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03/24/2011

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Polarmist1

Thank you Dr. Greer, you have come closer to describing us dedicated dog breeders more than anyone else has. People need to read this type of information and not just here all the negative lies put out there by the AR's.

Everyone who loves their pets and can't imagine life without them needs to have this information before they wake up one day and find out that is no longer an option? Because the lies and half truths have made it impossible for responsible persons to who truly love their animals can no longer breed them. Just because a minority of fanatics believe humans are not good enough to own pets and make them a part of their lives, so they lie and manipulate legislators into believing that all animals need to be protected from humans. Anyway, great article and thank you.

Tina Thomas Batchelor, RVT

Thank you Dr. Greer for your eloquent and truthful response. I unsubscribed from Dr. Khuly's blog/website after she posted that topic, but there was unfortunately no way to let her know WHY I was unsubscribing. Perhaps she needs an email with your very enlightening reply attached.
(Oh. P. S. By the way, not only am I a dog breeder, I am a licensed Veterinary Technician.)
Tina Thomas Batchelor, RVT
Proud to be a licensed Veterinary Technician and an AKC Dog Breeder of Merit in North Carolina
Belle Aire Dalmatians
Belle Creek Boykin Spaniels

Larkinvonalt

Brilliant! Many thanks for such a well-thought out and eloquent piece.

Larkin Vonalt
Redchief Foxhounds

Diane Richardson

Thank you
Diane Richardson
Frontier Rottweilers
(and previously Shiba Inu)

Laura Sanborn

Excellent article Dr. Greer.

Apparently Dr. K and Dr Greer have very different experiences with dog breeders. I wonder how much of it can be explained by the rather different attitudes that these two veterinarians have about breeders.

Dr. Greer clearly projects respect for dog breeders.

Dr. K projects the opposite, disrespect and condemnation. Perhaps Dr. K has unknowingly driven most of the more thoughtful dog breeders away from her practice.

While I'm not a breeder, I have stopped using the services of veterinarians who convey disrespect to me. There's no reason to waste time with a veterinarian who doesn't treat me as an intelligent partner in the care of my dogs. Thankfully, I've found that most veterinarians are wonderful to work with.

Sue Fregien

There are plenty of vets out there who have disdain for breeders, and it definitely shows sometimes. These vets are either terribly close-minded or have had multiple poor experiences with less than reputable breeders - but to say less than 10% of breeders suck is ignorant, arrogant, and close-minded. Thank god for vets like Dr Greer!

I am a breeder and have had the privilege to work with Dr Greer so I know the respect she has for breeders - and let me tell you, it is definitely mutual. Her whole practice and staff shows respect and care for all of their clients. The breeders in this area all know they will be treated well and will travel quite impressive distances sometimes to get that good care. Thanks to Dr Greer for showing us the respect we deserve.

Jes

Well written and incredibly true!

Lynn Turriff

Great piece! Thank you!

I didn't unsub to Dr. Khuly, but I did leave a post on her page. I suspect that she and my vet are soul mates. My vet refers out even brucellosis screens; what conscientious breeder would go to her? So, like Dr. Khuly, if she sees breeders at all, they are the chaff.

I'd like to find a vet who at least doesn't see intact dogs as some sort of anomaly; but in this area, your choice is vets who sterilize everything in infancy, or 40+ miles to a repro specialist. That's not practical. I'm pretty sure the only reason my vet tolerates me is that I don't breed, but I can see her biting her tongue and sharpening her scalpels every time she sees one of my dogs.

I'll tell you what though - if I hear again that one of mine is 'underweight', I'll probably have to find someone else. She used to have posters all over about obese pets, (gone now in favor of Merial posters for HeartGard), but I suspect that she sees so many obese, sterile dogs she's forgotten how a normal weight dog looks.

It's looking worse for pet owners every day, unless they subscribe to the single sterile fluffy little white model, preferably a crossbred 'rescue'.

It all makes me very, very nervous.

Tracey Johnston

Fabulous response Marty! Thank you so much for writing this.

P.Mosi

I am sure you like the breeders that you work with, because they are the good responsible breeders. But you don't see the bad breeders, and that is because they do not take their dogs and puppies to the vet. All they do is produce puppies and sell them. You do not see the puppy mills that have hundreds of dogs in small cages, row after row. These dogs have never been seen by a vet.

I also know a lot of good responsible breeders and many are close friends. Those should be promoted. But the others who do not meet basic standards need to be shut down. These bad greedy breeders have given all breeders a bad name. That needs to change.

People need to know that there is a big difference between responsible breeders and backyard breeders who care about nothing but making money. Or puppy mills that are there to make a huge profit at the expense of the wellbeing of the animals they have.

Sheila Kessler

Thank you Dr.Greer for a thoughtful response. Thankfully there are vets like you out there willing to assist breeders with a calculated and careful breeding program.

LoverOfAussieDogs

What gets me is that a 'breeder' seems to be classified as 'anyone who lets or puts two dogs together and gets a litter'. Many of these people are ordinary pet owners who want a litter, whether the dogs are suitable candidates to be bred or not. So if this is the type of 'breeder' Dr K is referring to, I would have to agree - they suck. (I do need to look up the article and read it, tho!)
This article is priceless and needs to get out to our local lawmakers.

