Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Victoria, Australia
I was over on a dog forum this morning (I think it's affiliated/linked to from this forum) and there were people asking about what sort of flack those with purebred dogs get from other owners and I was surprised by how many said they had.
We own three purebred German Shepherds and no one has ever reproached me about my decision to purchase a puppy from a breeder while dogs languish in shelters. I suppose this may be because everyone is too busy trying to run away from our dogs to get too close.
What I don't understand with the anti-breeding crowd is that it is rare for dogs from a good breeder to end up on death row at the pound. Most have a safety net and while some do fall through the cracks, the best breeders actively help in the re-homing process and may even take dogs back themselves. Pounds are usually full of the products of backyard breeding. While some dogs in there may be 'purebred', I doubt they come from reputable breeding programs. Most of these are without papers, and seem to come from puppy farms or BYBs. I see it all the time, families who have two 'great' dogs and just want to breed them. Then the resulting puppies either get dumped off at the pound because no one wants them (funny how all those friends and relatives who tell you they want a puppy when the dog is pregnant suddenly vanish) or are purchased by people because they want a cute puppy and once that phase is over, they find themselves on Gumtree looking for a new home.
Therefore, why would I go to the pound and want to adopt someone else's mistake?
I mean a lot of breeds are simply notorious for bad hips. Good breeders screen their breeding stock and try to minimise the risk of this disease, but even that isn't foolproof. I mean one of ours is from a pedigree full of great hip scores, her siblings had excellent scores, and she has hip dysplasia. Why would I want to take the chance on a cross-breed that has had no screening, no health checks and could be carrying any plethora of genetic diseases? People always espouse 'hybrid vigor' (most commonly breeders of so called 'designer dogs'), but it is possible that you can end up with a dog that gets the worst of both worlds. Being a mutt is not going to magically save it from bad elbows and bad elbows.
I know because growing up we had a mutt that had terrible problems with her hind end and it was eventually what led to her death.
I've never had anyone tell me I was cruel for breeding fish. This is probably because many of the species I keep are highly endangered, and also because they would get an earful from me.
I personally do have issues with people throwing together two bettas with no forethought and no prior research on things like quality and marketability. If you want to breed, do it responsibly. Dogs can end up in bad places, but there are laws that help to prevent that. Fish routinely end up in worse places, and no one gives them more than a passing thought. Why bring a whole spawn of bettas into this world if their only future is a cold cup on a fish store shelf because you had no other options for homes?