I try to post about once a week. and wordpress allows me to see the blog posts that are viewed the most. What I get from what people are reading is that they need information they are not getting elsewhere.
One of my obsessions is flagging the pet sellers off of Craigslist. Why bother? Because I have been successful. They post there rather than pay for ads in the paper to sell the animals they breed because you can post on Craigslist for free. If you can eliminate your marketing costs, that’s one huge expense. No animal sales or breeding are allowed on Craigslist for several reasons. Internet sales of animals, where Craigslist is incorporated, are illegal—that’s one reason. But, since the economy went bad, every innumerate idiot who is desperate for extra cash is breeding Bearded Dragons, birds, dogs or cats. Maybe they are keeping themselves in beer-and-cigarettes. I don’t know. All I know is suddenly, for the first time in a very long time, not just Pit Bull breeders, but anyone with an unspayed female anything is attempting to sell young animals. What’s the problem? When the breeders post the animals they’ve bred, people who are genuinely trying to find a home for an older pet (due to losing a job or a home, or a relative dying, or having a child that is allergic) can’t compete. That is what the site is for.
I know hundreds of dog breeders—& probably 3 who breed healthy, sound dogs of their breed who make money breeding dogs of exceptional quality. This is how they dog it:
1. Breeder’s mother started her in the breed over 50 years ago. She owns her own house free & clear, and is also an AKC professional handler. Her breed is very popular, she breeds good dogs, and always has a waiting list. I would not be exaggerating to say she has 10—20 litters a year (averaging 5 puppies each). Obviously , since she does no marketing & owns her home, her expenses are low, so she makes money.
2. Breeder and her husband were always very shrewd investors, & very handy as well. They have always managed to buy property at a bargain rate and fix it up. More, since this breeder has always bred good dogs, she also always has a waiting list for puppies & does no marketing. All sold via word-of-mouth. She averages 4 litters a year. Oh, and she and her husband are professional blackjack players. I think that helps. She does not live off her dogs, but they ‘pay for themselves’ as showing (& maintaining your reputation) is expensive. She’s had setbacks. As a line breeder, when she discovered Juvenile Cataracts in her line, she had to revamp her whole breeding program. It paid off.
3. Breeder number 3 has had 4 litters in the past 5 years. She keeps a pack of 6 dogs. The reason she makes money on her puppies is that her breed club helps her sell them…and she grooms dogs for a living. She obviously makes more money grooming dogs, but I know 5—10% of her income comes from the puppies. She is one of the hobby breeders who has bred her own grooming business.
Do you think any of the morons selling puppies on Craigslist care at all about the soundness of the puppies they are breeding? The fact is, they are too innumerate to realize that they are losing money. One funny thing the Pit Bull breeders do is state the dogs are of ‘Razor’s Edge’ or ‘Gator’ bloodlines. Sounds impressive if you don’t understand that these people own the pet quality dogs from those ‘lines’ & they aren’t even linebred dogs.
Other backyard breeders tell you they have puppies for adoption. Sounds sweet—unless you know you adopt from a shelter or rescue. You buy a puppy.
These ignorant puppy sellers also believe everything they read on the internet. A few people got bad information from a guy I applied for a job to. He ‘hired’ me, but I told him I could not work for him because he did not have enough dog experience. This matters—because they skimp on equipment, underprice services, don’t keep good records—& end up not paying you for the work you’ve done. Been there, done that. Unfortunately, he had my resume and all my contact info—& he started contacting these ignorant breeders attempting to sell puppies on Craigslist. Every few months, I start getting threatening phone calls from anonymous callers telling me to stay off Craigslist & stop flagging. I may not have been on line all day, & most likely they are being flagged by other breeders desperate to sell, but no matter. Once that litter is on the ground, & they realize the ‘market’ is not beating a path to their doors, they get desperate & angry. Someone snookered them.
People sometimes ask me, “What is to become of those puppies? They’ll have to dump them in shelters.”
Sad, isn’t it? But once you dump a litter & have lost money, you generally don’t breed any more dogs. Many of the puppies find homes. It’s the adult dogs wasting & lonely in shelters that I really ‘worry’ about. Unless we make it so the irresponsible breeders can’t make money, there will always be too many dogs in shelters.