August 17, 2013

Breeding is not for everyone

Breeding.  Having cute little puppies in your home, and when they're a bit older, they go to loving homes.  Sounds fun and easy right?  And at $400-$1,000+ an easy way to make money, right?  Not even close.  Proper breeders do not make money off of their animals.  There are many ways to figure out if you have a proper breeder.  First, they only breed one, MAYBE two breeds of dog.  Any more, and you are probably dealing with a puppy mill.  Good breeders focus on their dogs, making sure that not only are they conforming to the AKC standards, but improving the breed.  Temperament, attitude, and drive (according to breed) are also very important qualities but not always seen by the judges.  However, you will know since this dog will be a member of your family.  If you're looking for a cash cow to use as breeding stock and not wanting to put time into your animals, breed cows.  Fish.  Anything other than dogs.  Good breeding dogs are happy, well mannered, and loved dogs.  Getting good, pedigreed dogs is just step one.  Next, you have to raise them until they are old enough to be bred safely, usually 2 years old.  Before you breed, the dogs have to have health checks, including blood work and certifications to prove their eyes/hips/everything else is the best, and puppies are likely to be healthy.  All of this work has to happen before you even breed your first bitch.  See what I mean about work?  Now think about what breed you want to do.  Now go to Petfinder and see all of the dogs of that breed that are in shelters.  Think about this, a very high amount of those animals will never make it out of there.  In the USA alone, there are around 10,000 dogs put down every day.  EVERY DAY.  Did you see all of the purebred dogs?  Go back and check, I'll wait.  Scary right?  No one wants the cute bundle of love they spent so much time making sure was the perfect pet to be cast aside into a shelter, or much worse thrown into a cage and murdered.  Guess what?  Every one of those dogs represents at least one litter of puppies that were not well thought out, bought by people that were not ready to be a good dog parent.  Yes, sometimes there are unavoidable situations that can land a dog in a shelter, like the owner dying.  Most of the time, dogs are turned into a shelter for the owner's convenience.  A new baby, moving, and not having as much time are the most common reasons for surrender.  Am I the only one, or do these seem like the lamest excuses in the world?  Anyway, I digress.  Unless you are willing to work for it, lose money at it, and face perhaps having to keep puppies or take them back if the buyers can't keep them, don't be a breeder.  Please, don't make more babies to fill the shelters.  Every dog in there was someone's puppy, probably from very nice parents.  Yet they're dying from the inside out by living in a cage, abandoned by the ones they loved.  Instead, why not adopt a puppy from a shelter?  They have them all of the time.  Look here, over 20,000 puppies available.  If you want a particular breed, there are many breed specific rescues that can help you find your ideal friend.  Good luck!  If after this long rant you are still interested in breeding, find a good breeder in your area to help you get started.  Also, the AKC is always a good place to start.  Look at their breeder of merit program.  *end rant*