There is a dog problem; without a doubt there are too many dogs. The other night my son and I had a very in-depth conversation about the problem of too many dogs, rescuing and breeders. It all started over Elsa's tail; as a extremely compassionate person with regards to animal welfare he just cannot understand why? Why would anyone cut off a dog's tail. "Why do they do it?" He asked me and I tried to explain where the practice all began. He then asked "why do people still do it then," and I tried to answer that one.
We then moved onto breeders, being that we were talking about those who do and those who do not amputate tails. He took issue with people breeding dogs in general; it was an across the board statement so we discussed breeders across the board. This is a common opinion for many people; I have been told before that I don't deserve a dog because I want a particular kind. So I explained to him my point of view on the whole 'dog problem.'
There are too many dogs; the shelters and rescues are filled to the brim and then some. But where do these dogs come from? Breeders, yes, but not good breeders. I explained to him what my list entails to be considered a good breeder.
Breeder - has one or two litters a year, not a page long list of available puppies at any time.
-dogs and puppies live in the house as family.
- rescues when they can.
- will take back a puppy or adult dog at any time to replace. (Things happen in life)
- only breeds dogs who have been completely health screened.
- breeds only dogs with sound temperaments.
- breeds to build a sound dog, doesn't follow a trend.
- breeds with a passion for their dogs; is not driven by the lure of greed. (This shows up in many different ways)
- temperament tests puppies and places them in homes accordingly. (Not picked at 2 weeks of age by the prospective owner)
- offers the puppies external stimulus and socialization early on.
- does not breed for what is "in."
- will never breed an iffy dog either in temperament or structure due to anticipation, time and effort.
I could go on and on but this is my base list. He then asked "how do you make breeders do these things?" The answer is, you don't. If you have to make people do all of these things then they aren't doing it for the right reasons. I want someone who wants to do all of these things.
We then moved onto Millers. There lies the problem, right there. Millers are the problem, they rely on quantity not quality to fill their pockets. They let impulse buyers buy their goods and don't care who takes the dog as long as they pay. Millers are the problem and that is where animal lovers should direct their attention for attack. Shut the mills down and we will be almost there.
I then explained about random people who want to have a litter of puppies. They too will sell to whoever will buy. They don't want all these puppies; they maybe wanted just one or to turn a quick buck. They have no idea of what they are selling; there were no health tests, no temperament tests and they will give one to whoever will pay.
Support the good breeders and go after the bad; it is that simple. There are very, very few amazing breeders out there. The solution to finding those is to educate the public. But then again many of the public are not listening; they don't care as long as they get the puppy they want. Even if it means that 2 months down the road they don't want it anymore and just dump it down a long and abandoned road.
The topic is vast; there are many things to talk about. But if for one minute you think that all breeders are bad, think again. Out of all of the dogs in rescue and or shelters; a very low percentage are from the people who care, the good breeders. It can happen but the problem is the mass producers and those who will sell a dog to anyone for money.
The conversation will continue.....