Wednesday, September 13, 2000

I don't want to be a breeder...

As breeders, we hear this all the time from prospective puppy buyers:  "I don't want to breed or anything, I just want a pet".   First, I get it.  I completely understand.  Breeding is a LOT of work, it's ridiculously expensive, and quite honestly it's even a little scary sometime.  I completely understand the desire to just own a pet and not have to worry about all these complicated things.  I ask that you take the following into consideration before you proclaim your complete aversion to all things breeding.

My dogs live very full lives - they go to classes multiple times per week, they have regular training sessions with individual attention, they get lots of exercise, they play in every kind of weather Wisconsin decides to throw at us, they pull carts, they hike trails, they fly through tunnels, they watch TV from the couch in the evenings, and sleep next to my bed every night (only because sleeping on the bed is way too hot).  I will not live with so many dogs as to change this.  Let me repeat that.... I WILL NOT - under any circumstances - live with more dogs than I am able to personally care for and have a very individual fulfilling relationship with.  People have different levels of ability to care for different numbers of dogs in a way that is acceptable to them.  For me, that number is right around 2 or 3... and I absolutely love having boys. 

Sounds awesome, right?  Like a place you can really get excited about buying a puppy from?! 
I agree.  It's awesome in every possible way and I am grateful for it every day.  HOWEVER, it means that in order to continue the genetic line of the dogs I absolutely adore, I have to rely on partnerships.  Partnerships give the puppies I sell the opportunity to live in amazing homes with tons of fulfilling individual attention, regular playful exercise, the joy of watching TV on the couch in the evening, and to sleep next to the bed of their favorite person nearly every night of their lives; while also helping to make sure that one day when we want to add another puppy to our homes, there are actually puppies to be had.

I enjoy raising puppies.  I think I'm pretty good at it, and because I work from home it is possible for me to do while still remaining employed to help pay for this whole expensive adventure.  (contrary to a popular belief, breeding is not a great money making scheme - Fly's litter, for example, resulted in an approximately $3k loss)

If you're reading this, there's a good chance you're currently engaged in the search for a puppy.  You might even be frustrated with just how difficult this search is proving to be.  The reality is that there are WAY more people who want a puppy than there are puppies available.  Every time I am contacted by an exasperated buyer hoping for a puppy with nothing to offer them, it breaks my heart.  Unfortunately, a huge majority of the questionnaires I get back from prospective puppy buyers tell me they have no interest in breeding or allowing the dog they would like to buy to be bred.   So, I ask you - if not you, then who?  If all the people I sell puppies to want nothing to do with breeding or allowing me to breed their dog in the future, where will the next generation of puppies come from?  Surely they don't believe that the dogs of breeders should have a less fulfilling life or that breeders should be expected to keep higher numbers of dogs just so there are puppies available for them when they want to buy one.   I don't think people intend to suggest any of these things, but if you do the math, there's very little I can do to continue the family line of my dogs with only 2 or 3 dogs in my house, even if they're girls.  Simply put, I need help, and I ask you to consider the possibility of joining our dog family if you wish to purchase one of my puppies.

If you absolutely cannot accept the idea of having your boy kept intact or your girl allowed to have a litter or two before she is spayed, I completely understand and accept that decision.  I certainly do not and can not breed every single puppy in a litter, however, it would be irresponsible for me - as a breeder - to allow an exceptional puppy to be lost to the gene pool by going to a home that will not allow them to be bred.  Please understand this is a major factor in selecting homes for puppies.