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Old 12-31-2012, 01:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Article: is the Dog Fancy at a Tipping Point?

This part is going to hit home with a lot of you:

"We dog fanciers are a stubbornly independent and resourceful lot – and that’s the problem. While we were out “doing” our thing, others were “doing“ to us.” While we were driving to a national specialty, running titers, re-homing a rescue dog, fighting bad legislation, researching pedigrees, scheduling a CERF exam, conducting a home check, swabbing cheeks for DNA, whelping litters, taking a conformation class, tube feeding, building an agility course, mailing OFA x-rays, setting up ring standards, scaling a dog’s teeth, volunteering, writing a check to an animal charity, road working, clicker training or delivering dog food to natural disaster victims, the culture changed. It elevated the importance of homeless dogs over well-bred ones and failed to recognize that one group need not be sacrificed to save the other. There are homes for both, and often it’s the same home."

Is the Dog Fancy at a Tipping Point?
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That is a very good point.I hope to always have a rescue dog and hopefully a well bred dog who can be a therapy dog.As I look at members here I see alot of homes who have both. Thanks!
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah. What I don't like is the "Dog Fancier" title. Why? What for? Those are the kind of things that want me to be separated from that "fancy" world.

Most breeders I know ARE involved into rescue. I don't get why breeders are demonized like that in todays world.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think the rescuers did this to the dog fanciers--I think the BYB and puppy mill operations did. I think the answer has to at least in part lie in the good breeders not doing enough to differentiate themselves in the public mind from the breed-exploiters. The BYB and puppy mill operations truthfully should be the common foe of all of us, rescuer and good breeder alike.

I know that a good breeder can be counted upon to come and bail one of their dogs from any shelter, if notified--and will likely be furious at any purchaser who allowed one of their dogs to end up in those circumstances. We had a Yorkie breeder drive a long distance to get to the shelter the same day we traced a dog to her--without hesitation, she was in the car and on her way. She was mortified at the way the buyer had neglected the dog. She took care of rehoming and rehabilitating the dog she had brought into the world--and she got him a good home. And she'll probably be super-careful about checking out buyers in the future! That's the way it should be.

I do think that a lot of rescuers aren't making thoughtful distinctions between the excellent breeders and the common irresponsible make-a-buck BYB and puppy-mill breeding operations--part of that has to do with the fact that, if we are honest, the number of excellent breeders is quite small. In rescue, we are deluged by the sheer volume of purebred dogs being generated by irresponsible breeders, producing more dogs than the market can sustain, and selling them all over Craigslist, in the paper, and everywhere else they think they can make money mass-producing AKC-registered dogs with questionable genes. Any that are left over or unsaleable get dumped at the shelter.

I've had some mild disagreements with other shelter volunteers about when to advise people to go to breeders -- some of them think the answer is "never." I have no problem advising someone who wants a very specific kind of dog that may not currently exist in rescue locally that if they want to consider a breeder, they need to be prepared to pay $1000-$1500 for a "pet quality" dog, and likely will have to go out of state and wait half a year or more for a litter. When adopters ask me about my opinion on our local breeders who charge around $300-$500, I can honestly say I've seen many of the dogs from local breeders in classes and at our socialization field, have training friends who own them, have spent time with their dogs, and my opinion is that they are no better quality than the dogs I routinely see at the shelter because these amateur-breeders are likely producing many of the shelter dogs. They appear to have exactly the same genetics. And that means spending $500 on one is spending $420 too much (since our adoption fee is $80...) I also have a long list of outrageous, unethical stories I've heard about many of those local breeders--they are not doing it for the good of the breed. In fact, most of them truly are not doing anything good for the dogs they produce--or the people who pay $500 for a BYB dog.

The demonization of all breeders is unfortunate. The breed would likely be benefited by more alliances between good breeders and local rescuers, to educate people about why not to support the breed-exploiters.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Perhaps another contributing factor are these so-called "designer breeds" busting a huge hole in canine pedigree. I mean, really, what's the difference between spending $500 on a BYB or $500 on a labradoodle - nothing more than a fancy mutt?

