Reputable Breeder vs Backyard Breeder

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Reputable Breeder vs Backyard Breeder

Post  silvaheyes on Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:48 am

This is a good read, I suggest everyone who is looking to buy a puppy read over this article before deciding upon a breeder.

http://www.jlhweb.net/Boxermap/reputablebreeder.html
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Re: Reputable Breeder vs Backyard Breeder

Post  mjsmittyjr on Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:52 pm

This is why I find it hard to belive that some people buy puppies from breeders that they have never visited. Every pet I have ever purchased I have gone to the location to see for myself the current living conditions and make a personal observation if this is someone I want to do business with. shutup
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Re: Reputable Breeder vs Backyard Breeder

Post  Riverdog on Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:15 am

Here is my story for anyone out there that is considering becoming a breeder.
I guess I would have to call myself somewhere in the middle of a backyard breeder and a reputable breeder or more like an educated first time breeder. I didn't have the correct "so called" facilities so my dogs were bred and kept in the house. I had gated a 6x8 corner of my kitchen after the puppies grew out of their birthing box. We were thinking about breeding full time but after the first litter I realized it was going to be way too hard and time consuming! That is if you do it correctly! My vet had talked to me about breeding before I started. He bred seeing eye & service Labs and wanted one of the pups for his program. It takes a lot of work and studying! Even when you think you are ready, something pops up that you were not prepared for. Annie had a litter of 12 puppies but didn't have enough milk for all of them. I ended up having to supplement their feedings 6 puppies on and 6 puppies off every two hours. Believe me, good formula is not cheap and neither is sleep!

The only part of the article I disagreed with was "Is not involved in showing their dogs to "prove" quality". I didn't raise my dogs for show, I bred because of their intelligence level and I was encouraged by my vet. I don't believe a good quality breeder has to be involved with shows to be a good breeder.

I didn't breed for money. It's a good thing too! If done correctly you do not make much money breeding!
I sold my pups for $500 and in 1990 that was a lot of money.
Mom & pups were vet checked the day after birth.
I guaranteed against hip dysplasia and cataracts. (These tests are not cheap)
I offered to take back any dog no matter their age or condition if the owner couldn't keep it. (After all, these were my grandkids)
All shots and worming were done. I do have to pride myself in the fact that none of the pups had worms of any kind, ever! That's hard to do even in a totally sanitary environment!
The puppies were kept inside and ended up completely or partially house trained before they went home with their new families. I video taped their progress over the 8 weeks and all puppies went home with a "family" video. I had everyone sign a contract & I followed up with all my sales.

It turned out to be a very positive experience but in order to do it right you have to devote your life to it! I don't think I ever worked so hard in my life! At least I figured out that breeding was not for me but I ended up with 12 great pups in the process. My male did end up going on to father a few other litters for Seeing Eye but my days as a future breeder ended!

There is also a physical danger in breeding. I had some pretty angry customers when they found out I wouldn't sell to anyone living in an apartment or wanted an outside dog. One woman tried to bribe me with $200 extra dollars if I would sell her a pup. huh One guy was so strange I worried about him returning. Who knew if he would try to do something to me or my dogs. Fear This was not some low life guy either but a well respected member of the community. Still, I didn't trust him. This was also a major factor in me not wanting to continue breeding. The more picky you are on choosing owners, the more people you are going to make angry!

I kept in contact with all the puppies over the years and every single one of them had come back to visit mom & dad. Most of them would at least visit once a year if not more. I'll have to dig up a photo that I took of five kids here at one time! We didn't plan it but five pups ended up visiting on their birthday. That was fun! Smile One puppy even knew commands in three languages so I have to say she ended up smarter than me! Laugh

Still, even if you think you have educated yourself well enough and are still thinking about becoming a breeder I would suggest volunteering some time helping an experienced local breeder before jumping in!

