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Hello everyone,
We all know the mantra about finding reputable breeders, yet I am not entirely certain as to how much of that mantra is really true and how much a marketing scheme. I am specially suspicious about how inbreeding is either accepted or ignored. From what I have seen, champion dogs usually sire dozens of litters, perpetuating breed specific genetic diseases. My guess is that this lack of genetic pool diversity explains why purebred dogs are more disease prone than long lines of mutts (I have no data about this other than hear say and common sense from basic genetic understanding). Of course it is very fancy to hear that reputable breeders health check their dogs, but I suspect that these tests are not designed to track genetic markers, rather they appear to state that the dogs were healthy when the test was performed. In other words, they are not guarantee of a healthy dog.
Can anyone please clarify why should I prefer to pay thousands to a "reputable" breeder, rather than say, buy it from a responsible owner that decided to breed his or her dog (a responsible backyard breeder)?
P.S. I am talking about pets not working, herding or sporting dogs.
 

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Some tests are DNA tests that track whether a dog is a carrier, affected, or clear. I think CEA is tested this way so you know for sure if your dog does or does not carry the disease. You can test to see if a dog is merle or if the dog has MDR1 mutation, etc. They are attempting to come up with a genetic marker in papillons to test for NAD. Tests like that are invaluable and will let breeders avoid breeding affected dogs by not breeding two carriers unkowingly. Other tests like CERF for PRA will just tell you if the dog is affected at the time of the testing. Still helpful but yes, a dog can be fine one year and then become affected later on.

You can never guarantee a healthy dog- they're animals. There is no real data on the purebred vs mutt health thing so I don't think you can really draw conclusions either way. Most mutts aren't health tested at all so who knows if they are affected by any of the less obvious diseases.

Personally, I don't much care what the forum would label my breeder as (I used to). I want to find a breeder that I believe is breeding dogs in a way that I agree with ethically, and that is producing dogs that I would want to live with. I will pay quite a bit of money for a dog from what I consider a reputable breeder because I haven't found a person that just randomly decided to breed their dog that is producing what I want, in a way that I agree with. (actually I haven't seen one producing the kind of dog I'd want at all, forget about ethics) Bottom line is that I am fine with paying quite a bit upfront to get a dog of a breed I like, from lines I like, and with a breeder that stands behind them. Mia had a fairly hefty purchase price but divide it out over her three years so far and the amount per day is negligable. If I don't care about all that, then I'll rescue.
 

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No test can fully guarantee a healthy dog. Things turn up that very experienced breeders can't see coming. The likelihood is less when knowing and studying pedigrees, and which traits compliment others.

I don't agree with mutts being healthier. It still has to do with what is inherited.

There really isn't a need to spend thousands on a dog. Pet, or not. Many rescue groups and humane societies have great dogs.
I have bought dogs that didntt come from tested animals. In fact my best working dog now, was from what some would call a BYB. Though I do know her lines, parents, and the previous litter. It was a chance. She is spayed for two reasons; one to do her job at anytime; and two not another dog from the cross of those lines worked!
I wish I had 30 of her. So if you are looking for a dog, I see nothing wrong with buying a dog from anywhere. Just don't be surprised if the dog turns out with genetic faults or inherited problems from not doing research.
as far as being a sales pitch, I have to laugh there! I lose money on every breeding, lol. Yes I could go about things differently, but to me, what is important is getting that pup or dog in the right home or environment. So many times I will donate pups to departments.
Its not about money, but creating that "perfect" dog, to do the job, or be that best friend, and seeing the dog happy, and the owner in love with him!
 

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My guess is that this lack of genetic pool diversity explains why purebred dogs are more disease prone than long lines of mutts (I have no data about this other than hear say and common sense from basic genetic understanding).
This is a common misconception, usually based on the idea of hybrid vigor. However, if you have a hypothetical mutt mixed from a German Shepherd and a Boxer you could end up with a dog that is prone hip dysplasia, cancer and epilepsy, if both parents were in poor condition. Simply mixing two animals with a greater variety of genes does not mean that the bad genes will be left out.
A lot of the arguments for this idea is anecdotal, but consider this: if an Australian Shepherd starts walking a bit stiffer in his old age, the owners will probably say "hip dysplasia." and have him tested, and he'll add to the statistics of purebreds with disease. If a mutt starts to walk stiffer in his old age, he's just "getting old" (not saying that EVERY owner would say this) and maybe they'll talk to the vet about it, maybe not.
My former roomate used to always swear that mutts were healthier than purebred dogs. She would mention her sister's Cocker, that had some sort of fungus problem, or our friend's Japanese Chin, who had a stinky face, but both of these people bought dogs without much thought, possibly from a mill in the Chin's case, and the Chin was not well taken care of by the owner at all. My roomate who made these claims, her family had a few mutts. They were great dogs, but they were not without health issues. One is now mostly blind, and another does walk a bit stiff. She never seems to think of this when she's talking about the healthiness of mutts.

