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What Constitutes A Good Breeder And Why?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by hutch6, Jul 8, 2009.


  1. hutch6

    hutch6 PetForums VIP

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    Here you go, a little playground for those of you who wish to discuss such things.

    Knock yourselves out.
     
  2. Jess2308

    Jess2308 PetForums VIP

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    Well, at the least for me a good breeder would have to:

    - Health test ALL breeding dogs and only breed with satisfactory results before breeding
    - Only breed from dogs of a suitable age.
    - Raise puppies in the house in a clean environment (obviously working people for example who keep their dogs outside may not agree with that)
    - Vet all homes carefully to ensure the best future for their pups.

    And i would prefer a breeder to only breed to produce a quality litter with the intention of keeping one for themselves, rather than just churning out pups to sell.

    I probably have loads more, i will add them if i can think of any but brain is in "work mode" right now!!!


    I also
     
  3. SpringerHusky

    SpringerHusky PetForums VIP

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    Sallyanne done this thread not all that long ago.

    for me have to have health tested, have a damn good idea what they are doing and have achived a title in something aka obeidance, agiltiy or show. They are raised indoors and around a varitey of sitiuations and the parents are of sound temperment also.
     
  4. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    A good breeder is someone who genuinely cares about the breed. If you do genuinely care you will ensure that whatever breeding decision you make, is in the best interest of your dogs and will contribute towards the breed as a whole.

    Unlike others I don't agree with only using dogs whose health test results are of a certain standard, as I don't believe dogs are to be bred to create a perfect example health wise. I do believe in health testing, but the information should be used towards a decision, not be the decision making factor by itself. People forget with the genetic tests available that an 'affected' status does not necessarily mean that a dog will develop the disease in its lifetime, it is only the advances in veterinary science that allow us to see that status, not the development of the actual disease. Even carriers are being pulled from being used for breeding, which is a great shame in some cases.

    I have been tempted to quote before, and I think it's very apt to use this in this instance:

    Are we breeding breeding stock, or are we breeding dogs?

    If we had the same outlook towards having children, it would be described as unethical, in fact someone already tried it.
     
  5. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    Personally this is a hard one, because I have always sworn never to buy from a litter, only adopt rescues. But I know this isn't for everyone, so in the sense of what I would like to see ALL breeders doing, these are my top choices....

    a) actively encourage people seeking their breed to try a breed specific rescue org if the breeder doesn't have a litter planned, rather than encouraging them to wait

    b) pro-actively erase hireditory (sp?) faults without introducing new ones (inadvertantly or otherwise - breeding is a huge responsibility - if someone wants to do it, they should be prepared to do the research)

    c) introduce an early Neurological Stimulation system with the pups and make good headway with basic training

    d) offer sound, life-long advice to owners and guarantee a life-time no-expiry-date return policy


    But preferably, stop breeding altogether (ooo, controversial!:D)
     
  6. Deerhounder

    Deerhounder PetForums Senior

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    A good breeder should have a sound knowledge of their breed before even contemplating a litter.

    A good breeder should only breed from sound stock. Not just physical soundness but also sound, correct temperament for their breed.

    A good breeder studies pedigrees and plans for the future by a sound knowledge of the past.

    A good breeder does not breed solely for the pet market. Their aim should be to improve their breed.

    A good breeder shouldn't need to advertise. They usually have a waiting list.

    A good breeder accepts a lifetime responsibility for every pup they breed. A good breeder will always take back one of their pups, even if it is a middle aged dog.

    A good breeder is always ready to offer help and advice to newcomers.

    And finally .....

    IF YOU DON'T RESCUE, DON'T BREED.

    This was my personal code of ethics when I was a breeder.
     
    clueless likes this.
  7. raindog

    raindog PetForums Senior

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  8. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Somebody after my own heart!

    Breeding programmes should stop for a period of time, only dogs which are needed as service dogs i.e police dogs and dogs for the blind should be bred.

    If people want a dog, they should have to go to their local shelter, or not get a dog at all! :D
     
  9. Jess2308

    Jess2308 PetForums VIP

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    Wow, is this forum full of PETA activist? Sounds like some people want to wipe out purebred dogs althogether. If you stop breeding the breeds will die out. You must breed responsibly from HEALTHY, sound dogs to keep a breed going. Not everyone can, or wants to, get a rescue dog. People should be able to buy a puppy from a breeder if they want :)

    Those who are so set against breeding, is it breeders in general you dislike? Or just puppy farmers? Because it is such a sweeping statement to say all breeders should just stop..

