Notes for Episode 13, Season 2 – first aired Wednesday 2 September 2009, Channel 31 Melbourne
Sidney Aarons – dog training with Sam and his Border Collie, Bruce
More on dog breeders
Steven Pam’s rant on breeders:
Personally I have always liked mixed-breeds (mongrels), and the concept of providing homes for dogs from animal shelters. Indeed my own “Kosmo” is a shelter mixed-breed.
However, as we’ve discovered dozens of breeds and met their wonderful humans over the course of making this show, I’ve developed a great respect for pure breed dogs as well.
I’ve also discovered that there’s a difference between a dog breeder and a good dog breeder. So here are my thoughts:
There’s more to breeding dogs than putting together two examples of the same breed (or different breeds, for that matter – but more on that in a moment). There’s an element of art and a significant amount of science to it. Good breeders are attempting to bring out the best in their breed – and although every breed has a written standard, this is open to interpretation, and each breeder may have their own idea of what is best.
If buying a dog from a breeder, don’t be afraid to ask what they’re doing to ensure they breed healthy dogs, what they’re looking for in the breed (or what their ‘ideal’ dog would be like), and if they can show you relevant paperwork. A reputable breeder will be more than happy to answer your questions (they love talking about their dogs!).
A good breeder should also have lots of question for the prospective dog owner. Most breeders that I meet are very concerned about getting their dogs into the right homes. If a breeder seems more interested in taking your money and letting you go, you may be well advised to look around some more.
Finally, a word on ‘designer’ breeds like Spoodles, Cavoodles, Labradoodles, Groodles, etc. As far as many registered breeders of ‘traditional’ breeds are concerned – and probably animal shelter operators as well – they are generally to be avoided! But being independent of any such groups, I’m free to express my own opinion on this…
Almost every breed started out as a “designer” breed at some point. After all, that’s what breeding is all about: designing a dog for a particular purpose. Some dogs have a longer history than others, but essentially all but a few were created this way.
It seems to me, then, that the problem is not the idea of designer breeds as such; it’s when backyard operators seek to profit from the demand for the fashionable breed of the day – and rely on the ignorance of the general dog-buying public to do so.
It’s quite possible (and indeed likely) that many of the so-called “breeders” of these animals simply bring together a pure-bred – but essentially random – example of, say, a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, and then go ahead and advertise them as Groodles. None of the rigor that goes into a proper breeding program is employed. The results are therefore unpredictable, and the breeder could be unwittingly (or uncaringly) bringing out the very worst – in terms of health issues or temperament – of both breeds; and producing many dogs that are destined for the animal shelters and/or euthanasia.
Therefore if you’re shopping for a “designer” dog, it would seem to me you should be asking the breeder the same questions about hereditary diseases, temperament, and philosophy, that you would ask a breeder of traditional breeds. If they are unwilling or unable to answer, move on.
Acquiring a dog is a big decision and not one to be made impulsively. All to often those are the cases that end in dissapointment at best, or tragedy at worst.
Yet with proper research and forethought, acquiring a dog can bring untold joy and fun to a family (as well as teaching kids many important life lessons). Good luck!
- German Shepherd Dog Club of Victoria
DNA Dog Breed Identification
Need supplies for your doggy? Please support our sponsor, Mega Pet Warehouse.
They like Hound TV, and we like them, too. Tell ’em we sent you!
And don’t forget all our other sponsors – they’re super awesome, too!