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  #21  
Old 05-25-2008, 08:00 PM
doberkim doberkim is offline
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Originally Posted by Lilavati View Post
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Responsible breeders don't breed without a waiting list
I've never personally bred, but I don't know any breeder in my breed that really breeds without ensuring SOME interest in their breeding - I believe personally the responsible thing to do would be to ensure that someone actually WANTS what you would produce before you try to produce it, otherwise you better be prepared to keep every puppy you make, even if it here are 12 of them.

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Responsible breeders never advertise


Responsible breeders don't advertise what colors they have

Responsible breeders have applications (I'll clarify this . . . I don't see why an interview is not a perfectly find substitute for an application. Obviously people need to be screened, but unless the world is beating down your door for your dogs, do you really need people to fill in an application?)
I feel that it is fine for a breeder to advertise, I don't think that it makes someone irresponsible to advertise.

In my breed, they also indicate what colors could be produce, or could not be produced - they indicate, for instance, that they do not support albino dobermans, which is good. They will say this breeding will only produce blacks, could potentially produce blacks and reds, will produce all 4 colors - this is just for knowledge of those interested. I see no problem with this.

And I am also fine with some "interview" process, it doesn't have to be a formal application. This isn't the foodstore they are applying to.


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Responsible breeders have dogs with a mess of titles
Ah, here we will disagree. I feel, especially in my own breed, you need to prove your worth. SHow me a dog with higher level obedience titles, agility titles, Schutzhund titles, tracking titles, etc - and I will show you a dog that has proven it has working ability, the willingness to please, some work ethic, it has SOMETHING. Yes, sometimes you can simply whittle away at these titles and eventually get them, but the higher ones come to those dogs that deserve them. I have a working dog, and you have to work it for me to feel it deserves to be bred - personally for me, a doberman is more than a breed dog.

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Responsible breeders always do a mess of genetic testing, even if they have a breed with relatively few problems and have never had issues with their lines.
And I will disagree with this one too - my breed has multiple health concerns, and it's irresponsible to ignore those and continue breeding. A dog with drive will continue working despite health problems like HD, arthritis, ED, OCD, can compensate for eye problems, etc. some disorders do not become evident until later in life, after they have finished working, or until an animal is injured. You can bury your head in the sand, but its doing the breed no good to continue passing on genetic issues just because a dog can work, when there are good workers WITHOUT these issues as well.

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Responsible breeders breed for <blank>, when <blank> is something other than heath and temperment. (Another clarification. Health and temperment are supreme, and I don't think anyone really disagrees with this. But requiring some other thing that MUST be bred for gets into mess of other issues. Yes, you should be breeding your dogs for something. Yes, dogs should be bred to standard. BUt how much to standard? WHICH standard? In my lifetime I've watched serveral breeds change appearence rather dramatically, so a grand champion of yesteryear would be laughed out of the ring today. If you breed your dogs to a "style" not currently in fashion, are you not responsible? As for breeding for working traits, rock on! And well rounded dogs that can show and work, rock on! But do we really want every retriever and spaniel out there to show full field traits?)
I think that there are multiple things to consider in a breeding, and along with health and temperament (I'm confused how you can say this - that health needs to be considered, but then say just above, that you don't need to do genetic testing? what is healthy? seeing the vet every year and getting annual vaccines???) - that you need to look at structure, working ability, etc. I want a TOTAL dog, not just a so-so dog.

I don't see the harm in demanding more - if we start to settle, we're never going to improve on anything. Even if all I want is a pet, I deserve the best pet I can get.
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  #22  
Old 05-25-2008, 09:24 PM
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I was incoherent in places, let me clairify.

One, defening BYBs is something of hyperbole, as I stated. I don't want to defend all BYBs . . . I merely want to raise the issue of whether there is a hard line between "reputable" (a word I also prefer, but see less and less in the literature on online these days) and BYBs in the sense of irresponsible losers who are cranking out rotten dogs and selling them to people who shouldn't have them. I'm really objecting to the idea that there is such a hard line . . . and that if you don't do this, or this, or this, then you are, by definition, irresponsible. When some of the this-es are things like "not advertising" I really have to wonder where our priorities are.

Some clairifiations: what I meant by mess of titles was not that dogs being bred should have NO titles. It was the idea that no dog should be breed without lots and lots of titles. Ideally, perhaps. But I have my doubts, in many cases whether a dog with a full working temperment is the right dog for almost ANY pet owner. And its almost certainly not what they want. I see no irresponsiblity problem in dogs that have just show, or just agility, or just obdience titles. It might not be optimal, but I don't think its irresponsible. Or, there are dogs from working lines that just don't have titles . . . for example many actual working dogs do poorly in trial situations because the trials don't mimic real life. So people have started breeding for the trials. Not bad, necessarily, but if you want a really good gundog, you might not want to pull from top trial lines.

As for health: I meant breeding only healthy dogs from healthy parents to other healthy dogs from healthy parents. And grandparents. What people did BEFORE there was such a thing as genetic testing. That, in my mind, is breeding for health. Its the common sense, old fashioned, there's something wrong with this dog (or a close relative) so I will not breed it.

I see the points about gentic testing, and am coming to agree. I never said it was a bad idea. I just still, somewhat, though I'm changing my mind, have my doubts about whether its a litimus test for a "reputable" or "responsible" breeder, as in "if you do not do genetic testing, you are a BYB." That, I don't think, is the case, if only because I know, and have known, too many breeders who have bred for a long time, bred very good winning dogs, and see genetic testing as a newfangled thing, that you might do to sort out a problem in your lines, but not as a routine matter. Now, as those people die off, and as people become more knowledgable, it may become an absolute requirement simply because no one in their right mind will not be doing genetic testing. I'm just not sure we are there yet.

Anyway, I'm not defending BYBs in the sense of all BYBs. I'm more questioning the location of the bar . . . and the implications of some of the "requirements" that I am seeing. Since calling someone a BYB is an insult (and a serious one) I wonder if it should be thrown around quite as casually as I have seen it thrown around on this message board, or in opinion columns, or in books. I'm questioning where the boundary between good breeding practices and snobbery is.

I'm coming to agree on the genetic testing . . . at least in the sense that everyone should be doing it . . . but I'm also not going to call someone who has been breeding for longer than I have been alive a backyard breeder because they have not adopted a new technology. As far as I am concerned to do so would reveal more about my arrogance and presumption than about their breeding practices. I may be right and they may be wrong, but with more than my lifetime of experience behind them, it is not my place to level insults at them for doing things the way they always have. Make suggestions, ask for a test before adopting, but dismiss them as a BYB?

So once again I restate my question. Its really about limitus tests . . . not is there a hard boundary (there isn't, and I think most people know that) but about what the real tests are . . . and whether they should be the tests that are used. And whether there is a catagory beween "the best" and the "sleeze" and whether that catagory should be recognized, and treated with at least some respect.
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  #23  
Old 05-25-2008, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Responsible breeders breed for <blank>, when <blank> is something other than heath and temperment. (Another clarification. Health and temperment are supreme, and I don't think anyone really disagrees with this. But requiring some other thing that MUST be bred for gets into mess of other issues. Yes, you should be breeding your dogs for something. Yes, dogs should be bred to standard. BUt how much to standard? WHICH standard? In my lifetime I've watched serveral breeds change appearence rather dramatically, so a grand champion of yesteryear would be laughed out of the ring today. If you breed your dogs to a "style" not currently in fashion, are you not responsible? As for breeding for working traits, rock on! And well rounded dogs that can show and work, rock on! But do we really want every retriever and spaniel out there to show full field traits?)
That addresses one of the things I embrace in the farm Fila breeder types. The "standard" physically is fairly loose. They don't care so much if the nose is a little short, the ears are a little too high or the coat has too much white (actually, it's difficult to get a predominantly white Fila out of South America - they are highly prized). What they care most about as far as standard goes is if it's a Fila on the inside. Does it have the heart, mind, instincts and soul of the Fila? After that, the physique is secondary. The body is a vehicle to allow the Fila to do what a Fila does. Form follows function. Not too big . . . not too small. Heavy bones for strength, excellent joints for flexibility, proper gait and hindquarters for speed and agility . . .

