Many animal rights activists believe that no dog or cat should be bred until the problem of homeless animals is solved. A few others believe that we do not have the right to keep animals as companions, and would seek to end that relationship.
snips feels that both our lives and the lives of our animal companions are enriched by this connection. This site is dedicated to supporting and improving that bond so that it truly is beneficial to both humans and nonhumans. We also support limited, responsible breeding by individuals who actively participate in breed rescue.
With that in mind, we present this excellent article written by Victoria Rose.
Support breed rescue!
each purebred you purchase, please consider
Traits of Responsible Breeders
"Into" Dogs (shows, training, clubs, etc.)
Belongs to dog clubs and organizations
Proves quality of dogs and suitability for breeding by competing for titles and certificates in conformation, obedience, agility, field trialing, Schutzhund, herding, tracking, earthdog trials, etc.
Pups' pedigrees are filled with dogs who have obtained show titles/working certificates; never breeds dogs without "papers"
Supports rescue groups; knows his actions inevitably play some part in pet overpopulation and euthanasia (one of every four dogs in shelters is purebred). Even with all his efforts to stem over- population, he knows "cracks" will lead to canine deaths
in every facet of breed, including that of health issues/defects; researches
genetics when choosing mates
about house breaking, training, socializing, breeding, health; constantly
reads dog-related materials
Can and will help and educate puppy buyers re these issues
Knows his puppies'
give you his references
Follows up on puppies' well-being; collects health information affecting his dogs
Breeds to improve
his own dogs, his bloodlines and the breed
as he does not use dog breeding as a business and strives for quality,
dogs with stable temperaments
dogs over 2 years old, and a limited number of times
could be anywhere in the country (almost never breeds his own males to
his own females)
Does all genetic testing and will provide proof; does not breed animals with genetic defects or which are carriers of defects
Puppies are sold from waiting list created before breeding even takes place
Pet-quality pups generally cost $500-600+ (show-quality costs more)
sold with health guarantees
sold with contracts
Dogs on property
are friendly, socialized, trained
Does not own
more dogs than he has room, time or money for; Dogs are groomed, exercised,
Will show you
pups' parents if available, or if not, will have pictures
to care for puppies
Feeds only premium or home prepared dog food
shoes and wash hands to prevent spread of parvovirus
with mom and litter a minimum of 49 days to ensure sibling socialization
and important lessons from pups' mother
Socializes pups by systematically handling them and exposing them to various noises, children and other animals before sending them to new homes
Tests pups to match their temperaments and drives with buyers' personalities and lifestyles
evaluate pups' quality
to "impulse" buyers
prospective buyers, checks home and references, refuses to sell to substandard
Wants to meet
whole family; won't sell if children are abusive
to buyers with disposable income (AKC reports it costs $1327 per year
to properly care for a dog)
Waits for buyers
who offer lifelong homes (Knows that only 30 percent of all dogs stay
in one home throughout their lives)
dogs are "pack" animals; sells pets only to buyers wanting to
make pup an indoor dog and part of the family
Sells only to buyers who make pup's safety a priority
Encourages or requires buyers to spay/neuter pet-quality pups
buyers to train pups; refers to good trainer
Makes sure buyers understand pup's considerable need for time, attention, exercise and training
Traits of Backyard Breeders
Not "into" dogs (has "pets" around the house)
not involved in the "dog world"
believes that because he places/sells all his pups, he does not contribute
in any way to the needless slaughter of millions of dogs per year in
shelters (Does not see his role in his pups making pups and them making
more pups and so on)
particularly educated about breed, often not aware of his own breed's
genetic defects; does not consider mate's genetics
Says "Goodbye" and "Good luck"
Knows nothing about the other dogs on puppies' pedigrees
not concern himself with the puppies' well-being or how puppies' health
affects his breeding "plan"
Breeds just to breed or make money or see his "great dog" procreate
Breeds regularly if for money or if puppy mill; if for ego, breeds once in awhile, or "just once" before neutering or spaying
Often repeats breedings, mainly those that are cheap and convenient.
Dogs used for breeding rarely meet breed standard
Breeds shy/aggressive dogs with poor temperaments
Breeds dogs at almost any age, and any number of times
Mate choice is that which is convenient, cheap, local (very often owns both sire and dam)
no genetic testing; ignorantly breeds defective animals or those which
are carriers, thus, perpetuating disease in breed
are sold after birth in the local newspaper, first-come, first-served
Puppies are sold with no guarantee
Says "Find them good homes"
Puppy mills are overloaded, "warehoused" dogs are not groomed or exercised, don't look healthy or happy
Might have to "lock up" pups' aggressive or shy parents (dogs that should never have been bred)
Raises puppies outdoors
Dam and pups are alone for long hours
Feeds cheap, grocery store dog food (containing 4D meat/chemicals)
Has no understanding and takes no precautions to prevent puppy-killer disease
Doesn't know leaving litter earlier can cause lifelong temperament problems or staying too long can hurt bonding with humans
not understand or want to be troubled with any kind of training; just
tries to keep puppies quiet and contained until sold
Says all pups are high quality
Is not concerned about buyers being prepared for pups
Would consider this killing two birds with one sale
Sells first-come, first-served to whomever has the cash; does not find out which homes are substandard
Does not consider anything past obtaining the funds
Is not concerned whether or not buyers can afford to properly care for pups
Doesn't care if pups live as outdoor dogs or chained dogs, being unhappy or anxious being isolated and separated from "packs"
Shows no concern for pups after sale; knows no trainers
not provide even his own dogs with enough time, attention, exercise
Please note: The same criteria may be applied to cat breeders.
