A WELL-BRED PUPPY - GUILT FREE
Different breeds have
different characteristics. It is the expectation of temperament,
size, coat and appearance that makes a purebred the pet of
choice for many families. Some breeds come with inherent traits
that some find unacceptable while others find the look appealing.
Good breeders try to overcome health problems those traits
may bring while still maintaining the look. No responsible
breeder produces an animal such as the poorly bred crested
that held the ugliest dog title for so long (which was bred
by an ignorant breeder to continue his awful traits). All
breeds AND mixed breeds have issues. Good breeders want their
dogs to be healthy and take steps to eliminate as many health
issues as they can from their lines, both by testing breeding
stock and in choosing dogs to breed. They live with
these dogs in their homes - they want them healthy and long
lived. They suffer the heartbreak when one of their dogs pass
on. Most breed, not to supply puppies, but when they want
a puppy to continue their line, so there may be a long wait,
but they may know someone else that is expecting puppies and
might have something for you.
No one should buy a puppy without researching the breed and
the dogs behind their puppy of choice. Don't be a window shopper
buying on impulse. It isn't fair to you, the puppy or the
breeder. All puppies are cute - but what will they grow
up to be? What
health issues might they have? Do they fit your lifestyle?
Does the breeder have a good reputation? Not all breeders
are created equal. Can you meet the puppy's parents? Have
you seen the contract? A well-bred puppy has health testing
behind him, has his shots, shows socialization and may not
be available because there is a waiting list. While the breeder
may want a certain pup to go to a show home, many prefer their
puppies go to pet forever homes. Be prepared to have to answer
many questions and have a home inspection. The hardest part
of being a breeder is placing your puppies where you believe
they will become permanent family members. In an age when
partners who marry for love are often splitting up in hate,
imagine that task.
Learn as much as you can about the breed first - it shows
the breeder you are serious. Breeds have national club sites
where you can go for information and they are usually listed
on the www.akc.org
They also have listings of rescue groups for that breed in
the event you would prefer to help rehome a dog vs. a puppy.
People who take older dogs often comment they will always
take an older one instead of a pup in the future. It may amaze
you how quickly some of these dogs come into your heart and
adapt to your home. Many who have taken a rescue continue
to come back for another as their dog passes.
There are those that
tout their dogs, often of their own registry or one they paid
to have entered into an open registry as problem free. They
take no tests to prove it and often have no idea what caused
a death. They cross breed and claim hybrid vigor. In the first
place, hybrid vigor refers to cross bred animals such as a
horse and a donkey, giving you a sterile mule. Every puppy
carries genes from both parents and breeding a displastic
mastiff to a husky with megasophagus does not give you a problem-free
cross. Nor does breeding a golden with bad hips to a poodle
with PRA and diabetes. Those genes pass on to the puppies.
Genes behind those genes pass on. And those dogs at the
shelter may also carry those genes. While dogs left to their
own to breed and fail to thrive on their own through many
generations may have strength through survival of the fittest,
the claim that mixed breeds are healthier can only be made
because no one knows or studies what problems they have or
what caused their death. Purebreds are tested and kept track
of. That doesn't mean not to adopt a shelter dog - just don't
repeat the misinformation on the health or deem it a purebred
because it has some common traits. You may get a long lived
healthy dog either way. (Many breeders have a rescued mix
breed at home) Not even dogs with parents who are clear of
elbow OCD can be guaranteed not to develope it, you just have
a better chance of having a cleared puppy. And a good breeder
will guide you on how to feed and care for a puppy to prevent
some problems that are not genetic.
As to inbreeding and
line breeding, it is how breeds are developed. One does not
take the poor puppies to include in their breeding programs.
Dogs are tested for health issues and not included in close
breeding unless the issue can be handled if bred to a clear
dog. Those dogs are then tested and eliminated from breeding
if they carry the unwanted trait. When the puppies begin to
carry forth consistant traits, then one can set a standard
and apply for registration. One can take an inbred dog out
to an unrelated dog for traits they want to incorporate without
losing the type they have set. For instance one breeder wishing
to establish a tailless boxer without docking, bred to a tailless corgi
and within 5 generations had dogs with none of the corgi trait
except the lack of a tail that he was after. Once a breeder
has established a line that is relatively free of health problems
in that line, every out breeding can potentially bring new
issues as well as strength. They must know their pedigrees
and trust other breeders to be truthful. It is a science not
undertaken without knowledge or possible problems...but those
problems can show up with totally unrelated dogs as well.
And all that testing is expensive. That's why not everyone
does the testing, but who would you rather put your money
Good breeders do not fill shelters. You are not killing a
shelter dog if you buy from a breeder. The same people who
came up with that slogan are helping to import dogs for sale
in those shelters. (PETA has the highest kill rate of AR organizations) They are the reason
for a boom in foreign breeders shipping to America as more
and more hobby breeders get too old or feel the expense and
hassle isn't worth it any more. (If wild, the Dandie Didmont would be endangered - many of the AKC breeds have very low breed counts) More people want dogs than
are being euthanized in shelters (and many of those are not
adoptable) The campaign to vilify breeders continues as PETA
and animal rightists strive to end all breeding and pet ownership.
Breed clubs are the
ones that set the standards and education on their breeds,
not AKC. It is the breed club and its members that have to
address health issues cause by extremes in their standards.
People who like the wrinkles, head type and build of the English
Bulldog need to find a breeder whose dogs can breath well
and have minimal health problems with their skin. The breeder
should cover all possible health issues for the breed, as
it is a responsibility for the owner to keep the dog healthy.
They should not buy such a dog and then decide it is too much
trouble to put up with snoring, drooling and putting cream
on their wrinkles. etc...they need to know that is part of owning
such a dog. They must also take part of the responsibility
of dogs that need c-sections to whelp puppies because they
want that huge head and bully front. It is a popular breed
for both its looks and its other features and if that is what
people want, it is what they are going to buy. Their choice
of breeder could influence future problems and high vet bills.
What has happened to some of the breeds is the responsibility
of their breed clubs. While on one hand one breed may have
ruined the hind end through fad (unfortunately not all breeders
care more about the breed than "going one better"
over what is currently winning), another breed now has very
little coat problems, another has eliminated unique health
issues through selective breeding, and so on. People who love
their breeds become their caretakers and must be the ones
to protect it. To not do so is to give credence to complaints
about extremes that are not healthy for the breed. But just
by virtue of being purebred, does not mean unhealthy or not
natural. Many breeders work hard to keep their breeds in good
stead. May you find them in your searches.
free dog ownership.