Three Biggest Challenges for Breeders
Being a dog breeder can be rewarding and challenging. The rewards can range from the joy felt bringing new lives into the world, to protecting the integrity (the bloodlines) of a certain breed. A breeder can also enjoy the comradery from the community of other like-minded, responsible breeders.
Oddly enough though, the challenges for breeders can be quite similar to the rewards.
Between unscrupulous puppy mills, irresponsible pet store owners selling unhealthy puppies, and the over-population of dogs everywhere, breeders are taking a bashing over bringing new lives into the world.
But, if you ask a reputable breeder, she might tell you how puppy mills and negligent pet store owners disgust her; how she believes the dog population is caused by irresponsible people everywhere, who don’t get their dogs spayed and neutered. And she also might think rescuing a dog from a shelter is a very noble thing indeed, but it’s not for everyone.
There are certain circumstances where people feel it’s necessary to get a puppy and they want one from a reputable breeder who knows the genetic history of the two dog families involved.
There have been hundreds of articles and books written about dog breeding and keeping a breed’s bloodline pure of disease and disorders. The problems with keeping a breed’s integrity are many and surely can’t be summarized here.
To get an idea of the challenges a breeder faces, the following is a great article published by Canine Genetics and Epidemiology called, “The challenges of pedigree dog health: approaches to combating inherited disease”.
A Thorn in Their Midst
As with every profession or organization there is at least one unprincipled individual who conducts business with little to no integrity. Professional dog breeders are particularly sensitive to this, because of the previously mentioned problems with public perception.
When a thorn appears (someone who breeds for money, cutting corners, risking the well-being of a breed’s bloodline and the dogs themselves), it can cause ripples of discontent within the professional dog-breeding community.
And that is a challenge that is hard to overcome.