I have no compassion for the puppy mills. But I don't put BYB in the same vein. Many of the dogs we saw were from 'good' breeders & they were loaded with genetic disorders. Less so with BYB, actually. As far as puppy mills go, now that's one raid I'd like to go on!
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
I don't think the rescuers did this to the dog fanciers--I think the BYB and puppy mill operations did. I think the answer has to at least in part lie in the good breeders not doing enough to differentiate themselves in the public mind from the breed-exploiters. The BYB and puppy mill operations truthfully should be the common foe of all of us, rescuer and good breeder alike.
Couldn't agree more with this post! I actually found the full article to lack a logical flow and, to be honest, it came off like a paranoid rant.

I actually find it amusing when "dog fanciers" speak of people who work in rescue as "elitists." Especially when they then turnaround to say that breeders are also rescuers. So, what the heck is the author saying?

I will be upfront and say that I am someone who would never purchase a dog from a breeder. My experience in rescue has taught me that there are plenty of good dogs who need homes that would meet my needs. Does that make me an evil rescue elitist? I don't think so.

An article that starts to blame people trying to help the overflow of unwanted dogs as having some evil agenda is not going to go over well with me.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What's amusing when breeders go on rants like this, where did the bybs get their stock, originally?
Theoretically, if all 'good breeders' take their dogs back, then rescues would not have a job, nor would shelters!

I mean...we had this with a Portuguese Water Dog which are as rare as hen's teeth in rescue.
I didn't know this.
So when I put her on Petfinder, the PWD people flipped out. They demanded I send her there, for 1) she had to be from a reputable breeder, as there are no other kinds in the US (yeah right), and 2) only they were capable of placing one...! Again, yeah right.

So, I checked her for tattoos. None. Zero. Zilch. They were incredulous. We never did find her breeder.
And as it turns out, there's some bybs of that breed, too.

NOW. With breeding so tightly regulated (so they claim) how did anyone get into the breed to BYB them??
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeofRiley View Post
Couldn't agree more with this post! I actually found the full article to lack a logical flow and, to be honest, it came off like a paranoid rant.

I actually find it amusing when "dog fanciers" speak of people who work in rescue as "elitists." Especially when they then turnaround to say that breeders are also rescuers. So, what the heck is the author saying?

I will be upfront and say that I am someone who would never purchase a dog from a breeder. My experience in rescue has taught me that there are plenty of good dogs who need homes that would meet my needs. Does that make me an evil rescue elitist? I don't think so.

An article that starts to blame people trying to help the overflow of unwanted dogs as having some evil agenda is not going to go over well with me.
She didn't say that all rescuers are elitists but there are elitists among rescuers who you just cannot reason with. They don't care if you foster, rescue etc. As long as your dog has come from a breeder, it's your fault that dogs in Rescues die.
I ran across these kind of people as well. They don't hear you. Even though I'm German and had my dogs from Germany, well before we pcs'ed. It's my fault that dogs died in American Shelters. Makes sense, huh?

Those are the people she's talking about.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've met my fair share of crazy rescue "elitists" as well as the same for "show people" and "obedience people" and "agility people" and "SchH people" ect. A dog lover IS A DOG LOVER. Under our skin we all love dogs. I'm pretty constrained on time but i "wear many hats" in the canine world. I have showed my dogs in the ring, i have trained in agility, i now have multiple certified search canines, have my first sport dog, and founded a dog rescue almost a decade ago that is still helping homeless dogs, my 3 jobs are running my own dog business as dog trainer with certifications in training and behavior, teaching dog training at a therapeutic boarding school and working as a veterinary technician at a hospital. I am no better nor worse then my other brothers and sisters in the dog world. I can learn SOMETHING from every one of them and them from me if they wish to open their eyes. We will never achieve a balance that suits everyone in the dog world of saving dogs and breeding dogs. I have rescue and rehabilitated hundreds of dogs in the last 10 years but wouldn't have my amazing search dogs if it wasn't for litters being bred to better the German Shepherd breed and provide me genetically with what i need.

