Gone is the era of hobby breeders proving their purebreds at dog shows and selling a QUALITY puppy to good homes because shelters monopolize the market with puppy mill purebreds.
PET SHOP & shelter PUREBREDS
This USDA licensed breeder quit in 2011 because shelters were ruining the purebred dog market but he offers a unique perspective on what we used to call The Dog Fancy.
He asked for anonymity and we agreed because the first-hand information was so current and on-target. We thought you'd like to know that even "puppy millers" have a heart.
Purebred Dog Market Meets The Pet Shop
This hobby, sport, industry, what ever you want to call it, was once small and intimate. There were the dogs bred by Us and dogs bred by Them. It turned into a class war as the Us people tried to control the situation when the commoners came in. With their common dogs. This was one of many mistakes the Us people made. Instead of sharing valuable breeding and pedigree information so everyone was on the same page, divisions were made. Secrets were kept. Cliques were formed.
So Us tried to stay a step above Them. We could still sell direct to nice people. Then pet stores happened and dogs got to be a product, still semi-controlled by the Us crowd, but being slowly taken over by Them, the pet shops. About the time Midwest breeders come about, animal rights activism was born from the woes of a divided canine industry. The Us people had dogs everyone wanted. After all, they had birth rights known as “pedigrees.” Right here in America, you could overcome low birth by owning a purebred dog. That showed you had arrived.
Enter The Animal Rights Activists
The conformation crowd despised the less-to-type sporting crowd and the animal rights folks believed nobody should breed anything. The UKC hunters and other working dog breeders made fun of the conformation fanciers for breeding for beauty and extremes over usefulness. People started back biting. Yeah, that's how a dog tries to show superiority. But everyone had one thing in common. They hated the other group called puppy mills. Breeding common dogs out of type, not trying to read a breed standard, they took over the pet store market which was once dominated by the larger show breeders.
How dare they drive down the prices and offer pedigreed dogs to just anyone? Many of the Us breeders got into less popular dogs and did everything they could to prevent the puppy mills from getting their greedy little hands on them. The Animal Rights activists (now with capitol letters) watched and learned.
Today it is a rolling snow ball with nothing to stop it because each side of the breeder spectrum believes they are right and the other side is wrong. Even veterinarians are split, and many professionals agree with the Animal Rights position because everything said against a puppy mill, a back yard breeder, a hoarder, or a show breeder has a half truth standing behind it, some how, some where.
Pedigree Dogs Exposed
That show turned half-truths into “facts.” Some commercial kennels or back yard breeders are not the best in producing healthy puppies and to deny that is to loose the argument. The whole industry has its problems. You can not blame one group for all the woes of the dog sport.
The wealthiest and most influential of the Us group thought it never could be touched but has come to the end of its road. Your gene pools are too small. Your ranks fragmented and infiltrated by the Animal Rights movement. When you see the wealthiest people in the US touting “adopt don't shop” you know your goose is cooked.
When you guys agreed to follow the ridiculous “reputable breeder” hype, you helped write this page. You are Us when, around the world, you think it is only ethical to breed once in 4 years. Where will “they” buy a purebred dog? Are you improving your breed when you require all your puppies are spayed and neutered?
Will dog people stand together? Us and Them? No, you have fragmented your armies and sent their ranks to the four corners. It is time to create a round table, pick your knights and bring your warriors home. Because unless we come together into a fully united canine industry, hobby dog breeders are done.
How to do this? The old saying is if you love something, set it free; if it is truly yours it will come back. Well now is the time. No more Us and Them. If WE are to survive as purebred dog breeders, we have to share our knowledge and resources and work together, including the USDA licensed kennels.
Defeat Animal Shelters With Health Testing
Remember we now have a common enemy who will defeat us all with half truths and money collected from our potential customers. Siding with the Animal Rights activists are the Shelters who are collectively convincing the public that mutts are smarter and healthier than purebred dogs. Screw the money, screw the competition. You love the dogs so don't demean someone because they did not walk in your shoes. Give them your shoes if you have too.
Another way to dispel the half truths is more testing to disprove that purebred dogs are unhealthy. The shelters will catch on quickly and beat us to the punch. Every show dog should be tested and evaluated by a veterinarian. Copy what the Europeans do for the warmbloods (horses) and such. Have test sites at all the shows so that breeding dogs can be evaluated. Don't make it mandatory for registration. Just have health testing available at reasonable cost.
Market our purebreds on a principal that dog produced from parents with certified health, quality, and temperament/trainability evaluations are worth more. Let the shelters and pet shops try to compete with that! I think temperament testing is important too. Market on the fact that champion show dogs not only passed beauty contests but health and temperament screenings. Give them ratings from 1 to 10 instead of “Grand” points. If puppy mill dogs compete and beat us, well, so be it. Us need to do better!
WE must market that these are the best dogs to breed and own. Allow any breeder to participate, especially the commercial breeders. (AKC can use the show fees.) Stop alienating them. There are some that are interested in being the best. The only way to get rid of the worse representatives is to make it easier to identify the best representatives. We attract what we focus on, and for way too many years the focus on the bad has dominated this industry.
Open Posh Pet Shops Instead Of Shelters
That’s right, a new generation of posh, upscale pet stores that sell genetically healthy, show quality puppies to the public. This will help show breeders before they cease to exist. The pet stores can screen potential buyers and educate the public. It sets the bar by raising it. Screw the Animal Rights and “Adopt A Shelter Dog” crowd... stop trying to make them happy, grow a backbone and take back the purebred fancy.
Together we really do become a We. Stop pointing fingers. It feeds the Animal Rights agenda. You may be surprised at how conscientious some of the USDA breeders are. I know an Amish breeder who OFA tests all his dogs. He buys show dogs and studies like a mad man. There is a desire there. WE should not kill anyone's dreams because everyone who dreams of dogs can be our warrior against the Animal Rights legislation and the Adopt (buy!) From A Shelter crusade. That is the only way to fix our broken wheel.
Take The USDA Out Of The Hands Of HSUS!
As for the BYB (back yard breeders), they are chameleons, selling on the internet and to pet shops. They talk the talk but refuse to do the walk. They are a huge problem and they are not even USDA licensed. And if they were, I'm not so sure we can depend on the USDA as budgets tighten and HSUS waves money around.
I do not breed anymore. I just groom now. So I am still connected. I ask clients where they got their dog. The most frequent answer is the BYB. These chameleons will be hard to change and let’s face it, they are easier to approach than the show breeders. I also know for a fact that being more approachable, such as having a show breeder run a pet store where the layman can buy quality dogs and get hooked up with dog shows and handlers would be a huge success. Granted it will not be a shopping experience for the poor but it will raise the bar and resolve a lot of issues. It is a huge educational opportunity.
Things will never be perfect. But they can be a hell of a lot better than they are now because to do nothing destroy dog breeding for everyone. I see the coming storm. Did you know if you are an A licensed breeder you can not transport a dog or puppy for another licensed breeder, even to the vet?
If you want to print this do so as anonymous, and don't put it from a raging puppy mill broker. I never brokered any puppies. I got the B license because it cost the same as an A and you had more freedoms.