Ruth Alrick

What I don't follow in the aforementioned blogs is why "breeders" are blamed totally but no one mentions irresponsible pet owners. If people quit buying dogs without clearances and that came from good loving home situations, there would be very few animals in shelters or rescues. Why, because the "good breeders" are there for help and will take back dogs with issues or if people can't keep them any longer. We do not have a pet "overpopulation" problem, we have an owner-retention problem. The laws that require licensing of pets need to demand annual licensing of all dogs, with penalties for non-licensing, but also for those who are repeat relinquishers or that require licensing but refuse new licenses to those who relinquish and then get a new pet. I know it's not a solution because John
Q pet owner would just let them go instead of relinquishing, but if there were no market for random-purchasing of pups then there would be no need for breeder bashing because the bad breeders would be out of business due to lack of interest.
If everyone suddenly quit buying chicken and eggs, then chicken farmers would go out of business. if everyone quit buying dogs raised in abhorrent conditions, then it would no longer be profitable to raise dogs. Leave it to the people who want to raise outstanding specimens of their breed.

Peri Norman

Thank you so much for conveying what is in my heart and home!

Verjean Lunenschloss

Amen, and thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Verjean Lunenschloss
Lunendogs

Dogteacher

Thank you Dr. Greer! I am a trainer, not a breeder. Dr. K is truly missing countless opportunities to make lives better for dogs. That is a shame. As a trainer, it would be very easy for me to get on my high horse and criticize the people who come to me with out of control dogs - tsk tsk tsk, says the common scold. Common scolds do not get much accomplished, although they themselves may feel smug. I would soon run out of clients, particularly if I not only disrespected them in person, but wrote all over the internet about how 'sucky' the average dog owner is. Good trainers are offered hundreds of opportunities to improve lives for people AND dogs, and go figure, whole families learn something about dog behavior that is with them forever. A client who breeds, no matter their experience and motive, is a vet's opportunity, not a burden. A blessing. People who are well intentioned, but have little knowledge of dogs or breeding, are a clean slate. Why embarrass them, shame them, call them names because they are not 'experts'. Yet.

I have seen many many people work their butts off training a dog that may not be an ideal specimen, but during all that work, the knowledgeable trainer has the chance to give them an appreciation for something that they didn't understand at first - dogs are not all the same 'quality'. Instead of breeding their pet, these people are more likely to decide to research breeders, pedigrees, breed types and instincts, including mixed breeds, who cares, they are much smarter at the end of a session than when they came in. Not everyone makes this leap, but enough do to make it worthwhile to do our best and respect everyone's choice.

Roberta M. Gilson, Magicstar

Marty, Your message in response to Dr. Khuly is so thoughtful and well written. As one of your standard poodle breeder clients, I thank you for speaking out so eloquently on behalf of breeders and the pet owning public. Our real problem is not with each other, but with the organizations who are striving to deny our rights to breed and own any kind of pet.

Lotta D

Excellent article on breeders!
What I found funny in the orignal blog was the comment that the majority of dogs in this country were bred by high volume breeders which is totally incorrect. The majority of purebred dogs are bred by people who have one or two litters and then quit breeding, most likely because the hard work isn't worth it to them. I guess the big lie still works in today's world of internet communications.
I mean if you are going to rant you might want to start with actual facts IMO.
Given that at a minimum 75% of dogs in shelters are mixes (based on shelter statistics and IMO higher than that if you actually look at the dogs) that means most dogs are produced by people who don't even think they are breeders. They just think they are people who's pet had pups...
As for that original blog - well I dare say I know why that vet doesn't see many good breeders - we dog lovers tend to avoid vets like that leaving only the owners who know no better to become clients.


Alison Smith

The following is an excerpt form a blog for breeders on this very subject that I began several months ago. I am developing an education and certification program that i hope will allow ethical breeders of any kind of dog to set themsekves apart from the unscrupulous. There is a place for educated, ethical breeders in the pet world and I hope to encourage breeders to see themselves as guardians of the domestic pet dog.
"I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, in the past few years, about how hobby breeders ( of which I am one) can have more of a role in addressing the problems that threaten the domestic pet dog. It seems to me that in spite of all the energy, time, money and commitment the majority of us put into doing this breeding thing “the right way”, the perception the public has of us continues to erode. We are increasingly being painted with the same brush as puppy mills and the likes of Michael Vicks. We are alternately puppy factories and dog show snobs. I had seen t-shirts declaring that “mean people breed dogs”and “screw dog breeders”, but when I stumbled across a ” Save a shelter dog, euthanize a breeder” bumper sticker, I knew I needed to act ( or at least write!)
The dog world is made up of many factions and we are being pitted against each other. Rescue vs. breeders. Working vs. companion.This is not productive. It just serves to polarize us further. We all have important roles and responsibilities in the stewardship of the domestic dog and I believe we all would benefit from opening our minds to growth and change and each other.
So, I hope to use this blog to explore ways we can redefine our roles as dog breeders, improve our image and connection to the public and do our bit – even better. In what ways does the current framework for “good” breeding help or hinder the public’s perception of us? What can we do to distinguish ourselves from unethical breeders that does not separate us from our roles as potentially ideal breeders of pets? How can we better engage, communicate with and support new puppy owners to help insure they have a successful experience?
I invite constructive commentary, links, ideas and critiques from all corners of the dog world.

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