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Identifying the Responsible Ethical Breeder

K9 Maniac

Dec 30, 2001, 9:42 AM

Post #1 of 1 (1841 views)
Identifying the Responsible Ethical Breeder Can't Post

Too many dog breeders claim to be "Ethical Responsible Breeders" that the term has confused the newcomer or the prospective puppy buyer. Here is a short list to identify the real responsible ethical breeder:

1. The goal of breeding is to IMPROVE THE BREED. Improving the breed means the breeder has taken all necessary steps to produce puppies that come as close to the breed standard as possible, and have the necessary traits that the breed was created for. Simply put, the breeder should be striving to improve the breed's FORM AND FUNCTION.

2. The breeding stock and their offspring are evaluated, tested and certified to confirm that they are truly improving the breed or preserving the breed's form and function. This is accomplished through dog sports – conformation shows, field trials, schutzhund, obedience, herding, etc. The breeder actively participates in these activities to constantly evaluate the form and function of his chosen breed; to gather more knowledge and information about the breed; and to find the right breeding stock for his next generation of better puppies.

3. The breeder ensures that his breeding stock is checked and certified by recognized registries (OFA*[1], CERF*[2], etc.) to be free of inheritable health problems, and is of the proper age for breeding. The original health certificates should be presented to prospective puppy buyers as proof of the health screens. The dam should be at least two years old and less than nine; the sire should be at least two years old and less than ten.

4. The breeder can explain why he made the breeding. He should know what his lines produce; including health and conformation faults, and take the necessary steps to weed out those faults. If asked why he bred a particular bitch to a stud dog, he should be able to explain and detail the traits of each dog and how his planned breeding may improve on it. A breeder who is "kennel blind" (one who thinks his dogs are perfect and does not realize the faults of his line) cannot hope to improve his line.

5. The breeder screens his prospective buyers thoroughly to find the qualified and the best homes for his puppies. Do not get offended by seemingly personal questions, i.e. type of dwelling, lifestyle, kids and ages, job and working hours, etc.; or even a home-check by the breeder. His puppies are his "babies" and he wants only the best homes for them.

6. The breeder willingly, openly, and honestly discusses his dogs, kennel, breeding program, etc. He should welcome these questions from prospective buyers and educate them about the breed at the same time.

7. The breeder's dog-areas are well kept, clean, properly maintained and have no strong animal waste odors. The dogs are healthy, happy, well groomed and exercised. He should have just the right amount of dogs to properly care for each one.

8. The breeder should be able to back up his breeding program and provide fair guarantees for health, temperament, conformation and quality of his puppies.

9. The breeder evaluates the traits of each puppy in his litter and matches them with the right owners. A dominant puppy in a litter should not be placed in a home with small kids; a submissive puppy should not be placed with a domineering and intimidating owner.

10. The breeder pledges his commitment to the life and welfare of every puppy he produces. He should offer his guidance and support to the new owner on how to properly care for the dog… for the life of the dog. He should be ready to take back any puppy or dog he produced if the owner can no longer keep them.

#[1]OFA means Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, and
#[2]CERF means Canine Eye Registration Foundation. If you want to know more about them, here are their web sites:



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