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What makes hobby breeding any different
than rescue? This Letter To The Editor says breed preservationists are NOT hobby breeders, they are Breed Specialists. Your Comments Below.
Updated 7/23/19 ~ 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
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
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
Are you a Breed Specialist? A Specialty Breeder?
Hobby Breeder? Our comments have closed, you told us how you would define
yourself, here are some selected comments.
Tripp "I REALLY LIKE THE TERM PUREBRED
DOG BREED SPECIALIST. WE OFFER SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A PUPPY!"
commented on the article and about Janice, "I'm home this weekend so came back
to see if there was interest in Specialty Breeder nomenclature. Interesting
discussion, Janice seems to exemplify what sounds like a Specialty Breeder
BECAUSE she produces what someone called Purpose Bred Dogs. I'm not on
facebook but wonder if this is there."
Anderson "Perception is everything! I am a
specialty breeder of Newfoundlands, producing quality, not quantity, with my
breeding program of near 50 years. With my limited breeding program of
purpose bred dogs, I produce healthy, happy and true representations of the
breed. These magnificent animals are excellent companions, workings dogs,
service dogs and show dogs. I am proud of the accomplishments of my dogs
over the years, excelling at home, in the ring and in working environments.
Champions, Group, BISS & BIS winners and Obedience, Water Rescue & Draft
titlists including Versatility Newfoundlands are but a few of the
achievements of Ebontide Newfoundlands. But the most important thing any of
the purpose bred dogs I produce can achieve, is to realize their purpose as
water rescue dogs. I had such a dog, Ebontide's Boon Companion, Newfoundland
Club of America Hero Dog in 1996. As a puppy, with nothing but natural
instinct and no formal training, Boo saved a deaf-mute man from the Yuba
River in California. "Purpose Bred, Purpose Driven, my purebred dogs save
Harriett "How do I get to be called a
breed specialist? what are the qulifications? I do not breed often but I
produce winners. Where to apply? I do not wand my email out there but
I will watch this for answers bc it sounds overdue."
said back to Jackie Phillips, "Jackie, you have
definitely been drinking the Kool-ade. I had several rescue dogs and after
several heartaches and disasters, I decided to go back to purpose bred dogs
and to breed my own pets. Then people asked me for pets for themselves and,
since I believe that every child should grow up with a dog and not all
parents have the time and money to rehab a rescue dog, I provided them to
other people, never making money on my litters since I wanted to share the
dogs I loved with people I cared about. Purpose bred dogs ARE the preferred
choice for working dogs, don't fool yourself. Do you see police departments
using mutts from the pound for their patrol dogs? Never. They use purpose
bred Belgian and Dutch Shepherds or German Shepherds. I provide pups to
several Service Dog organizations so I know they don't use rescues for their
programs either. In fact, CCI has one of the best breeding programs in the
country and has advanced the science of dog breeding for all of us.
Make sure you get your facts straight before you start
spouting them on public bulletin boards. This is not a pro rescue site so
you're not among friends. If we're desperate, it's desperation to keep our
breeds healthy, genetically diverse, and their original instincts intact. My
dogs still pull sleds even though it's not something we need them to do to
survive. They are a rare American breed though and I think our world would
be a lesser place without them. So I will keep working with them. I've been
at it for 30 years so far and I'm not done yet."
Jackie Phillips "It is so much fun seeing breeders attempt to make
excuses for breeding and selling dogs, when they know that adopted dogs of
all types are the preferred choice of pets and working dogs. Keep it up.
Love seeing the desperation. It is very entertaining."
Farley "I have been producing a limited quantity of some of the most
beautiful dogs on the planet for more than 20 years now. It is one of the
oldest breeds, and also one of the few NATURAL (not man made) breeds. For
years, the registrations in this breed have been going down and down, now
about 300-400/year. It will be a less beautiful world if this breed is lost
because some people are overproducing golden-doodles, or pit bull mixes.
I am talking about the incomparable Afghan Hound. I
have called myself a 'hobby breeder' simply because this is not a breed to
'make money' in. There is not much market for pets, although I think a lot
of that is the fault of some others in this breed who seem to feel their
only use is for show ornaments (or coursing), and that only they, and their
best friends should be able to have one, let alone breed them. I think this
is short sighted of some of them. In our very first litter, we won our first
Champion points (as complete total novices to showing, and I was in my 40s)
with the boy and girl we kept. One of them also herded our COWS. Another
became a certified Therapy Dog, and a licensed Service Dog, and lived in a
Licensed Theraputic Foster home, which averaged 10 children residents. Some
of them were blind, autistic, had cerebral palsey, etc. That is a FABULOUS
temperament in ANY breed, let alone this one. The others were beloved pets.
27 of the 28 Champions we produced/and/or finished are descended from 2 boys
from that first litter, the only litter our first beloved Afghan Hound ever
sired. It is a 'hobby' mainly because, now that I am 66, and husband is 76,
we have no more retirement savings, and our home needs a LOT, as we are
still a good quarter million dollars in the hole due to past 20+ years of
maintaining, and proving these beautiful dogs in the show rings. But, it is
not really a 'hobby', it is the passion of my life. They make my heart sing
every time I look at them. I HAVE studied genetics since I was about 11
years old, it happens that has been a lifelong interest of mine. And,
breeding is applied genetics. The world is a more beautiful place because
our dogs are in it."
Michaels "Excellent points!~ The nomenclature is very important!"
Wilson "I judge fun matches because they are fun. I have been a hobby
breeder for 23 years. This was thought provoking. Yes, I am a specialist in
several breeds as a judge but I only breed two breeds."
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