Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Breeding for Show vs. Breeding for Work

I have covered something similar to this topic but not as detailed and eye opening as this post is going to be. We'll go into detail about different breeds of dogs of the past and present and the differences between breeding for shows vs. breeding for work.

Breeding for show means that one is breeding dogs strictly for show and not work. The American Kennel Club is one of the most well known dog registries in the nation with millions of dogs registered with their kennel club in their database. The American Kennel Club recognizes 175 breeds of dogs. There's things about the American Kennel Club that isn't good like the way they will register any breed of dog of the 175 breeds that they do recognize whether the dog is from a backyard breeder or mill.

I dread when the American Kennel Club recognizes a new breed of dog. When the American Kennel Club recognizes a new breed of dog it usually means the end for that specific breed. The dog will no longer be bred for work, the dog's ability and appearance will drastically change, the dog will no longer be able to perform nor will he have the abilities he was bred to have.

It's not just the American Kennel Club that one should be warned of. The Continental Kennel Club, American Canine Association and National Kennel Club are just a few out of many kennel clubs that one should be warned of as they are exactly like the American Kennel Club.

It's not just kennel clubs that are the problem, it's the people that are. There are some people who don't have a pedigree or papers on their dogs and some people breed just to have a litter or to make money meaning that even though these people aren't necessarily breeding for show, they are still breeding low quality dogs without an organized program, plans and goals. These dogs were not intended for work.

Let's take a look at a few of the breeds that the American Kennel Club recognizes.

Shar Pei: The Shar Pei is a distinct breed of dog that is known as a gladiator breed and was bred for hunting and fighting. The Shar Pei breed can no longer perform like he used to. He can no longer excel in work and be the working dog that he was bred to be. Let's take a look at some examples of the type of Shar Pei that the American Kennel Club recognizes as a breed.

I actually came across a Shar Pei not too long ago which was surprising as they are pretty uncommon around our area. The Shar Pei I saw was in horrible condition as it had a slope in its back which made it off balance and unable to walk evenly. The dog was an adult, but appeared to have some form of dwarfism. The dog was covered in wrinkles and so was the face to the point where the eyes of the dog were unseen. I blame the breeder of this dog but I also blame the owner. I blame the breeder for breeding such a dog in this shape. I blame the breeder for not taking the responsibility for this dog. I blame the breeder for breeding for selfish purposes and not to the standard nor for work. I blame the owner for allowing this dog to live in the condition he was in. If you've ever heard a pig snort, that's how this Shar Pei was breathing. This was one of the worst looking Shar Peis I have ever had the chance to come in contact with. I have come in contact with other Shar Peis but I still can't say anything good about them because they are not true to the breed. Have you actually ever seen a real Shar Pei before and actually had to chance to come in contact with one before? Do you even know what a Shar Pei should look like? Below are a few examples of what a real Shar Pei bred to the actual standard and for work look like.

I bet that you have never came in contact with a Shar Pei like the ones above. The real Shar Pei is hard to find. There's very few breeders of the real Shar Pei and the breeders of them are usually people who are breeding their dogs for working purposes which is good. It's sad to come in contact with people who own Shar Peis (not like the working ones, but the example of the American Kennel Club one and the one that I came in contact with) that have no knowledge on the breed like most people don't on any breed of dog that they own. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone say "Shar Peis were originally bred to be companion dogs and farm companions".

It's sad that so many breeds of dogs today can no longer perform, exceed and excel in working purposes.

Cocker Spaniel: The Cocker Spaniel is a beautiful breed of dog that was bred for hunting. I love Cocker Spaniels, I think they are really good breeds of dogs. I will be honest, I have a "soft spot" for Cocker Spaniels. A well bred working Cocker Spaniel set to the standard makes for a real good hunting dog. Cocker Spaniels have drastically changed through the years like all breeds of dogs have but have you taken the time to look at show bred Cocker Spaniels? For the older people out there, did you ever have a Cocker Spaniel as a child and if so, do you remember what he or she looked like and do you have pictures? Let's take a look at some show bred Cocker Spaniels, shall we?

Is this the type of Cocker Spaniel you remember having as a kid? I bet not. The breed has drastically changed for the worse. The dogs pictured above are bred strictly for show. The ears of the dog are much longer and the tail is shorter. The coat is longer, even covering the bottom of the dog's feet. The dog's skull is shaped differently and is almost considered smashed in a way. The dog has either a sloped or 'dented' back. The way these dogs walk cannot be compared to how the working dog walks. The show dog seems to be much shorter than the working dog. The show Cocker Spaniel is much different than the working Cocker Spaniel in the sense of appearance, performance, functionality, ability and genetics.

Let's take a look at Cocker Spaniels bred for work. Let's take a look at the real Cocker Spaniel.

