Howdy blogaroos! Squirmy here on this the first day of May! Done with April showers and mud. Bring on the May flowers and black flies.
So today is a hugely special day – it’s National Purebred Dog Day! So we can celebrate! And get extra biscuits! Yeehaw!
Now Viktor wrote a blog a few years ago where he talked about the challenges that purebred dogs have faced in recent years. He said it quite well – so I am going to plagiarize some of his words.
Purebred dogs and breeders have taken a bad rap in recent years. With health issues in many breeds and an overabundance of dogs in shelters (most of which are not purebreds as I understand it) – there has been a real movement to adopt – and NOT to get a purebred. And while there is nothing wrong with adopting a shelter dog – they deserve good homes – there should also be no shame in promoting the preservation of purebreds either. Think along the line of Save the Tiger or Save the Whale. If we don’t preserve purebreds – there are breeds in danger of disappearing!
When I talk about purebreds, I am not referring to designer dogs. Designer dogs are not purebreds, and generally are not bred with health clearances – or a concern about pedigree. They are mixed breed dogs – many of whom can be found in shelters. If you want a doodle/poo/cockamamie dog – get one at a shelter! But please don’t pay for one. The breeders of these dogs are NOT preservation breeders. Sure doodles are cute and some people say they are super smart. But – the assumption that you breed two different breeds and you will get the best traits from the two breeds is not true. You can end up with the problems that both breeds have. But you want the look of a doodle? How about a Portuguese Water Dog? Or a Lagotto Romagnolo? Or…. a POODLE! We don’t NEED MORE “new” breeds. We instead need to preserve the breeds we have and do a better job of ensuring their health and longevity.
Which brings us to the next point…..just as there are good and not-so-good individuals in any profession, there are good and not-so-good breeders of purebred dogs. If you were buying a new car, you would probably research models, and would visit several dealerships. You would do your homework. The same is true if you are looking for a purebred dog. Not all breeders are breeding with the betterment of the breed in mind. A good preservation breeder (GPB) will know about the lines their dogs have come from, and will breed with this in mind. A GPB will let you meet their dogs, and will be open and honest in sharing health information about their dogs. They will also perform the recommended health testing on their breeding dogs to ensure that they are producing puppies with the best start in life. Yes – problems still can arise down the road – because nature is nature and you cannot control for everything – BUT you want to know that your puppy came from THE best intentions – with a well-planned breeding.
A GPB will also be there for you – throughout the life of your dog. They should be interested in how your dog is doing – and should be able to answer questions about raising your dog. A GPB, in my opinion, will have shown their dogs – to see if they are good representatives of the breed – AND it’s great if the breeder has produced dogs that have initials on both ends of their names. That means their dogs have obtained titles not only in beauty pageants – but also in performance events – like those your dog was initially bred for (retrieving, herding, tracking).
The Warden has talked to people who are looking for a purebred, but are “put out” by the questions they have been asked. They feel they are paying for a puppy, so why are they being “interrogated?” Well here’s the thing – if the breeder does NOT ask you any questions, that’s a huge red flag. A GPB has invested time, energy, and money in producing a litter of puppies. They CARE a great deal about where their puppies are going. If the a breeder DOESN’T ask you questions, it’s likely they are….how do I say it….not necessarily in breeding for the right reasons.
If you have found a GPB, chances are you may have to wait to get a puppy. Unfortunately, we live in an “instantaneous” world, where we don’t like to wait. You decide at 2AM that you want some new dog toys, so you go on-line and order some and they will likely be delivered to your door in a few days. Waiting has become something we’re not used to! So when you hear you will have to wait for a puppy, you may be discouraged. But trust me – a puppy from a GPB will be worth the wait.
So there you have my (and Viktor’s) opinion about purebred dogs. Spend lots of time deciding which purebred meets your lifestyle. There are hundreds of options out there! And take your time in finding a GPB. Check with your local Kennel Club for a place to start. But even then, you still need to do your homework to find the right GPB for you.
To end my speech, here are a couple of quizzes about purebred dogs. I really liked the puppy one – because who doesn’t like a puppy?!
Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.