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  #31  
Old 05-26-2008, 12:25 PM
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Ok, the genetic testing issue is overtaking the conversation here. It was something I threw in, because I personally believe that its not a limitus test. I didn't intend to start a debate over genetic testing. So I'll say my last word on it and hope the conversation can turn to issues that I believe are more core to this debate.

On genetic testing:
Good dogs were bred for years without it, and continue to be bred without it today . . . its a useful tool. But it is only a tool. In fact, I worry about it being used as a crutch . . . "My dogs are genetically clean, therefore, they're good" is going to be risk. I've seen websites selling dogs that I would never buy, from people I do consider BYBs, happily spouting their genetic testing. Likewise, I've seen dogs from very good kennels, that have been very good kennels for years, that have never been tested. They probably SHOULD be, but its doesn't change the fact that experience and good record keeping have worked pretty well for a long time, and the advent of a new technology has not made them totally inadaquate.

Genetic testing doesn't test for everything, and its no assurance of quality. Especially with traits like hyp dysplasia, which are multi-gene traits. Although such things happen, someone who has been breeding dogs for years before there was genetic testing, and continues breeding the same way, carefully avoiding genetic disease, is going to be MUCH less likely to have genetic problems than some person randomly breeding puppy mill dogs. Genetic diseases do not arise spontaniously, most of the time. They are already there, and if you're careful, you greatly reduce the risk without fancy testing. The risk is there, of course, and can be mitigated by genetic testing. But genetic testing = no genetic problems, and no genetic testing = rotten genetically screwed up dogs is a vast over-simplification, and I would hope you realize that. Its technology, not magic. None the less, its a very good idea and I can agree that it should become standard practice. I just feel, that in the still relatively early days of the science, when many people learned the art of breeding dogs the old fashioned way, that they should not be condemned for doing things they way they have in the past, if those methods have been successful in the past. If only because that seventy year old woman with the champion poodles has forgotten more about breeding than you or I will ever know, whether she tests or not. Feel passionately about it. Advocate it. Demand it for your dogs. But don't walk around condemning people with tons of experience because they haven't converted yet. Don't call someone who has been a "respectable" breeder for 30 years a "backyard breeder" because she hasn't picked up on the technology.

However, I realize we aren't going to agree on this point, and perhaps you're right that in this day and age there is no excuse. My feeling is that in ten years or so there will be no excuse, but not right now. But that's a personal opinion.

So, look at some of the other "requirements" that I object to, and which I object to more strongly to than the genetic testing issue, such as:

Must breed to <blank> standard or <blank> requirement. Note, I don't mean to A standard or A requirement, just a particular one, selected by the person writing the "responsible breeder" list. Such as, if not to AKC standard (specifically, as opposed to another breed club or another "style" of the breed), then don't breed and don't buy from them.

Don't advertise, don't state color, don't advertise in the newspaper, don't talk to anyone who didn't contact you through the breed club, pick your "Be exclusive and don't let the public know you exist" requirement.

Don't sell to anyone without an application and an absolutely perfect household for your dog. That means fenced yard, someone home all day, previous experience, etc. This is perhaps my real pet peeve. Its not that you don't have the right to sell your dogs to whom you chose, and to set requirements of your choice. . . its the idea that anyone who sells to anyone who doesn't meet those standards for owner selection is a BYB. Then, often, these same people tell the public not to buy from a BYB. Assuming they want a purebred puppy . . . just where are they supposed to get one? Frankly, if I have to pick a requirement that drives me insane, this is the one.