Miniature Australian Shepherd: The Miniature Australian Shepherd was bred for selfish reasons like the American Bully. The Miniature Australian Shepherd and American Bully both originated because of selfishness (money). The American Kennel Club recognizes the Miniature American Shepherd (it's the exact same thing as a Miniature Australian Shepherd). The Miniature Australian Shepherd honestly has no purpose. Bad genetics are the cause to the Miniature Australian Shepherd.

I could also go on about those teacup Australian Shepherds because I constantly see advertisments for people breeding those mutts. Anything teacup has no purpose in life and was bred for selfish purposes by selfish people. The teacup Australian Shepherd is a mix between an Australian Shepherd (usually miniature) and a Chihuahua resulting in their tiny size.

Let's take a look at an example of a Miniature Australian Shepherd

Let's take a look at the working bred Australian Shepherd

Can you see the difference between the working Australian Shepherd and the show Miniature Australian Shepherd? There's a HUGE difference between the working and show Australian Shepherd and the working Australian Shepherd and the show Miniature Australian Shepherd.

The difference between show and work is appearance, functionality, ability and genetics. A dog bred for show has a different appearance than a dog bred for work. A dog bred for show isn't as functional as a dog bred for work. A dog bred for show doesn't have the abilities that a dog bred for work has. A dog bred for show has f***** up genetics unlike a dog who is bred for work.

If breeders would health test and cull, health issues and genetics could be more controlled preventing genetic issues or health concerns from passing on to the puppies. If breeders had goals and plans, most of today's dogs wouldn't be f***** up and would actually have a purpose. If breeders bred for work and to the standard, the dogs would have the appearance, functionality, ability and genetics that the breed was made to have. If breeders did not sell to every person with cash in their hands, the breed would be safe from stupid. If breeders are not worthy of respect, trustworthy or honest, don't expect his dogs to be. A good man once said "If you can't trust him, you can't trust his dogs".

Breeding for work doesn't mean breeding dogs specifically for weight pulling or wall climbing. Breeding for work means breeding for the following hunting, herding, Schutzhund/PP, search and rescue/tracking, sledding, racing/lure coursing and fighting depending on the breed of dog and its purpose. Weight pulling, wall climbing, hang time, conformation, etc., are a few named activities that a dog can do (wall climbing and hang time are activities that are most common with bully breeds, especially the bulldog).

I want to mention that the American Pit Bull Terrier is a great breed of dog and to this day is still being bred for work and gameness and the ones who breed this dog for what it should be bred for are the ones who are keeping this breed well and alive. Without the dogmen of the past, we would never have the great bulldog that we have today. People still breed the bulldog for what they originally were bred for and that is the [ ], in other words, gameness. There's very few breeders of this breed who are keeping this breed alive and those are the men that we have to thank as well as the dogmen of the past. The very few dogmen of today will not let this breed die.

Images are from:

Dog Breed Insight
Complete Dogs Guide
Photobucket - iguaani
Dogs In Depth
US. 123 RF
Working Cocker Spaniels
Buccleuch Gun Dogs
Dog Channel
Working Aussie Source
Pincie Creek

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What to Look for in a Dog Breeder

I have spent a while conducting a list of what to look for in a breeder (this goes along for any breed of dog).

Sells to anyone - Any good breeder will not just sell to anyone off the street. A good breeder carefully inspects and interviews said buyer before selling them a puppy.

Doesn't ask questions - A breeder who doesn't ask questions is one you should stay away from. A good breeder should be interested in you and should have lots of questions for you. The buyer should never have to ask "Do you have any questions for me?"

Doesn't health test - I believe every breeder should health test his dogs. A thorough health test is greatly needed. I believe the following tests that are very essential are:

Blood test
PRA test
Brucellosis test
Thyroid test

Registers dogs with non-reputable registries - Registries such as the CKC, ACA, APBR, NKC, APR, APRI are not reputable or legitimate registries. Registries that are legitimate for registering the American Pit Bull Terrier with are the ADBA, AADR, APDR, UKC and BFKC.

Demands money for pedigree/papers of dog - The pedigree/papers should come with your dog with no extra charge whatsoever. I often see, for example, someone say "$1,000 with papers, $500 without". A breeder that tells you this is one that you need to run away from.

Keeps dogs in an environment or condition that is not fit for their needs - The breeder's yard should be kept clean and organized. The dog's area should be free of feces, lots of insects, tall grass, lots of leaves, logs, sticks/limbs laying everywhere, etc. The dog's area shouldn't be "swampy" or filled with lots of muddy space. The dog's area should be clean.

Holiday specials - I look through my local newspaper classifieds every week and when I do, I also look at the "puppy section" and there's always people who are advertising their puppies. Around the holidays, I will see that almost every single ad will state "holiday special" or "puppies just in time for the holidays". Christmas, New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving, Easter, Halloween, St. Patrick's Day, Labor Day, July 4th, they have a sales pitch for everything.