Responsible Breeders Improve the Breed
Breeders Damage the Breed
USE THIS GUIDE TO OBTAIN A QUALITY PUPPY FROM A RESPONSIBLE BREEDER
And be aware that dogs are not "things." They are living creatures who, by no choice of their own, are totally dependent upon us - and are at our mercy - for their very survival, not to mention quality of life. As pack animals, their mental health is dependent upon being with their pack. That may be other animals, or it may be us. It is very cruel to leave a dog alone all day. Dogs need a lot of attention. They need regular, systematic aerobic exercise for at least 20-30 minutes, at least 3-4 times a week, just to be healthy. Few dogs get the exercise they need for good physical and mental health. Lack of exercise is the number one reason, (then lack of training), that dogs become mischievous and burdensome, and are then blamed, then dumped, and too often, killed. ("A tired dog is a good dog.") Having a yard is not sufficient. Dogs do not exercise themselves unless chasing something along the fence line, and that, in and of itself, is a problem. To make good pets, they need training. And most importantly, to be safe pets, they need early socialization. Lack of socialization the first 4-6 months of a dog's life creates shy dogs, which too-often become fear-biters, which, along with those who were simply born with poor temperaments, are responsible for the majority of the 4.7 million dog bites annually. (Sixty percent of victims are children; Half of all kids 12 and under have been bitten by a dog; Every day more than 900 people are hospitalized with dog bites; Every year 25 people are killed by dogs.)
If you can not be a responsible dog owner, please wait until you can be.
And please don't breed out of greed or ego or for any reason other than to improve the breed (i.e., to make the puppies better than their parents). Most purebred dogs, and of course, all mixed-breed dogs, should not be bred. The majority of dogs have some defect (in structure, temperament, health) that should not be perpetuated. Dogs used for breeding should be free of all defects - that's the definition of quality. ("Papers" mean nothing; They are simply, and nothing more than, birth certificates. Plenty of dogs have "papers," but are so poorly bred they actually look like mutts.) And no human should ever breed any dog without veterinary/laboratory testing and pedigree research to be sure that dog is free of (and not a carrier of) genetic defects. FAILURE TO TEST/SEARCH FOR INHERITABLE HEALTH PROBLEMS IS THE NUMBER ONE MARK OF A BACKYARD BREEDER. IT IS ALSO THE MOST DAMAGING TO CANINES, AND THE MOST HEARTBREAKING TO PUPPY-BUYERS, WHO END UP WITH YET ANOTHER GENERATION OF POOR-QUALITY DOGS WHO TOO OFTEN DEVELOP EXPENSIVE, EARLY HEALTH PROBLEMS AND OFTEN DIE PREMATURELY.
We have a severe pet-overpopulation crisis in the US; We slaughter thousands of beautiful, vital, healthy dogs every single day. (Twenty-five percent of shelter dogs are purebred.) Every puppy produced by a backyard breeder and placed in a home takes the place of one killed in a shelter because no one adopted it. And every puppy produced by a backyard breeder can make more puppies, and those puppies can make more puppies and so on. (And of course, backyard breeders, through their encouragement and the dispersal of misinformation, have a knack for turning uneducated buyers into yet more backyard breeders.) There just are not enough homes (not to mention "good" homes) available for all these puppies. No matter how hard one tries, only 30 percent of all dogs (and their pups and their pups and so on) live their entire lives in the home to which they went after weaning. Seventy percent will be given away or abandoned or dumped along the way for one reason or another. (Common excuses are, "We didn't have time for him," "He was too much trouble," "He kept jumping on us," "He bit my child," "We couldn't afford him," "We had to move." None of these were good homes to begin with. The buyers failed to socialize or train, or they lacked time, money or commitment. Again, there just are not enough "good" homes for all the puppies born.) Why not leave breeding dogs to those with the ability and desire and quality animals to do so at a "professional" level?
If everyone bred only dogs with excellent conformation, and stable, correct temperaments, working titles and clean health, we would have top-quality dogs in this country. Get your dog evaluated by judges and trainers. If he meets breed standard, and is healthy, and has the correct temperament and drives, show him, work him, and get him titled. If you feel you have what it takes to be a "professional" breeder, educate yourself, and with enough experience in dogs, maybe you, too, could make a positive contribution to your breed. But if your dog's only credentials are that he/she is a great pet, then love it, socialize it, train him/her, exercise him/her, give him/her the best in feed, comfort and veterinary care, but for his/her own good (including better health - ask your vet!), and for the sake of puppy-buyers, society, and all canines, get him/her spayed or neutered.
Please note: The same criteria may be applied to cat breeders.
© 1999 Victoria Rose, PO Box 4816, Auburn, CA 95604; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that Ms. Rose's occasional use of the word "it" when referring to nonhuman animals has been replaced with the words "he/she" or "his/hers."
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