Why I Support Responsible Breeders

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Sandy, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. Sandy

    Sandy New Member

    United States
    I wrote the following about a year ago, but I think some of the points are relevant for this group:

    Why I Support Responsible Breeding: (Warning: potentially controversial topic-- inspired by a well-intentioned chastising by a lady from the Humane Society)

    There is no way we could have outstanding service dogs, police or military working dogs without careful, selective breeding.

    As someone who has adopted dogs from shelters and as a former animal control volunteer, the subject of dog adoption versus purchase is a very difficult one for me. I am a huge advocate for adoption, but I have also purchased dogs from breeders, so I might be considered a hypocrite. Regardless, I know that one can find wonderful family companions and even sporting dogs at animal shelters, but I also know responsible breeders will often be more selective and careful about producing litters than many humans are about their own personal reproductive choices.

    A responsible breeder has tested and proven the working and/or show potential of the sire and dam; has completed extensive health testing on their animals; has carefully selected for temperament and working ability; requires comprehensive contracts with potential owners; and sometimes, even conducts background checks on potential buyers. (Artie's breeder sure checked us out!)

    Buying from a responsible breeder can increase the odds the prospective family is getting exactly the dog they were expecting to get. After all, isn't that why dog breeds were created-- to fulfill a certain role, whether to hunt, retrieve, protect, guard, herd, conduct search and rescue, lead the blind? Historically, all dogs were deliberately bred to enhance certain instincts, to produce a certain a look. Is that such a terrible thing? Look at all of the amazing breeds out there!

    (Side note: Unfortunately, many pure-bred dog owners do not employ their dogs to perform the functions they were bred to perform . . . which can sometimes lead to behavior problems.)

    I will continue to advocate for rescue and adoption, but unfortunately, finding just the right dog at a shelter can be challenging for many families. In the time I volunteered at our local animal control facility, I assess only about 20% of adult dogs would have been able to pass the Pet Smart Rescue Wagon temperament test. Doesn't mean they're weren't awesome dogs-- it just means they required exceptional, experienced owners with time to rehabilitate the dog.

    Pure bred dogs (a TINY percentage of all dogs in the facility) were always quickly adopted and potential adopters ALWAYS wanted to know the breed/background of the dog they were considering for adoption. Why? Because even the most novice dog owners know that genetics are a predictor for behavior, temperament and size.

    Here's my plea to those who demonize breeders and owners of intact dogs: Please consider that there ARE responsible breeders who care deeply for the heath and welfare of the breed they produce. There are also responsible owners who show and compete their dogs, but will never breed them. These people spend tons of time and money training and working their dogs; they buy the very best dog food they can afford; they travel (at great expense) throughout the nation to compete. Not everyone with an intact dog is some sort of backyard breeder.

    So here's the bottom line: I support RESPONSIBLE breeders (as described above) because they perform a wonderful service for dogs and people alike. We cannot rely exclusively on accidentally-bred dogs that end up in animal control to fulfill the noble work many breeds were intended to perform.
  2. Igor

    Igor Administrator Staff Member

    Local Intranet
    Thank you @Sandy ! Very well-said!

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