I was loathe to post this, but I’ve been seeing too much of it not to say anything. This post is not for the “oops” litters (another topic). It isn’t for the breeders (and I mean legitimate breeders). It isn’t a rant to spay and neuter (heck, Shelby isn’t spayed, but you don’t see her going around popping out puppies either). I have nothing against breeders. I have nothing against not spaying or neutering your dog for medical reasons or because you’ve done your homework and learned about the risks and the pros and the cons and have been responsible enough to keep your dog from procreating.
This post is for all of the people I’ve seen recently who insist that they should breed their pet dogs. Please, and I mean this as sincerely as I can mean a thing, please please please JUST STOP.
I don’t mean for this to turn into a rant, but there are so many reasons that you shouldn’t breed your pet dog. Leave breeding to the breeders. Breeding your pet dog because you want a duplicate of him/her is understandable, I often found myself wishing I had another Smokey, but it’s also just silly. Not even a cloned dog is the same as its predecessor (don’t believe me, ask the couple who cloned their dog Sir Lancelot for somewhere in the range of $150,000). Dogs are creatures of their experiences, and those by nature are never the same for two dogs. Additionally, you don’t just get one other dog. You get many (sometimes upwards of 11 depending on breed).
Well my dog has a great temperament. That’s wonderful! A dog with a great temperament is a wonderful thing, but temperament is not guaranteed and there are plenty of dogs out there with great temperaments to choose from, it does not have to be yours. No matter how special you think your dog is (and indeed every dog is special), the world does not automatically need more of them.
Well, my dog is being bred to improve the quality of the lines. Have you gotten all the certifications? Do you have a 4 generation genealogy? What about those lines, have they been checked? Is your dog titled? Does your dog have the proper drive for what the breed was bred to do?
I’m breeding my dog for pet dogs because there are not affordable pet dog breeders out there. Well, first of all, did you ever consider that perhaps your breed of choice shouldn’t be a “pet” dog? If you have a low energy Border Collie, that’s great, but that doesn’t mean that all of your puppies are going to be the same, and then what – you’re going to put a high energy, traditional type Border Collie in a home where a bulldog would have been a better choice? And there are plenty of high priced breeders who have one or two dogs in their litters that they sell for a lower price to “pet homes”, people just have to do their research (which they should be doing anyway).
“Oh but all my puppies are spoken for.” I’ve heard that one before. But what happens when someone backs out as is often the case in business? Well, you keep the puppy, okay. But what happens if four people back out – five, the whole lot of them? What about health tests and proper socialization? What about vet appointments, pre-natal care for the mother, quality food, beginning training? What about the psychological affects breeding may have on your pet, the one you love so much to want another? What if your loving female dog turns out to be not such a great mother? What about bottle feeding multiple dogs every few hours? What about changing messy papers nearly constantly? What about if someone wants to return one of your puppies after he/she has had two years of no socialization and no training? What do you do with that 2 year old dog who now has aggression issues? What if your pet dog passes down some kind of strange genetic illness?
You mean to tell me that you are 100% sure that none of your puppies will end up in a shelter?
I’m tired of walking up and down rows of kennels and seeing homeless dogs day in and day out, whose families abandoned them for various reasons. Many of these dogs came from some type of “breeding” operation. Many of them came from pet dog litters. Many were sold for a few hundred bucks and then dumped at a shelter because the average, everyday pet owner who bred them does not have the time or the money to deal with them (and who could blame them?) And then there are the completely lovely dogs who have no reason to be in shelters, but are put there because of deaths in the family or the terrible economy or just plain old bad luck. What about these dogs? Do they deserve a home any less than your potential puppies?
Then after a day of that I come home and I get online and I see all these people breeding or planning to breed their pet dogs, and I become enraged. There’s simply no other word for it. There is absolutely no reason for it. There isn’t much money to be had in it when you breed properly, and yes, it’s old and it’s tired and it’s worn out, but there are too many excellent dogs in shelters for people to be breeding pet dogs.
Like I said, I don’t have a problem when people buy puppies from legitimate breeders. I don’t have a problem with breeders at all. I understand why people would want a puppy from a breeder and not a rescue. There is a demand and therefore there needs to be a supply, but the supply does not need you to add to it. There’s simply too many already. So please, for the love of dogs, stop, just stop.
Think about it. That’s all I ask, just think about it. Is the canine world really going to cease to exist or be destroyed simply because your dog wasn’t able to contribute to the gene pool?