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Old 01-20-2011, 04:18 PM
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Default What makes a good breeder in your mind?

How do you feel about breeding mostly just for temperament, health, and overall conformation of the dog - kind of staying true to the breed I guess, but not necessarily working your dogs or showing them?

If someone does the right research on their dog breed, works with, and owns them long enough, and knows the way their breed should be, shouldn't they be able to judge whether their dogs are worthy to be bred w/out showing them?

And working your dogs is all fine and well, but you don't exactly have to nationally compete with your dog (in whatever it is it's good at, whether it be agility, weight pulling, protection, etc) to prove it's worth, do you? I mean what about APBTs? They were originally bred to fight. That obviously isn't something that should be promoted, so what "proves" them worthy of breeding?

I mean do you think it's WRONG to breed for just companionship? Or to breed just to breed a sound temperament or good health?

If a breeder has quality, beautiful dogs, does health testing, temperament testing, finds good homes for their dogs in advance, does their part to educate people on responsible dog ownership (spaying/neutering where applicable), is a part of preserving and improving their breed, are they a good breeder, or not?

Or is in your opinion preserving and improving the breed linked with working and/or showing?

Dogs are pets first. Companions. Right? Can't that be considered a "purpose"? Yes, shelter dogs can make GREAT companions, but there are more reasons than one why some people prefer to get a dog from a breeder.

I don't know, it's just something I've been wondering about lately. I used to want to breed dogs, I planned to get into showing, and then breeding. But I really have no desire to show dogs. Working dogs, I am interested in, however, but is unrelated to any desire to ever want to breed dogs.

I know at one point many people believed "IF YOU HAVENT PROVEN YOUR DOGS IN THE SHOW RING BEFORE BREEDING, YOU'RE A BYB!" but I think a lot more people now are more interested in proving that your dogs can do what they were bred to do, whatever that is, and breeding sound, healthy dogs with good temperaments.

I'm not really sure how I feel, so I'm interested to know other's ideas. I tend to think that a good breeder just puts the dogs best interests first. That breeds healthy dogs that have a sound temperament, and fits the breed standard.

What do you think?

(Please don't flame me, if you disagree with my opinions that's fine, and feel free to state yours, in fact I ask you to. It's not like I'm a firm believer in anything I've stated here. As I mentioned, I don't really know how I feel about it, but I still ask that you don't flame me for anything I've said. Thanks .)
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:34 PM
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I think ideally, breeders should do SOMETHING with their dogs. I'm not saying that all pet breeders are bad, because that isn't true, I just PREFER breeders that DO SOMETHING with their dogs.
It can be agility, therapy dogs, CGC, obedience etc..

Because to me, their dogs being good pets is a GIVEN. so why not do something else with them? Breeding friendly, nice, healthy sweet, cute dogs isn't much of a test of what/who to breed.. so why not set the standard higher?

You tell me these dogs are friendly? Prove it. Try therapy dogs or a dog that goes to schools and helps kids.
Trainable? Prove it. CGC, obedience, rally
Energetic? Prove it. Agility, flyball, etc..
Perfect breed standard? Show them.
Could work on a farm? Try Herding


I think if breeders are PROUD of what they are producing and truly believe they are creating the AWESOME DOGS (which I think all breeders should think) they would WANT to test their dogs out, prove that they can do all these things.

A good breeder to me..
- Health tests
- Doesn't breed their dogs too much
- Has a standard and sticks to it (doesn't have to necessarily be AKC but I want them to be breeding towards some kind of standard so I know what my dog will look like)
- Loves their dogs
- TEMPERAMENT/HEALTH ARE NUMBER ONE. If the dog isn't healthy or has a good temperament.. I don't care if it has 1000 show ribbons and 29815 agility championships or is BEAUTIFUL.. I don't think that dog should be bred.
- Socializes their dogs and puppies to all kinds of things
- Does plenty of litter updates
- Takes lots of pictures (lol I had to put that in there)
- Has a clean, safe, HOME environment for dogs and puppies (this MAY be different for larger dogs.. but as for smaller ones, I like to see them IN THE HOUSE)
- is friendly and willing to answer questions
- SUPPORTS PUPPIES they sell through their entire lifetimes. Willing to answer questions, stay in contact, and take puppy/dog back if the person can't keep them
- Does something with their dogs (can be showing, agility, etc..) i just want to see a breeder that gets out there are is WITH their dogs doing something. That is proud of what they are producing and wants to see them perform at something

Pet breeders (who breed responsibly) are OK with me. Its just not personally something I would look for when looking for a dog. I just like to see more

Edited from: IDEAL DOG to AWESOME DOGS thanks to the post below. because I don't like breeders who think they are created the JESUS CHRISTS of all dogs lol I just meant I want them to be proud of the animals they are creating but realistic about things they need to improve
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:38 PM
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^ Awesome, thank you so much for that!!!! I agree with everything you said, and see the sense in it. This is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for, thanks for being so detailed!
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:45 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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Fran took a lot of what I had to say and said it better As always!

I also like to see breeders aware of and maybe even contributing (even in a small way, even if its just advertising on their website or something) to their breeds rescue. I like to see that they're part of the solution, and not just "part of the problem"... does that make sense? Aware of their breeds rescues and can maybe refer someone there if they're looking to go that route instead. Too often I see the Breeders vs Rescues AND vice versa
Breeders who will, and DO take their dogs back if need be (or have connections so that the dog doesn't end up at a shelter or pound).

I like to see breeders who are not in denial That they're dogs do have faults (whether that be physical/looks, temperament or training) and that they are honest and willing to educate and work with owners or future owners


[I just wanted to add a little disclaimer that I am NOT saying that all breeders are "part of the problem" -- I can't think of any other way to put what I'm trying to say... ]
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:47 PM
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Oh that's a good point! I also like to see breeders who promote/are a part of rescue

A good breeder to me loves their breed...that includes those they haven't bred themselves and that need homes
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:22 PM
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Well, what makes a good breeder to me (and I do mean only to me because what I want in a breeder is very different than what other people might want) changes a ton depending on the breed though some carries over.

To me, the breeder staying as true as they can to what the breed was designed and bred for is very important. So if the breed was made to be a companion I see no issue with them being bred primarily for that. But, I want it proven. Just "knowing" your dog could excel at this or that does. not. count. Supposed to be a companion dog? Well then get out there and get a TDI (or equivalent). If the dogs were bred to hunt I want them out there hunting or something close to the equivalent. Herders? Well, have them out there proving they can herd.

I want the breeder to be willing to talk and answer questions. I also want them to be as up front as possible and glad to put me in contact with people that have bought from them.

For a relatively healthy breed health testing is not the end all be all as long as it's a working breed that needs to be in good health to do said job and is worked into the ground. If their dogs are breaking down that's a different story. Again, something that would change depending on the breed of dog.

I don't care if they show in conformation or not, it's irrelevant as long as their dogs have a good sound temperament, working ability and are generally healthy dogs. Form follows function so it's not something I worry about if the dogs are great in all other aspects.

I want the breeder to stand by their dogs but understand that once I buy it it's mine. Period.

Not all dogs are primarily pets for all people. There are a lot of people who see their dogs as tools first, pets second and I don't really have an issue with that. So if someone is breeding dogs that aren't perfect housedogs and selling them to people that don't need/or want that I don't see an issue there

See, the thing is I'm pretty loose with what I want to see a breeder doing in a lot of aspects. I don't care if they are raised outside, I don't care if they are exposed to vacuums or car rides or what have you, I don't even care if they compete with their dogs as long as they are working in some way or another and the dogs they are producing are of stable temperament with sound nerves.

There are a whole lot worse things than breeding a nice dog with a good temperament and sound health while not proving them in some venue and I really can't and won't look down on someone doing that if they are doing it well. But, I wouldn't exactly place them in the "good" breeder category and I certainly wouldn't buy from them. But, again I pretty much would only buy from someone who is actively working their dogs daily or competing with their dog in sports and staying true to what the breed is and is supposed to be.

So yes, at the end of the day I don't believe you can improve or preserve the breed one ounce by not having them out "working" in some way and proving they can do the job their breed was created for.

And I think I just jumped all over and that was one of the less concise posts I've ever made Not sure if I ever answered your question even
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linds View Post

For a relatively healthy breed health testing is not the end all be all as long as it's a working breed that needs to be in good health to do said job and is worked into the ground. If their dogs are breaking down that's a different story. Again, something that would change depending on the breed of dog.
Fran said lots of good things, but I just wanted to touch on this. Working people tend to think that if the dog can work all day long its healthy and all is good. The thing is dogs with loads of drive can work through a lot of pain. By the time they are old people assume their pain is age related. Or you have a prominent great working dog who passes on recessive issues, and people don't know until he has oodles of offspring that its from him and not the dam lines.

Waiting to see if dogs break down is too long. Esp if you aren't waiting till at least 5 to breed. Health testing AND long working lives should be paramount.

LOL sorry but I know quite a few working breeders who only bred good solid healthy seeming lines, who ended up passing on a lot of genetically/health testable issues because they thought because their dogs worked well into old age they were fine. (that and I met a great working dog who had a serious eye issue, I couldn't tell meeting and playing with the dog)
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:37 PM
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I didn't do my homework enough with my last "breeder," but I can definitely tell you I won't make that mistake again.

From now on my bare minimum would be:

-Stable temperaments. I don't care how great you think your dogs are, if I see anything temperament wise that I don't like, I'll be moving on. Best sport/conformation/working/whatever dog in the world isn't worth an unstable temperament.

-Proving their dogs. If/when I get another corgi, for example, I want to see dogs out there succeeding in herding, agility, flyball, etc. Something that shows they are still the drivey, capable dogs they were originally bred for.

-Health testing. Again, you don't do it and I'll be moving on, kthx.

-Socialization. The first 8 weeks are too important to waste imo for a breeder not to be spending ridiculous amounts of time exposing their dogs to anything and everything.

I do have things that I want to see above those, but those are my baseline.

I don't care if a person doesn't show their dogs in conformation, that's not really that important to me, but I'd never buy from someone breeding "pets" and not having at least obedience/rally/agility/etc titles on them. Been there done that, learned from my mistakes.
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Dixie's_Mom~ View Post
If someone does the right research on their dog breed, works with, and owns them long enough, and knows the way their breed should be, shouldn't they be able to judge whether their dogs are worthy to be bred w/out showing them?
As long as they're not kennel blind.
And while I don't think showing or even competing in performance venues is necessary, I do think something should be done with them. Even if they're only being bred for companionship, therapy work would show a good stable temperament suitable for being a pet in any home. Sport dogs should be titled in the sport(s) they're supposed to be good at. Working dogs should be doing actual work. And don't put a couple herding titles on your dog and then sell puppies as being able to do real life ranch work. Don't tell me your line of amazing PP/police dogs will be fine schutzhund prospects. Sport is sport, work is work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linds View Post
For a relatively healthy breed health testing is not the end all be all as long as it's a working breed that needs to be in good health to do said job and is worked into the ground. If their dogs are breaking down that's a different story. Again, something that would change depending on the breed of dog.
Malinois were a "relatively healthy breed". A lot of breeders skipped health testing for them and now health problems are being seen too often.
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
Fran said lots of good things, but I just wanted to touch on this. Working people tend to think that if the dog can work all day long its healthy and all is good. The thing is dogs with loads of drive can work through a lot of pain. By the time they are old people assume their pain is age related. Or you have a prominent great working dog who passes on recessive issues, and people don't know until he has oodles of offspring that its from him and not the dam lines.

Waiting to see if dogs break down is too long. Esp if you aren't waiting till at least 5 to breed. Health testing AND long working lives should be paramount.

LOL sorry but I know quite a few working breeders who only bred good solid healthy seeming lines, who ended up passing on a lot of genetically/health testable issues because they thought because their dogs worked well into old age they were fine. (that and I met a great working dog who had a serious eye issue, I couldn't tell meeting and playing with the dog)
Overall, I agree with a lot of what you said and if/when I breed I will health test. But, again depending on the breed and the severity of the work they do it's not a deal breaker if they don't nor will I loose sleep over it. I'm not talking about coursing, or herding trials or even Ring sports. I'm talking down and dirty all day out in the field from dawn to dusk work. That kind of work tends to let the genetically weak's faults shine through a might earlier. But again, you are right there are still some that can show up later in life.

Looking at it from a Koolie standpoint: Relatively healthy breed that isn't prone to anything other than the same old eye and ear issues that go hand in hand with most merle breeds. I actually knew a group of Koolie owners trying to find someone who has/had a Koolie with HD and were failing at it.

I pretty much only would buy from an long established Kennel so if their dogs are throwing dogs with genetically linked health issues that show up very late on down the road you would hear about it from the buyers (that's the nice thing about how small the Koolie breeder world is). They also aren't the most stoic of breeds so while they might not show the pain while in full drive when they come down from it they will.

The other nice thing is it seems like even if the breeder doesn't health test a lot of the buyers do at some point so I still get to hear the results of those.

EDIT: CP, I haven't seen a Mal breeder working the dogs to the point I would be comfortable buying from them without health testing.

Again, depends on the breed, depends on the breeder and depends on what the dogs are doing.
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