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Breeder's Lament

2975 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Aruuuu
This was posted on a show dog list I'm on. I thought it really helps explain why serious breeders cringe when someone wants to breed their pet, or their breed becomes popular with puppymills and pet shops. Cross posted with permission.

Lamenting The Destruction Of A Breed.

I love my breed. Obviously - that's why I've committed myself to it's welfare - why I show my dogs at CKC and AKC events - why I read all the general and breed specific literature I can find. Why I health test - and participate in genetic studies. And why I mourn over it's destruction. It is dying a slow insidious death.

Despite the fact that the only dog to ever seriously injure me, a badly backyard bred, oversized with horrid conformation, and nastiest personality I've ever seen on a dog, is one of my breed - it is not BSL that will be the end of my breed.

No - my breed is dying of popularity.

Like other breeds who have gained popularity with the general public - mine has suffered the ill effects. Too many people jumping on the breeding bandwagon to make a few bucks, to show the kids the joys of birth (never mind showing them the lows of euthanasia in the kill shelters) and a zillion other poor excuses. They are a staple in puppy mills, pet stores and there are byb's galore. The CKC has shown a steady increase in the number of puppies being registered per year, despite two of the most prolific breeders in Canada now serving multi-year or lifetime bans. And that doesn't take into account all the unregistered dogs being bred - or the cutsey - oodle crosses that are all the rage. Suddenly there is a plethora of 'rare'colours (which in many cases have no genetic basis in the breed) being hawked on internet sites for big dollars. Worse still are the 'toys' - grossly undersized pups with bulging eyes and domey hydro-cephalic looking heads, pups that can't be guaranteed not to die of hypoglycemia if not fed every two hours (never mind collapsing tracheas, Legges Perthes....).

Some old-school breeders, in an effort to curtail the descent - discouraged new breeders - which ultimately resulted in people starting to breed from pet stock acquired from disreputable breeders, byb's or pet stores. These people are not involved in the breed clubs - not educated or supported, and are buying and selling dogs to equally uneducated people for breeding.  Everyday new newspaper ads.  Google showed 108 000 websites pertaining to 'breeders" of  my breed

The uninformed individuals breeding dogs are heartbreaking enough - a recent litter of pups affected by a terminal, genetic defect that can easily be avoided through DNA testing the parents - was depressing enough. More depressing was that a breeder who knew better, sold these novices the dogs un-neutered/ unspayed and with no regard to the harm that would be done. And I see it over and over again -dogs at high risk for producing problems - dogs that have produced problems already - or their offspring - sold for breeding to people who know little or nothing..

The only thing worse than the uninformed are the well informed but uncaring. There are a lot of those - in the show ring and out.

The quality conformation wise- even in the show ring has declined - particularly in certain venues.  Many breeder-exhibitors' never attend shows - never show there own dogs - and don't know the difference between single tracking and moving close, layback etc.

Today I got another phone call. A woman with a unregistered bitch - from a suspended breeder (probably a DQ'd colour) wanting to breed her bitch who was in heat. She wasn't interested in hearing about the importance of registration - about health testing - about quality and responsibility. She wanted a cheap stud so she could 'sell cheap puppies because not everyone wanted expensive ones'. Sadly she's right. And someone somewhere - more interested in cash than in the breed welfare - will breed her bitch. And my beloved breed will slide a little deeper.

People ask me why I spay / neuter every companion dog leaving my house - and rarely sell dogs on open papers without retaining some control. It's the only thing I can do. I may not be able to stop the decline - but I won't contribute to it.

What is my breed? Does it matter? Popularity has ruined breeds before. It seems no one really cares. For with popularity comes apathy. And it is the apathy that kills.

[ July 20, 2005, 05:55 PM: Message edited by: Soundtrack ]
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This exactly why I hope the basset never wins Westminster---several breeds have been ruined already!!!!
sad but true.
Great article, Miriam, and sadly, very true......
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