Juno, it is entirely possible that you have found the answers on how to find the perfect breeder, however there are a great number of people who come to the forum on a dialy basis asking the very questions answered through the link provided.
I don't think Mafia needed the help in finding or recognizing a good breeder. She provided the link to assit those who DO need the help.
I have not found the answers on how to find the “perfect breeder” because there is no such thing. EVERYONE does something that someone somewhere will find objective and be quick to label them one way or another. No matter how well intentioned a breeder is, they ALL contribute in some extent to the pet overpopulation, and the numbers of dogs that are euthanized. For every dog that is sold by a “responsible breeder”, there is one less dog that is adopted from a shelter, and one more potential dog that may end up in a shelter. There are no saints in the dog breeding business.
This is how I pick a pup. It may not be the perfect way, but it usualy works for me. I don’t need charts to tell me what to look for. I use common sense. Since I am buying a dog, not a breeder, I care mainly about the pup. I look at the pups and parents first. If I like what I see, then I go from there. The breeder’s life story and practices are of little interest to me unless it directly affects the dog. I talk to the breeder and ask the relevant questions about the pup and parents and health background. I get the parents info before I buy, and search their family health background on the OFA database. If they don’t have record for the parents or I do not like what I see, I move on. I judge each breeder and pup base on its own merits. I do not prejudge anyone base on the number of dogs, breeds or the number of litters they have. I do not really care how they look, where they live, where they advertise and who they associate with. All this is mostly irrelevant to me unless it directly affect the dogs well being. The one time I really got burned was when I spent a lot of money on a blind dog with hip dysplasia from a show dog breeder who was recommended to me by a show dog judge. The breeder refused to make good on our contract because I chose to do the humane thing and euthanized the dog instead of giving it back to her. As if she really wanted a blind dog that could not even stand up to relieve itself.
Breeding is all a number game. Statistically, the odds are not on your side. If you breed long enough, sooner or later your turn will come and some one will pay for your gamble. When you mix and match genes, no matter how careful you are, bad things will happen. Even God gets it wrong once in a while. Just look at all the messed up humans out there that in spite the best medical care and screening, are born with horrible diseases and deformities. You can take steps to improve your odds, but there are no guarantees when it comes to living beings.
You just need to read the “About the Author “to figure out the motives of this author. She was burned by a bad breeder and formed her opinions based on her bad experience and the crap she could dig up on the net.
I am not saying there are no bad breeders out there that should never be breeding, but you can not just group everyone who don’t fit your narrow definition of a “responsible breeder” and label them because of few bad ones. You only hear about the bad experiences. You don’t hear from the many MILLIONS of satisfied dog owners that bought their dogs from breeders who many here would not approve of and who do not stand up to the unrealistic standards stated on that site. It is not different then being a racist and prejudging a certain race or group of people based on the action of the few.
I can go on for several pages with my rant pointing out all the BS on that site, but I don’t want to turn this thread in to another one of those multi pages breeder bashing threads that will get me banned, so I’ll shut up now before I’ll say something I’ll regret.
Juno, your points on breeding and breeders themselves are well taken and well spoken.
I find it odd though that you opened your statement with the admonition about buying from a breeder vs. rescue. Stating this is going to cause the death of a dog already in rescue and then state your experiences with purchasing a pup from a breeder.
I think we all agree that not everyone will go to the shelter each and every time they bring a pet into their home.
While it is without question the way to go, it's been agreed repeatedly that shelter/rescue is not always able to provide you with a specific breed much less pedigree information pertaining to health issues.
I have rescued many pets from the street and/or shelters over the years. When I lost my heart to the Pyrs, I TRIED rescue first. I asked questions, told them about our home, provided vet refrences and was more than willing to have a home inspection.
After several weeks with no reply I searched out a breeder who not only answered all of my questions, but was willing to spend time helping me through each step along the way. After 3 years she is still there for me and has become a valued friend.
I also took my mother to the shelter to adopt a pup when I had a litter of 10 pups in my home. The pup we adopted ended up having to have rather expensive surgery by 17 months of age and faces a second surgery as well.
You're right, it's genetics. It IS a numbers game for the most part. What undesirable recessive gene is likley to show up when least expected? The odds however are more in favor of a breeder who knows their breed, studies the lines of his/her breeding stock and takes care with each step of the breeding process.
I am dreadfully sorry for the experience you had with the "reputable breeder".
***Edited By: pyrmom on 7/19/2005 6:23:21 AM*** Reason: x
I am a breeder, so obviously breeding a rescued dog is not an option. I know very well that not many are willing ready or able to get a “used” dog from a shelter with out knowing anything about its background and having to deal with all the mistakes its previous owners made.
I was just making a point about the claims I hear all the time that BYB are the cause of the overpopulation problem while the responsible breeders are the solution. That is all. I don’t like hypocrisy, and like to point it out when I see it. If you breed, then you are contributing, no matter who you are, including me.
Juno - I KIND OF agree with you on the fact that this article leaves some things out - BUT
I don't agree with your statement about not caring about the life story of the breeder. I am also a breeder and as a breeder I have purchased numerous dogs from other breeders trying to get my "breeding stock". All of my dogs are also family members, so this means they have to be perfect on both sides of the coin - which I feels is VERY important in any breeding dog.
I have been burned by several breeders early on before I learned. I looked at the dog, and the puppy, and not the breeder.
I think that you have to be able to trust the breeder and form a bond with them. I personally tell folks to find the breeder NOT the dog, because more often than not, if you agree with a breeders practices (personally as well as professionally - you can't be honest in your breeding practices if you are dishonest by nature) then you will more than likely find a puppy that suits you as well. The breeder can't MAKE the puppy, but they can BREAK the puppy. I've found great dogs, that were over bred and mishandled and not well loved.
I also met a breeder that has nice dogs BUT makes a practice of scr*wing other breeders over to get them.
I don't think that there is a list of criteria anywhere that will help someone find a good breeder if they don't have common sense. Good BAD breeders (meaning ones really great at doing a horrible job) know just what to say to sound and look like a good breeder - but how they ethically treat their puppies while they are with them can't be guaged by any list. Make sure your breeder of choice does AT LEAST what you plan to do for your dog (vet care, food, toys, heartworm preventative, living conditions...). Breeding dogs should be pampered because the breeder is asking them to "work" for them as well as be a "dog". At least that's what I think...
Good breeders are not contributing to over population. Responsible breeders, breed a litter with a purpose and will generally already have loving homes that have been screened ready for any pups not used for their own stock. Good breeders also will take back the pup at any time when the owners can longer keep them to avoid them ending up in the pound, and will also keep any pups not placed until a proper suitable home is found, not the first hand that has money in it, show me a BYB that will do this
A responsible breeder... - is eager to share detailed breed information - believes there are no "stupid" questions - grabs every opportunity to educate - explains total breed care - supplies shot records, pedigrees, care information - explains genetic defects in the breed - is willing to let you see the sire and dam - is willing to let you see the other dogs on the property as well - is willing to let you see the kennels and the surrounding area of the kennels - questions the buyers ability to care for the dog - offers guarantees - talks about training and development - cares about each and every pup - maintains sanitary, clean quarters for the dogs - tests all breeding stock
I like Kayzhond's list, add a few things I mentioned also, and I think that is a pretty complete list. Good breeders will do everything within reason to make sure it is a pleasurable experience for all involved. The people I sell to feel confident leaving my home that they have done the right thing. In addition to the things in my other post. For those who think it is a bunch of predjudiced propaganda, i would say the solution is to stick with the shelters and rescue for your dogs.