I can't respond to the chain that was started with "I'm looking to start a dog-breeding business".... something about my membership.
Three years ago I became very interested in the dog-show world and whole-heartly just wanted a really nice dog to go in the ring, learn how to groom, and show - that's it. I began speaking with breeders and learning about the dog world. Having my BSc in animal genetics and working at a Veterinarian College I figured I would at least have something to contribute. I spent a year looking at the breed I wanted, spent another year speaking with breeders being honest every step of the way. Many breeders have that clause "co-ownership", "puppy back" or "pick puppy from litter" when I wasn't interested in even breeding - that's a lot of work! And working in the clinic I see what too many 'breeders' have gone through to know that you risk your dog every time.
I pushed hard and wanted to ensure I didn't have a co-owner NOT because I wanted to start my own 'breeding business' but because I became terrified of what might happen if I didn't control my dog... I could be forced to send her back for a litter, bred to a dog I didn't agree with, etc... and I found breeders PUSHING for several litters in return for a bitch I pay full dollar for!
I've developed a wonderful relationship with a breeder in the USA (I live in Canada). The bitch I purchased is doing fantastic and winning up a storm! I know that IF I breed her, I will go back to the breeder for guidance as she has been a valuable friend and ally so far... but had I stayed within Canada EVERY breeder here black-listed me calling me a puppy mill, backyard breeder, and have already planted me in their minds as a terrible dog person... and all I plan on doing is having fun showing my dog.
Being new to the dog world I too worded things incorrectly not knowing the difference between "hobby breeder" , "professional breeder", and "puppy mill"... some breeders are glorified puppy mills... and some 'back yard breeders' are the greatest breeders I have ever met (with clearances that put many to shame).
Most breeders I have met with have been very quick to jump. I'm still wet behind the ears and am always learning... and STILL get jumped on by breeders even though I have no interest in breeding... I'm just having a blast winning with my bitch. When she is older, developed, and if and only if I have the clearances done I will ONLY breed under the careful guidance of breeders I know, trust, and enjoy and approve of their standards.
Breeders - I ask that before you jump so hard on someone so obviously clueless about what they are asking, take a few deep breaths, take a few moments to try and understand where they are coming from, and guide them to the right decsions. Having gone through rings-of-fire myself, I have seen many WELL-INTENTIONED people spiral away from showing, handling, and learning because 'long-time' breeders have tore them apart un-fairly (passing judgement too quickly). These people would have been valued members of the breeding world had they had been given a chance and proper guidance... and now some are doing their own thing, breeding dogs THEY approve of (and some are doing a good job)... but could have been doing so much more for the breed if they just knew and came to BELIEVE the mantra of breeders... "To better the breed".
Breeding is for people that really care about the breed, what happens to the dogs, and taking a hard look inwards to really know where their heart is.
Take to heart, new people out there, that you will find someone to help you. It takes time and careful wording. Develop a relationship with a breeder first so they know what kind of a person YOU are. If you are really lucky, you'll find one that can be candid about the real ins-and-outs of dogs and what their true experiences have been.
Hopefully someone else will be spared a lashing because they are too green to realize the 'rules' on asking for details. Take a look in the mirror... you ALL started from somewhere and had to get where you are today... and if you scare of EVERY new person to the breed there will be no one left to carry your line forward... and no one left to carry the breed into the future. How is THAT improving the breed?
If I decided I was interested in Staffordshire Bull Terriers I have the perfect person to "join up" with. What type of breed are you showing? I agree with your post, my old breeder, if thats what you want to call her, I bought my male from her, accused me of having him for stud service..and I'm thinking...wait a minute...he's fixed...but all I said was he's not up for stud..and then she'd interrupt me...I really adored that woman and because of what someone said that friendship is completely ruined. I miss her and her dogs so much and everyone else she was friends with. When your with friendly people showing can be so much fun. I'm glad you found that good friend/mentor/breeder, and that you don't let others get to you, I always found it humourous how the competition tries to make you scared of their dog, and its even better when you beat them for a couple points ;). Have fun in the show ring, I know its something I love.
I agree with you. I have been involved with Siberian Huskies for 10 yrs now, and I am just now thinking of breeding. We have our girl, but have been searching for months and months for the right male. I WILL NOT breed until I feel that each dog is the best possible candidate, and is completely healthy.
I also have a mentor breeder, that has opened up her home and kennel to me. IF my dogs are standard and prove themselves in harness and/or in the show ring, I know she is there.
I also rescue, I am a big advocate of rescueing first if you are thinking of breeding. It ensures that your heart is in it for the right reasons. You can't rescue without questioning yourself, and it's good to question yourself. I hope to have a Sibe rescue in conjuction with my local pound also. Since I am knowledgeable about my beed, I can put the time & effort into finding the dogs good homes. Whereas the pound doesn't have the resources or manpower. I would put the new owners through a pretty rigorous questioning before adopting out a dog or selling a pup. Afterall, I put them in this world, I need to take responsibility for them & where they end up!
It's all about being completely objective about what you have in a dog. Yes, we all think our pets are great. I would have loved to breed Everest, but he was too big for standard, and he has some skin issues I didn't want to take a chance on. The hair on his tail is a little long for a Husky as well. I love the guy to death, but he was not breeding material. So we nuetered him, and he has a great life on our farm! If you really love the breed and the dogs, you think about those things....
