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If you bred your dog, why did you do so? What testing was done for genetic issues relevant to your breed? How long did you mentor with a reputable breeder before making the decision to breed your dog? How did you choose which 2 dogs to breed? How long have you been active in your respective breed club? What kinds of titles and championships did you ensure your dog had, BEFORE going forward with breeding your dog? How long did you research and study your breed BEFORE you chose to breed? Are you a reputable and ethical breeder? Breeding to better the breed? Knew what you were getting into before your male GOT your female? Made sure your dog came from a quality breeder with exceptional lines and championships to prove it? Are you following the guidelines in the link below on the AKC website on ethical breeding? Are you aware that if you are not following these guidelines, it makes you a backyard breeder?
G g - I have to give you credit for your hindsight and making the decision not to breed again. Sorry for your breed ban, sadly, it's becoming more common for PB's. smmastiff-- I realize that some reputable breeders may have started off on the wrong foot, but to assume that most didn't bother with any kind of research first or found a mentor is unrealistic. All of the breeders I have come to know most certainly did not begin as backyard breeders and most had excellent mentors to help them in the beginning. I guess my biggest issue is that there are SO MANY here asking about breeding and then when someone tells them if they have to ask, they need to research more before even considering it, or that it's likely they don't have a sound breeding specimen, they get upset over it. They don't want to be told they are doing something wrong, they want affirmation in what they are choosing to do, whether some feel it is wrong or not.
Mama O-- Yay for Agility! Working on that myself these days. Glad to hear a story of someone, even as young as you were, who actually took the right steps into reputable breeding. Far too many make "excuses" about why they didn't, when really, a little research and a good mentor will get you there the right way.
Bohemian_garnet-- AKC registered does not = reputable breeder. AKC registrastion alone is not enuf. Your breeder "shot" any dogs having hip dysplasia or other [genetic] serious illness? What about actually doing the proper testing for it in advance and removing any dog at risk out of the gene pool? I suppose that's hard when they aren't monitoring which dogs are siring their litters. An "ethical" breeder won't allow a dog to breed if it shows to have genetic issues and they do proper testing before ever permitting breeding. I also realize that some breeds can't both work and show (pyr's a good example as they can't bond with humans in order to do their job), but don't assume that all AKC registered dogs are of good lines. You still have to research and find that exceptional breeder. No lines are perfect, but you have to find that breeder who is working hard to eliminate any possible issues within those lines. Allowing dogs with genetic issues to randomly breed, is, IMO, unethical.
Oh yes! Believe it or not, I bred my first litter of purebred Shetland Sheepdogs when I was a Jr in High School!!!! I had been doing obedience training in Jr High with our family mixed breed, and discovered the Sheltie breed at training classes. I fell in love with the breed, and befriended a lady who became my mentor. My parents bought a Sheltie puppy for me in High School from this lady. I trained the pup for obedience, and while going to trials, I watched the "conformation" dogs. I got hooked, talked to other breeders, studied the show catalogs, subscribed to a Sheltie magazine. I looked at dogs I liked, their offspring...called the owners and asked like a bazillion questions. Chose the sire I wanted to breed to. My parents "loaned me" the stud fee and drove me and my dog 10 hours away to leave her to be bred to a near champion. Then back again to pick her up. In the meantime, my mentor guided me on diet for the pregnant dog, how to whelp pups, etc etc So..at about 17 years old, I whelped a litter of pups. I kept one of the litter, and showed him as a puppy in conforamtion shows. One judge came up to me after the show, after giving my pup a first place in his puppy class, wanting to know his breeding. Unfortunately, the pup did go 1/4 " oversize when he matured, so I did not show him again, but kept him as a pet. A few years later, after I had graduated from high school, got a job, got married.........I updated my research and did buy a show quality ***** and bred and showed in conformation for about 23 years. Now, I do agility!!!!!
