I have to ask those who read this, just for a few minutes, if you could put on the shelf the idea that breeding for pets is irresponsible. Even if it is, we can talk about that on all the other threads you want. If it does creep into this one, I understand. But the vast majority of all dogs in this country ARE pets, and it seems to me that pets should be better bred and better socialized at the beginning than they are. They all deserve a better shot than they're getting at a life that won't be riddled with preventable health problems, the ones that come from sloppy and ignorant breeding practices. Maybe the best way to put BYBs and puppy mills out of business is to come up with better ways for people to get their pets. People want their pets to have had a good start, and many are now paying through the nose for pets over the Internet they think are well bred but aren't. What's needed are verifiable standards. Those of you in other countries: What standards are in place for your breeders?
One of the (many) things that's so messed up with the way dogs are bred in this country is that USDA has dropped the ball on overseeing the commercial kennel industry. Not surprising, as they don't do so great on livestock either. But anyway, since it is USDA that's supposed to be in charge on the federal level, it reminded me of what it took for them to establish the National Organic Standards Board. It wasn't about fining companies for using pesticides and hormones and antibiotics and genetically modified grains. It was about agreeing on standards for companies that wanted to be able to say they held themselves to a more rigorous standard of farming. All kinds of producers were calling their stuff organic and busting other companies for claiming to be, and no two companies meant the same thing. Eventually, representatives from all the stakeholder "organics" groups met and hammered out a draft of what the standard should be. Then that became a proposed rule that was published in the Federal Register and opened for comments from the public and a lot of hearings were held. Eventually it became a final rule, and companies that want to put the "organic" word on their packaging all have to jump through the same hoops.
Suppose a group of stakeholders met at USDA, from AKC and the Humane Society, and national breed clubs, and maybe veterinarians and geneticists, to hammer out a set of standards for a better class of pet breeders. Suppose you were sitting at that table: what verifiable conditions would you require of a pet breeder that would entitle it to, I don't know, use some kind of identifiable Good Practices Breeder logo? I know what a sore point this is. Breeders like Wandering_Spirit obviously set a higher bar than these breeders would be able to meet, if they were going to make a commercial go of it. This I acknowledge. It would be terrific if we could evolve as a society to a point where fewer pets were produced and only highly committed and capable owners kept them. But in a country where 7 million dogs are purchased every year, I can't see show breeders making enough of a dent in that demand to threaten BYBs and puppy mills. Is what I'm trying to describe just slightly better BYBs? Healthier pets, of the expected temperament, kept with their litter mates long enough to learn that nipping really hurts, with a good start at learning to using the yard for a toilet instead of their crates… I'd really like to hear your ideas.
***Edited By: JoanEK on 1/12/2007 12:00:16 AM*** Reason: r
I've had two litters on my poodle.. Many here would probably call me a BYB. I had both my misha and the male at the vets before anything was done and all the proper health tests were done on both as well. I had the help of a kennel owner that is a personal friend throughout the whole pregnancy and whelping period. Both dogs have been in the ring misha got a mark cause her tale curled too little and the male cause his curled too much. I thought it was a good match. :)
I was responsible in picking out owners that i liked and still have good contact with most of them today.
I sold my puppies for just a little less then a honest poodle kennel. Because she has such a unusual color I still got good money for the pups and that money has done wonders for my dogs. (Misha got a pink leather jacket too ;) hehe )
In sweden it's pretty much the same as over here with BYB. But our bigger problem is smuggeling puppies from poland and germany, They'll tape up tiny chihuahua puppies both feet and noses and put them in the trunk of a car and drive over to sweden and when they get here the spread nasty diseases and most of them die.
Like it or not, nothing can be done. A lot smarter and wiser people have tried to solve this problem for years. Every time they try, they come up with more and more useless laws that are unenforceable and only hurt the responsible breeders who follow them, but do nothing to those who ignore them. More laws are not the answer. Try to enforce those that already exist first, The only thing that can be done is to let the market regulate it self. People will always want pets. As long as there is a demand for it, there will be someone somewhere to take advantage of people’s need and to provide it, no matter how many laws there are. you can try to educate the public all you want, but most people still will be looking for a bargin even when they know better.