Don't breed unless your dog has multiple titles in multiple types of competition (I know this is controversal, and with good reason. However, there are times I really have to roll my eyes . . . A toy dog with both show and obediance titles is great . . . but really, how many obediance champ miniature dachshunds in the world are there? If you have one, great, breed him . . .but does the person who breed their show-only dachshunds really doing something wrong?)
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  #32  
Old 05-26-2008, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by shadowfacedanes View Post
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.
I have to comment on this one, because of the assumption you are making. As I stated in my post above this one, genetic testing is not magic. Someone who is selling well-bred dogs from good lines is MUCH less likely to sell a dog with hyp dysplasia at 6 months than someone who doesn't have well-bred dogs from good lines. Genetic testing might make that more certain, but it doesn't change the basic pricinple. Keep in mind that I described Ms. Smith as someone who has bred for years, and shows, and has healthy dogs. Yes, she might sell a dog with rotten hips, but if she's half way competent, there won't be many. Ms. Jones, who is totally in it for the money and thinks genes are something you wear, is going to sell FAR more rotten dogs. Should Ms. Smith test, yes. But putting them in the same catagory is not only insulting to Ms. Smith, its statistically and scientificially mistaken. There's a reason why some lines have very few dogs with bad hips and some have constant problems, and its has to do with selective breeding, which went on for years prior to genetic testing. Genetic testing makes the process easier and more certain, but it definately didn't invent it. So there is a difference. Ms. Smith avoids breeding dogs with problems, and Ms. Jones doesn't. To my mind thats a HUGE difference, technology aside.
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  #33  
Old 05-26-2008, 12:41 PM
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OR....Ms. Smith *thinks* she's breeding dogs without problems. Dogs can be dysplastic and it can go unnoticed for years. Meanwhile, without OFA'ing that dog, it might be bred under the assumption that "there are no problems" while there are, in fact, big problems. Not only that, but some genetic problems skip generations or are recessive...It only takes the wrong mating once to create a whirlwind of heartache.

That's what I'm trying to say. I know genetic testing isn't the end all to everything, but IMO, is a vital step of responsible breeding. I can't be convinced otherwise...I've seen too many dogs that could've been spared a life of pain had the breeders been responsible.

Now, it wasn't my intention to sidetrack this thread. I just don't think health testing dogs used for breeding should be discarded just because it wasn't done "in the old days".
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  #34  
Old 05-26-2008, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by shadowfacedanes View Post
OR....Ms. Smith *thinks* she's breeding dogs without problems. Dogs can be dysplastic and it can go unnoticed for years. Meanwhile, without OFA'ing that dog, it might be bred under the assumption that "there are no problems" while there are, in fact, big problems. Not only that, but some genetic problems skip generations or are recessive...It only takes the wrong mating once to create a whirlwind of heartache.

That's what I'm trying to say. I know genetic testing isn't the end all to everything, but IMO, is a vital step of responsible breeding. I can't be convinced otherwise...I've seen too many dogs that could've been spared a life of pain had the breeders been responsible.

Now, it wasn't my intention to sidetrack this thread. I just don't think health testing dogs used for breeding should be discarded just because it wasn't done "in the old days".
We can agree on that. It should not be discarded because it wasn't done in the old days. The only place we differ is whether it should be an absolutely requirement for any breeder to be "reputable" or "responsible" in the sense that if they do not do it they are automatically "disreputable" and "irresponsible." We don't agree on that, but I think its actually hair-splitting, because we DO agree that it is a good practice that should be far more common than it is, and that it should become universal among responsible and respectable breeders. I just don't feel that it is universal among people who are otherwise very good, if not excelent breeders . . . its absence does not make me think that they are not very good breeders. It makes me think that they are very good breeders who would be superb if they'd test their dogs.

And yes, hyp dysplasia can lurk for years. One of my father's spaniels, from one of the best working kennels in the country was felled by dysplasia, though admittedly she was quite old at the time. So far her offspring (themselves all dead of old age but one) have not inheirited it, fortunately. The worry was there after Nora's hips went. Of course, whether genetic testing would have picked up her hip dysplasia (had the testing been around at the time) is something of an open question . . . it hit her so late in life it might have been a mix of arthritis and a very athletic life. But we did worry and were glad that none of her pups had been bred (turned out none of them could hunt very well, despite a quality sire and dam . . .there's genetics for you).

On the other hand, I'll give a quick anecdote. At the Cardigan national I got to talking to a woman with a blue bitch who was competing an agility. Aforesaid blue bitch (who was also a conformation champion) was 11 or 12 and still beating the tar out of her grandpups in the agility ring (said pups were on their first or second compeition, but still). Her mother had died at 15. I immediately asked who her breeder was, and I ended up talking not only to the breeder but to 5 other happy customers. I also met the grandsire of many of her current dogs, 10 years and winning in the agility ring. Now, I have no idea if this breeder genetically tests. I didn't ask, I was too busy finding out if she had any older dogs that would fit in my household (she didn't) But dang those are nice dogs, and very happy owners. The dogs are winners in the ring, in agility and obediance. Given a choice between her and her old but active dogs, and someone who can not show me references and old, but healthy dogs, but can show me a genetic test certificate, I know who I'd buy from. Now, show me someone with dogs just as good, owners just as happy, AND who gentically tests, and I'd prefer them. But I don't think you can get much better credientals than good looking, healthy, well-tempered dogs who at over a decade are still kicking everyone else around the agility ring. That's what I mean by decades of experience. There's no substitute for that, and I would not dismiss someone of that caliber from consideration for not testing. It would, bluntly, be a stupid thing to do. Now, for all I know this person does test (I suspect she does) but finding out she did not would not make me not want one of her dogs, especially if I failed to discover any dogs I liked as well from another breeder (so far I have not, though since I'm going with a rescue or return on this corgi, I'll have to take what I can get).
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  #35  
Old 05-26-2008, 01:53 PM
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You know my breed club doesn't really send people to breeders. They might tell you to check the breeders listed on the club website. But there are many breeders I consider 'bad' on that list. The JRTCC does not want to get embroiled in the politics of who's breeding plan/styles are better.

Also, with my first litter I had more pups than I was expecting (8-which a a very large litter for a JRT) and some of the people on my waiting list dissapeared. I did put one add in the news paper. I got at least 30 phone calls, most of which were people who should not likely own a gold fish-let a lone a dog. But I had about 5 who were good, and 2 who were great, and got the 2 remaining pups.

The one person who was reffered to me from another breeder (and who checked out) turned out to be a HORRIBLE puppy owner! That was the person who got Cargo. I don't think HOW you find puppy buyers that should be the issue, but WHO you sell the puppies too.
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  #36  
Old 05-26-2008, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lilavati View Post
I have to comment on this one, because of the assumption you are making..
I think there are a lot of assumptions being made..by yourself as well, as far as what a reputable breeder requires. We are not a uni mind, we are individual people who have our own ways of doing things.

If you want to purchase from a BYB...do so...but suggesting that others cut them slack, because of unfair assumptions...when you yourself seem to have some assumptions, about reputable breeders yourself...seems off to me somehow.
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:21 PM
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Don't sell to anyone without an application and an absolutely perfect household for your dog. That means fenced yard, someone home all day, previous experience, etc. This is perhaps my real pet peeve.
I will definitally agree with you on this and it is a HUGE peeve of mine. I can guarantee that my dogs get more mental/physical stimulation and attention than most pet dogs, yet I am automatically rejected by many rescues/breeders because I do not have a fenced yard and because of my age. They don't even look at the titles I have put on my dogs, the behavior modification I've done with my dogs, how I care for my dogs, etc. I don't think I am the best owner to ever walk this earth, I'm definitally not, but I get annoyed when they won't even consider me because of these reasons.
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  #38  
Old 05-26-2008, 04:31 PM
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You assume that "good breeders" of the past bred "healthy" dogs (how doyou define healthy?? again - please tell me what makes a dog healthy - the ability to work??? being ALIVE?? ) to healthy dogs and made healthy dogs.

