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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 |

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?  Our comments have closed, you told us how you would define yourself, here are some selected comments.




Frank 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."


Janice 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 lives.""


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."


Ginger Corley 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."


Lynda 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.


Robyn Michaels "Excellent points!~ The nomenclature is very important!"


Frank 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."

 Copyright 1805197


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