This problem is gonna bite them in the butt (litteraly) really soon. Soon they're gonna talk about it on the price is right and fox news and then we'll be back here having the same conversation we're having now.
I'm still for licencing dog owners, I accually think it would help, If anyone is caught BYB they loose thier licence, then they can't have any dogs.
"Wandering_Spirit obviously set a higher bar than these breeders would be able to meet, if they were going to make a commercial go of it."
I think that says most of it, a commercial go of it. No one should be breeding to make money. These are living creatures and should not be taken advantage of to make a buck. Wandering has a very good standard that every breeder should strive to meet. I don't think more rules would help anything. We already have plenty of laws that can't be enforced because of the lack of AC officers. Then there will always be people that don't register or license there dogs, so there's no way of locating them to make sure they are following the laws. The only thing that would help is buyer education, but then people would actually have to take the time researching a breed, finding a breeder, and waiting for a pup. That doesn't work when so many people want instant gratification. When we find away to change that attitude in society we could start to solve the problem.
Unfortunately, there will always be people/kennels who will try to earn a living off the womb of their dogs. Placing new laws on the books will not work, what would help is enforcement of existing laws (Example the illegal alien debate)
Extra licensing fees, etc may work in certain locations. However this country is so diverse with puppies coming from rural, urban and city cities a uniform code would have to be in place. Again, I don't think people in WI want people in MO telling us how to do things for an example.
Education seems to be the best solution for the time being. AKC, National Breed Clubs, Vet Assoc., etc getting the word prominently about mills and bybs.
If there is a political solution, the best place is to start is locally. Your city, your township, etc are the places to implement anti-byb or anti-mill laws. The USDA has its hands full of other functions it is required to do. THey set priorities. I'm not saying if their priorities are right or wrong, its just the way it is.
Not to be a doom and gloomer, but look at how much money we have spent since the 60s for the "war on poverty" and we still have the poor and homeless. And they are God's 2 legged creatures.
I totally understand that more and more rules and unenforceable laws aren't having any real effect. The Animal Welfare Act -- a puppy mill can be in complete compliance with it and still be producing sick puppies in squalor. That's why it seems to me that a better way of putting crooks and idiots out of business is to give people an alternative, sanctioned supply source they don't have now. Rescue and shelters are a great alternative, but using them isn't making a dent in the demand for what the BYBs and millers are producing. I was trying to envision something that might.
I agree that researching a breed, picking out a responsible breeder and getting on the waiting list for a litter is the educated way to go. But all those breeders combined don't produce enough puppies to take care of the fact that 7 million households want to acquire a dog every year.
That's why, even if it sounds heretical, thinking outside the box might bring about a healthier, better socialized bunch of pet puppies, and hopefully less likely to be surrendered to shelters. This would be kind of trying to work with, rather than against, the grain of human nature: Most pet dogs were bought puppies, and the marketplace canforce an improvement in the way they are being produced. An educated public would go to the better source if it were there.
***Edited By: JoanEK on 1/12/2007 11:15:21 AM*** Reason: k
I was wondering what people would think about my situation. I was promised when I purchased my dog that she came from "really good bloodlines" and was show material (which is why I purchased her to begin with). The breeder couldn't find the pedigree when I asked for it, but sent the parents AKC registration #s. When I picked her up, she looked like a good quality dog, however, as she has grown, her tail has become sort of crooked, so I don't think that I will be able to show her. When I registered her, I ordered a copy of the pedigree and found out that there were not any champions in over 3 generations of dogs. Now I have a dilemma as to whether I should breed her to try to get a show dog, or should I have her spayed and start over with a different breeder that have proven bloodlines?