    Some breeders love their breed and want to produce pups that will better it and improve it and try to eradicate the health problems the breeds have. We are so lucky that we have so many health tests available these days so there is real opportunity to make certain diseases disappear from a breed completely. If everyone were to stop breeding the breed would never improve... And would die out of course, which is what PETA seem to want!!!
     
  10. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Ok, so maybe that is a bit strong.... We don't want the breeds dying out. Then I think the government should regulate it, and only a select few should be allowed to breed, like the RSPCA.

    Very emotive subject to people who rescue dogs. I'd love a puppy, would I get one....... No, because I have a sense of responsibility, how can I help bring new life into the world? For me personally, it is a betrayal to every dog who sits in a cage for weeks and months on end, and who may end their life with an injection because nobody wants them. The only time, I would possibly get a pup is if I had children.

    Rather than the attitude "I want". I think it should be "How can I help"?

    I'm not a PETA activist, I just have a genuine love for all dogs, not just designer ones.

    x
     
  11. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Just picking up on a couple of the points so far, and these are things that I've discussed, and seen discussed before.

    Why is it that people involved in breeding set eradicating health problems as a priority? Let me explain myself a little further; 20 years ago, if a dog had a limp, it lived with it, now its diagnosed with hip dysplasia or ocd etc, and operated on (thank goodness for insurance). Some dogs with joint problems show no outward signs, until they are scored/graded and the problem comes to light. They may never show any outward signs throughout their lives, and be sound until the day they die. The same goes for some of the genetic testing, dogs that show as carrier or affected, may never develop the disease in their lifetime, even if they lived for 20 years. If health test results had been a priority in the past, there would have been some very influential dogs lost from the breeding pool, and unfortunately that is what we are seeing now. Those dogs have gone on to produce many, many healthy pups, the descendants of which today are leading healthy long lives. Health testing does not guarantee healthy pups being produced, which is why it is should be a consideration, not the deciding factor surely?

    The other thing people always say, and I am guilty of this in the past as well, is to improve the breed. How? If we look at when the breed standards were set up, and I'm going by the Labrador Retriever here, it has been very loosely interpreted over the years, and some people's version of an improvement is the opposite of another person's (just ask one show and one working person, you'll get the idea ;) ). Unfortunately, as with anything, pedigree dogs are prone to fashion, the idea of what is the best in a breed changes with the times. Which is why I've looked back at what was started with the breed, and based where I want to go from there. I couldn't even hope to make an improvement on the past dual champions, but hopefully I'll contribute towards that breed, making individual improvements on the shortfalls with my dogs.

    These are two points that really interest me, apols if they sound a bit 'avid', it is just my point of view of course :)
     
  12. Deerhounder

    Deerhounder PetForums Senior

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    You make some very valid points.

    I think in the past breeders were much more ruthless than they are today. Most dogs were bred to do a job of work and if they weren't capable of doing that job they didn't live long enough to reproduce. Most litters were also culled. It was survival of the fittest and best. There was no health testing around in those days of course but the breeding stock was probably sounder than most dogs around today.

    I'm not suggesting we return to the bad old days but certainly Herr Dobermann, Parson Jack and others like them didn't mess around and let sentiment stand in the way of creating what they felt was the ideal breed for their purpose.

    When I bred Pugs I wanted my dogs to be as close to the breed standard as possible but they also had to have sound movement and be healthy and long lived. I think I achieved that. I also did Pug rescue. I think everyone who breeds should also be involved in rescue.

    From what you have said I would call you a good breeder and an honest one.
     
  13. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Thanks Deerhounder, I actually have yet to breed a litter, I'm hoping that will happen next year. It has been a long hard slog doing the research and making decisions so far, and I may yet change my mind :)

    Where you say that breeding stock was probably sounder than it is today, I'm not sure that it was? If you talk about the breeding stock that is being used as it was back then, so those that are working their dogs, they are pretty similar to how the dogs were back then, as a rule (not just conformation but health wise/temperament). But if you include the extra 'breeding stock', the pet and show market, along with the working as a whole, then yes, it is unlikely to be as sound and fit overall, obviously. But that still doesn't change that the 'genetic defects' we have within breeds come down from dogs that lived healthy lives, it wasn't excluded back then for the benefit of the breed, because it wasn't known about; and it wasn't a case of half the population of dogs walking round with their legs falling off and going blind. I think sometimes when people look at excluding health defects, they forget this isn't a new thing that's suddenly appeared in a breed, it has been there since the beginning.
     
