The Dog Breeding Pyramid Scam…Afghan Hounds, Pit Bulls


I was a pre teenager when I got my first Afghan Hound. My parents had told me that if I obedience trained the Miniaure Schnauzer  I had, they would  buy a show dog for me. I wanted an Irish Woflhound, but my mother said an IW was too large for our house. But an Afghan Hound was ok. So, that became my breed.

This was in 1967.  The hippie era, in terms of fashion. Bell bottoms and long hair were in.  I  wouldn’t have chosen an Afghan Hound on my own. I am not sure what my next choice might have been at that time. I was still choosing a pet based on the  appearance of the breed.    I found an ad in the paper, and the Afghan was what I got.  A young married couple of college students had been encouraged to breed their 2 Afghans.  I never saw the parent dogs. However, their  pedigrees were phenomenal.  Both the sire and the dam (father and mother dogs) were from litters that produced  many champions.

I don’t think the young couple repeated the breeding. They were going to keep Khyber, the dog they sold us, but the father  dog didn’t like him.  No matter. It wasn’t four years later that I left home, at age 18, and about a year later decided to buy a bitch pup from Wally Pede.  His dogs were  of English bloodlines, relatively well known, and  they had the structure I wanted.  Then, reality set in.

I had this fantasy that, in a few years time, my fiance & I would buy a kennel, and then I would be able to raise dogs, and make a living boarding, grooming, & training dogs.  But that’s not what happened.  My fiance had another dream.  and while we were doing ok financially, we were renters.  But more, I  was learning, from being a dog groomer, that people who bought long haired dogs weren’t taking care of their dogs. I had to shave the few Afghans that I groomed.  I was a member of the Afghan Hound Club of Greater Chicago, and everyone was breeding their dogs based on —not the conformation of the dogs—but the dogs pedigrees.  My  male, Khyber, has a great pedigree but he was  not a show or breeding quality dog, and neither was the bitch, Aswan, that I got from Wally Pede.  I knew that no matter what dog I bred her to, no matter how good his quality,  the pups would carry her head, her lack of body, and her bad front.  I knew that I would not be able to find good homes for puppies, nor did I have the capacity to keep an entire litter indefinitely.  In fact, I met a fellow groomer, Romaine Michele, and she had at least 4 of a litter until they were  over a year old. Nobody wanted them. The market was saturated.

& the many backyard breeders were not  screening potential buyers to make sure they knew what they were getting into—but they were convincing  buyers of females to   do a contract where the  buyer would pay for the stud the breeder of this pup would choose, and then get a 1st, 3rd, & 5th pick of litter pup back to the  original breeder…thus the pyramid scam.  I had that agreement with Wally if I bred my bitch, Aswan.

Suddenly, there was a need for Afghan Rescue.  A few non-breeder club members gave me money to set up  a project, but the fact of the matter  only one club member—the late Fredric Mark Alderman—would take his puppies back. & , in fact, he insisted you spend a day with him, grooming—before you even got a dog he bred.  The other breeders just complained about  selling to people who weren’t committed to an Afghan.

In the lat 1970’s, the year I did Afghan Rescue, we got an average of 1 dog a week— well—people calling to give up dogs, or shelters calling to say they  had an Afghan. Of course, I didn’t take most of them.   Only the ones already in area pounds & shelters.  There were too many.  I suggested these people return the unwanted dog to the breeder—but the breeders wouldn’t be responsible for the dogs they bred.  Many were not housebroken, and the  fact is, very few adult dogs can be housebroken.  &— because the market was saturated, and the novice dog breeders could not sell puppies, they  gradually  disappeared. Many euthanized their dogs or  dumped them in animal shelters.  Some sold entire litters to pet shops, and  40 years later, we are still seeing dogs of their breeding coming from puppy mills.  this is how puppy mills get dogs of good bloodlines.

The popularity of breeds goes in cycles—so they say—but the ones that make good pets are always popular.  Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, Shih Tzu.  Jack Russell Terriers came & went, as did Tibetan Terriers, —- as are Shiba Inu coming & going.  People tend not to like their personalities as much as they thought they would—or thought all dogs are the same. They are not.

The breeders of Portuguese Water Dogs saw this, and  set up a stringent code of ethics for their members. They do  not sell breedable bitches  to  novice Porty owners, and must take back dogs they bred or the club will  not help them sell their pups.  There was a spike in interest when the Obamas got Bo, but the Porty fanciers are of like mind when it comes to protecting their breed.  Check out http://www.dog-play.com   the section on breeders codes of ethics.

Not so the  owners of Neopolitan Mastiffs or Cane Corso…nor Pit Bulls.  Every idiot in the world is breeding these dogs, and they do make good family dogs—but they are  strong, and  not all of them are good with other dogs.

I work at a business that does dog daycare.  On any given day, 1/3 of the dogs are Pit Bulls, and we hardly ever see a fight. But it does happen.  Fighting is not the problem.  The issue is, that many of the owners  just wanted a dog and because they were  willing to take any dog from a shelter that needed a home, and because up to 70% of dogs in metro area shelters are Pits or Pit mixes, they  took Pits because those dogs needed homes.

& there are so many in shelters because that’s what the idiots are breeding—-all those dogs they were told have excellent bloodlines and are hoping to make their money back on.  They may have gotten into contracts, where  they paid something for  their bitches & then agreed to a puppy back scheme…and  so it goes…They sell to whomever comes by with cash. They don’t ask to meet everyone in the household. They don’t ask to  see proof of home ownership or a signed long term lease, they don’t ask when the buyer will have time to train the dog. They  are just thrilled to GET RID OF another puppy they didn’t have plans to keep.

Go on Craigslist, and you will see that  80% of puppies offered (in any metro area) are Pit Bulls. The people posting litters—ignoring the posting rules about NO ANIMAL SALES OR BREEDING are selling Pit Bulls.

It’s legal… totally legal to breed animals and not be responsible for them. It becomes a public health issues, if you  don’t car about the humane aspects of it. The  people who bought these  dogs  believed the sellers had more integrity than the buyers had. Neither of them  had or have any integrity.  The rest of us have to deal with the problems they cause:  dog bites & maulings, and the  idea that we have to pay to  either kill—or feed—the unwanted dogs we did not choose to produce.

I understand that idea of adopting shelter dogs.  My last several dogs have come from rescues….but  when you allow the irresponsible breeders to  choose what dogs are available for YOU to LOVE, you are not solving the problem, and not  contributing to a humane  society or community. You a are allowing the imbeciles to control  you…and  we have enough politicians who  tax us  for stuff we know  destroys us….so think about this….

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