That being said the rescue has also taken in VERY expensive well pedigree dogs from working kennels and placed them with the state police, united nations as bomb dogs, and in search homes. Some have been plain old byb rescues and others with papers from well known kennels. I think its safe to say it all blends in and if we dog people just worked our life with dogs with THEIR best interest in mind. My home is shared with both and will be till the day i die!
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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There most certainly are rescue "elitists", as are there breeder "snobs". I guess I would have to be categorized with the latter, even though I don't believe that way.

Not that there is a problem with rescue dogs. I know MANY MANY great dogs that have been adopted from shelters. I just believe that many of them DO have problems. Be it genetic, or flawed temperament from poor upbringing or abandonment, lack of proper attention or care. I personally just do not have the patience or want to deal with it, no matter how minor these problems are.

I will only purchase from a breeder in the future. I believe, poorly bred German Shepherds especially, that poorly bred dogs have problems. I see it every day in the clinic. Nervous, anxiety ridden, fear biting shepherds riddled with health problems. Allergies, bad joints, hot spots, etc... in fact, one of my doctors is amazed because my german shepherd is one of the only ones that goes into our clinic that DOESN'T have skin problems! Not that Zeke is well bred by any means, can you say newspaper BYB special? I just feel that I got EXTREMELY lucky with him. I also brought him home at 7 weeks of age and worked EXTENSIVELY on his training and socialization from day 1.

Are rescue dogs good dogs? YES. For the most part. But that doesn't mean they don't have owners that aren't willing to work with their problems. My BF has an AMAZING 6 year old smooth coated collie mix that they rescued about 4 years ago. Super sweet dog, very well behaved. But she has separation anxiety and licks her paws raw. My co-worker has a spaniel that she adopted from a breed rescue, his arthritis and HD is so bad that he can barely extend his rear legs at 4 years old. My Luther was so poorly bred that he was EXTREMELY aggressive, and that led to euthanizing a physically healthy dog at 3.5 years of age. That broke my heart, I can't do that again. To this day it hurts so bad I can barely stand it.

On Christmas, I was visiting my best friend and her parents, who were practically my second family in school. They do a lot of fostering through local shelters, largely rabbits. When I was in school I helped them do a lot of foster work (mainly ferrets and feral kittens). A bunch of their shelter friends were over, and when I stated that I was PURCHASING a puppy this spring from working line litters... if looks could kill, I would of died ten times over.

One of them replied sharply "you know, there are many great shepherds in rescues". I looked at her and said "I just euthanized a 3 year old shepherd for aggression issues stemming from poor breeding. I will NEVER risk that again and adopt an adult dog or puppy from unknown background." She proceeded to get up and leave the family gathering, because my want for a stable animal was so offensive?

Kind of long winded rant... I guess moral of the story is, both sides just need to be supportive and WORK TOGETHER. I think there has become a huge divide between the two, and there shouldn't be.

Breeders and buyers alike need to accept there IS an overpopulation problem, there ARE millions of animals euthanized every year. I saw one report that estimated 3 out of every 4 adult cats dropped off in a kill shelter WILL be euthanized. People need to do their research. Spending hundreds-thousands of dollars on a poorly bred dog or a mutt when there is a perfectly good - and EQUAL dog - sitting on death row is ridiculous. And this happens all the time. That puppy out of the newspaper or off Craigslist that just cost you 600$, do you really think those people are ethical breeders adhering to any kind of standard? And breeders need to really look at their ethics and practices. If you're just breeding your two german shepherds because they're "such nice, sweet, pretty and smart family dogs and I just love them" then you ARE the problem! That was Zeke's back story. And good breeders should be very big on education - which most are. Extending hands to rescues and shelters, working with them and teaching them to in turn better educate their adopters.

On the flip side, adopters and shelter workers need to accept that there is a place for good breeding practices. And like it or not, there IS a very notable difference between poorly bred dogs of any breed/mix and WELL BRED, temperamentally stable and healthy animals. For the average family looking for the average happy go lucky family dog, most times shelter pets are great. But for the person looking for something specific in mind or wanting a set temperament/size/lifestyle, there is NOTHING wrong with purchasing from a good breeder.
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