AND ETHICS ISSUES
Rights extremists convince many that they are for
animal welfare and collect contributions from many
who have no idea what the REAL agenda of these
RIGHTS: The truth about PETA
Recent news: PETA vs
Mike Vick: The pot calling the kettle Black?!
SOCIETY OF THE US (HSUS): It's not about
Book HSUS and PETA Don’t Want You to Read
"Redemption" about the success of
overpopulation" is worse than a myth. It is
deliberate misinformation perpetrated for political
reasons to fool people into supporting legislation
they would not otherwise support because such
legislation is not only not in their best
interests but also is not in the best interest of
their pets or of animals in general. See "The Backyard Breeder Fallacy" article.
Wondering what to do about this? Please
check out these groups who fight for the rights of
responsible dog owners and fight anti-dog
legislation. If you agree with their goals
and methods, join them, send money.
National Animal Interest Alliance
American Dog Owners Association, inc.
consider breeding your dog, please read these
essays on what is involved in being a responsible
If you want to
breed your dog for the children to see "The
Miracle of Birth", may I recommend buying a
video that you can pop in the VCR at your
convenience. Here's a link to one you should
probably check out: http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/breeding/video.html
Planned Breeding, a series of 10 articles
written by Lloyd C. Brackett. http://www.nylana.org/RRACI/brackett.htm
For the serious breeder striving to produce better
dogs, this is breeding theory. It's long,
heavy reading, but the best I've ever read, and
well worth the effort.
The Breeder's Code of Silence
The Power of Language
BASIC BREEDING PRINCIPLES
1. Remember that the animals
you select for breeding today will have an impact
on the breed for many years to come. Keep that
thought firmly in mind when you choose breeding
2. You can choose only two
individuals per generation. Choose only the best,
because you will have to wait for another
generation to improve what you start with. Breed
only if you expect progeny to be better than both
3. You cannot expect
statistical predictions to hold true in a small
number of animals (as in one litter of puppies).
Statistics only apply to large populations.
4. A pedigree is a tool to
help you learn the good and bad attributes that
your dog is likely to exhibit or re-produce. A
pedigree is only as good as the dog it represents.
5. Breed for a total dog,
not just one or two characteristics. Don't follow
fads in your breed, because they are usually meant
to emphasize one or two features of the dog at the
expense of the soundness and function of the
6. Quality does not mean
quantity. Quality is produced by careful study,
having a good mental picture of what you are
trying to achieve, having patience to wait until
the right breeding stock is available and to
evaluate what you have already produced, and above
all, having a breeding plan that is at least
three generations ahead of the breeding you
7. Remember that skeletal
defects are the most difficult to change.
8. Don't bother with a good
dog that cannot produce well. Enjoy him (or her)
for the beauty that he represents but don't use
him in a breeding program.
9. Use out-crosses very
sparingly. For each desirable characteristic you
acquire, you will get many bad traits that you
will have to eliminate in succeeding generations.
10. Inbreeding is a valuable
tool, being the fastest method to set good
characteristics and type. It brings to light
hidden traits that need to be eliminated from the
11. Breeding does not
"create" anything. What you get is what
was there to begin with. It may have been hidden
for many generations, but it was there.
12. Discard the old cliché
about the littermate of that great producer being
just as good to breed to. Littermates seldom have
the same genetic make-up.
13. Be honest with yourself.
There are no perfect dogs (or bitches) nor are
there perfect producers. You cannot do a competent
job of breeding if you cannot recognize the faults
and virtues of the dogs you plan to breed.
14. Hereditary traits are
inherited equally from both parents. Do not expect
to solve all of your problems in one
15. If the worst puppy in
your last litter is no better than the worst puppy
in your first litter, you are not making progress.
Your last litter should be your last litter.
16. If the best puppy in
your last litter is no better than the best puppy
in your first litter, you are not making progress.
Your last litter should be your last litter.
17. Do not choose a breeding
animal by either the best or the worst that he (or
she) has produced. Evaluate the total get by the
attributes of the majority.
18. Keep in mind that
quality is a combination of soundness and
function. It is not merely the lack of faults, but
the positive presence of virtues. It is the whole
dog that counts.
19. Don't allow personal
feelings to influence your choice of breeding
stock. The right dog for your breeding program is
the right dog, whoever owns it. Don't ever decry a
good dog; they are too rare and wonderful to be
demeaned by pettiness.