  14. Jess2308

    Jess2308 PetForums VIP

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    Havent read the last couple of posts thoroughly as im puppy sitting so just being as brief as possible on here.

    But from my point of view if you are going to breed you should only be doing so to improve the breed. I think breeding from a dog of sound temperment should be a given anyway, any responsible breeder would only consider using a dog of good temperment in their breeding programme anyway.

    But 20 years ago many of the health tests now weren't available. If they are there, you should use them. I find it rather worrying that people dont see the health of breeding stock and puppies as a priority. It should be to every breeder. Dogs die from genetic health problems. Have you ever seen a puppy with severe HD because the breeder was too lazy/cheap/ignorant to have the parents tested? HD can be agonising for the dog. I have heard of pups born with almost no hip joint at all!! Yes, it can skip generations etc etc, but if EVERY breeder health tests their dogs and are careful about selecting stud dogs and breeding bitches then the health problems can be eradicated over time. You have to look further back in the pedigree, not just at the parents. And thats where knowledge of your breed and lines come in.

    I will admit that im not one of those people who think if, for example, a stud dog that is an outstanding example of the breed and has a proven record in show/working comes back as "affected" for PRA you should take him out of the gene pool. But if you have the test results you can be careful about breeding, only breed him to a clear bitch, test the puppies, only breed them to clear and so on.

    As for the dogs not showing outward signs - yes, i have a pug with hemivertebra. She is as sound as you want, she moves better than half the pugs in the ring. You wouldnt think theres anything wrong with her to look at her. Yet, her spine is severely deformed. She could jump down a step/off the sofa/down the stairs and her spinal cord would be severed and she'd be paralysed. This could happen at any time. What if i hadn't had her tested and then went on to breed her? And she produced pups with it that weren't tested? And those pups produced more pups? etc etc etc... The problem would just get worse and worse. Just because the dog can maybe go its whole life without having the symptoms does NOT mean the testing shouldnt be done. We have the ability to eradicate these problems and its a breeders responsibility to do everything they can to make sure they are producing healthy puppies, right....?

    IMO health testing should definately be a priority for any breeder and if you do not think that producing healthy puppies from tested parents is not very high on your list of importance then you should not be breeding. Its just common sense.
     
  15. clueless

    clueless Banned

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    I agree with a lot of your points although my breed has defo improved throughout the years imo.
    Years ago the Hairless had really poor dentition and construction was poor especially rear angulations etc...
    Most breeders of my breed now adays have been improving on these points and a few others. My breed is Toy so not prone to HP etc...
    Also improvement has been made due to advancement in dna health tests for PRA prcd so yes I believe my breed has improved from years ago
    Temperament and conformation should also be one of the first alongside health tests imo
     
  16. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    NO NO NO. Why on earth would you want to buy a pup bred by the RSPCA, whatever would they know about breeds or breeding :eek:hmy:
    Some people dont WANT any old dog from rescue, they want a specific dog. Some people dont WANT someone else's problem, they want a blank sheet of a puppy. You are entitled to your opinion but why would I want to go to a rescue place and get a dog with unknown problems, unknown health record, unknown breeding and probably not at all what I want when I can choose the pup I do want.

    I have had rescue dogs in the past because I have happened to want them, but I have also had puppies and bred puppies. The rescue dogs have been nothing like the success that the pups have been because of temperament and behaviourial problems which take away from the enjoyment of owning the dog.

    My last rescue dog was less than 5 months old, she was a cross breed, collie cross JR by the look of her but unknown. She was a lovely dog and one of the nicest pets I have had but she was very difficult initially and she had lameness problems from about 2 years old so had to stop agility and be limited a lot on her exercise. She suited me but she most certainly wouldnt have suited a lot of people who might have had her because she was attractive and friendly.

    To get back on topic I do agree with a lot of what has been said but I feel strongly that a lot of the home vetting is ridiculous, almost as stupid as some of the rescue places home vetting. I also dont think the breeder should guarantee to take the dog back, they have sold the pup and it belongs to the person that has bought it and they are responsible for it. I do think the breeder should do a lot of socialising with the puppies and make sure they have the best chance of fitting into their new home and that the prospective new owner is choosing a puppy that will suit them.