That is a great post. I have seen that happen to so many when they enter the world of show dogs. As a matter of fact it happened to me when I first got into my current breed. I was labeled a Puppymill, even though it was the furtherest thing from the truth. I just tried to ignore most of them, and thought I would just show them by winning. As you are doing with your bitch. Kicking there butts in the ring, is so satisfying. LOL
I think many breeders feel threatened by newbies. But just stick to your goals and don't listen to the nay sayers.
He's your friend,your partner,your defender your dog.You are his life,his love,his leader. He will be yours faithful and true to the last beat of his heart.You owe it to him to worthy of such devotion
I understand the whole-hearted commitment to their breeds, trying to protect their animals, and trying to do what's best in their opinion... but they are the first one to label EVERYONE new with the same paint brush - Puppymill. I know breeders must get contacted hundreds of times a year from people wanting to breed dogs... out of 100 people there are probably 5 that have done their homework and are ready to really do things right... and it's those people, like myself, that haven't done anything wrong but are seen with the same pair of glasses get the brunt of their anger and frustration with non-educated breeding and long-term damage their repuations (breeder and breed).
As far as anyone in my breed goes... I'm a puppymill and it's a terrible label... I haven't done anything to anyone, I'm educated, I'm slugging it out in the rings, I have health screenings, and have no plans on breeding EVER for the simple fact that I don't WANT to be called a breeder - I am nothing like the other breeders here (I'm more on the European standards). I guarantee that any breeding program I come up with would put these 'top breeders' to shame! I've seen breeders use dogs with terrible health screenings all to have a better pedigree. I'm personally angry with several breeders (never said to their faces as they don't care one bit about my lowly opinion) as their quailty of life for their dogs sicken me... and they have the right to call me to the lowest all because I wanted to show a dog?
I think that some long term breeders that have forgotten why they started breeding in the first place should re-evaluate what they are doing and consider leaving the breed after their morals have been compromised. There are genuine, good people out there willing to start with their new ideals, new passion, and new committment to the breed. Many would be honoured to carry an established kennel forward on behalf of the current breeder but with fresh eyes. I'm sure that many of these 'aged' breeders started out with the same passion I am filled with today. I've been with the breed (newfoundland dogs by the way) for 3 years, grew up with one (she lived to be 16 - an amazing girl) and I spent half my life in Newfoundland (my father was born there)... so I am very familiar with the breed and have seen the heart-ache of bad choices.
It is hard to go it alone. My breeder is an amazing person for taking a deep breath, taking a step back, and just taking that little extra time to get to know who I am BEFORE jumping on me. Believe me, if my views are wrong and you know me, tell me and I'll back away now... but to just take a quick glance and assume to know my morals... it's a terrible thing.
The trial-by-fire is a little extreme... it really breaks my heart to see honest, caring people getting shredded. If there are links to "what to ask yourself before you become a breeder?" or "steps to finding a good show-dog" or "how to speak to a breeder"... new people have to humble themselves at the feet of breeders, fight to be heard, and have to put up with some terrible things (extreme co-ownerships, 'paying-their-dues', being talked about behind their backs, being denied quality studs when they have PROVEN their honesty, etc)... it shouldn't be this hard... it shouldn't be this nasty.
Yes - screen new people - get the bad ones out... but just remember not all of us are bad people out to do bad things to your dogs or your reputations.
Sorry for the rants... it's just nice to see that there are breeders out there that can hear me and new people that realize they are not alone.
wonderful post and topic. I'm new around here too and I have definitely seen tones coming through that i really do not think are necessary. On the other hand, I have also seen nice friendly posts from professional breeders who also get trashed just for trying to help. Think it works both ways. I can tell you this.. the show world is cut throat. When you become a threat (real or imaginary) to another show person, unfortunately the tendency is to lash out and say nasty stuff. It's so sad. It's why I had my dogs to my show handlers and stay far away from the shows LOL.... IF you are needing some help with anything or have questions, please feel free to pm me. I'm always available to assist folks who are really trying to do something for the betterment of the breed.
I was wondering if some breeders out there, or new people doing their homework, have found useful websites/links that discuss the 'before you think about breeding', all the way through to the 'so you think you're ready to breed' stage. Working at the vet clinic I see so many back-yarders that started out talking to breeders, were chewed out, and then went their own direction with no guidance... and now stuck with having to destroy 2/3rds of a litter due to an inherited PREVENTABLE disease, hip problems, eye problems, or their bitch dies in whelp because they were going for a 'designer dog'. *gag*
If we take a few moments and talk to these people, if we educate them, we might help prevent disasters before they happen. The REAL good ones always re-think what they are doing and will come back later when they are ready and are willing to go slow... the ones that had their minds made up BEFORE they talk to you are the dangerous ones... if the very least we do is have them x-ray their dogs or do blood tests to ensure they at least don't breed defective dogs... that's at least better than the alternative, "Say - you have a bitch, I have a dog.... let's see what we can come up with!".
So - educational materials, breeders willing to lend an ear and discuss WHY dogs should and shouldn't be bred, the risks invovled, the work required to raise a litter - not to scare them or make them think they are idiots for even thinking it but giving them cold facts about what they are planning on putting their dogs through. YES - to take the non-apprecaited question of "I want to start a breeding business"... and why that's the wrong mind-set.
Perhaps I should have put this in a new string but I think it could be a way to reach out to the newbies that want to do things right but just don't know how to start... and the key is to reach them before they own a dog - that's the time anyone should start their research.