It's not until you get to the show world that measurements and ear sets and such become paramount. And that's not what makes a Fila. Probably doesn't have a helluva lot to do with what makes any dog a "good" dog.
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  #24  
Old 05-25-2008, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Lilavati View Post
Is it any wonder people buy from puppy mills and sleezy BYBs? Half the population can't pass the test to get a dog from a responsible breeder. Heck, more and more shelters have the same requirements. Unless you can provide an ideal home, forget it. Unless you want the dog they hve decided to offer you, forget it. . . . I've honestly been insulted by some conversations I've had about adopting dogs. . .not because they asked lots of questions (good!) but because the questions were asked in an aggressive, accusing fashion . . . PROVE YOURE A GOOD OWNER YOU SLEEZE BALL, PROVE IT, OR NO DOG FOR YOU.
I agree with you on this point . . . When the requirements that good breeders set are too stringent or unrealistic (like that rescue group that Ellen adopted that one dog from, where they required that you not have other pets or children and promise never to get other pets or have children), then they're driving people into the arms of bad breeders. Obviously, breeders should still screen so their puppies don't end up with flaky, irresponsible people, but still . . .

On genetic testing, though, I disagree. Yes, it's true that if you breed healthy dog + healthy dog, you will probably have healthy puppies. BUT NOT ALWAYS. A dog from a line that has been healthy for ages can still be carrying a serious, recessive genetic fault. Or--what if the dog will develop Genetic Problem X at 5 years old . . . while the dog is being bred at 2 years old?

No, breeders of the past did not the have the option of genetic testing. BUT NOW THEY DO. And, having that option, they should use it. If the costs are too great for them to continue breeding dogs . . . they should discontinue breeding dogs.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Renee750il View Post
That addresses one of the things I embrace in the farm Fila breeder types. The "standard" physically is fairly loose. They don't care so much if the nose is a little short, the ears are a little too high or the coat has too much white (actually, it's difficult to get a predominantly white Fila out of South America - they are highly prized). What they care most about as far as standard goes is if it's a Fila on the inside. Does it have the heart, mind, instincts and soul of the Fila? After that, the physique is secondary. The body is a vehicle to allow the Fila to do what a Fila does. Form follows function. Not too big . . . not too small. Heavy bones for strength, excellent joints for flexibility, proper gait and hindquarters for speed and agility . . .

It's not until you get to the show world that measurements and ear sets and such become paramount. And that's not what makes a Fila. Probably doesn't have a helluva lot to do with what makes any dog a "good" dog.
This reminds me of a border collie I saw a picture of on here months ago . . . She would have made an AKC judge faint with horror (one ear up and one ear down), but there were amazing pictures of her working sheep.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:54 PM
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You are painting me in with a wide wide brush.

Once again...a good breeder is a hard thing to be. Because IF you have standards you are elitist and keeping the common man from having a dog. So who really needs defending here, I wonder?
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  #27  
Old 05-25-2008, 09:58 PM
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Mit and Nikki's Bella is a great example of what I was talking about. She's a little undersized by show Fila standards, and her snoot is a little short, but on the inside, in her head and heart where it counts, seeing her move fluidly, her lovely proportions, flexibility and strength, both physical and mental, and act and her guardian instincts and perfect Fila devotion and her calculating intellect . . . although I can't speak to her cattle herding instincts, lol, in every other way, Bella is EXACTLY what I want to see in a Fila.

She also happens to be beautiful.

I don't have absolute faith in the infallibility of genetic tests . . . a good example of why is the results from Buddy's DNA check
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  #28  
Old 05-26-2008, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by HoundedByHounds View Post
You are painting me in with a wide wide brush.

