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Hollywood has given a warped reality to breeding. More often than not, Hollywood shows a happy mom with fat, wriggling puppies. All puppies find their ways to happy homes. What Hollywood does not who you is the responsibility of breeding and the potential for heartache.
A Responsible breeder will...
Insist the dogs being bred are good breed representatives in body and mind and have proven it by competing is various competitions.
They breed first for their own needs. Puppies not meeting the breeder's desires will be carefully placed in pet or performance homes with a spay/neuter agreement.
They will require the same standards of dogs they breed to.
They will research pedigrees to try and improve upon their own dogs as well as add to the breed as a whole. Responsible breeders have a goal they breed towards, they do not breed just to see what will be produced.
Has a working knowledge of the genetics behind the dogs (colors, health issues, etc.)
They accept the financial risk and rarely make money off of litters when all the expenses from tests (some must be done annually), feeding, medical care, etc. are tallied up. Responsible breeding does not equal money.
They accept the emotional risk: which include the possible death of a puppy, puppies and/or the mother.
They accept long term responsibility. If for any reason at any time, a buyer cannot keep the dog bought, the breeder will want it back - even if the dog is twelve years old!
If at any time a hereditary issue that was previously unknown to the breed shows up, the breeder will inform all puppy buyers as well as alter the breeding program to prevent the issue from being passed on to any other dogs.
Makes sure all puppies go to carefully screened homes. If there is no home out there, the puppy is kept until one is found. NO puppy ever goes to a pet store or animal shelter. Responsible breeders do not add to the thousands of unwanted pets that are in shelters.
What an Irresponsible breeder does...
Breeds just for the sake of having a litter. Overall quality of the dogs is secondary. The owner may not even know what a proper breed specimen should look or act like.
Breeds so the kids can witness the miracle of birth. They forget that the children can also witness the miracle of death. What of the mom has trouble? Complications that make an already uncomfortable situation very painful or requiring medical intervention? Do you want you kids to see this?
Breeds just because the have a registered purebred - regardless of whether or not the dog is a good representative.
Does not realize the importance of a pedigree.
Breeds because people have commented "I'd like a dog like that." More often than not, when the puppies are born, these people no longer want one.
Does not look into the health and background of the dogs to be bred.
Does not prove the dogs deserve to be bred.
Will not take long term responsibility. Once the puppies are paid for, they feel the responsibility is out of their hands.
Takes shortcuts and does not provide proper pre and post natal care.
Does not screen homes and will place puppies through newspaper ads, sell to pet shops or dump at shelters if the work gets too much.
Does not temperament test puppies or do any medical care on them (like puppy boosters at 6 weeks).
MYTHS ABOUT BREEDING AND PUPPIES:
MYTH: I can make money off of selling puppies
TRUTH: Anyone who makes money off of selling puppies is either pulling your leg, not factoring costs accurately or not doing something properly. When a good breeder factors in ALL expenses to ensure the dogs being bred are quality, what it took to get there as well as all litter expenses from conception to final placement, rarely is money made. (See the links below for more information).
MYTH: All Puppies are wanted and can find homes if I breed.
TRUTH: Each year, thousands of young puppies end up in shelters each year because they are unwanted. And these are the lucky ones. Many will go to homes that are not prepared for them and the puppy end up neglected. Some of these puppies will end up in shelters. But by now they are adolescents and harder to place than young puppies. Others will end up abandoned on streets, roaming loose and adding to the over population caused by irresponsible owners.
MYTH: Puppies are not hard to raise at all.
TRUTH: Puppies are as much work as raising a child. But luckily, puppyhood is shorter than childhood. Puppies require lots of work and time to grow into good companions. Those that do not get what they need are more prone to becoming problem dogs.
MYTH: AKC registered means my dogs are quality and can be bred and the puppies will be registered.
TRUTH: Any dog can be AKC registered if the parents are registered and are of the same breed (so if you see AKC Cockapoos for sale, this is wrong, Cockapoos are a cross and cannot be AKC registered - same for any cross bred dog.). Pet quality dogs can be registered with the AKC. Registration does not equal quality. Many breeders will insist that puppies they do not think will grow up to be breeding quality get a limited registration. This means that should the puppy be bred, any offspring from it will be ineligible for registration. All registration means is that the dog is registered and can compete in AKC sports. It is NOT the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval for breeding... In order for puppies to be registered, the litter has to be registered by the breeder. The breeder gets paperwork that goes home with each puppy so the owner can then register the dogs. For more on registering go to this page: AKC Registration info. Quality is a combination of good bloodlines, proving the health of the dog and obtaining titles in both conformation and performance on the dogs. Champions in the background does not equal quality nor does registration.
MYTH: Spaying my female is riskier than breeding her.
TRUTH: Spaying is a routine surgery and is safer in a healthy dog than breeding her will be. If your dog has a health problem that would mean the surgery would be too risky, then she should not be bred either.
MYTH: If my female has a litter, she will be a better pet.
TRUTH: Females can sometimes undergo drastic personality changes during going into "heat" and having puppies. That sweet pet of yours could become a hormonal terror. Also, if she develops maternal aggression, she could become a risk. There are temperament benefits to spaying your pet.
MYTH: Neutering a male stunts his growth and makes his less protective.
TRUTH: The size of you dog is determined more by his genetics that whether or not he is neutered. Unneutered males are more prone to wandering and some forms of aggressive behavior. They tend to distract easier and can smell a female in heat quite a distance away! Neutering is not a cure-all for behavioral concerns but it does help temper them.
And if you still want to consider breeding, please read:
FOR MORE INFO:
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