Six Signs of a Great Breeder
Look for these clues, and you'll go home with a healthy, happy puppy.
Susan McCullough |
Posted: Wed Nov 10 00:00:00 PST 2004
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Other dog sports that reflect a breeder's commitment include field, obedience and agility trials, which test some breeds' innate skills as well as their training.
Other breeders emphasize less traditional but equally worthy activities. For example, Jo Bighouse, a Golden Retriever breeder from Berryville, Va., raises puppies primarily to donate to Paws With a Cause, a service assistance organization.
"I would not be comfortable breeding Golden Retrievers strictly as pets without having some type of litmus test of their working ability," Bighouse explains. "Some of my puppies [do] go to pet homes. [But] by donating puppies to Paws With a Cause and seeing them graduate from the program to become service assistance dogs, I am confident that the puppies from my line are true to the [breed] standard for temperament."
They Focus On Their Breed
Breeders who truly love dogs always puts puppies before profits. They don't spread themselves too thin, either by producing too many puppies or by working with too many breeds.
How many puppies are too many? There's no one-number-fits-all answer. Snyder limits herself to five or six puppies or about two litters per year because she knows she can find good homes for that many Shih Tzu pups. But "a well-known breeder could have more contacts than someone not so well-known," she says. A well-known, longtime breeder may get more referrals and repeat buyers too.
And while most breeders limit themselves to one breed, that's not always the case. For example, Alice Lipe-Judah of Bealeton, Va., breeds both Labrador Retrievers and Goldens in her kennel. "I have been very happy breeding and showing both breeds," she says. "The temperament of each is close [to the other], and they get along great together. I feel having two different breeds has helped me make good decisions in improving my puppies. Each breed has different conformation problems [that] we must try to overcome."
They Put Their Dogs' Health First
Responsible breeders are aware that virtually every breed has some genetic problems and that they must do their best to prevent passing on such problems to future generations.
Crucial to such an effort: Ensuring that the puppies' parents have no genetic problems. By having the parents - the sire and dam - examined by certified veterinary specialists, a breeder can assure people that the puppies they are purchasing likely will not have those genetic problems.
Different breeds require different health clearances. Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
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