For those who think that registered, responsible breeders are too difficult, too 'elitist', too hard or too expensive to get a puppy from because all you want is JUST A PET- read on!
And those reading this who have decided that they want a Terrier JUST AS A PET, why do you want a Terrier? Because of its temperament? Because of its looks? Because of its energy? It's joy in life? Or some of the many other wonderful Terrier traits?
How do you think we keep these things in our breed? Simple! It's by careful, selective, planned breeding to always try and produce the best possible puppies of our breed. So that any JUST A PETs we put in homes can give those characteristics that are so much a Terrier. It costs a caring breeder just as much to produce JUST A PET as to produce a show or working dog.
Responsible breeders would never breed a litter to simply produce pets for the pet market. This type of behavior is puppy milling conducted purely for profit. This is MUCH cheaper for the breeder as they do not need to work hard at proving their dogs' abilities or `true to breed standard' type through showing or obedience results. They do not need to check on the dogs' health and temperament. They do not need to match up the BEST stud for the bitch they have. The first entire male they find will do as a sire and it's even easier if he lives at their place and cheaper.
The fact that a responsible breeder would never breed a litter to simply produce pets for the pet market does not mean that they would not sell to JUST A PET homes - it means that they would be getting the quality Terrier they deserve as their JUST A PET! But the responsible breeder will inform you of the breed characteristics, to ensure it suits you and your family. They will tell you the good and bad points of the breed, they will ask you many questions, may want to check your yard or meet the family, and will value the pet dogs as much as the show dogs in the litter.
If this is not what you want from your puppy there are plenty of 'breeders' out there who mate (or 'accidentally' allow the mating of) a male to their bitch and will happily sell you a puppy. They will probably even proudly announce that the pups are registered with the controlling kennel club - WELL, SO CAN ANY PUREBRED DOG BORN OF PUREBRED PARENTS. That doesn't mean a thing about the health, quality and temperament of the puppy. A responsible breeder wants to improve their breed, and will be aiming to keep a puppy from their litter. They will offer you follow up support and advice, and will always want the dog back if you are unable to keep it, at ANY time for the rest of the dog's life.
It is up to you to decide where you want to get your JUST A PET dog from. But remember, your JUST A PET dog will be a companion to you and your family for many years.