20. Don't be satisfied with
anything but the best. The second best is never
The Backyard Breeder Fallacy
by Ms. Jade, TheDogPress Legislative Reporter
I own purebred dogs. Once a year or so I breed a litter from DNA
profiled champion stock. For that, I will never apologize as I truly
have the best interest of my chosen breed foremost in my mind. Am I
an elitist? You betcha! Would I cringe if you went so far as to call
me a dog Nazi? No. Serious breeders mate dogs of known background in
order to reduce the chances of congenital defects and predict with
greater accuracy the positive outcome of a planned litter of puppies.
Therefore I probably seem like an unlikely advocate for the guy
advertising puppies in the local newspaper. However, I am also a
civil libertarian. And I won't apologize for that either.
Proposed, pending and contested legislation around the United States
and abroad that is aimed at restricting our property rights by
targeting animal reproduction has become rampant at every level of
government. Forced spay and neuter, cost prohibitive licenses for
unaltered dogs and breeding permits, micro chipping of our animals
with their information (and ours) in government data bases, warrant-
less inspection of our property, arbitrary limits on the number of
animals we can responsibly care for and mandatory husbandry practices
are some of the ways in which dog owners are being relieved of their
While our agrarian forefathers did not specifically guarantee us the
right to own and breed animals, they did guarantee us the right to be
treated equally under the law, the right to own property, the right
to be free from warrant-less search and seizure of that property, the
right to due process and the right to commerce. With no respect for
our Constitution, animal rights supporters are working hard to
relieve us of these rights by packaging restrictive legislation in a
way that is not only palatable to dog owners, even some breeders, but
misleadingly leaves them with the impression that they have supported
something beneficial. Far too many animal owners and welfare
advocates are buying into it in one area or another.
Divide and conquer. By creating stereotypes and labels, like "puppy
mill" and "backyard breeder" and attaching a stigma to those labels,
the animal rights movement is trying to disgrace the act of breeding
animals. And they're doing a great job. The media has been flooded
with images of dogs being raised in cages, in filth, in neglect. Sad
faces of shelter animals behind prison bars on "death row". Images
intended to produce an emotional response instead of an intellectual
one. And don't forget the staggering statistics.
It's not a secret that animal rights means no more domestic animals.
It's in their mission statements. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle brags
that "We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds
of livestock produced through selective breeding. One generation and
out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They
are the creations of human selective breeding". Allow me to
translate, no animal breeding means no more animals. Period. And
while the general public cannot be sold on such a radical concept,
it's been surprisingly easy to sell them on the concept of ever
tightening restrictions. Although united in our love of domestic
dogs, slick marketing by the enemy has created infighting. Breeders
both private and commercial, rescuers, shelter staff, animal control,
dog show exhibitors and pet owners are cleverly being turned against
one another to forward the animal rights agenda. Each believing that
their point of view is the only valid one and everyone else's civil
rights no longer matter.
Yes, I too personally find those images disturbing. They are the
product of gross human negligence and irresponsibility. I love
animals, I have been a shelter volunteer, and I believe in animal
welfare but I am also a realist. Things are rarely what they appear
on the surface. In order to end the animal surplus and related
suffering, I want to get to the actual cause, to prevent the illness
instead of treating the symptoms, so to speak.
The demand for a product (puppies, for example) is driven by the
consumer. It's a simple case of supply and demand in a free market
economy. Don't blame the seller for being an opportunist. It's only
human nature flourishing in what is still a mostly democratic
society. An uneducated consumer has every right to purchase an
inferior product and suffer the consequences. Just as the seller has
every right to promote the benefits their product, in order to
influence the decisions of the consumer. If breed purists and
elitists like me are outraged at breeders who turn a profit by
selling what we consider to be an inferior product, then we must
only blame ourselves for failing to educate the buyers.
Ignore the propaganda; dog breeding is not the cause of shelter
overpopulation. Animals end up in shelters for a myriad of reasons.
Behavior problems that result from a lack of training and proper
socialization along with normal breed characteristics that the owner
finds unacceptable top the list. Owner death, job transfer/move,
landlord/rental restrictions, insurance discrimination, financial
trouble and the inability to comply with escalating pet ownership
restrictions also contribute to the problem. The system is designed
to perpetuate it.
We live in a disposable society. As long as domestic animals are
viewed as a short term convenience, instead of a serious long term
commitment then change is unlikely. The problem is one of
perspective, information and education. Pointing fingers at each
other is cowardly and counterproductive.
According to a 2005 article in the HSUS magazine "All Animals",
75% of shelter population is comprised of mongrels.
