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How dogs are NOT livestock

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by RiverOtter, Nov 20, 2010.

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  1. RiverOtter

    RiverOtter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, everytime dog breeding gets brought up, someone brings up the same old flame "Well, everyone here breeds chickens/rabbits/turkeys/blah blah blah so just shut up about having a litter of dogs."

    I breed chickens. I breed rabbits. I don't breed dogs.
    I eat chickens. I eat rabbits. I don't eat dogs.

    I don't really sell chickens for pets. I do sell rabbits for pets. If I sell a rabbit to a nationally known rabbit breeder, it will live in a cage and get water and pellets and maybe hay and a chew stick.
    If I sell a rabbit to the little kid down the block, it will live in a cage and get water and pellets and maybe hay and a chew stick.
    There's not a huge difference in quality of life for the rabbit - is there?
    If I don't care who I sell a puppy too - this highly social, active animal may have a lovely life and be trained (which is learning how to communicate) and exercised and groomed or it may end up on a tie out or kennel in someone's backyard with food given to it once a day. HUGE quality of life difference.

    I can breed chickens or potbelly pigs or hamsters or guinea pigs or bunnies or budgies in a shed in my backyard and they'll be just as likely to make good pets as if I had them in my bedroom.

    This is not true with dogs.
    Dogs are predators. With fangs capable of great destruction and complex social system, that sleeps on my child's - my precious, precious child's - bed at night. Those fangs and the mind behind them will spend their life In My House right up tight and interacting daily with me and my children and they will be trusted to not only not destroy my home and possessions but even protect them.
    I don't want an animal like that raised carelessly in any way. I don't care if they're little dogs. They can still rip a big chunk out of my baby or do quite a bit of household destruction. I want to stack the odds of this being a good experience and I want to stack them just as high as I possibly can.

    Now this is just my personal opinion - but I really don't feel the "but you breed rabbits" argument to stack in favor of breeding a litter of pups without lots and lots and lots of knowledge to be a logical argument at all.
     
  2. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    California
    I do agree with your 'rabbit vs dog' breeding analogy. Dogs are very different from other animals and not really comparable in those terms. Not to mention most dogs live far longer than other animals, usually require more vat care and upkeep, and need dedicated training. Not to mention the average cost of feeding a dog and a rabbit are far different.

    But, I dont think every person is wrong for breeding. I do think breeding should be left to people who are professional and not doing it for profit. I dont think any person should breed ANY dog (or cat for that matter) if they do not have a guaranteed home for any resulting babies. I have a feeling anyone who breeds purely for profit wont care for our opinions though, [​IMG]
     
  3. RiverOtter

    RiverOtter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, sweetie, I am in no way against the responsible breeding of dogs!
    I also firmly believe that there are people who are fully capable of being responsible breeders and only have one litter from one female. In fact, I am thinking of doing so myself.

    Here's the difference - I have not looked at my dogs (whom I love dearly) and said "They are so wonderful I need to have a litter." and then made whatever excuses made me feel good about proceeding. Instead, I have researched breeds and breeders for years, not only breeds I love, but those that will amke a good fit for my family (I adore working bred BC's. Living with one would make my DH twitch) I may get a puppy from an anticipated breeding next year and I WILL spend lots and lots of time and money training and trialing and doing health tests so that years later I might have a litter.

    Because I feel there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. And deciding once you love your dog is the wrong way. We all love our dogs, it's why we keep them. But it shouldn't be why we have a litter.
     
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I do think breeding should be left to people who are professional and not doing it for profit.

    Any professional breeder who claims they aren't making any money is either a bad business person or a complete liar. No, they aren't getting wealthy most likely, but they have to have money coming in from somewhere and most of us can't afford to lose money at our business.

    I breed ducks. Mainly for personal egg production, but I get the most money from duckling sales. Duckling sales pays for feed for the whole year. No, I am not rich and this isn't my primary business, but between eggs and ducklings I do come out a bit ahead. I am definitely benefiting.

    I have an issue with those who claim some moral high ground as their excuse to breed animals while trying to berate others for doing the same.​
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  5. BlacksheepCardigans

    BlacksheepCardigans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southeast NH
    Quote:That's the whole point of the discussion - dog breeding is impossible to do correctly and make money at. I don't mean "undesirable" or "morally iffy," I mean physically impossible.

    We're poor as mice; trust me that I would LOVE to be able to breed dogs responsibly and have even a tiny bit of money coming in. Doesn't work. Since you must prove the worth of each and every dog before breeding it, whether that's a conformation title or a hunting title or a field title (and you're going to reject a ton along the way), and because you must health test, and because you must stand behind the puppies, you cannot make money at it.

    It would be like if eight of every ten ducks was culled, then you had to spend $500 showing each remaining duck, then you had to promise to take back any duckling that ever needed a home ever again, and you still only got $10 for each duckling. The math is completely upside-down, every time.

    The huge difference between breeding dogs and breeding livestock is that dogs are not production animals. You can't cull them and you can't eat them and you can't tell anyone else to deal with their own problems if they bought a puppy from you and things go bad. Doing ducks "right" means you make money. Doing dogs right means you lose a TON.
     
