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Discussion Starter #1
Option A: Breeds therapy dogs, does not show and does not belong to any of the typical breed clubs because she feels strongly that they prioritize show qualities over health. Puppies come with all health checks appropriate to this breed, a five year genetic health guarantee, and microchipped. HOWEVER, she has not one but TWO litters available (born within 3 weeks of each other), and when I google it looks like two other breeds of dog are also available from this farm. Puppy mill??? I'll check it out, but I want some sense of certainty before driving 3.5 hours and getting my daughter excited over puppies. She got very defensive when I said I wanted a particular color and gender, as though I shouldn't care.

Option B: Breeds dogs for show, openly admits that her litters are geared toward producing a show dog that she can keep and the others are sold as pets. Repeatedly referenced appearances (speaking negatively of someone else breeding primarily for temperament "so I asked why not breed for the total package---including looks?"). Personally, I do not care about looks, I care about health and temperament. However, she was referred to me by a breed club and does not appear to be running anything akin to a puppy mill and she does offer the typical health checks etc as well.

Which would you choose?
 

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Well we know that Option A is bad. And someone who openly declares that they don't give a crap about health or temperament is also bad. Is there some reason why these are the only choices? I say neither.
 

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Did you ever find out if Option A does all the health testing? I know that JohnnyBandit couldn't find anything on her dogs. Were you able to find anything? Some breeders prefer to have 2 litters close together, in case one of the mothers can't nurse, they have an automatic surrogate, so that alone wouldn't put me off as long as everything else was OK. The fact that she has so many breeds/mixes concerns me, though. That just sounds iffy.

Option B sounds like a jerk. . .but have you met her dogs? Are they nice, stable pets? She may not be breeding for temperment but maybe her dogs are nice anyway. If she does all the proper testing and is otherwise ethical, it might be worth puttting up with her long enough to buy a puppy.

I agree that if there are any Option Cs or Ds, that would be preferable.
 

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Option A sounded very much like a puppy mill; it wasn't just 2 litters close together, it was 4-5 breeds and breed mixes available to purchase on NextDayPets and other known puppy broker type sites, purposefully breeding extra-small (out of standard) "teacup" dogs and no apparent regard for planned breeding as she was selling a male because he was a "breeding machine" and her other male of that breed wasn't "getting a chance to breed my females"

Option B sounds at least like she has a plan to her breeding program and goals even if you don't agree with her goals. But since that isn't what you are looking for, why aim to get a dog from her?

Option C .... yep, that's a good option :)
 

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Personally I would choose neither and go searching for more options till I found the right fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OP here --- whoa, I'm not sure what post some of you are responding to, where did I say 4-5 breeds and NextDayPets? Nor did I say that Option B doesn't care about temperament.

Allow me to rephrase the question. Both breeders pass the initial criteria that they perform the necessary health checks and they are scrutinizing the buyer as I would expect. However, that doesn't mean they are necessarily responsible breeders and I'm trying to discern whether they are.

Option B's legitimacy is coming mainly from being "known", i.e. I was referred to her by a breed club; but that breed club is made up of show dog people who of course all know each other. Are people who breed dogs specifically for showing, thereby prioritizing the breed standard above all else, necessarily responsibly breeding healthy dogs (as opposed to people who breed for other reasons, such as therapy dogs)? She certainly does care about temperament, but her aim is a dog whose temperament will be suitable *in the show ring*, and not necessarily as a family pet. I'm sure she cares about her dogs and takes good care of them, but I wonder if there are better criteria for producing a healthy pet then the ones AKC put out there?

Option A --- so is the consensus that this is a puppy mill, or is it possible for a responsible breeder to have multiple litters? This is what she said about it: "When females run together in large fenced in areas one brings another into season so I typically always have my litters 2 to 3 weeks apart and then none for several months from a different set of ladies". Maybe I'd buy that, but when I google Blessed Acres Farm Virginia, I'm also seeing King Charles Spaniels and something called a Maltizu ("designer" breed??). But, this certainly doesn't sound like a heartless kennel: "The pups are raised in a custom designed cottage with climate control its like a little vacation cottage so I can begin potty training. I used to raise them in my kitchen but this is much healthier for the pups and happier for my clients it gives them an entire room to call their own. Pups are handled by children and adults more than just our family and have mild exposure to goats, horses and a cat all prior to leaving."
 