Now I'm no math wizard, but I can extrapolate that only 25% must
therefore be purebred animals. If this is true, then random bred dogs
are the real cause of shelter overpopulation, not "puppy mills", breed
enthusiasts or "backyard breeders" of purebred dogs. Yet this same
HSUS article praises the mongrel as superior because of its' larger
gene pool. One that may very well be polluted with unknown genetic
defects. They even go so far as to market them as a "designer" product.
Sort of a haute couture, one of a kind canine fashion accessory.
Now, it occurs to me that if you truly want to reduce the animal
shelter population in a meaningful and dramatic way, than you should
advocate for the elimination of the mongrel, through mandatory spay
and neuter of random bred dogs with unknown ancestry. (See, I am a
dog Nazi!) Most dog breeders know that you must have a firm grasp of
the genetic past, in order to improve the genetic future of your
line. Many of the minority purebred animals that end up in the local
shelter may not have a known origin either, and are therefore not an
ethical choice for perpetuation of their breed. The same "hybrid
vigor" so highly touted in the mongrel is just as easily achieved by
crossing healthy purebreds of known ancestry to create new breeds.
Man has done so since the beginning of domesticated dog breeding and
whatever we fancy, that breed was created by this process.
The beauty of purebred dogs is that there is something to appeal to
almost anyone. I don't have to agree with your choice but I must
respect your right to make it. I'm not going to advise that consumers
rush out and purchase a Puggle, Labradoodle, or Cockapoo, anymore
than I would suggest that everyone should select my preferred breed.
(Not everyone deserves one!) Whether these designer hybrids stand the
test of time or fade out with other trends is not for me to say.
Freedom of choice means the freedom to make the wrong choice, and the
freedom to make better choices in the future.
Am I a "backyard breeder"? Well, by technical definition I guess I
am. I have also been a front yard breeder, a living room breeder and
a cab of my motor home on the way to the dog show breeder. If that
makes me a villain, then the animal rights lunatics and the terrorists
who support their ideology win. But if you become an independent
thinker, then freedom wins. We all win.
Copyright (c) 2007 TheDogPress. com - Reprint rights hereby granted upon
the condition that a link to the reprinted page is furnished to
mailto:Contact@TheDogPress .com?subject=Reprint Request - Editorial
The Power of Language
Author: "Elizabeth Brinkley" elizabeth@dantekenn els.com
Mon Jun 30, 2008
is an article I wrote for a breed magazine. It is copyrighted and will
be published in 4 breed magazines over the next few months by Reporter
Publications. Since it's my article, I am giving permission for it to
be crossposted with attribution to myself and Reporter Publications.
What’s in a word? A lot of power for
good or bad. When did being a breeder become a "bad" thing? When I
first got into Shelties, my mentors proudly had a sign out front
proclaiming _______ Kennels. They knew they sold (yes I said SOLD - not
placed or adopted) quality show dogs and healthy pets. They were proud
of their dogs and their hobby. I was so looking forward to the day when
I could have a couple of acres out in the country and do the same. Now
I feel cheated. I have a sign out front - in very small letters it says
my kennel name but ONLY the name not the word "kennel". There’s
another sign nearby. It says "Posted - No trespassing" . Guess
that’s a sign of the times.
Friends tell me they don’t have a "kennel". Their dogs are kept
in "dog rooms" not kennel rooms. Others say "ALL my dogs are house
dogs". When did keeping dogs in a kennel become a bad thing? When did
keeping multiple dogs become bad? Several of our founders made a
substantial part of their income from the sale of pet puppies. Now
people hide their numbers and won’t even tell other breeders
exactly how many dogs they have. Others say "I only breed for myself".
When did it become a hateful thing to breed a pet or two? Or even
(horrors - gasp) make a profit from puppy sales? I know I am always
proud when I sell a puppy to someone who will show it but that’s
not because I am ashamed that I may have produced a "pet quality" puppy
but because I am proud that my pups are going to a home where they will
be active mentally and physically in breed and performance rings. I am
proud that someone who shows would want a puppy I produced. I am
equally pleased and proud when I place a healthy pet with someone who
will cherish and spoil it for a lifetime.
In the last twenty years, there has been a gradual mind change in our
country. Part of it is simply that we are becoming a more
urban/suburban country and far less rural. People don’t grow up
on farms working with animals on a daily basis. Pets have become the
replacement for children for many upwardly mobile people who spoil them
and treat them as "furkids" and "furbabies". I cringe every time I hear
those words - especially from a breeder. The pet industry is a
multimillion dollar money machine with clothes, and soft crates and
designer treats for pampered pooches. Celebrities use them as
accessories. And the fact that they are ANIMALS is forgotten. No wonder
people raise such a fuss when a dog "bites" someone. An animal did what
animals do and most likely some where a human made a mistake with that
animal either the owner in training it or the person who approached it.
