Dog Breeders


"When the media glamorizes or demonize a breed... fad buying... a sudden rush in media attention can destroy decades of careful animal husbandry.

"Matching the right dog with the right owner is a large part of what responsible rescue groups and breeders do...

"..backyard breeders and puppy millers... Unscrupulous breeders do not care where their "product" ends up, or what health and temperament concerns they are unleashing on their customers" (Smith, Leslie C. "Survival In the Public Eye." Dog World, July 2003, 50-55).

~~

"Passion, not revenue, drives reputable breeders...

"Perhaps one of dogdom's best-kept secrets is that the price that reputable breeders charge for their purebred puppies rarely comes close to the amount of money they expend...

""When you are breeding, three things that you must keep first and foremost in your mind are temperament, health, and the standard of the breed"...

""Backyard breeder" -- a pejorative term, of course -- denotes those who breed purebred dogs without a deep understanding of the breed or a sense of stewardship toward it...

"But the reputable breeder knows that breeding involves far more. What is behind the price of a properly bred purebred dog? Quite a bit, including:

  • Health Screening

    ""Whatever specific health issues a breed has, you need to test for those."

    "...if health problems develop, many reputable breeders will refund the price of a puppy within a predetermined period of time -- usually, one to three years...

    "...flunked health clearances mean removing the dog from her breeding program -- regardless of how many first-place ribbons he has won...

  • Stud Fees

    "When it comes to finding the right stud dog, breeders can end up either driving for days, or flying their female to the study dog...

    ""People who breed to the closest dog around without looking at the pedigree are doing a disservice to the breed," Miller says...

  • Whelping Woes

    "Caesarian sections.. can cost upward of $1,000...

    "Dead puppies aren't the only heartache that comes with being a breeder. "I've had two bitches die," says Walkowicz...

  • Puppy Patrol

    "Caring for puppies isn't just exhausting, Miller says, it's expensive...

    "Good nutrition also doesn't come cheap... it's far more difficult to put a price on the intense interaction and socialization that good breeders give their pups, starting at birth...

  • Screening Prospective Buyers

    "Screening prospective buyers also requires significant time that doesn't lend itself to a price tag. "I don't care if you're a policeman or political bigwig, you go through the same drill," Miller says. That means coming for a visit with the entire family, if possible, and fielding her questions...

    ""My puppy buyers leave with a tremendous amount of information. They're definitely buying me. Your breeder should be your best friend and a lifelong friend for your dog."

    "..If at any point an owner no longer wants a dog, her contract stipulatees that it be returned to her...

  • Research

    "In some sense the cost of a litter never ends, because neither doese the reputable breeder's quest for knowledge.

    "When Walkowicz was learning about her breeds, "I went to every seminar that I could possibly get to. I went to dog shows I wasn't even entered in so I could watch and study the progeny of various studs to see if they were right for my bitch," she say...

    "After decades of seeking out mentors and studying her breed, a breeder often gains so much knowledge that she becomes a mentor herself -- investing time and resources to teach novice breeders what others taught her...

"...it's a passion, and if it isn't you shouldn't be doing it" (Flaim, Denise. "Behind the Price of a Purebred." Dog Fancy, September 2003, 58-63).

~~

"My puppy sales contract is very strongly worded on confiscation if I, the breeder, am of the opinion the puppy is being mistreated" (Letter from Carol Stillman in Murray, Utah. AKC Gazette, August 2003, 16).

~~

"...the perils of instant gratification, and how decisions made in haste without complete analysis of the problems are not always in the best interests of society..."

"Not many do stay the distance -- the average stay in the world of showing dogs is probably about five years...

"..it is an awesome responsibility to assume the role of the breeder... newcomers to the world of dogs should be encouraged to work with established breeders whose personal education through the school of hard knocks has led them to an understanding of how their breed's gene pool works...

"These were educators who truly knew their breed and did not depend on dog show successes.. to lead them to the next generation. Such mentors understood that for every "flyer" in the ring there are dogs equally good or better living out their lives as farm or working animals or companions, never to see the show ring...