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OP here --- whoa, I'm not sure what post some of you are responding to, where did I say 4-5 breeds and NextDayPets? Nor did I say that Option B doesn't care about temperament.
In your other thread asking about the breeder A (Blessed Acres Farm), I googled them and found what I was referring to above: many breeds, broker websites etc.

NextDayPets Blessed Acres For Sale
Shih Tzu stud for sale
14 month Collie stud for sale, not housebroken
Tea Cup Shih Tzu with focus on breeding for rare colors

The collie I noted because if the breeder is starting her puppies on potty training in these "cottages" then why would she have a 14 month old dog of her own that she was considering using in her breeding program that isn't housetrained? I wonder what his living situation/conditions are....
As for the tea cup shih tzu, in general, breeding already small breeds smaller with the intention of selling them as "tea cup" or other cute names for tiny tends to lends to genetic problems, health issues and breeding which ignores other desirable traits in order to breed for unusual size.
 

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Option B sounds better. You may not have liked her phrasing, but good breeders are out to better their breed, and so they are breeding two dogs together with the purpose of (hopefully) getting a puppy that's better than either parent. They are going to keep that best puppy for their program; that's just good breeding practices. It's like my papillon's breeder once said to me: "The world is not short of pets. I think the purpose of breeding is to be protecting the species from morphing... to maintain its genetics, health, purpose and integrity. By breeding the best to the best to always be improving or maintaining the breed. Pets are a by-product." I'd ask option B to sum up her breeding philosophy for you; she may just have used clumsy phrasing when accusing someone else of breeding only for temperament (perhaps she meant that they are breeding structurally unsound dogs just because they're the friendliest? Who knows).
 

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Option B's legitimacy is coming mainly from being "known", i.e. I was referred to her by a breed club; but that breed club is made up of show dog people who of course all know each other. Are people who breed dogs specifically for showing, thereby prioritizing the breed standard above all else, necessarily responsibly breeding healthy dogs (as opposed to people who breed for other reasons, such as therapy dogs)? She certainly does care about temperament, but her aim is a dog whose temperament will be suitable *in the show ring*, and not necessarily as a family pet. I'm sure she cares about her dogs and takes good care of them, but I wonder if there are better criteria for producing a healthy pet then the ones AKC put out there?"
What makes you think that a suitable show dog isn't also a good family pet? Nearly all of the show dogs I know are wonderful, loved pets. They do well in the show ring partly because they are well-socialized with people (and other dogs), and because they aren't easily rattled. Also, the breed standard contains everything about how a dog should be, structurally, temperamentally, in color and markings, etc. The standard calls for the total package. Why would it be wrong to prioritize that?

My papillon started out as a show dog; she was trained for show and earned four points in the ring before she grew more and got too tall. I bought her from the breeder and ended up with a lovely pet -- already loose-leash trained (from ring training), unflappable even around unpredictable small children (thanks to the breeder socializing her), wonderful at vet appointments (because she'd been trained to stand for judge exam). There is absolutely nothing about being a show dog that would make a dog unsuitable as a pet.
 

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Are people who breed dogs specifically for showing, thereby prioritizing the breed standard above all else, necessarily responsibly breeding healthy dogs (as opposed to people who breed for other reasons, such as therapy dogs)? She certainly does care about temperament, but her aim is a dog whose temperament will be suitable *in the show ring*, and not necessarily as a family pet. I'm sure she cares about her dogs and takes good care of them, but I wonder if there are better criteria for producing a healthy pet then the ones AKC put out there?
The breed standards are standards for a reason. They are there to promote sound, healthy and temperamentally fit dogs. If you don't care about a dog being bred to breed standards, there are many wonderful collies and goldens (and many other breeds, those are just the ones you've been asking about) available in rescue. Many of those in rescue are actually quite well trained and healthy, you just don't get the benefit of known genetics--- which you also do NOT get if you buy from a backyard breeder or anyone breeding without careful planning and genetic testing and physical health testing.

