I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, in the past few years, about how hobby breeders ( of which I am one) can have more of a role in addressing the problems that threaten the domestic pet dog. It seems to me that in spite of all the energy, time, money and commitment the majority of us put into doing this breeding thing “the right way”, the perception the public has of us continues to erode. We are increasingly being painted with the same brush as puppy mills and the likes of Michael Vick. We are alternately puppy factories and dog show snobs. I had seen t-shirts declaring that “mean people breed dogs”and “screw dog breeders”, but when I stumbled across a ” Save a shelter dog, euthanize a breeder” bumper sticker, I knew I needed to act ( or at least write!)
The dog world is made up of many factions and we are being pitted against each other. Rescue vs. breeders. Working vs. companion.This is not productive. It just serves to polarize us further. We all have important roles and responsibilities in the stewardship of the domestic dog and I believe we all would benefit from opening our minds to growth and change and each other.
So, I hope to use this blog to explore ways we can redefine our roles as dog breeders, improve our image and connection to the public and do our bit – even better. In what ways does the current framework for “good” breeding help or hinder the public’s perception of us? What can we do to distinguish ourselves from unethical breeders that does not separate us from our roles as potentially ideal breeders of pets? How can we better engage, communicate with and support new puppy owners to help insure they have a successful experience?
I invite constructive commentary, links, ideas and critiques from all corners of the dog world.