Does buying from a responsible breeder 100% guarantee that your dog will be perfect? No, absolutely not. We still don't completely understand how genetics work, and depending on the disease it can be very difficult to tell if a dog will be affected.
Does that mean that you might as well save a few bucks and go with a BYB? Well, you can if you want, but why? With a BYB you have NO idea what's going to happen, because they haven't done any of those health checks. With a responsible breeder you can at least stack the odds in your favor. Every puppy is a gamble and I want the best chance possible of having a long-lived, happy pet.
What's more, when you're buying a puppy there's more at work than just the dog that you get. Responsible breeders are doing it because they love their dogs and want to improve the breed. They are lucky if they even break even with their expenses when they sell a puppy. BYBs are often doing it to make a buck, and don't take the same considerations for the dog.


Don't agree with inbreeding? Don't buy from a breeder who practices it.
 

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Hello everyone,
. From what I have seen, champion dogs usually sire dozens of litters, perpetuating breed specific genetic diseases. My guess is that this lack of genetic pool diversity explains why purebred dogs are more disease prone than long lines of mutts (I have no data about this other than hear say and common sense from basic genetic understanding). Of course it is very fancy to hear that reputable breeders health check their dogs, but I suspect that these tests are not designed to track genetic markers, rather they appear to state that the dogs were healthy when the test was performed. In other words, they are not guarantee of a healthy dog.
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only perpetuates breed specific genetic disease IF the dog carries those disease. The myth that mutts are healthier than purebreds is pure bunk. The fact is, most mutts don't get tested, so we really don't know what they have, and because their background is unknown, we generally don't know what the risks are. Many of the tests available now are specifically designed to check for genetic markers. There are a few test that only look at phenotype, because genotype tests haven't yet been developed.
 

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What about the aspects and genetics of temperament? rarely do breeders talk about it because most of them don't have a clue.

To me this is more important then anything.
 

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What about the aspects and genetics of temperament? rarely do breeders talk about it because most of them don't have a clue.

To me this is more important then anything.

Which breeders? Most of the breeders I know have MORE than a clue about that.
If they didn't, I probably wouldn't be interested in a dog from them.
 

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Temperament testing is an important part of puppy evaluations. The good breeders I know definitely take temperament seriously when breeding and when matching puppies to owners.
 

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Breeders I know won't even consider breeding a dog with poor temperament, even if they have health, conformation, and good working ability. The look at the complete package and a deficiency in any aspect will result in the dog / bitch not being bred.
 

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Breeders I know won't even consider breeding a dog with poor temperament, even if they have health, conformation, and good working ability. The look at the complete package and a deficiency in any aspect will result in the dog / bitch not being bred.
This is a scary thought to me. Do they believe all their breeding dogs are perfect then? because ALL dogs have a deficiency in some area, no dog is perfect, any breeder who thinks their dogs are all perfect is kennel blind.
 

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This is a scary thought to me. Do they believe all their breeding dogs are perfect then? because ALL dogs have a deficiency in some area, no dog is perfect, any breeder who thinks their dogs are all perfect is kennel blind.
Sorry I wasn't clear - it was early after a night of poor sleep. Of course they don't believe their dogs are perfect - they are fully aware of their dogs deficiencies. What I meant was that they evaluate the complete dog and will eliminate a potential match because of major deficiencies in any area - conformation, health, temperament, etc. My comment was in response to the comment about breeders not considering genetic aspects of temperament. The breeders I know make breeding decisions based on a number of attributes, not only health or only looks. A dog with a poor temperament (e.g., aggressive, snappy, overly shy) would not be bred in the same way a dog with hip dysplasia or a major conformation fault would not be bred.

That's probably still not clear, but trust me, the breeders I know are well aware of the faults in their dogs and are doing what they can to improve the next generation.
 

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A breeder being "reputable" is subjective, hence the ongoing arguments about it. I think many people here would buy from breeders they consider reputable, that I don't consider reputable. I think I good breeder should keep the COI very low -- going back 10 generations, ideally. I think inbreeding is totally unethical because it increases cancer rates and host of other problems. But not everyone here agrees about that.

That said, there is a baseline that I think most people do agree with: basic breed-specific health testing and humane conditions. Even those two things are somewhat subjective, though.

Like Avery said, put your money where your mouth is (my words :p). Buying ethically is just as important as breeding ethically. Find a breeder you feel comfortable supporting.
 