I was raised in a house with many many pets. my mom was a classic case of a BYB/ borderline hoarder. i started with apbt's, i did tons of research on the breed, and they were very affectionate, well behaved dogs. i decided to breed my male and female together. the male had certain traits i liked, and the female had different traits i liked. i gave the POL to the guy who gave me my female, and sold others to different ABDA or UKC showers. i was 18 at the time and thought i knew what i was doing, well young and dumb i guess. the POL went on to do very well in the ring, along with another. i had mine spayed because i knew she wasn't show or breeding quality. another had to be put down because on temperament issues. i know i don't have a clue what to expect with breeding, i haven't done it since. now that all my dogs have long since been gone (replaced pup i had because of breed specific laws) i wont even have a dog.
I agree with every thing you said "but" , I think you need to remember MOST REPUTABLE BREEDERS STARTED OUT Maine BACK YARD BREEDERS. But they learnt over the years , learnt because people took the time to be helpful and educate them, Learnt from their own mistakes . We need to educate in a way to not alienate people , we need people to be able to say I did something wrong how can I fix it, with out getting their head bit off, yes sometimes I get real mad at peoples ignorance, But I am trying to educate people with out getting their backs up. If people get their backs up they do not listen because they get defencive.
I have to answer this, because I feel you have a limited view of an "ethical" breeder. First, my background. I've been raised with animals, including exotics, since I was an infant, and my Mom worked at Lincoln Park Zoo, in Chicago. My family has owned numerous dogs over the years, starting with AKC dogs when I was 7 years old. Every single dog which has come under our ownership has lived out its entire life with us. Most have died of old age, at around 16 years of age. Almost every dog we have owned has been concidered a giant breed. We had two AKC dogs, an English Mastiff, and Malmute die tragically of cancer when they were only 6 years old. That's when I began to swear off the drastically overpriced, and overbred AKC dogs. My AKC Chow-Chow died of cancer when she was 10. For a long time I only had what I called "purebred mutts." They were the cross, between two purebred dogs (this was long before it became faddish to bred this way). Some were free at the grocery store, some were adopted from pounds. I never paid for them, except adoption fees. Everyone of these "purebred mutts" very long, very healthy lives. Now I raise meat goats, and found myself in need of LGD's (Livestock Guardian Dogs) for them, to protect them from predators. After a great deal of soul searching (after having sworn off AKC purebred dogs) I began doing a great deal of research. I finally settled on Great Pyrenees as the dog which was right for my farm. Then began the search for the perfect Pyr's. I visited AKC breeders of Pyr's. Puppies were priced at $1000 (one thousand) generally. Unfortuanatly while the dogs might have had good instincts, I had no way to know, since the breeders were doing totally un-natural things with the Pyrenees, like keeping them in houses, and kennels, with the dogs never seeing a sheep, or goat in their entire lives. The 100% of the breeders were totally unable to answer me about the rate of cancer they had in their dogs. Some looked DISTINCTLY uncomfortable when I asked that question, so I knew it was a problem in their dogs, even though they didn't care to admit it. I met backyard breeders of Pyr's along with the AKC breeders. People looking to make a quick buck, and not giving a damn about the *****, or the puppies. They were breeding the ***** at only a year of age, before she had even come close to her adult size. It saddend me to see these 60 pound bitches trying to suport a pregnancy, and nurse the puppies. Much as I wanted to rescue some of these puppies, I run a farm. I need a dog that can work, and work hard. It has to be able to live with the herd of goats 24/7, if it's 100 degrees outside, or negative 65 in our brutal winters (shelter is of course provided all the animals). I knew these puppies would be broken down dogs by the time they were 5, with serrious joint, and hip problems. I was begining to dispair of ever finding Great Pyrenees that would have serrious medical problems by the time they were 5 or 6. That went for the AKC show breeders, AND the "backyard-make-a-buck-breeders." I responded to an yet another add I saw in the paper, for Pyr puppies, at $150 each. I expected to