Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Dog Breeding

A friend's brother is looking for homes for puppies of his purebred sheltie. I don't really know the brother. But I'll bet I know more about him than one might think.

I'm betting (although I could be doing him an injustice) that he did not:
  • Ensure that his dog had all the proper veterinary tests and evaluations and x-rays and family tree analysis and/or DNA tests to be sure it was free from genetic or physical problems and wasn't likely to be a carrier of said problems
  • Ensure that she was a proven member of the breed (say, a good working dog, good show dog or at least conformation admired by knowledgeable breeders, good agility dog,, like that)
  • Ensure that the dog to which she was bred had likewise been vetted.
  • Know the male dog well (and the owners well)
  • Have a good idea of their market for the puppies and have at least some of the pups' new owners in line possibly even before the breeding took place
  • Have a detailed contract written up ahead of time for potential buyers to sign saying that he'll take the puppy back if it doesn't work out
  • Have a plan for checking the quality of home for the pups before they leave and for staying in touch with the pups' new "parents" to be sure they're still wanted & being taken care of and is knowledgeable enough about raising and training puppies (or has on hand a list of known experts for referrals) so he can help the new owners with difficulties.

Of course it's people who don't bother with that and/or don't bother with getting their dogs neutered or keeping them well confined if they don't who enable the rest of us to get rescue dogs... so maybe I shouldn't complain.

Like, when we adopted our husky from the pound mumble years ago (OK, 1981 if you must know) and she wasn't spayed yet and then escaped from the yard the first day we had her and apparently was in heat and we never knew it (although what either of us knew about identifying a dog in heat could be used for even the most onerous vacuum-chamber tests). And then the vet thought she was having a false pregnancy, so we really didn't research much about puppies or finding owners, and then we advertised randomly for people when they were 6 weeks old (nowadays everyone says that's at least 2 weeks too young), and although actually I *knew* that I should be asking lots of questions of the potential owners and all that—I didn't, I just was glad to get the puppies homes of any kind. So it's not like I don't understand that people don't know this stuff. But they could find out if they investigated a little bit.

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