The following is the second part in a series of eight articles about breeding dogs. Although it applies to a dog, it also applies to cats. People do not realize that there are cat mills which are similar to puppy mills. Note that these articles are based on my years of experience, my opinion and that I do not intend to refer to any individual. Please read the entire eight articles to glean a full understanding of breeding.
Understanding registries is important because who a dog is registered with will give you a clue as to its legitimacy. There are a few types of registries.
Nationally recognized registries. These are established organizations that register purebred dogs. In the United States it would be the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club. In some cases, there are breed registries that are legitimate. The way to determine if a registry is recognized is if other countries or registries accept a dog registered with the organization.
Non-recognized registries are those that anyone can establish. In the United States there are registries that cater to puppy mill breeders so that the AKC cannot shut down puppy mill operations.
Breed registries are those that are recognized but are designed to register certain types of working dogs. An example would be some of the working stock dog registries.
Anything goes registry are those that will register any type of animal for any reason.
Most people who own a pet dog feel that their dog is worth more if it is registered. They only understand that the dog has “papers.” They do not understand the value or uselessness of the papers. The non-recognized registries have used this lack of understanding to legitimize dogs by giving them “papers” that are not recognized by any national or international recognized registry.
It is important to note that no registry can guarantee the quality of a dog or puppy. They can only guarantee that as reported to them the records have been accurately kept. If the breeder owns both the sire and dam, they can list any dog as the sire and dam of a litter. For example, I had a client who made an appointment for training and told me that he had a Rottweiler. When I questioned him, he assured me that he had AKC papers. When his breeder found out that he was coming to me for training, he admitted that the dog was a Rottweiler/German Shepherd cross, the result of an accidental breeding. Yet the dog had recognized registration papers because the breeder owned both the male and female. The real ethics depends on the honesty of the breeder.
Ethical breeders will only register their dogs with recognized registries.
The following is the first part in a series of eight articles about breeding dogs. Although it applies to dogs, it also applies to cats. People do not realize that there are cat mills which are similar to puppy mills. Note that these articles are based on my years of experience, my opinion and that I do not intend to refer to any individual. Please read the entire eight articles to glean a full understanding of breeding.
Part One: The Bitch
First it must be said that only the best bitches and males should be bred. The only reason to breed is to better the breed.
Often in my career I have had clients tell me that they wanted to breed their pet dog. In most cases, they have no idea what is involved. It is much more than simply introducing a male and female.
Here are some of the reasons why they feel they want to breed their dog.
To make a lot of money. Often people will pay a substantial amount of money for a puppy. They feel that if they breed their bitch, they will earn eight to ten times that money.
It will be good for the children to watch. Whelping puppies is pretty gory and most children cannot handle what is involved. In some cases, it can traumatize a child and if the child is a girl, make her afraid to have children of her own.
If you still want a child to see this, it is better to find a breeder who will let your child get up in the middle of the night to watch the birthing of a litter.
We love our dog so much we want another like him/her. The chances of reproducing your dog are slim to nothing. Genetics is not an exact science and if breeders could control how a dog turns out there would be many more champions and exceptional dogs.
Everyone who meets my dog wants a puppy like him/her. As soon as the litter is born most people find that all of those friends who said they wanted a puppy have excuses as to why they cannot get one now. Breeders who have dogs that are breeding quality have waiting lists for a reason. A home bred or backyard bred dog has no special qualities to warrant the cost.
We really love puppies. Raising a litter of puppies is a lot of work and if done right, is very costly.
There is little hope that breeders can create a healthier English Bulldog from the existing gene pool. Years of breeding for specific physical traits has caused the English Bulldog to become one of the unhealthiest breeds in the world.
One of the reasons for the health issues in this breed is that people in general are more concerned about the dog’s appearance rather than its health. Researchers have used DNA to study the breed and found that there is not enough genetic diversity within the breed to make the needed improvements. When this happens outcrossing the breed to introduce genetic diversity is often the answer.
To this end, many Swiss breeders have out-crossed the English Bulldog with the Olde English Bulldogge, which is an American breed, to improve the English Bulldog’s health. Unfortunately, many English Bulldog breeders do not approve of this and feel that the resulting out-cross is not a true English Bulldog.
The English Bulldog as a breed started around 1835 with about 68 individuals. Since that time the breed lost popularity a few times which further limited the gene pool. In recent years the surge in the breed’s popularity has further caused genetic problems in the breed.
It seems that the only hope for the English Bulldog is to out-cross them as the breeders in Switzerland have done. It would not take many generations to breed the results of the out-cross to resemble the original bulldog.
Anyone who is considering owning an English Bulldog should research the health issues and life-span of this breed before purchasing one. The health issues can result in costly veterinarian bills. It also goes without saying that a puppy should only be purchased from a reputable breeder to help minimize the potential for health issues. For a free copy of my brochure about how to select the right dog and breeder, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with brochure in the subject line.