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Hello everyone,
We all know the mantra about finding reputable breeders, yet I am not entirely certain as to how much of that mantra is really true and how much a marketing scheme.
Hardly

I am specially suspicious about how inbreeding is either accepted or ignored. From what I have seen, champion dogs usually sire dozens of litters, perpetuating breed specific genetic diseases. My guess is that this lack of genetic pool diversity explains why purebred dogs are more disease prone than long lines of mutts (I have no data about this other than hear say and common sense from basic genetic understanding).
Typically I'd have no interest in such breeders. Not all CH dogs are being bred that much producing dozens of litters. My dog sired 1 litter, the other 2 litters. I'm looking at breeding to a top ranked dog who has sired 3 litters and he's a senior dog.

As well producing a lot of offspring isn't the samething as inbreeding. Though popular popular sites can have a detrimental effect on the gene pool. It's not INBREEDING.

Very few dogs are from a long line of mutts I think. Most are from intentional or accidental crosses. Some might have 3 or 4 breeds but there are a bunch of crosses.

Of course it is very fancy to hear that reputable breeders health check their dogs, but I suspect that these tests are not designed to track genetic markers, rather they appear to state that the dogs were healthy when the test was performed. In other words, they are not guarantee of a healthy dog.
It depends on the test. There are many test for genetic markers. So you are wrong, more are being developed.

Some test only test phenotype but which is more likely to produce hip dysplasia a dog that test good and has produced good or a byb untested dog which unknown to them has mild HD?

Can anyone please clarify why should I prefer to pay thousands to a "reputable" breeder, rather than say, buy it from a responsible owner that decided to breed his or her dog (a responsible backyard breeder)?
P.S. I am talking about pets not working, herding or sporting dogs.
Can't tell you, its your $. But you seem to be under the impression that reputable breeders charge a lot of money. Thousands? You can get a pet from a reputable breeder for a lot less. Yet some byb and pet stores charge 1,000 or more.

I think the reason would be the byb doesn't have less chance of health problems, could likrly have a higher risk. Temperament is also important. As is breeder support, its nice to have.
 

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wow maybe I am in the minority here but I see a lot of otherwise good breeders trying to dumb down temperament (speaking of working breeds) to make better pets as opposed to keeping the temperament traits what they should be...

I also notice tones and tones of nerve and confidence issues in dogs period, which is clearly genetic. If breeders were breeding for dogs with strong nerves and high confidence we wouldn't see a lot of the common issues that we see in dogs IMO anyways.
 

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Completely agree with you luckysarah! I don't personally know any breeders doing this, but I hear alot from people who think "malinois are crazy" or that's not "stable". Yes compared to most pet dogs, even most other working breeds, mals are super ugh drive, fast thinkers, and reactive dogs. That is what makes them excell in almost any venue! Temperament is very important, but these dogs are not golden retrievers, or little lap dogs.

I see so many German shepherds that have lost the working ability to make just family pets. :(
 

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OK, question: if most dogs are household pets (and in the U.S. most are), what SHOULD breeders be breeding for? Should people who want pets stick to little Shih Tzus or something? That would be fairly awful (no offense to Shih Tzus, but not everybody wants a tiny fluff). There aren't many homes who want (or can handle) a working-bred dog.

But, more on topic, if breeders are toning down their breed, that obviously means they DO have a pretty good grasp on genetics. They understand it well enough to pick milder dogs for breeding anyway.
 

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I put my money where my mouth is.

I didn't want to support someone who decided to randomly breed their dogs. I chose a breeder who put time, money, and thought into creating a litter with the intention of bettering the breed. Specific health tests on the parents was one of my criteria, but not the only one.

Isn't it reasonable to assume that someone who goes to the trouble of testing both parents is more likely to put significant effort (i.e. proper nutrition, vet care, socialization, etc.) into a litter when they're on the ground?

Also, what do you mean by "responsible backyard breeder"?
 

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breeders should breed for the BREED and not for what the public would prefer....

If you have a working breed the breed needs to be able to work well in its chosen field... I have 2 working dogs, they are house pets most of the time, we work and train/compete mostly on the weekends and they are awesome dogs, very solid, they are drivy when i need it but can be calm also when the situation calls for it... they need more for sure then your "average" companion type breed but its so worth it lol.

and if you just want a companion there are lots of breeds of all shapes and sizes that fit that bill as well...
 

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OK, question: if most dogs are household pets (and in the U.S. most are), what SHOULD breeders be breeding for? Should people who want pets stick to little Shih Tzus or something? That would be fairly awful (no offense to Shih Tzus, but not everybody wants a tiny fluff). There aren't many homes who want (or can handle) a working-bred dog.

But, more on topic, if breeders are toning down their breed, that obviously means they DO have a pretty good grasp on genetics. They understand it well enough to pick milder dogs for breeding anyway.
There are so many pet dogs to chose from, why would you take a working dog and breed it down, so someone can have something that "looks cool"? Then they wonder why the dog causes so much trouble. The dog suffers.

I never understood why any breeder would try to take the traits out of a breed, to make it a couch potato. If you don't like what the breed is supposed to be find another. Why exaggerate things, or take away things, at the cost of the dog?
 
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