued started besting direct-from-breeder dogs at performance trials – because these rescue dogs were clearly very well bred animals themsleves – the naysayers learned to respect that quality dogs CAN and DO some from rescue.

        Truly, I see caring breeders as partners and advocates for keeping dogs out of shelters and rescues. I really don’t consider the “adopt, don’t shop” movement to be any kind of threat to good breeders either. Coming together to reduce the number of puppymills and ignorant backyard breeders, and all dogs will face a brighter future.

        • We agree with your last sentiment, Kat. Coming together and restoring balance to the conversation about responsible dog ownership can only benefit the dogs, mixed, heritage-bred, and anything in between. Sadly, there indeed was a time back in the day when a certain snobbery was associated with purebred dog ownership. The pendulum swings, and the irony isn’t lost on us that the tables have turned, and an air of commanding the moral high ground is exuded by some – not all – but some owners of “rescue” dogs. Count yourself lucky that you haven’t experienced fractured relationships or a cold shoulder as a result of your choice in what you have as a canine companion. It can and does happen these days to people who’ve gotten their dogs from heritage breeders. We think balance is a beautiful thing, and it belongs in the national conversation, as well as in the options to own what we want to own. Our blended family has included mixed breeds, purebred dogs, and a rescue, sometimes all at once. It’s all good.

  6. I can’t help but think that a number of “rescues’ are just fronts for puppy mills. They take the runts and sick ones that other wise would be killed.

  7. Adopt, don’t shop us a misleading statement. If money changes gands, it us a purchase.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *