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AN OPEN LETTER TO PROSPECTIVE BREEDERS


. . . . Many veterinarians and serious dog breeders receive calls from pet owners who wish to breed their pet animals. When these owners feel that their dog has a fine temperament and is a heathy specimen of the breed that it represents, it is sometimes very difficult to help them understand that good breeding should be approached as both a science and an art, and that to do so requires knowledge and experience with dogs.

. . . . Dogs should be bred for one reason and for one reason ONLY - TO GET BETTER DOGS AS DEFINED BY THE BREED STANDARD. Bitch and stud should both come from lineage that has, to the greatest possible extent, been cleared of hereditary diseases present in that breed. Just having a healthy dog does not tell one what is in its background genetically (e.g. hip dysplasia, congenital cataract, progressive retinal atropy, hemophilia or other blood disorderss, etc.) When a bitch and dog are bred, the breeding should be planned by someone who knows the good points and faults of each so that a pair of animals are chosen who compliment each other.

. . . . Dogs should NOT be bred because:

  1. My vet says she's very healthy and it's ok to breed.
  2. A littler will make her more mellow.
  3. It's a good education for the kids.
  4. Some of my friends just love her personality and are dying to have one just like her.
  5. My husband is out of work, and we can use the money.
  6. We paid a lot of money for this bitch, and we want to get it back OR,
  7. Puppies are so much fun.

. . . . Thousands upon thousands of dogs are euthanized each year (a large percentage of them being purebred) because there are just not enough humans for every animal. Too often the neighbor or friend who wants a puppy with that same wonderful personality changes his mind, and the amateur breeder is left witha houseful of unwanted animals.

. . . . So before encouraging anyone to breed his dog, the owner should be encouraged to study his breed and learn what constitutes a good specimen. He should be apprised of the fact that too many dogs are being bred and that some or most of his litter may have to be euthanized. He should be discouraged from breeding mixed breeds (peek-a-poo, schnoodle, cock-a-poo, etc.) because mixed breeds are not necessarily healthier. The truth is that just as many, if not more, dogs with "high strung temperaments" and genetic disorders can come from cross breeding as from poorly mated purebreds.

. . . . Breeding, when done properly, is hard work and is certainly NOT the road to wealth. Each potential litter must be well thought out, with a sincere desire on the part of the owner to breed better dogs. Quality, not quantity, is the hallmark of the knowledeable breeder.


Text provided courtesy of Paisley Dalmatians
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Updated 6/14/99 11:53