Dog Are Our Heritage
Dogs were man’s FIRST domesticated species. Dog breeders must protect our traditional right to own well-bred, family-raised, purebred dogs.
HERITAGE DOG BREEDS
Dogs have served mankind since the wolf domesticated itself to us eons ago and primitive man first began to selectively breed dogs 30,000 years ago.
In fact, the dog was the planet’s first domesticated species (1) and today, there are “responsible breeders” all over the internet. The problem is that many dog breeders are deemed “good breeders” by people who are not now and never have been breeders, good or bad.
With all the hysteria about HSUS/APHIS, now would be the time to get in front of restrictive legislation that robs us of our history. APHIS is a problem but it is the younger generation who should devote their time, money, and energy to preserving their future rather than largely ignoring the situation and chasing ribbons. That is not helping the future of purebred dogs.(2)
I have a radical proposal. Let’s recognize those who support our right to enjoy the company of family-reared, carefully created purebred dogs. Let's give breeders a certification for doing a really good job preserving the quality and value of heritage breeds.
It’s only fitting. Purebred dogs were brought to America by those who fought for our personal freedom and liberties. The family-raised purebred is part of our culture and we must protect that heritage. It is the purebred dog that guards our livestock, protects our cities and airports, leads the blind, the handicapped, medical science, and most of all, represents our culture of individualism.
The British Kennel Club has an Accredited Breeder Scheme. Our AKC hasn't warmed to the idea of doing the same here. I know there’s the AKC Breeder of Merit award but its primary requirement is to register every puppy in the litter. I believe people dedicated to preserving our past and protecting our future can do this on our own. The time has come for Americans to preserve a big chunk of our heritage. The American Quarter Horse Association and the Morgan Horse Association united to take care of what American breeders created and we must do the same.
The Heritage Dog Breeders Of America (HDBA) sounds about right to me so let’s get started. An HDBA Program might look something like this:
The HDBA Member will always strive to adhere to the AKC or UKC standard of the breed. The Heritage Breed’s character, instinct, physical and mental soundness must be paramount and must be preserved.
HDBA Members breed for good health, temperament, and type, i.e. for the betterment of the breed, not just for production of puppies for money.
An HDBA Member will not breed a female on more than two consecutive seasons, skipping at least one season before breeding again. Not more than 5 litters or two cesarean deliveries in a lifetime.
All HDBA Members will maintain dogs in clean and spacious quarters. The dogs will be given suitable exercise and groomed appropriately for their breed. No fleas or ticks will be evident. Appropriate health checks for common problems within the breed will be done.
The HDBA Member will sell his pups with contracts stating that the breeder must be notified first if the dog needs to be re-homed.
The Heritage Dog Breeder will prove the quality of his/her breeding stock by achieving a conformation, performance title and/or obedience degree on all breeding stock. Public exhibition of a Heritage Dog Breed puts its structure, brains, and temperament on public display. Just as important, even a basic obedience degree requires one-on-one time with the dog.
This is good for the dog and good for the owner. Time spent training and conditioning signifies a devotion to dogs outside of the whelping box. Our breeding dogs need recreation and there is nothing they relish more than your full attention. Training fulfills this requirement.
Qualifications need not be complicated. In addition to the above, a Heritage Dog Breeder does more than pay lip service to “fighting bad legislation”. Every HDBA Member regularly gives their time and expertise to local politicians or by contributing time to or funding a national legislative group.
Even APHIS-USDA-HSUS would find it hard to find fault with HDBA members or to justify spending government resources to regulate such leaders in the dog community.
Photos courtesy Pam Guevera