I drove two and a half hours to find Doc. I was surprised when I was talking to Cindy and she told me that your area has an over abundance of homeless Labs. It's hard to find a Lab around here even at the shelter. They go as fast as they come in which is a good thing. It's too bad that some of the Louisiana Labs couldn't be shipped up here! Still, people around here are fearful of dogs from the south having heartworms. It used to be a rare case for a dog to test positive for heartworm in our State. However, over the past years this is no longer true. With many families now taking their unprotected pets on southern vacations and contracting heart worms when returning home we now have heart worm problems too. We average around 400 cases a year. There are still many owners unaware that their pet is vulnerable and still consider heart worms a southern disease.
Well, that's another topic!
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Re: Reputable Breeder vs Backyard Breeder

Post  silvaheyes on Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:38 pm

Riverdog wrote:
The only part of the article I disagreed with was "Is not involved in showing their dogs to "prove" quality". I didn't raise my dogs for show, I bred because of their intelligence level and I was encouraged by my vet. I don't believe a good quality breeder has to be involved with shows to be a good breeder.

I disagree.. The whole point of showing is to prove the dog you're wanting to breed is up to par with the standards of it's own breed. If people keep breeding dogs who are FAR from the standards we will no longer have the breeds we love today. I see it all the time in Boxers.. People breed any dog they can get without doing any kind of health testing along nor do they even get their dog looked over to see if it's a good specimen to breed thus a lot of Boxers nowadays have longer muzzles, are bigger, and have much more health problems due to this.

No offense but vets don't ALWAYS know the best things, Especially when it comes to breeding. Sure your dog may be healthy at the time and that is what most of the time they look for but IMO, Breeding takes more than just your dog being healthy at that moment and it having ONE trait you want which may not even be passed onto the puppies without carful consideration and finding the right mate to breed with to match your dogs flaws.. So what they lack, The other brings to the table. Smile
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Re: Reputable Breeder vs Backyard Breeder

Post  mjsmittyjr on Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:32 pm

I couldn't agree more, I have seen many traits that would disqualify a dog in a AKC show, that people are still breeding. With a rottie, they are not to be breed until they reach the age of two and have passed the OFA's on all joints. I wish it could be easier to get a recognized AKC judge to evaluate the dog for the standard, then if there are not health issues then breed the dog.
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Re: Reputable Breeder vs Backyard Breeder

Post  Riverdog on Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:10 am

I'm going to try to explain my reasoning without being misunderstood. *This is going to be hard!* Jay
Wow this turned out longer than I expected! Laugh

I still disagree with "all breeders need to be active in shows" BUT I do agree with mjsmittyjr that it would be great if it were possible to have a dog evaluated before breeding. Actually, I would like to see that mandatory along with genetic testing. I hope I am making sense! Let me try to explain...

Advising future dog owners to make sure the breeder is active in shows can be very misleading. Now, I'm not speaking of National Dog Shows but more about the local, regional shows. I couldn't tell you how many times I've run into people disappointed in the dog that they purchased for a huge amount of money from a reputable breeder who raises "show dogs" and has consistent champions. Those champions are from a select few "pick of the litter" pups that are kept by the breeder. The rejects are the pups that are usually sold. Even though these pups are usually spayed and neutered so they cannot reproduce it is the owner who is after that breed specific pup that is in for a huge disappointment. Even under the strictest breeding programs a pup can pop out with either too long of a tail or larger than normal snout. Genetic testing can only REDUCE genetic disorders it doesn't eliminate them but usually the average buyer is not aware of this. Of course the breeder will tell you that is why the pup is sold spayed or neutered. Still "show dog" breeders give the buyers a false sense of just what they are getting. I've noticed some show dog breeders that were just plain nutty. They strive for the perfect dog (not a bad thing), knowing that by winning shows they can command top dollar for the offspring, even the rejects. They experiment with different breed lines (two champion dogs) selling the first litter of pups without knowing the outcome. Many times they will end up selling the pick of the litter after it has reached a year old if the pup they kept did not meet their expectations. I've seen breeder dogs sold to another "show dog" breeder that after the first litter was born future breeding should have been discontinued but they still continue to breed.

