Breeding dogs inherited a very bad reputation — mostly because of irresponsible breeders! Yet, a lot of dog breeders are full of love and happy to give all the time, money and care that are required to breed dogs ethically. Here are the top reasons why dog breeding is good.
There is no miracle in dog breeding. On one hand, if it is performed by somebody smart and willing to learn, then the activity will be done properly. Such breeders produce champions, or at least, healthy dogs with great temperaments. On the other hand, if the breeder is profit-obsessed and happy to cut corners on his dogs’ health, the resulting litters of puppies will encounter issues over time.
Let’s take a look at why breeding dogs is useful and a great thing to do when done well!
1. Specializing Breeds
One of the many reasons why breeding dogs can be beneficial is due to specialized breeding. In a previous article, we mentioned that selective breeding was the procedure of breeding purposefully selected dogs with the intention to produce, preserve, or remove specific physical characteristics, mental traits, health conditions, skills, and aptitudes to perform specific tasks. This practice can be done naturally and selectively. If you use specialized breeding, you produce dogs that show the desired traits and remove unwanted genetic traits. Originally, dogs were adopted and domesticated in order to be useful, so specialized breeding is meant to also reinforce specific skills from a given dog.
The breeding of dogs to enforce a skill that is prevalent in a breed has been used for centuries and is a great benefit of breeding as it can help an entire society, for example, police dogs, hunting dogs and Seeing Eye dogs. All specialized breeds that help the world around them, all thanks to a skill and trait that was seen in their breed, and reinforced through selective breeding.
The German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, and Border Collie have all benefited from this specialized breeding over hundreds of years so that they are now excellent at their jobs. And if you do choose to breed a specialized dog, you also reinforce these positive traits and improve skills in the breed if the breeding program is carried out correctly and safely.
2. Creating New Breeds
Creating new breeds can be an exciting and worthy reason for breeding dogs as it can fulfill modern needs in society. It is a lengthy process and can take several litters to narrow down the genetic traits that you would like to see in your new breed but it can be a worthwhile venture if the work is put in, especially if you are breeding for a specific reason. Many new breeds that have been created over the last 50 years are due to the needs of a changing world, for instance, people with allergies no longer want to be limited to goldfish.
This has created a large number of hypoallergenic breeds like the Labradoodle, a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a standard or miniature Poodle, this is a relatively new breed that does not shed hair the way a normal retriever would but has the benefits of having a mix of pleasant characteristic coming from the playful and active breed of the Labrador.
These new breeds that are emerging are often called designer dogs and are aimed at people with smaller homes in the city that may not have access to the large gardens that people once had. If done correctly creating new breeds cannot only be financially beneficial to the breeder but will be providing a pet to someone who may previously have been unable to have one.
3. Push Nature's Limits
Human selection in dog breeding is a great way to take some dog breeds to the next level. Nature focuses on health and evolution, and it does it very well. But humans have their own way of pushing limits which has advantages and disadvantages, Selective breeding produces traits which can be beneficial but it can also result in drawbacks. Dog breeding for visually pleasing traits may result in amplification of inherent diseases among purebred animals inbreeding will cause health problems for the dogs.
Improving the dogs is one of the important advantages of artificial selection in dog breeding. Dog breeds developed through artificial selection for the desired genetic traits can improve that breed of dog or create a new one with all the specialized skills and personality that the breeder wants. The selective breeding proceeds can lead to an increase in intelligence, physical ability, and some cases rule out health problems that were seen previously. A great example of this is the Border Collie a breed that has improved its agility, comprehension, and size to become the perfect herding dog, thanks to years of selective breeding. Although it can be best to leave it up to nature in some cases it is clear that selective breeding can be an improvement on the original if done correctly.
4. Remove Undesired Traits
Selective breeding has a negative reputation for being a way to create unhealthy breeds but overall, it’s quite the opposite. Most breeders do their utmost to remove undesired traits from a particular bloodline or breed. When done correctly and given the time necessary selective breeding can remove inheritable conditions such as hip dysplasia, allergies, epilepsy and many more as well as improve temperaments and increase specific genetic traits such as intelligence or speed.
