Dog Breeding Fallacies
by Dorothy Kendall, Orlane Lhasa Apsos
The diatribe against purebred dog breeders
by Ambuja Rosen simply illustrates her lack of insight into the world
of canine exhibitions! The breeders who show their dogs are
not only interested in structure and beauty, but are the people who
have worked so hard to keep their dogs free of genetic defects.
The pet market is inundated with sick and defective
puppies from commercial breeders - not those from serious, dedicated
people who have been responsible for the many gains in health advances
for our dogs. These quality breeders maintain a loyalty to their breed,
belong to area kennel clubs, offer educational programs to the public,
and offer support and advice to puppy buyers - usually going into debt
to do so.
Rosen's assertion that breeders change dogs into caricatures
by "whim" or "fancy" is patently untrue - most unique
breeds developed according to the function required of them. Her association
with the extremist group IDA explains her ideas. To blame mainstream
breeders for a few extremists is most unfair, and only serves to denigrate
those whose only aim is breed improvement.
A statement like "Many people like novelty,
cuteness, winning prizes and getting good money for their pups–so
they keep buying and breeding purebreds." most certainly does
not reflect the attitude of serious breeders in the US today. There
is no profit in raising dogs for the show ring, instead most breeders
hold other jobs to support their hobby!
Many new people come into the world of dogs for the
novelty every year, but they soon find how much expense and hard work
is required, and give it up, leaving in their wake unhappy puppy buyers,
and problems left for other dedicated breeders to clean up.
Allegations like "ten percent of Collies go
blind because of narrow heads" are never supported by facts
or figures, and thrown willy nilly into print, resulting in skewed perceptions
by the general public. Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's
true! The article on purebred dogs in Time magazine was nothing more
than a poorly disguised attack on the American Kennel Club and the breeders
who have worked so hard for so many years to produce loving pets and
Leonard (British Kennel Club) believes most problems
can be eliminated without changing the breed standards:
"It’s probably the people who are exaggerating the breed
standards who are the problem." He's quite right,
yet these are the people who are written about as if they were THE mainstream
It's time breeders fought back against these unfair
allegations, and make an effort to educate every puppy buyer about where
their beautiful, healthy and happy puppies do come from. Offer programs
to your local School system, to educate youngsters about why not to
buy from commercial breeders, how to care for their purebred puppy,
and where to come when they need advice and help - the responsible
breeders in every community!