There is a famous breeder of champion dachshunds in NJ. They consistently produce national & regional champion show dogs. A friend of mine purchased two from her. Both ended up with a wide range of problems and both died a early death. Sure the breeder offered a replacement but who in their right mind ever returns the dog after falling in love with it. Thinking it must have been bad luck, she purchase two more from the same breeder. The puppies were not free but she did get a hefty discount. After all, this is the most respected breeder around with champion dogs and caters to the rich and famous. Her male Moe looked like a Lab with his legs cut off. He is suppose to be miniature but is full size if not bigger. Sophia her female has a problem that is still being diagnosed along with extremely bowed front legs and a body that is extremely long for the average Docsie that did not show up until after full growth. Both dogs have cost her thousands in medical bills and their not even three years of age.

I hear what you both are saying and understand why you are saying it, but a "show dog" breeder does not guarantee you are going to get a better dog. It only shows that they can produce show quality dogs. I would much rather see a breeder who is educated and participates in national, regional, or local breed clubs. Has had their dog evaluated and can prove at least 4 generations of genetic health testing and has no problem providing references. Have you ever tried to get "the average Joe" references from a show dog breeder? The only references I could get were for other dog breeders or the owners of show dogs bred from the litters. I've tried this with a few show dog breeders. I found ONE show dog breeder that did have a list of references from customers that had purchased spayed or neutered dogs that were rejected as show quality. Most are very reluctant to give you references other than the show quality dog owners.

I'm sticking to my guns. I still don't believe finding a breeder who is active in dog shows should be in the criteria for searching for a family pet. I feel researching the bloodline and generations of genetic testing are a more reliable source of searching for a family pet. It would have to be a very special "show dog" breeder nationally known for me to consider them.

Many years ago my cousin purchased a German Shepard from Rin Tin Tin IV for breeding purposes for $8000. That dog had some serious issues but my cousin refused returning the dog hoping it was just behavioral issues that could be corrected. The dog didn't act right even as a puppy. Tests were done but nothing physical could be determined. His eyes looked funny and he always had his head cocked in a weird position. Eventually he ended up escaping and slashing the throats of three cows belonging to the neighbor. None of the cows survived. I have a scar on my stomach where he bit me. Thank the heavens he never reproduced before he was put down!

I also feel there is a big misconception in how some breeders advertise their health guarantee. Beware of breeders stating that the parents have had genetic testing, hip dysplasia, thyroid etc. and offers a "Lifetime health guarantee" if they do not have the certification to back them up. The majority of future pet owners do not look any further than the little piece of paper with the "Health Guarantee" on it and unknowingly never ask to see or be provided with a copy of the actual certificate. Some breeders will provide the certification on the parents, guarantee the pups BUT will avoid telling you how many past litters have produced some genetic faults. Most owners after falling in love with their puppy never or very rarely returns the puppy to the breeder. Some genetic testing can be done on pups as early as 8 weeks but most breeders don't bother since it can get quite expensive on large litters. (not all tests can be done on a puppy at 8 weeks of age but there are tests that can be done and should be done.) A health certificate from the veterinarian should not be dated any earlier than 8 weeks of age. Many disorders do not show up until at least 8 weeks! I see advise out there that warns you to make sure you receive a health certificate from the breeder but I have not found one site that tells you that it is best that the puppy has that health check at 8 weeks or later. Unfortunately, only dogs 2 years and over can a definite no for hip dysplasia be given. Most information tells you to make sure the parents and grandparents are free from hip dysplasia. Truthfully this is not good enough since hip dysplasia, cataracts and a few other genetic problems can skip a generation! The more generations that have been certified the better. I feel the advise that is out there regarding tips on choosing a puppy needs to be more detailed.

