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 companions.

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 breeders.

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!