Why breed at all?

Why breed at all?

There are a great many dogs in the world. Visit the local pound, and check out the adoption sites and you will see a daunting number of dogs in need of homes. Most of them have been failed many times by humans - by the owners of their parents, by careless breeders, or by unprepared, unthinking, or unloving first owners. It's not the dogs' fault they are homeless. Humans facilitated their existence. Some can be rescued, with the right hand and much love and patience. Many will be doted on, but some who could be good pets will never find a home. Still others will never be suitable for family life and therefore lose their lives.

So why bring more dogs into the world? 

For thousands of years dogs and humankind have had a symbiotic relationship. We helped each other survive. Dogs hunted with us, cared for our livestock, alerted, protected and entertained us. We fed and sheltered them, and included them as members of our families. Unlike other animals, like cows, which we breed for our survival, or cats, which graciously allow us to include them in our lives, most dogs are as attached to us as we are attached to them. If you are a dog person, you understand and even need that wordless connection.

That relationship requires a good person and a good dog. Good dogs come in as many different shapes and sizes as good people, but as with people, the chances of a dog being a sensible, intelligent and kind companion increase when only dogs with those qualities are bred and their puppies are properly raised. This includes not only genetics, but importantly, bonding with their parents and people, human and dog socialization and species-appropriate nutrition.

Breeders can, when they are serious and knowledgeable, control those influences. Rescue dogs come from several sources - family tragedies, random breedings, street dogs, puppymills, and careless buyers of purebred dogs. It is a testament to dogs that rescues quite often become good pets - but the dogs who do not find homes, due to health or temperament or volume - remain too high a percentage of all available dogs.

By breeding good dogs, not only do we help to continue the ancient and revered relationship between dogs and humans which is built on trust and understanding, but responsible breeders ensure that only a very small percentage of intentionally bred dogs have lives that end in heartache.  They place their puppies carefully, with families who understand their breed and are committed to their dogs and they do everything they can to offer people strong, healthy and friendly dogs. There is never a guarantee that a pedigreed dog will not have a problem, but caring breeders can greatly increase the chance that a puppy will have a good life and will ultimately enhance the lives of its people. This is an honorable endeavor.