When I bred Annie and Rooney I had copies of health certificates going back four generations. I had a contract stating more generations (I can't remember how many) were free from genetic disorders but I only had actual proof of four. My dogs were tested twice and I went the extra step and had the puppies tested for everything I could at 8 1/2 weeks. Annie came from a long line of sport & field champions. Rooney had winners in his background but nothing big. In his day, my Vet was recognized by the American Guide Dog Association for producing guide dogs. He eventually retired. He had a knack for being able to choose a dog that would produce a successful guide dog litter. He would manage to have all but one or two in a litter that did not make the cut and even these pups stayed on as service dogs or drug dogs. That is a lot since it is usually the other way around! I agree that you shouldn't breed based on ONE trait but the overall dog. Rooney had a Dudley nose which would have kept him from being shown and Annie had a birthmark where her hair went two different directions down her nose. Neither issue was a big deal but that would have kept both of them out of a show dog breeding program. Certified Guide Dog breeders look for certain traits that produce a good guide dog. The guide dog has to be intelligent and confident enough to know a command and purposely disobey that command to protect the owner. Rooney was a perfect candidate and a Dudley nose is going to be overlooked when there is a good chance of producing a litter of seeing eye dogs. A blind child is not going to know or care if his service dog has a pink nose! All my pups were spayed & neutered except for the guide dog pup who grew up to father even more guide dogs. I tried to keep track of that puppy and even tried at one time to get on a list to adopt in case any of his puppies were refused as a guide dog. They took my phone number but I never got a call back.

To quote Seeing Eye.. There is no “perfect Seeing Eye dog.” "The Seeing Eye is the leader in building, if not the “perfect dog,” then certainly the most healthy, productive, predictable, and reliable dog guides possible".


If you made it reading to the bottom of this post I hope you are still awake! tongue
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Re: Reputable Breeder vs Backyard Breeder

Post  mjsmittyjr on Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:36 am

Great, all things should be considered if you are purchasing a dog to be a pet and for breeding, and some things can be overlooked if you are only wanting a dog as a pet and being fixed. To me it is wrong to continue to breed bad dogs with defects that can make the life of their offsprings short or harmful.
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Re: Reputable Breeder vs Backyard Breeder

Post  Riverdog on Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:41 am

I wish there was a way (other than dog shows) that all breeding dogs could be assessed before they would be allowed to breed. Evidently Dog shows are not always the answer. I'm not saying that ALL dog show breeders are the way I described. I've just had run ins with some of the not so great ones. The problem is the NJ breeder has had National Champions and photos of famous people with her puppies line her wall. My question is, if you keep having some puppies with problems then why are they still breeding from that line?

After thinking about this for awhile, at this time I guess shows are really the only way to make sure your dog is up to standard. I don't agree with it but I guess I have to live with it. I think every dog should be evaluated but not in a show ring. If I was going to breed again, it would be nice to see some type of AKC board or some kind of system set up where you could pay to have your dog evaluated before breeding and again every year thereafter. The breeder would then have a certificate to show that the dog was up to par along with a health certificate. Or better yet, a breeder would need and least four generations of health certificates to get the dog evaluated in the first place. I know I'm dreaming here but this is one dream I would like to see come true.

I think my main gripe with show breeders is they can have a sire & dame who have won many shows across the country and yet together still produce crappy litters. The not so honest breeder would still continue to breed because of the amount of money the pups could bring. You would think they would eventually get caught, but the lady in NJ is still getting away with it. While I'm still dreaming here, it would also be nice to be required to have that first litter evaluated. If your perfect dogs are producing not so perfect litters you should not be allowed to continue to breed. Another scenario is when the breeder in turn breeds the offspring of Champion dogs who have not won or competed themselves, then they advertise the pups as such. Since the offspring of the Champion was never evaluated you really don't know how those dogs add up other than there parents were show champions.

There are good show dog breeders out there, don't get me wrong! I'm just against the ones that have turned it into a profit making scheme and unsuspecting buyers who are being led to them. Years ago this wasn't a problem but with the falling economy there are more and more breeders that are entering the show ring for the wrong reasons. It is more prevalent in UKC/AKC duel registered dogs & shows. Here is a good example of what I've been blabbing about. Clicky
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