Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Right Stuff

With horror stories of puppy mill rescues and arrests of whomever runs these places whereby adult dogs and puppies are kept in horrid conditions...little food, not enough water or shelter, etc. it has caused me to feel the need to rant about those "hobby" breeders, who consider themselves "above the puppy mill" and on par with the serious show breeder/exhibitor. Mainly, I'm referring to new so-called breeders, that purchase dogs from others, either as puppies or adults, and begin a "breeding program" with absolutely NO idea what they are doing. They usually take excellent care of their dogs, limit their numbers, but breed every bitch they own as much as they can.

These people think that because they've attended a few dog shows, and maybe even been lucky enough to obtain a championship on one or two of their dogs, that they have the "right stuff" it takes to actually contribute through their litters, to their breed, or preserve what is already there and not go backwards, as far as whatever backwards might mean.

Nothing could be further from the reality of the dog world. It takes YEARS of being involved with mentors in your breed, studying the health issues and pedigrees, type and structure before one can call themselves a serious "breeder". The dogs produced by a guardian of the breed are consistent and exude breed type, temperament and health. Anything else is just "fluff", produced by helter-skelter happenstance and luck.

Those that don't put in the time and effort to be mentored, end up leaving the breed in worse shape than they found it, and if we are lucky, they leave it BEFORE any real damage is done.

The hallmarks of the non-serious "show breeder" are evident by putting great emphasis on selling puppies as pets and occasionally as a show prospect. There is a lack of commitment to seeing that each puppy produced gets into a GOOD home. Some of these types of breeders are only in it for the money, all the while fooling themselves that they are in it for the "right" reasons.
They produce as many litters as they can, without appearing to do so as to not attract too much criticism from the fancy, only select bitches that can produce as high a number of puppies in each litter (more money from puppy sales, ya know), and rarely if ever keep a dog as a pet for life...not having any real emotional attachment to any of the dogs they own and breed. They also breed to the latest "big winner" or dogs from a successful breeding program, hoping to capitalize on this success, without regard to whether or not the match-ups are actually going to be good ones or not. Some of them are really hung up on having the highest number of "champions" in their pedigrees, as this really sounds and looks good when selling those pups!

In my book, there is very little difference between the puppy miller and these fool's gold breeders. They aren't the "real deal". They may have beautiful websites that say all the correct things, but underneath all that is the heart of a sales person..ready to make the next sale to the puppy buyer.

To do it right, it takes study, commitment, sweat, tears, heartache, loss and passion. It takes LOVING the dogs, putting them first before all else. If a person does not have any of these, than they should get out of it.


Lynn Kinsey said...

Sounds just like Nancy! lol It also sounds like Honey-Lou. After being at the ranch long enough and studying what she does for her breeding program, it was becoming very apparent that she was only breeding pedigrees, not horses. In the end, there are tons of horses with excellent pedigrees and their front legs are crooked. Go figure. Stupid people. I think there needs to be a licensing program in order to breed anything. People would need to pass some sort of course or test.

Sharon said...

It would be very hard to "certify" a person to breed anything, actually. The qualifications are so subjective, how would you design a "test" for such???

Also, I am against MORE restrictions on our personal liberties. That said, I do understand why it would seem desirable to screen potential breeders.

I think it better to educate the buying public. Encourage the buyer to do their research first, before purchase. I know this is not possible to reach all, but education does help to some extent.

There are some buyers that will go to any local pet shop...we'll never reach that type of buyer. They don't get it at all.

Poodles said...

I hate puppy mills. My poodle that recently passed away was a rescue from a puppy mill, he had crooked front legs. Kinda made him look like a bull dog. The one I still have was given to me by my neighbors brother. His friend was a poodle breeder leaving the business and his old female had an oopsie pregnancy. He felt she was too old to be able to sell the puppy so it ended up given to me because he knew it would have a good home and good life. No papers or anything, but I only have them because I love them.

I had a poodle years ago that my mom swiped from an alcoholic friend whose husband abused her.

We might start the search for another furry family member next spring sometime.