I'll tell you thats crap. I know "good breeders" in the dobe world that don't health test - and their lines are now coming out FROUGHT with health testing - and they simply continue not to test. They don't care, and they didn't both to CHECK to see if their dogs were healthy. At 3-4-5 years old, when they were breeding them, they were fine. That isn't a healthy dog.

Is it a crux for me? Absolutely - because it has to be. And just because they have a dog alive and competing at 10 or 12 isn't going to make me want dogs from them - yes, I still want the health testing - what if that pedigree on that dog (while she is great and healthy) is frought with hip and eye problems, or cardiac issues?? What good is a dog from a healthy 12 year old if she throws consistently unhealthy dogs? Just being healthy yourself DOES NOT mean your puppies will too - that's not how genetics works.

I'm sorry, but I have to agree with the others - don't sit here and tell me to cut some BYB some slack because its "hard to be responsible". Better the breed, or don't reproduce. You aren't doing MY breed any favors by not doing everything that needs to be done, or breeding "healthy" dogs that are good pets without everything else I mentioned. I think its disgusting to sit here and tell us to cut them some slack, because life is hard... breeding is not a right. You don't have to do it.
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  #39  
Old 05-26-2008, 05:40 PM
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I think that until YOU (general) have raised and placed puppies that you have waited years for...you cannot possibly understand the screening process from the other side. You can not even begin to grasp the sheer amount of stress and worry that goes into placing pups...there is so, so much at stake. Placing a foster is not the same...placing an adult dog is not the same...BOTH those situations require a lot of thought and screening...but when a puppy in born literally into your hands...wow is it different. It changes you utterly.

I really cannot understand why people get angry that they get asked questions...because I know these same, good responsible people...would ask the SAME if they were in my shoes and had what I have invested in my dogs. And no I am not talking money...I am talking about pieces of my heart and soul.

So much crap gets piled on the responsible breeder...evidenced even in this thread...yet where is OUR violin solo...OUR appeal to give us a break or not judge us so harshly or call us names or belittle our accomplishments?

*sigh* it's very disheartening...very.
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
I think that until YOU (general) have raised and placed puppies that you have waited years for...you cannot possibly understand the screening process from the other side. You can not even begin to grasp the sheer amount of stress and worry that goes into placing pups...there is so, so much at stake. Placing a foster is not the same...placing an adult dog is not the same...BOTH those situations require a lot of thought and screening...but when a puppy in born literally into your hands...wow is it different. It changes you utterly.

I really cannot understand why people get angry that they get asked questions...because I know these same, good responsible people...would ask the SAME if they were in my shoes and had what I have invested in my dogs. And no I am not talking money...I am talking about pieces of my heart and soul.

So much crap gets piled on the responsible breeder...evidenced even in this thread...yet where is OUR violin solo...OUR appeal to give us a break or not judge us so harshly or call us names or belittle our accomplishments?

*sigh* it's very disheartening...very.
Not sure if this was at all directed towards me or not, but I figure I will respond anyways.

I agree with you that I
Quote:
cannot possibly understand the screening process from the other side
. I've never (nor do I ever plan on being) on that side of the screening process, and breeders on this forum have definitally opened my eyes to the difficulties and heartache that go along with this process. I'm not saying that every breeder should give me one of their puppies because I am great and wonderful, yadda yadda yadda. What I am asking for is the time of day and for breeders to take me seriously, hell just pretend to take me seriously. I've been told by breeders to come back when I'm 25 (didn't know you magically became a great dog owner at that exact time) and to come back when I have a 6 ft. privacy fence built. The fact that those were automatic deal breakers and for them to not even listen to my explanations was very disheartening.

I don't mind being turned down by breeders who don't feel I would be a good match for one of their dogs, I really don't, I just would like for them to at least listen to what I have to say. I will say though, that in addition to this I have met some amazing breeders who were able to look past these things and have told me to come back as soon as I am ready for a puppy and they would be happy for me to have one of their puppies.
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