***Edited By: lovinbullies2 on 1/12/2007 10:51:13 AM*** Reason: punctuation errors
I would say, spay your pet. If you are seriously considering breeding she should be show worthy and health testing completed. I'm sorry you were taken advantage of. Hopefully your experience will help others here.
Lovinbullies: Ouch, that doesn’t sound at all like your puppy came from a conformation breeder. The breeder would have planned to keep any show prospect that came from the litter, or she would have been promised to another show breeder. Those guys really don’t offer full registration on puppies to people they don’t know, because they want control of who breeds puppies with their kennel name, and what studs get used. If you find a breeder who will trust you with a show prospect, be ready to be co-owner with that breeder, and to let them make all breeding decisions about that puppy.
I dont know if this is on the same line as ya'll are discussing but I had a friend who would breed her sheltie and sell the puppies to pay for her kids college tuition. She bought the animal just for this purpose and at first, she did it to "get a head start" then it was "easy money" then the litters were coming more frequently. When the "kids" graduated, they had her fixed. Im sure the little dog couldnt have been happier. To me, thats as bad as a mill b/c its only one animal. There are many responsible breeders out there, we just have to do research on them b/4 we buy and then we have to decide on a personal level if we want to pay the amount they are asking. My little fellow came from a decent breeder but he lived in a cage for 4 months until I got him w/very little human contact. These types of breeders are in it for the money and have as many litters as possible to pay for their wants. He isnt the breed I would have chosen for myself, but my kids picked him out and I think the right animals come to us however we get them. When the public says, "we arent going to buy from puppy mills" the puppies are the ones who suffer the most in both situations, if we buy or not. The sad thing about all of this is, they are the ones who give us the most love.
Thanks for the comments, I appreciate them. I have definately learned from my mistake, and will have her spayed. The sad part about this is that I did a lot of research on this breed and breeders. The breeder did not have any negative comments about them, so I was pretty confident in my purchase.
Whatever breed your puppy is, probably the best place to research breeders from would be the breed club associated with it. If she's a bulldog, you can search the website of Bulldog Club of America. Anyone responsible who breeds them is likely to be a member.
CampingDog regarding your quote " My little fellow came from a decent breeder but he lived in a cage for 4 months until I got him w/very little human contact. These types of breeders are in it for the money and have as many litters as possible to pay for their wants."
If your breeder kept the dog in a cage for four months with little or no contact, he/she is anything but a decent breeder. I would call that bordering on inhumane treatment, personally. A good breeder makes every effort to make pups part of the family, to socialize them with people. Good breeders aren't in it for the money and don't have as many litters as possible to pay for their wants. Good breeders don't breed any female dog more than once a year.
Lovinbullies, did your breeder actually show their dogs in conformation dog shows, or just make the claim that the pup was 'show quality' when they didn't show any of their dogs? I hate the breeders who do that :P
What breed is the dog you have? If you really want a quality show dog you should start out with buying a puppy that's the offspring of at least one Ch (preferably two) parent. Go to dog shows in your area (you can find them at http://www.infodog.com click on show information, then on states). Look at which dogs you like, get a program and make a note of the breeder's name. Ask around and talk to people who are at the ringside who own those dogs (or handle them) to get more information about themselves, the dogs, and the breeding programs. By getting out there and showing a real interest in the showing aspect you will have a much better chance of finding a good mentor and breeder, IMHO.
***Edited By: Minniyar on 1/12/2007 1:33:12 PM*** Reason: add
I guess the point I was trying to make Minniyar by calling them "decent" is my dog was heathly and had his shots and she has SEVERAL males and females that she breeds, not just one or two. I dont think keeping him in a cage for 4 months was decent youre right its inhumane. My son told me I would have died if I had gone w/them and saw all of the puppies. He said it looked like puppy jail and the "cage" that he was in was a LOT smaller than the crate I bought for him which is for med sized dogs (he is a mini dachshund puppy). I called this lady to ask about the food she fed him and told her a few things he was doing, the reply "you got one w/personality" (say that w/your best hicktown accent). I have a great little dog who is JUST NOW developing his personality b/c he is being included into our family life.