Doesn't provide information about parents of puppies - If you were to go to a breeder and buy a puppy, you should want to know as much information as possible on the parents of the puppy. You should be able to know as much as possible about the sire and the dam, see pictures of the parents, and if possible, see at least the sire or dam or see both the sire and dam in person.

Doesn't show or allow you to see pedigree/papers on puppies - A good breeder will allow you to see your dog's pedigree/papers.

Doesn't seem interested in you or his dogs - This is a sign that you should inspect very closely. If the breeder isn't interested in you or his dogs, it's time to leave and look elsewhere.

Doesn't seem to want to answer your questions - A good breeder will want to answer almost every question you throw at him. A good breeder is willing to answer almost any question that you may have for him. There may be a question or two he may not want to answer for both him and his dog's safety and that being said, is perfectly fine.

Doesn't know their chosen breed of dog or its history and origin - There are way too many people out there who claim to be breeding "purebred American Pit Bull Terriers that are blue nosed gator mouths with 30" heads". This is obviously nonsense. They're breeding fat mutts that have no purpose, they are not breeding pit bulls.

He is constantly reducing the price on his dog's - A breeder who is constantly reducing the price on his dog's is only in it for the money. I see this all the time and it happens way more than it should. The price of the puppy may start out at $3,000 and then make its way down to $200. This means that the breeder is also desperate to sell his puppies for one reason or another.

USDA licensed - One who is USDA licensed means that he is running a puppy mill.

Doesn't properly contain or keep his dogs - I have absolutely no respect for people who can't properly contain and keep their dogs well. I always recommend to really look at how the dogs are contained and kept. Does the person use good quality and well built dog houses? Does the person use a proper chain setup or kennel setup? Does the person keep his yard clean including where he keeps his dogs? Do his dogs look well fed yet well conditioned? Are his dogs healthy? Do the dogs have adequate water and shade?

Dogs seem fearful or aggressive towards people - If the dog's seem to be fearful or aggressive towards people, that's a bad sign and a sign meaning that you should stay away from that breeder. A dog who is fearful and aggressive towards humans is a very bad sign. It's an accident waiting to happen.

He isn't involved in any type of work with his dogs - A good breeder should be involved in some type of work with his dog. Show isn't considered as work.

Dogs aren't proven - When it comes to the bulldog, I often see breeders saying that their dogs are game and have proven gameness but have never fought their dogs. There's only one way to prove a dog's gameness and that's in the [ ].

Breeding is his full time job - Breeding should not be one man's full time job. If you're making money from breeding, there's a problem. A good dogman once said "Never buy a dog from a man that makes his living selling dogs."

He always has puppies for sale - A breeder who always has puppies for sale is a bad sign. Breeding isn't about selling and good breeders will rarely ever have puppies for sale.

No return policy - A good breeder should have a lifetime return policy.

Advertises on Craigslist, Hoobly, Kijiji or another classified ad website - A good breeder doesn't advertise his puppies on any type of classified ad website.

Guarantees the health of his puppies - I personally don't think it's necessarily possible to absolutely 100% guarantee the health of all of your puppies, but do make sure that your dog does come with a health guarantee.

Dogs don't appear to be well socialized or trained - If the breeder's dogs do not appear to be well socialized or trained then it's most likely best to stay away from said breeder. Socialization and training is very important and is essential to your dog.

Makes decisions for you and forces different things on you - Example of this: Some breeders will force you to have your dog vaccinated which I do not agree with. Vaccination is up to the owner, not the breeder. If vaccines really did work, why would I have to vaccinate my dog to be around your dog if he is supposedly "protected"? Obviously, if vaccines worked then you shouldn't have a problem with an un-vaccinated dog around your vaccinated dog. This goes for any vaccine. If parvo vaccines really worked then how come puppies who have had the parvo vaccine get parvo? This isn't a question that I'm asking because I already know the answer! I will have a separate blog post that goes into great depth about vaccines.

Sells puppies under 8 weeks of age - A puppy shouldn't leave the breeder until it turns 8 weeks of age.

Questions to ask a breeder:

How long have you been breeding dogs?
Can I see the parents of the puppies?
How many litters a year do you produce?
What do you breed for and why?
What do you look for when producing a litter and why (traits, characteristics, etc)?
What do you like about this specific breeding?
Do you allow yard visits?
What do you feed and why?
Do you have a contract? If so, what are the requirements stated on the contract?
Will you replace the puppy if a genetic disease pops up?
Do your puppies come with a health guarantee?
Have the parent's of these puppies been health tested? If so, what tests have they had done?
What vaccines have the puppies had?
Have the puppies been dewormed?
Are your dog's registered? If so, with what kennel clubs?
Are you readily available by phone if I were to have a question about about the dog?
Do you have any references?