Why I am not a dog breeder

This is a question I am asked often:  “If you love dogs, why  don’t you breed dogs?”

It’s because I love dogs that I don’t breed dogs.  I wanted to breed  afghanHounds for …”the betterment of the breed…’  —& as it turned out, the foundation bitch I got was not up to my standards.  She had a decent head, but not  gorgeous. She was east-west.  She  didn’t really have a depth of chest, and not much of a coat pattern.  In fact, her pedigree was excellent, and she had great shoulder/upper arm angulation, and a fantastic coat texture.  I knew, however, that there were  much nicer,  sounder,  better built bitches out there. There was no shortage of Afghan Hounds, either.

It was from reading the Purebred Dogs (known as the Gazette) to hobbyists and fanciers, that I got this notion that  breeders who love dogs are responsible  for the dogs they breed.  They are responsible for the dogs they breed until those dogs die. They  have to take them back if the owners they sold to lied to them, and can’t or won’t keep the dogs.  Or have bad luck, or whatever…

Also, from reading the Gazette, I learned that ethical hobby breeders do not sell dogs to third parties to sell for them. Breeders  want to meet the people they sell puppies to, and  screen them for suitability.

I was confronted with the  reality of this, again, this week, when I was being interviewed for a dog grooming job.  Because I am currently working at a very fine kennel that can not provide me with enough income, I have to explore all my options.

The ad said that the business had seven locations around Chicago, and I thought it was one of the well known supply stores. Turns out, it was for Planet Pooch, a retailer of puppies.  The manager  didn’t tell me  straight away that was what the stores were.  He interviewed me about my experience.  He seemed impressed.  THEN the asked me how I felt about working in a retail environment.  Bamboozled again!

He actually told me he had relationships with USDA licensed breeders—& that they were not puppy mills!  He said that to me!  So I asked him what kind of ethical breeders have puppies all the time & sell them to third parties to resell?  And that was the end of the conversation.

When, almost 40 years ago, I contemplated  breeding Afghan Hounds, I also contemplated  having enough space to keep a dozen dogs, and having a boarding/training kennel, showing dogs…in short, being  better off economically than I am.  Life is what happens when you are out making other plans.  Oh, well, that’s how it goes.  I was also  a coordinator of Afghan Hound Rescue for the Afghan Hound Club of Greater Chicago.  At the time, virtually none of the 50 dogs that came through rescue (an average of 1 a week) were bred by club members…so…they didn’t see why  the club should be responsible for the unwanted Afghan Hounds.  But the puppies were the results of pet dogs they had sold & hadn’t insisted that they be neutered.  So, in a way, they did cause the problem.

Sometimes I wonder if  having integrity is worth it, because I would be much more economically secure if I didn’t have scruples.

I am sort of dismayed that the fancy does not do a better job of marketing their integrity.  The job the AKC does is laughable, really.  I guess that as long as ethical hobby breeders can sell their pups and feel their dogs aren’t winding up in shelters * rescues,  the status quo is ok.

My former employer, Dan DeWalt, is active with Basenji Rescue And Transport (BRAT), & they have determined that for every Basenji pup AKC registered, an adult dog goes into rescue. They have statistics for this.  They all feel Basenjis are hard to live with, and people aren]t prepared for their stubbornness.

I have  blogged about this before.  I believe, in  certain areas, the stats may be true for Siberian Huskies, Shiba Inu, and Pit Bulls. Since Pits are not AKC, it would be difficult to get accurate data.

Anyone can challenge the accuracy of this. It’s all anecdotal, but as a dog lover, I  don’t want to be responsible for dogs I bred ending up unloved and unwanted.  That’s why I am not a dog breeder.


2 Responses to “Why I am not a dog breeder”

  1. Jenny Sequoi Says:

    You might find my youtube videos of interest http://www.youtube.com/JSequoi especially Lotus Watches and Waits.

    I own 19 give or take Afghan Hounds. Good homes are too hard to find!

  2. Wendy Says:

    How right you are!! If EVERY breeder was made to be accountable for EVERY dog they produced we would see a sudden drop in “breeders”. A “real” reputable breeder will be responsible for all the dogs they produce for the life of that dog. If all of them operated this way the shelters would be empty!

    We are hosting a Pet Adoption Fundraiser Fair this Sunday and I will post this for people to read. Some just don’t get it!

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