It's not just wanting instant gratification that keeps BYBs and puppy mils in business, it's that deep-seated urge to take the living unfortunate puppy we see at that moment in that cage and give it a good life. At that moment, it's so hard to steel yourself and think of the big picture. It's like our own better natures are being used against us for someone else's evil purposes. It almost reminds me of those WWII debates about whether our forces should've bombed the concentration camps. We'd have been killing innocents but also would have been halting the death-camp process and saving more lives in the process. Grisly choices.
***Edited By: JoanEK on 1/12/2007 2:29:14 PM*** Reason: added
I would like to thank miniyar and JoanEK for their genuine interest in my situation. I really appreciate it.
JoanEK thank you for the club information. I went on the club website to get information about my dog before I even committed to buying one, but there were not many breeders that were listed that were selling puppies at the time that I wanted to get one (during the summer, I teach so I have a lot of time to spend with a new baby then). I also went to a breeder's home and visited with the breed. I really tried to do everything I could to make an educated decision about my dog.
As far as miniyar's question - the breeder said that they did not have time to show her dogs. I can understand that, because I know that it takes a lot of time and energy to show dogs.
I know that at least one, if not both parents should be champions. Actually, the first puppy that I was looking at had both champion parents, but the stud owner decided that she wanted the pick of the litter, and I was ousted of my puppy. I would have settled for another puppy from the litter, but they did not have the color that I wanted.
As far as shows in my area, there is only one that is less than two hours away and it is only one time a year. I was hoping to catch it this year, but they only advertise it the weekend before, and when you have kids plans are made a month in advance. I don't think he would sit through an entire dog show, plus being where we are, there are not that many people who show this breed in the area. Thanks for the website, though.
There are roughly 17 - 20 million pets put to sleep each year that were sent to shelters / pounds and not adopted. There are too many dogs breeding that shouldn't be & they need to be spayed or neutered. They are the ones adding to the already pet over population. So if you breed for a pet you added to this figure. Selfishness & greed is what it boils down to. It's that simple.
JoanEK: "It's not just wanting instant gratification that keeps BYBs and puppy mils in business, it's that deep-seated urge to take the living unfortunate puppy we see at that moment in that cage and give it a good life".
You need to look at the whole picture and face the facts. You only just made space for another mill pup to fill it's empty cage space. What about the mother & father of these puppies? When do they get a break? Aren't they living & unfortunate too? Oh that's right, they are still back at the mill unsocialized, in horrible condition, terrified etc. still pumping out puppies. By you taking that puppy you have condemned the parent dogs to live in these horrid conditions 24/7, 365 days a year. Oh such "grisly choices"......not!
"Most of the puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills. Purchasing pet store animals entails not only supporting the cruel puppy mill industry but also taking a home away from one of the 17 to 20 million unwanted animals who are killed each year".
"You Can Help
Adopt from an animal shelter or rescue group; never buy from a pet store. Remember that 25% of shelter animals are purebreds.
Do not shop at stores that sell animals.
Volunteer at your local animal shelter or rescue group.
Ask your elected officials to outlaw puppy mills. Urge them to demand that the USDA enforce the Animal Welfare Act. For your senators’ and representatives’ contact information, visit www.vote-smart.org/index.phtml
Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers about the horrors of the puppy mill industry and its connection with pet stores.
Distribute brochures about puppy mills and pet overpopulation outside of pet shops
Ask shopping mall managers not to renew the lease of the pet store on their property.
Report pet store abuses to whomever is responsible for enforcing anti-cruelty laws in your town. Write a detailed statement of the abuses and take photographs, if possible.
Educate others about the cruelties of puppy mills and the importance of adopting from shelters"
***Edited By: rhondakbt on 1/12/2007 5:10:40 PM*** Reason: added