  6. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Whether or not a person profits from a litter has no bearing on if they are ethical or not. An ethical breeder can keep their dogs well housed and fed and cared for, either in their home or kennelled, and have a profitable litter. The same dog, same breeder, same home, next year, may need a C-section, and puppies might need to be in intensive care for a week or so, and the breeder may lose money on that litter. Were they ethical the first time, and unethical the second time, or vice versa? Another breeder might have a nice dog, breed it, raise up the puppies and sell them for $25 each. Are they more "ethical" because the lost money? Anyhow, they lost money and sell the mama dog. Next owner breeds the same mama dog, sells the puppies for $850 each, making a profit. Does that make the second breeder unethical?
     
  7. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Quote:That's the whole point of the discussion - dog breeding is impossible to do correctly and make money at. I don't mean "undesirable" or "morally iffy," I mean physically impossible.

    We're poor as mice; trust me that I would LOVE to be able to breed dogs responsibly and have even a tiny bit of money coming in. Doesn't work. Since you must prove the worth of each and every dog before breeding it, whether that's a conformation title or a hunting title or a field title (and you're going to reject a ton along the way), and because you must health test, and because you must stand behind the puppies, you cannot make money at it.

    It would be like if eight of every ten ducks was culled, then you had to spend $500 showing each remaining duck, then you had to promise to take back any duckling that ever needed a home ever again, and you still only got $10 for each duckling. The math is completely upside-down, every time.

    The huge difference between breeding dogs and breeding livestock is that dogs are not production animals. You can't cull them and you can't eat them and you can't tell anyone else to deal with their own problems if they bought a puppy from you and things go bad. Doing ducks "right" means you make money. Doing dogs right means you lose a TON.

    Show breeders are those that mostly care for show records. The other 99% of Americans don't care. You can tell if a dog is healthy. Screen it. Get the hips x-rayed, have a vet do a workup. Screen for known genetic defects, recessive genes. May have to test breed for recessive genes that are not tested for. Might have to euthanize some puppies if your dogs are carriers. After you have established your dogs are healthy, and have the temperament suitable for your buyer, and that you have access to buyers that will pay the price you want, learn to market your dogs, find those qualified buyers and breed dogs, make money. EVERYONE who breeds dogs "donates a kidney" at first (spends an arm and a leg to get good dogs, from proven lines, that produce equally good quality dogs) You will likely lose money the first litter, or the first few years even. Over time you will refine your breeding stock, marketing practices and dog raising skills so you don't have expensive problems popping up that cut your profit. Takes time and a LOT of HARD WORK and heartbreaking decisions sometimes, because you buy breeding stock from "top breeders" that end up useless to you as a breeder, for whatever reason, or don't produce dogs you are proud of.

    There's money in dogs. There's a LOT of work to get it. It can be a gamble of sorts. The higher risk odds you give yourself, the worse your outcome will likely be.

    Edit to add, Ignorance is NOT bliss when it comes to dog breeding. The opposite of that is.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  8. BlacksheepCardigans

    BlacksheepCardigans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Like I said, it's not profit = unethical. It's that profit = impossible.

    It's the raw-materials and investment costs that kill you. Each dog consumes five to ten thousand dollars worth of training/showing/titling before you even put tab A into slot B. Stud fees are up around a thousand or more. C-sections are over a thousand. Costs about two thousand to get the puppies to eight weeks. And then you're on the hook for them their entire lives.

    If you skip any of those steps, you're not doing it right. You can, if you skip them, make money, but you've made a bad breeding decision. Someone coming to you looking for a Pointer puppy deserves one that will hunt - that means the parents not only hunt but hunt well and have proved it to the peer group. If you haven't proved it, you can't advertise hunting puppies. Ditto with obedient Goldens or herding BCs or show-bred dogs of any breed.

    Nobody - NOBODY - should be breeding "for pets." It's just flat-out wrong to ask tons of money for a puppy who is no different than they could get by going to the local shelter. If all someone wants is a cute happy dog, and they don't care about it looking or acting like an actual breed, there are hundreds of thousands of puppies out there that need them. If the owners need something that looks and acts like a particular breed, they deserve a seller who make sure that's what they'll receive - which means sinking those thousands of dollars into each parent dog.
     
  9. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

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    There was a local woman who used to raise Weimaraners, the poor female would have 2 litters a year--big litters too. And she would charge $1000 for each puppy. That's how she made her money and lived was off this poor dog. One day the heat lamp in the barn fell and caught fire ....

    Since she "lived" off this income, I highly doubt she was seeking vet care. I don't know if the dog was ever shown or not.
     
  10. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    California
    Quote:Any professional breeder who claims they aren't making any money is either a bad business person or a complete liar. No, they aren't getting wealthy most likely, but they have to have money coming in from somewhere and most of us can't afford to lose money at our business.

    I breed ducks. Mainly for personal egg production, but I get the most money from duckling sales. Duckling sales pays for feed for the whole year. No, I am not rich and this isn't my primary business, but between eggs and ducklings I do come out a bit ahead. I am definitely benefiting.

    I have an issue with those who claim some moral high ground as their excuse to breed animals while trying to berate others for doing the same.

    Dogs and ducks are waaaayy different. In temrs of longevity, feed consumed, cost of vet care, possible testing to genetic defects and the fact that its far easier to 'dispose' of a duck that is undesireable than a dog. A dog with the wrong color eyes is not worthless, just worthless as a breeder or show dog- does that mean this loving animal deserves to die? A duck at least can be eaten or lay eating eggs if it is genetically undesirable.

    I dont know what you mean when you say, 'High moral ground'. Do you mean a show-breeder who has invested thousands to improve his/her breed and is selling a very high quality show dog, or do you mean just your average BY breeder who got some cheap papered dogs who is now breeding just beacuse they can, while they tell others not to?
     
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