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International dog show in Rouen / Reflections on dog breeding

Stephanie Graf-Vocat

Went to the international dog show in Rouen to watch beautiful dogs strutting on the ring.

I cannot help but ponder on the fact that some breeders seem to be doing this just for prestige, showing very little love to their dogs and putting them back into their crates as soon as their time on the show ring is over... Or to see some that are "made" more and more tiny and wispy just to attract a wider range of customers... Furthermore, once these dogs have their title, have meet all expectations and have ensured a good pedigree, is it fair to get rid of them because they are no longer "useful" to the breeding stock? Used like some goods and good for scrap... It seems that it may in fact be a relief for some of them, that will finally get a chance to know love and good care of a family. 

When you buy a puppy, ask yourself in which conditions do the parents live, because if the females have already had multiple litters and that their puppies sell like hot cakes, breeders will have no scruples to "use" that female until she cannot breed anymore (having two litters a year), as this little business can become quite profitable! Furthermore, too many live in kennels, even small cages, eat and do their business in the same spot and have very little interaction with humans. And don't believe that because they are registered with a famous club that it is a guarantee of quality!

Take Gutz (see entry "Adopted" in August 2011), a registered Chihuahua, perfect according to the standards, but who has a jaw deformation and that served as a stud for six years of his life in a kennel! We took him home and then noticed the damage: rotten teeth, fleas, veil on his eyes, infected ears, swollen head and no idea of life indoors, no to mention basic notions like "sit" for instance... There you have an example of a breeding stud no more needed, who didn't get any care during all these years! Not to mention psychological defects of a few whose mother and father are siblings for instance, just in order to ensure a color or a specific physical trait.

Of course we need breeders to perpetuate breeds, but it would be more humane to keep it on a small scale and much better monitored. It should remain a respectful act towards the breed and not a little business...

So think twice when you want a dog and look at shelters instead that are overcrowded with wonderful dogs (often purebred) and who will be eternally grateful for having given them another chance! Thanks for them.