find sad puppies, from yet another backyard breeder. By this time, I'd been searching for about 2 years. We drove up to the address, and found it was an actual working sheep ranch, with THOUSANDS of sheep. Our car was immediatly surrounded by the magestic white bear like dogs. All of them could walk around our car, and look us in the eye, they were of such outstanding size. Needless to say we waited in our car, until a human noticed us. For the first time, I was getting really excited about the possibility of Pyr puppies. We were taken to a barn and shown these huge, healthy, active, bold, fat Pyr puppies. There were 6 of them, all one litter. The sheep ranch has 40 dogs (Pyr's and Border Collies) on the ranch in the winter, when the dogs and sheep come in from open range grazing for the brutal winters. The pack my puppies had come from were 8 dogs strong, since the sheep herd was grazing near Yellowstone. The closer to Yellowstone and the wolves and grizzlies, the more dogs you must have guard your flock. There were two bitches, and 6 dogs in that pack. It was unknown, which dog/s had sired the puppies. The sheep ranch also does not vaccinate any of their dogs. At first I was a bit appauled at these breeding practices. Then I realized it was a great deal how it originally was for the Prys, when they first came to be. Survival of the fitest. Dogs with displaysia, or other serrious illness are shot. Their dogs are also very naturally resistant to disease, because of their no vaccine policy. That sheep ranch has been running in the same family for over 80 years. They have had the Pyr's the entire time. Finally, by some miracle I had found an isolated, vigorous, healthy breeding population of Great Pyrenees. I purchased two pups, a brother and sister. The have both been given their vaccines. Pilot the male has been neutred. Luna, the female, I am keeping intact. I will breed her when she's three, or four. She will only be bred once in her life. After her puppies are weaned, I will have her spayed. The very best of her female puppies will be kept to breed 3 to 5 years down the road. Everyone else will be spayed, neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated. We hope to retain all the puppies to be working dogs on our farm. I realize I may have to give one pup up to the owner of the stud dog. Luna will be tested for the bleeding diease which is being bred into the AKC registered Pry's, as will the stud dog. I'll not knowingly carry on a disease. I will be searching for a healthy male Pry stud, of 6-8 years of age. I want to see him at an older adult age, to make sure he has no cancer, displaysia, nor joint/arthritis problems. He also has to be a working dog, proven at either guarding sheep, or goats. Show studs need not apply. He must also be of impressive size. Luna is 125 pounds, at a year and four months of age. She has not an ounce of extra body fat, just pure athletic muscle. I expect her to grow until she is two. I will be carring on the breeding of true working Great Pyrenee's. ~Garnet Homesteading/Farming over 20years I should have phrased my sentance better. The correct word would have been "if." The sheep ranch has NEVER had a dog with displasia, or other disease, joint, or cancer. There is nothing they have in their 80 year closed line of Pyrenees that they know of. They do not bring in dogs from the outside, and never have, since they started. I'm exceptionally lucky to have discovered them. By the way, I have no idea why, but people are always under the misconception that Pyr's and other LGD's should not be well bonded with humans. I've seen the ones who are tossed out into herds, with almost no human contact. They are often extremely fearful of humans, or overly agressive to humans. Luna and Pilot are well socialized with humans. They have to be. My customers come to my farm, and slaughter here on my farm. They have to walk in with the goats and dogs, and pick the goat they want. At the massive size and strength they will be, when fully grown, they also have to be gentle enough to be handled at the Vet's should they ever need care. They also have to be brave enough to take on feral dogs, or even wolves. Hopefully we will never encounter wolves, until the Pry pack is signifigantly larger. By the way, the sheep ranches border collies are also of unusual size. Larger than other border collies I've seen, with larger heads (more area for brain). Calm too...not frantic, like most border collies I've seen. These folks know what they are doing. They produce outstanding, really healthy dogs. They are NOT allowing dogs with problems to breed....they do not have problems in their packs. Amazing animals.