Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Get Rich By Breeding Dogs!

O.K., the title is a joke. 

But only barely. 

Though show dog breeders may not be getting rich, many show dog people breed dogs to defray their show ring expenses -- payments to professional handlers, payments on motor homes and hotels, veterinary expenses, etc.

With "hobby" expenses of several thousand dollars a year, selling puppies is a significant part of the economic engine driving the show ring model.

The need for uninterrupted puppy sales is one reason the show dog world is so resistant to change.

If show ring folks could not sell their current crop of dogs because an AKC standard had been changed in order to improve canine health, that would be a serious economic hit.

There is another reason breed clubs are resistant to breed standard changes, and an increased focus on canine health issues; it is a negation of their own life and their own expertise. 

What does it say about the breed club, and its breeders, that the dog they claim to love so much is now in such dismal shape?

Dogs are not dying young and in pain because they are committing suicide.

Entire breeds have not been wrecked by accidental vehicle impacts.

No, the story here is quite a bit sadder than that. It is a story about a lot of people with misplaced priorities intentionally breeding dogs, and the horrific results they have achieved despite decades and decades of putative expertise "in the breed."

For these folks to admit that the results achieved have been a collective disaster, has a huge emotional cost attached to it.

They are in the same position as the person who has given this or her entire life to a company only to be fired in humiliation, or the wife who has been married for 25 years who comes home to find her husband in bed with another man. Was the whole thing a joke? A charade? Did this investment of my life mean nothing?

Little wonder that a lot of people are willing to do almost anything not to have to face those questions!


JoeMama said...


You are absolutely right. It does not take very much science to solve many of the issues with today's "breeds" of dogs. But it will take a drastic re-ordering of priorities.

http://eatonrapidsjoe.blogspot.com/2016/01/hip-dysplasia-in-dogs.html contains my thoughts regarding what it would take to move the needle on hip dysplasia in German Shepherds.

Basically, it would eliminate the market for 95% of the German Shepherd "studs" for 11 years (5 years for defects to manifest + three generations). That is an economic loss that the purebred industry cannot and will not voluntarily swallow.

It would also throw the overly stylish "markers" for the breed under the bus. Breeders win ribbons for producing more "stylish" dogs. After many generations the dogs become caricatures of otherwise healthy animals. Breeding for health would throw many of the those "stylish" features onto the rubbish heap, otherwise demolishing any wealth the breeder assumed they had created.

Amy Nexus said...

I'm glad that JoeMama brought up GSDs in this context. AKC GSD breeders (not working line breeders of course) are notorious for line breeding and relying on VERY few sires. A popular sire can be responsible for most of the AKC lines in just a few years. It turns out that he's throwing bad hips and it's too late. I could go into sire names here and GSD enthusiasts would immediately know what I'm referencing. I would not ever even entertain the idea of purchasing a US bred AKC German shepherd dog...Working sheps in the US (military, police, Shutzhund and PPDs) are almost all imported because they HAVE to be in order to even move correctly.

Thanks AKC for helping to ruin yet another wonderful dog...