Once again...a good breeder is a hard thing to be. Because IF you have standards you are elitist and keeping the common man from having a dog. So who really needs defending here, I wonder?
Hounded,

I really do thing people should have standards. That was never the point. No more than you do, I do not agree with the indiscriminte breeding of dogs or the adopting them to inappropriate owners.

I've pretty much conceeded your point on genetic testing, that it should become common practice.

However, I think you may be missing my point. I'm not objecting to standards, I'm objecting to a black and white view of the world that says, "Breeder A is a good breeder, and Breeder B is a BYB and there for sleeze" where the difference between them may be a truely minor point (advertising) or a more significant point (genetic testing), but where they are otherwise highly similar.

I am also objecting to the setting of standards for ownership that are absurdly high, and to a confrontational, accusing method of selecting dog owners. OF COURSE you should set standards before adopting. Moreover, its your right to set whatever standards you wish. But I'm disturbed that more and more the standards that are considered the minimum for "responsibly" adopting dogs are so high that many people who want dogs, can care for them, and will be good owners, can't get the dog of their choice, even from a shelter. This is understandable, because everyone wants the best possible home for the dog. However, it drives these people into the clutches of puppy-mills and the really scary sort of BYBs.

My arguement isn't that you shouldn't have standards. Its that the lady who has a few poodles, for example, shows them, has been breeding for years, has good dogs, but does not follow all the rules, and sells to the person who is unwilling to wait for 2 years for a dog, who doesn't have a fenced yard, etc, that person is not a BYB in the sense that we often use. They serve a useful purpose. They may or may not contribute to the pet overpopulation problem, but they certainly take customers from those who do. My objection is grouping such individuals with the sort of people who breed their puppy-mill dogs each year and dump extra puppies at the shelter. My objection is also to grouping people as BYBs for truely silly reasons (Newspapers? Give me a break).

My arguement is that there really is a continuum, and I'm tired of insults being hurled casually around without recognizing the true complexity of the situation. Its one thing to say that Ms. Smith the poodle breeder really should genetic test, and its irresponsible for her not to in this day and age, and another thing to say Ms. Smith is a BYB, who is contributing to the overpopulation problem and it just like Ms. Jones, who has two puppy-mill dogs that crank out ugly, scary puppies, half of which die, a few of which are sold to people who should never have a dog, and the rest end up at the shelter.
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  #29  
Old 05-26-2008, 11:29 AM
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I've never called a BYB a sleaze...they are what they are...someone I would never buy a dog from...nor recommend anyone buy a dog from. Beyond that I am not sure why anyone needs to defend them...they are probably not overly concerned with being categorized by an anonymous public...they do what they do and answer little as to the effects of it.

Must be nice.
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Old 05-26-2008, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Lilavati View Post

My arguement is that there really is a continuum, and I'm tired of insults being hurled casually around without recognizing the true complexity of the situation. Its one thing to say that Ms. Smith the poodle breeder really should genetic test, and its irresponsible for her not to in this day and age, and another thing to say Ms. Smith is a BYB, who is contributing to the overpopulation problem and it just like Ms. Jones, who has two puppy-mill dogs that crank out ugly, scary puppies, half of which die, a few of which are sold to people who should never have a dog, and the rest end up at the shelter.

Ms. Smith the non-tester vs. Ms. Jones the puppy peddler really all amount to the same thing though. Do you think the people who own a 6 month old german shepherd puppy who already has hip dysplasia bought from Ms. Smith are any happier than the people who bought one of Ms. Jones little fluffy designer dogs from the Pet Shop? NO. They both have problems, regardless of whether Ms. Smith had good intentions and Ms. Jones is just plain greedy. BOTH bred irresponsibly and I think that is the crux of it all. It is to me anyways....as I find no excuse on earth acceptable for people to breed dogs if they do not know what they're doing and aren't doing everything in their power to prevent problems that are known within their breed.

This is just something I feel extremely passionately about, with good reason.
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