Show breeders routinely use breeding practices that have, over time, increased the prevalence of a number of genetically inherited diseases in popular breeds of dogs.
Show breeders insist that all dogs being bred should have an entire battery of health tests. There are currently NO tests that are able to detect genetic markers for any of the most common genetic diseases. The tests that make up the battery of CHIC tests simply determine whether or not a given dog has the diseases tested for at the time the dog is tested.
These tests simply give no assurance whatsoever that a given dog does not carry the genes that lead to genetic diseases.
The most beautiful dogs do not carry the “best” genes:
If we want to understand the problem of genetic diseases in purebred dogs, we have to take a sober look at the breeding practices of show breeders, (who like to call themselves “reputable breeders”, let’s not forget). Show breeders breed for beauty. That’s it. Their highest priority is to breed the most beautiful dogs that can win the most dog beauty contests. THAT is what show breeders do. Period.
The breeding practices that are routinely accepted among show breeders allow a distressing degree of inbreeding among their dogs.
A diverse gene pool, and a breeder who is careful to AVOID the inbreeding that is common among many show breeders, as we do, is your best bet for avoiding inherited diseases.
Healthy Puppy Guarantee
Dog health guarantees are intended to take some of the anxiety out of buying a ‘product’ that is a living, breathing creature that is subject to the infirmities of disease. The buyer clearly wants the assurance that the puppy she or he selects is healthy when they take it home. The breeder, on the other hand, as careful as she or he may be in evaluating buyers, has no control over how a puppy may be treated or cared for once a buyer takes that puppy home.
Just about every breeder on the planet will give a buyer a healthy puppy guarantee. We, of course, do as well. We ask that the buyer should have the puppy examined by their own veterinarian within three business days of taking their puppy home. If the buyer’s vet should find a problem, we will ask that vet to please talk to our vet to describe the problem in detail.
If a genuine life-threatening health problem exists, and if we are notified within that three-day period, the buyer can elect to return the puppy immediately, and we will provide them with a different puppy. If a different puppy is not available immediately, we will provide one as soon as one becomes available. If we do not expect to have another puppy available within a reasonable time, we will take the puppy back and return the buyer’s purchase money, provided that our vet and the buyer’s vet agree that a genuine health problem existed at the time we delivered the puppy to the buyer.
Longer term genetic guarantee
We will guarantee that any puppy we sell will not exhibit any life-threatening genetic defect for a period of one year from the purchase date. If such a defect should appear, and if verified by both our Vet and the buyer's Vet, the buyer may return the dog to us, and we will replace the dog with a healthy puppy as soon as we have one available.
If a buyer is not happy with her or his puppy for any reason at all, within their first few months together, we will work closely with the buyer to find a resolution of whatever problem exists. A buyer may, as a last resort, return a dog to us, for any reason, and we will try to find that dog a new home.
Understanding the Terminology
Let’s examine some of the terminology that you are likely to encounter during your research:
Anyone who knows anything about ‘puppy mills’ knows that they are very bad news. No one wants to buy a dog that has been bred by a puppy mill.
People who run puppy mills are people who treat dogs not as pets, but rather as livestock. Their breeding standards and practices are all geared not to the health of either the breed or the individual dogs, but rather exclusively toward maximizing their own profits.
Their dogs are often restricted to living their lives in filthy cages. Females are bred to exhaustion, having one litter after another with no opportunity to rest and/or recover. Genetically dangerous inbreeding is very often a common and unrestrained practice.
No one in their right mind would ever knowingly buy a dog from a puppy mill. Unfortunately, puppies in pet stores often come from puppy mills, and on the Internet, some puppy mills can be remarkably skilled at hiding their true nature. Puppy mills now often run their own ‘pet store fronts’ to eliminate the middle man and make it easier to conceal their breeding business.
Beware of buying from breeders who offer many different breeds of dogs for sale. Much more often than not, a breeder that raises more than a single breed is running a puppy mill. Don’t get me wrong….There are responsible breeders who do raise more than one breed, but if you come across a breeder or kennel online that offers multiple breeds, it would be wise to exercise extra caution.
The term “reputable breeder” sounds good, but this is actually a troubling term to many responsible dog breeders who breed purebred dogs for family pets, but have no interest in participating in the competitive world of dog shows. In these "show breeders’" opinion, dogs that do not meet their arbitrary standards of beauty should not be bred at all. Only dog show champions should be bred with other dog show champions. Only those puppies that inherit the correct physical standards of beauty should then be raised, and shown, to win dog show championships, and then be bred themselves. These people who call themselves “reputable breeders”, who follow these practices religiously, think that it ‘improves’ dog breeds.
There are many facts about the breeding practices of these self-styled “reputable breeders” that these ‘show breeders’ do not want the general public to be aware of. Many of their breeding practices have led directly to the prevalence of restricted gene pools of the various breeds to an unhealthy degree, primarily through the practice of inbreeding, including what is well known in dog breeding circles as the “popular sire syndrome”. Over the years, breed after breed have become very popular, only to soon be ‘ruined’ by the inbreeding practices of show breeders, (the self-proclaimed “reputable breeders”), including the popular sire syndrome. Popular breeds like Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, and German Shepherds have fallen in popularity as show breeding practices have introduced the prevalence of genetic diseases into these breeds. (The prevalence of genetic diseases among the current most popular breed, Labradors, is said to be steadily increasing).
"Back yard breeder":
This is a term used primarily by show breeders to refer to breeders who breed dogs for any other reason other than to breed champions that win dog shows. The accusation is made that “back yard breeders” are irresponsible people who have no business breeding dogs at all.
Show breeders, who want to have exclusive control over dog breeding, want the public to believe that “back yard breeders” are just one small step removed from puppy mills. Show breeders claim that “back yard breeders” fail to maintain the standards of the breeds, because they breed dogs that are not ‘show quality’ dogs.
Responsible pet breeder:
There are many dog breeders who love dogs, take excellent care of their dogs, and make sure that they breed pedigreed purebred dogs that are healthy and happy, and exhibit characteristics that make them excellent family pets.
A responsible pet breeder’s breeding stock will almost surely have championship bloodlines in their pedigrees, but these breeders are more concerned with maintaining a diverse gene pool by making sure that there is no genetic relation among their dogs for as many generations back as they can trace.
Responsible pet breeders certainly enjoy it when one of their puppies show exceptional physical beauty, but they know that physical beauty is NOT the primary characteristic that makes a good family pet.
Responsible pet breeders want to breed healthy and happy purebred dogs. They breed for characteristics of personality and behavior that make dogs beloved family pets.
We are “responsible pet breeders”. Our breeding "stock" are our own beloved family pets. They are healthy and happy dogs with highly sociable and loving personalities.
Our goal is to breed purebred dogs that will make excellent family pets.