When I was a child it was drilled into us - NEVER approach a strange
animal. Wonder how many kids get any training in that today? If you
want to know the true facts on the "dog bite" epidemic in our country
read "Dogs Bite But Balloons and Slippers Are More Dangerous" by Janis
Bradley. You are more likely to get hit by lightening or slip and fall
in a bathtub than you are to be killed by a dog attack. But people have
forgotten they are animals. They think of their dogs as their "fur
child" and they feel a sense of betrayal and rejection when they get
bitten by their dog or it bites someone else.
The other part of this equation is far more insidious. The animal
rights cult has grown and spread and is fast becoming part of our
mainstream thinking. With them comes the use of words such as
"puppymill". Every time I hear some breeder pointing at another breeder
and calling them a puppymill I want to smack heads and take numbers. I
don’t feel a need to go into depth on this issue since Charlotte
Clem McGowan has done a fabulous job covering the subject in her recent
article. I will simply say that in thirty four years in this breed, I
have NEVER gone to visit a so-called "puppymill" breeder in Shelties
that actually turned out to be a "puppymill". Sometimes they had more
dogs than some people approved of and sometimes they didn’t
"keep" their dogs the way others think they should, but never have they
turned out to be "puppymills" such as the AR groups love to show on TV
with the filthy wire cages and sad-eyed dogs wallowing in their own
filth. In fact two breeders that
someone called a "puppymill" have ended up being among my best friends.
Jealousy was the reason for those accusations. I have visited horrible
breeding situations with rescue but never was it someone who was
actually a Sheltie show breeder. Maybe I have just been lucky - or
maybe it’s not as common a situation as the AR groups would have
The Humane Society of the United States has just announced to the media
that there are 900 puppymills in the state of Virginia, many of them
"unlicensed commercial kennels" and selling puppies through the
Internet. You couldn’t hide 900 unlicensed puppymills in the
entire state of Virginia. Most likely some of those "unlicensed and
selling through Internet" breeders they are referring to are US - show
breeders who keep our numbers down so we don’t have to be
licensed as commercial and have fancy websites to show off our dogs.
The animal rights fanatics consider ANYONE who breeds even ONE litter
to be a puppymill. Their motto is "don’t breed while others die"
meaning the dogs put down in shelters. You can read Nathan
Winograd’s excellent new book "Redemption, The Myth of Pet
Overpopulation" for a commonsense approach to this "problem" that the
shelters and AR groups are using as a weapon to attack breeders.
Other word changes brought into common usage by the AR groups is that
of "rescue" and "adoption" and "placement" and homevisits. It has
become harder to take in a stray than to adopt a human child. I wonder
how many people have gotten turned off by some of the attitudes found
in the more radical "rescue" groups and gone away when they would have
been an excellent home for an animal but didn’t feel like being
subjected to an inspection process that requires a life history before
they can have a pet. I was refused an "adoption" on a cat a few years
ago. The reason - I had intact dogs! What did they think - the dogs are
going to breed the cat? Or I am a bad person because I have intact dogs
that I show? This goes hand in hand with the move among the AR groups
to change the language of the law from animal "owners" to animal
"guardians". I am sure a lawyer could address this in far better detail
than I but I do know that the word "guardian" has well established
limits and definitions under current law. Do you really want some AR
slanted animal control officer able to come into your home at anytime
without a warrant and tell you that you can’t remove dewclaws or
write you a ticket because your dogs don’t have water bowls in
their crates 24/7? That could be our future if we become the
"guardians" of our dogs instead of proud owners.
There comes a point where we have to start drawing lines in the sand
and refusing to give in to the politically correct language that has
infiltrated society from the far out AR groups who really don’t
seem to like animals all that much. Mostly they just seem to hate
people. To Ingrid Newkirk of PeTA "A rat is a pig is a boy." To me "a
dog is a dog is an animal". I am proud to say that I am a breeder of
purebred Shetland Sheepdogs. Shakespeare said "that which we call a
rose, by any other word would smell as sweet." And dog poop is still
just as stinky.
I own dogs who live in a kennel and I am a breeder. And that’s my final word.
Three Rivers SSC of Greater Pittsburgh