Are there any reliable numbers on what percentage of purebred puppies are solid/adopted in the United States?

Assuming that the majority of purebred puppies in the United States are created with the intention of being sold or adopted. Where adopted includes spending the rest of their natural life in the breeders home.

Purebreds, are cultivated varieties or cultivars of an animal species, achieved through the process of selective breeding. It is reasonable to expect that each birth occurs through intentional breeding, to perpetuate the species and breed, or other specific husbandry goals.

How perfect is this current system in the United States? Are 100% of live healthy whelped puppies placed in homes?

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    Reliable numbers may be quite hard to get, next to impossible really. An educated guess is something to hope for. Based on what I know about purebreeding culture and mentality in Finland, that number is 99,99% and I can't see why would it be any different in the USA. Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 3:16
  • @EsaPaulasto - I think James is looking for more than a guess. I can tell you that it is no where near the percent you quoted for Finland.
    – user9
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 19:31

1 Answer 1


The numbers are going to vary by breeder, and how the animal is marketed, and the breed.

Some breeds have been inbred to the point that they suffer from a high incidence of genetic defects. Some of these defects make it impossible for dog to live a long and healthy life. Most responsible breeders will euthanize these animals when they are identified. Another practice common in selective breeders is that they we sterilize the animals that are not of breeding stock, and sell those as pets. Responsible breeders will only breed enough pets to fill the demand. However some breeders we euthanize any excessive pet stock, to focus on their quality breeding stock, and others will sell this excess to pet stores without regard to how their animals with be treated after that.

Pet stores have are in business to make money and puppies sell really well... what does not sell well are adolescent dogs that have behavior problems because they have spent 3-6 months in a small display kennel. Many of the big chain pet stores return these adolescent dogs to their distributor who euthanizes the animals. I suspect this rate is not high, there is quite a bit of cost in having the dog in the store for 2 months to not have them sell, but it is also not zero. I seriously doubt that any of these chain pet stores will release the numbers because I am sure that for the entire chain the numbers are large enough to make pet advocates very upset.

The other issue is with wholesale live animal dealers. These include puppy mills, but also include the wholesale distributors that supply the chain(and some times even locally owned) pet stores with the live animals. These dealers do no want any puppies that are over 12 weeks old because they are harder to sell. Many of these wholesalers will take animals that are weaned earlier than is healthy so that they can get more puppies in the 6-8 week range to the pet stores because those sell the best. A number of those puppies pulled early will die in the first few days after weaning. If they do not get sent to a pet store before they get to 10 weeks the chances are very high that they will end up being euthanized. Again the actual numbers of this are going to be kept secret.

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