    My pup was an accidental mating but not a crossbreed. She was beautifully reared, more or less housetrained, crate trained, very well socialised with other dogs and with cats. Lead trained. Played with a lot and living with the family and other dogs. That is the most important thing - it gives the pup every chance of settling into a new home and not ending up in rescue.
     
  17. clueless

    clueless Banned

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    So you think Breeders should not home vet or take a pup/dog back??? I personally home vet as it does not matter how much you speak to someone there are conmen/ women out there imo. I would always take a pup/dog back as I would rather know if anything I had bred needed rehomed and not end up in a rescue or worse with a BYB or Puppyfarmer
     
  18. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    I think we actually agree, to the greater extent. I don't think you shouldn't health test, I think that health test results should be used towards any decision regarding breeding.

    As for your pug, if she'd been born 20 years ago and bred from, you may never have known, perhaps she inherited the defect from one of her ancestors, and has many unaffected relatives out there, who knows? Is it our duty to eradicate problems from any breed, or is it interfering, there are some very grey lines out there? What will we end up with 20 years from now by eradicating all problems, will there be different ones?

    Hip scores don't really tell us anything currently than that dog at that given time doesn't have a problem from the interpretation of the plates that were submitted to the bva. It can't tell us anything realistically about the possible health (or not) of pups, the same with elbow grading. It is however, the responsible attitude to breed from as low scoring dogs as possible, but it isn't by any means a guarantee - and by that I'm not condoning breeding from dogs without testing, or breeding regardless of test results, just that it is not a simple as a low score + low score = low score pups.

    As for some of the genetic tests, they have yet to be proven to be accurate through several generations, so all the cbp results, in reality, might not be until proven otherwise. Tau hasn't been optigen tested as she's clear by parentage, I will however test any pups out of her I keep, regardless of the status of the dog I use, as until the case is proven that it does carry through generations I want to know the status 100%. Not only are these tests subject to being proven, but unfortunately there are unscrupulous breeders who can and do misuse the system.

    At the moment we have various other tests available that aren't a problem, as such, within the Labrador Retriever as a breed, such as narcolepsy? To the uninitiated looking at the breeders out there, how on earth are they supposed to interpret all of the results of the 'valid' tests, let alone the rest of them.

    The interesting results will come in when genetic testing for HD and HC come in for Labs, there are a lot of people waiting for that with baited breath.

    So yes, health testing is a priority, but it shouldn't be THE priority, just one of the considerations, for me in any case.
     
  19. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    It's nice to know some breeds have improved :) The one thing you missed out (for me in any case) other than the temperament, conformation and health testing, is ability, which is key to some breeds, particularly those still worked.

    Funnily enough I was looking at a stud dog last weekend, pretty much as good a match as I'm likely to find for what I want, and the big part of that was his ability. Beautiful dog, temperament wise, health tested and nice conformation (although not probably for the show folk ;) ), but absolutely stonking ability, something very important to me.
     
  20. Jess2308

    Jess2308 PetForums VIP

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    Im confused. Maybe its lack of sleep or just that im having a dumb day :eek: Are you saying that breeders should health test or not?? :confused: Are you planning to health test your bitch? Would you still breed from her if her hip score came back very high or she failed the eye test? Would you use an un-tested stud?

    For labs i think that all breeding dogs should be health tested for hips, elbows, eyes and preferably PRA. There are other tests available, but those are the ones recommended by the KC as far as im aware, and also the ones that are most common problems in the breed. If a breeder wants to test for everything then fantastic, but i think those i listed above are the accepted tests that most responsible breeders will do.


    Re my pug. If the problem had been noticed 20 years ago and people had x rayed and removed affected breeding stock from the gene pool and brought in new blood from overseas (so difficult now with all the rules and regs!! :rolleyes: ) then maybe my girl wouldnt have the problem. Maybe it already would have been eradicated. It affects a huge number of pugs in this country and sadly far too few breeders bother testing for it which is madness IMO. The argument is that its just an x ray, not a DNA test so it proves nothing. But it proves whether your own breeding dogs have it and that is a start. They are working on a DNA test for it, and i hope and pray the KC will make xraying (and the dna test when that comes) a mandatory thing, as they should with, for example, hip/elbow and eye testing in labs.
     
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