Show dogs come in many forms and while there are some breeds which have "show lines" and "working lines" with different traits more desirable in each line, overall, show dogs are expected to have basically all the qualities that make for great pets.
(And there are "show" dogs which aren't even purebreds or breeding dogs but who are competing in rally, obedience, agility etc; heck, Chester is AKC registered even :) )
 

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option B is "better" but I still would not touch her. I would also say neither.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Shell----kudos on the sleuthing! You're right...why would she be selling a 14-month-old "stud" that isn't housebroken...gosh, the collies I've had took to housetraining with no issue at all. I could see if she were helping find a home for an older dog with issues, but then she wouldn't be selling him intact ("stud"!). Definitely fishy. And thank you for explaining about the "tea cup" breeds (is this the whole Paris Hilton thing? Dog as purse accessory?). Ok, well that settles that issue. Too bad, she was talking the right talk, and I was really hoping she just had an active therapy dog farm.

Crantastic---you're right. I think I'll take a drive out there, see how she keeps her dogs, and talk to her more about breeding for show versus breeding for health or pet disposition. I guess it does make sense that most good breeders are probably breed enthusiasts (who thereby show). As the one I got my first dog from said, "You do this for the love of it. Anyone making money off it isn't doing it right".
 

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If you went to visit my papillon's breeder, you'd walk into her house and be mobbed by wagging show dogs who wanted you to pat them and then throw a ball! There's no way you'd think of them as unsuitable pets after that. :)





Definitely go meet the breeder and the dogs. Some people make a much more favorable impression in person, and her dogs, like those papillons, will also speak for themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the encouragement. I was just worried it would be all about working toward a dog that looks a certain way as opposed to the healthiest dog possible. And being in a show ring is totally different from playing ball in the backyard :) But you make excellent points. I'll check it out. I'm just upset that the other lady seemed so great...thank goodness for google.
 

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Some breeders do care just about looks, but you said that this one also does the proper health testing, so that's encouraging. You also said that she cares about temperament -- you thought that show temperament and pet temperament are somehow different, but they're not, really. The same qualities make a dog successful in each place. I think you will learn a lot more and be better able to make a decision once you meet her and her dogs. Good luck! :)
 

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Is Option A the same Breeder that you had on the other thread? If so.... She is not good.... I found very little on her and pointed out holes in things she said right on her website.

Option B....
 

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Yes, Laura Collins of Blessed Acres collies in Virginia. She seemed very discerning of who she would sell to and offered the health testing/ophthalmologist testing I would expect, and she was fine with me coming to visit before putting down any kind of a deposit. Everything would have sounded fine, until I started realizing just how many dogs she's breeding at once (2 collie litters in the same month, at least three other breeds on the same farm, in addition to breeding horses). If her focus is therapy dogs, it would make sense that the Collie Club of America people wouldn't know her to refer me. She went on to say she's anti CCA because they are "pro CEA" which I took to mean that she objects to people who breed for show without making genetic disease a number one priority. But yeah, Option A is too fishy for me to even take a chance with.
 

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Following up to thank everyone for warning me about Blessed Acres. When I responded with my concerns that she had multiple collie litters in addition to King Charles Spaniels, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, and Maltese crosses (Maltipom/Maltizu), this was her response, which entirely confirms to me that she's just running a puppy mill and isn't interested in anyone questioning her about it (I was not rude with my questions):

No I only breed Collies and MalShi

I haven't had Poms or Cavaliers in years but those things never leave the internet

But I think it would be best for you to move on

Thanks, Laura

*One more note...it takes such a commitment to really know a breed, care for several generations and nurture the line, that it has to be a labor of love. So how does it make sense that she's chronically changing the breeds she's raising?
 
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