Such removal of undesired traits can happen in one litter or can take several generations to happen. With the right breeding program and dedication from the breeder, it is quite achievable despite the stigma attached to selective breeding causing more health issues than removing them. Although it cannot be denied that selective breeding has caused issues with dogs such as the pug or bulldog, this is down to poor genetic choosing and careless breeding carried out quickly for the demand of popular breeds. If done safely and carefully, selective breeding has shown to be an improvement on the dog’s genetics and has the possibility to remove undesired traits.
5. Provide Dogs to a Responsible Public
The general public loves dogs and as a breeder, you are providing them with a breed that is healthy and happy rather than just choosing at random. A reputable dog breeder guarantees a healthy background and lineage for the puppies produced.
Many people buying from a breeder have researched thoroughly what kind of dog they want, and wish to get the right dog for themselves. While no future is written in stone, as a good breeder they will have faith that you have done the work to ensure that your puppies are as free from disease and undesirable behavioral flaws as possible.
There are obviously many other ways to adopt a dog such as shelters, rescue organizations and unfortunately unqualified breeders who farm dogs for a quick sale. These outlets can cause massive health issues for the dogs over time, and be a very unfortunate situation for someone who believed they were buying from a reputable breeder. The blame goes to both, seller and buyer.
However, you as a responsible breeder can assure that your dogs have been bred in a safe, comfortable and healthy environment to the public so that they can get the exact breed of dog that they wanted and is suited for them. Be open, show your kennels, share paperwork and visits to the vet, use social media channels to your advantage. Decent buyers understand what a healthy, well-bred dog looks like. The responsible buyers who have taken the time to research the right breed, the right breeder, and the right litter for them, are the only people you want to sell your dogs to.
6. Preserve Rare Breeds
A lot of dog breeds are disappearing because people have lost interest in them, or modern lifestyles do not require their specific skills (hunting, subzero coats, etc). For example, dogs aren’t commonly used to kill rats today and it’s been a long time since the adorable Yorkshire Terrier, originally bred to kill vermin in textile mills, was used for this kind of work. Without breeders, these types of dogs would simply have disappeared from modern life. Some would argue that “this is the cycle of evolution” but it is amazing that some breeders keep an entire breed of dogs alive.
Many people do not realize that plenty of breeds today have very small populations. If some breeds were any other kind of animal they would be considered endangered. You may find it hard to believe yet, dog breeds can become extinct and many breeds may have if it was not the dedication of breeders. Beyond a few popular breeds, most breeds have relatively small numbers of dogs registered each year in the United Kingdom and the United States. With some only having a few hundred at most. That is why we need breeders today who can keep a breed of dog that has been here for centuries from becoming extinct just because our way of life has changed or they have become less popular with the public.
7. Enjoy a Lifestyle
Ethical and professional breeders want to live their lives on their own terms. They want to have that joy of thriving at home with their pets and generate income while breeding great dogs. They may participate in dog shows or performance events with their dogs and it is a lifestyle for both, the dog and the breeder.
Dogs coming from a breeder are their pride and joy, they have devoted a great deal of time and money to make the animal the best it can possibly be in health, temperament, training, and much more. That’s why most responsible breeders will guarantee all of their hard work, with the puppies. Such breeders will make you sign a contract saying that if anything ever happens and you can no longer take care of the animal that you purchased from them, they would take the dog back. They do extensive research into their customers and make sure that their dogs are going into good homes that can take great care of the animal.
To breeders, the dogs from their litter are not just an animal but something they have invested time, money and love into so that they produce happy and healthy dogs. It may not be their primary source of income, but it’s their main hobby and if it can pay for itself, it’s causing harm to no one and is actually helping people find the pet they want.
This entire article has tried to show the reasons why dog breeding is good, and how responsible and ethical dog breeders always try to give back to their dogs, their bloodlines, and their breeds. A good breeder is also taking part in educating the breed’s community, whether it is done online or offline. Send an email to a great breeder, and they will flood you with insightful and actionable knowledge about the breed!