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Be a Specialty Breeder
What makes hobby breeding any different than rescue? This Letter To The Editor says breed preservationists are NOT hobby breeders, they are Breed Specialists. Comments welcome.
May 29, 2018 | TheDogPress.com
By a subscriber who asked to remain anonymous
With all respect, it is the “perception is reality” that has dearly cost what you refer to as a ‘hobby breeder’. Listen to the term. A hobby is something people do for fun or pleasure, it is not their occupation. Do you want a ‘hobby dentist’? Of course not. Golf is a hobby but people DO give up country club memberships when money is tight. Would you give up your dogs?
That “hobby breeder” term, combined with publicly bemoaning the cost of breeding or the price of a pet puppy that is twice the price of the pet store but is sold on limited registration with all kinds of restrictions placed on it feeds the ‘breeders do it for the money’ image. The consumer can go to a ‘rescue’ with its applications, mandatory spay/neuter policies, restrictions on what can be done with the animal and get an AKC ILP to compete in every single thing the ‘hobby’ breeder’s Limited Registration allows!
When someone is told the $1800 puppy is not ‘show potential’ but they can buy full registration with breeding rights for $4000, that raises the eyebrows. What changed besides the price tag? I cannot count the times people say they aren’t paying for half the dog at twice the price. There are other sources for a purebred dog. Most people neuter anyway. It’s the principle that seems hypocritical. “Adopt don’t shop” brainwashed most people into altering anyway.
There’s always the ten percent who will breed the dog anyway. Forge papers, lie on applications, breed X-doodles, X-poos, whatever. But isn’t your worst purebred dog better than the puppy mill dog? We are all aging out of the ‘dog fancy’, a term no younger person even knows. If we don’t share our professional knowledge in a way people understand, it dies with us. Then we let the puppy mills, i.e. HVB (High Volume Breeder), BYB (Back Yard Breeder), and AR (Animal Rights) folks win.
The AKC is responding to public need and what makes them money. The “mutts are as good as purebreds” concept led to the ILP (Indefinite Listing Privilege) and allowing them to compete against my specialty-bred purebreds. My dogs are only bred for service work. They graduate quicker, are more predictable. Yes, shelter dogs are sometimes used. Most wash out. Mine don’t.
I don’t need to ‘limit’ AKC registration since my dogs are transferred to service organizations without papers and are altered prior to placing per their policy. However, I am tired of defending my dog’s balls in public. And it does seem hypocritical for me to preach the benefits of NOT mutilating the animals, but force others to do it?
Everyone has stories of the rescue dog from hell that couldn’t be trained or cost a fortune in medical bills. The same story applies to the ‘breeder dog’ and the ‘pet store dog’. I retired from human medical care. Mother Nature loves a curveball. It happens. We cry, curse, scream, but it just is.
I say we should try out the term ‘Specialty Breeder’. You are an expert in ______ breed. Then for heaven sake, have champions in the breeding mix, not “champion lines”. If the parent dogs are service or field bred and aren’t in the show ring, at least get the Parent Breed club to do a ‘conformation certificate’ to see how closely they conform to their AKC Breed standards. THEN talk about health testing and issues that make sense to a consumer. The pricing will then make sense and is more palatable.
The AKC is just DUMB in not allowing limited registration to participate in 4-6 month certificate of merit. What an awesome way for someone to see that the pet store dog or backyard breeder doesn’t have a pup that measures up. Everyone I know who did do that was happy for the experience, got their ‘CM’ and neutered their animal.
It’s about marketing and getting out the message of what makes a ‘hobby breeder’ or “pet bred” dog different from a ‘rescue’ dog. Some rescue dogs have “registration papers” so how does that make sense? “Specialty Breeder” sounds better and feels better. We are ‘specialists’ in our breed. Let’s advertise it that way.
We are the Golf Pros of the dog world, the Purebred Dog Breed Specialists. We know how to plan, create, and raise a hole-in-one dog time after time. We are Specialty Breeders.
Editor's Note: Are you a Breed Specialist? A Specialty Breeder? Hobby Breeder?
Tell us how you would define yourself and staff will compile a follow-up report.
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