"The breeding quality of dogs is a long-term commitment and not one to be taken lightly" (Trotter, Patricia V. "Better Breeding: Instant Gratification is a Detriment to the Overall Health of a Breeding Program." AKC Gazette, August 2003, 18-19).

~~~

"Where do you go to find your very own Saluki puppy?... some caveats.. The size or placement of an advertisement often has little to do with the quality of the breeder or their stock. Claims of show success or breeding superiority should be examined with some skepticism... someone with puppies "always available" should be suspect...

"The Saluki Club of America (SCOA) has a breeder referral covering the country by region. Breeders have signed the SCOA Code of Ethics, a promise to breed Salukis in good health and of good breed quality...

"..a specialty show is your best bet for seeing a lot of Salukis in one place...

"Expect the breeder to want to know as much about you as possible. As a bare minimum, be prepared to explain how your Saluki will live, and how much time you can devote to it. Expect a request for references; and don't be offended if a breeder wants to visit your home; what you might consider a perfectly safe confinement area could be anything but that to a more experienced eye...

""I would be wary of any breeder who doesn't know anyone else with Salukis or who has nothing good to say about other breeders. Far better for a breeder to encourage you to meet as many litters and breeders as possible, so you can find the perfect "fit" of person and Saluki".." (Salukis." Breed Column. AKC Gazette, August 2003, 61).

~~

"As breeder, our responsibility is to produce sound, healthy animals capable of fulfilling their function as defined in our standard... The HCA health committee is working on a proposal to make health testing a requirement for all annual awards granted by the club...

"In addition, breeders eligible for an award by the parent club should likewise be health testing their dogs.

"The HCA board has approved participation in AKC/OFA's Canine Health Information Center [CHIC]...

"Health testing is an integral part of good breeding practice. How can you know what you are doing if you don't know what you have?" (Baldwin, Joanne V. "Havanese." Breed Column. AKC Gazette, June 2003, 51).

~~

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Breeders, Responsible vs. Backyard a comparison
Canine Diversity Project "to acquaint breeders of domesticated Canidae (dogs) with the dangers of inbreeding and the overuse of popular sires"
Canine Genetics classes from Cornell
Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) "a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)"
Canine Inherited Disorders Database
Canine Reproduction Seminar pdf file
Dog Breeders Guild "for dog breeders who believe that modern breeding practices are hurting our dogs"
International Veterinary Information Service requires free registration
K9-Ped, Pedigree Research Application popular pedigree program
Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFFA)
Pedigrees
Premier Pedigree Software popular pedigree program
Purebred Dog Breeds Into the Twenty-First Century -- Achieving Genetic Health For Our Dogs document
Reproduction in the Dog powerpoint presentation
Temperament
Vaginal Cytology breeding time of the bitch
What Is A Responsible Breeder? article
WinPed popular pedigree program

~~

Books on Genetics

Beauchamp, Richard. Breeding Dogs For Dummies. For Dummies, 2002.

Jackson, Frank. Dog Breeding: The Theory and the Practice. Crowood, 2000.

Willis, Malcolm. Practical Genetics For Dog Breeders. Hungry Minds, 2002.

Isabell, Jackie. Genetics: An Introduction For Dog Breeders. Alpine, 2003.

Wilkie, Patricia. Future Dog: Breeding For Genetic Soundness. Univerity of Minnesota Agriculture Experiment Station / AKC Canine Health Foundation, 1999. Considered essential.

Grandin, Temple. Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals. Academic Press, 1998.

Concannon, P.W., et. al. Advances in Companion Animal Reproduction. International Veterinary Information; available online at www.ivis.org.

DeBitetto, James. The Puppy Owner's Veterinary Care Book. Hungry Minds, 1995.

Matznick, Janice. Guide to Hand Raising Puppie. TFH Publishers. Deals with orphaned puppies.


Colby Glass, MLIS