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Discussion Starter #1
How many litters over the coarse of a year do you feel is too many? I've been battling this question for quite a while now and I don't know if there really is an answer. I'm just getting kind of sickened seeing how many puppies are being born knowing that there are so many homeless dogs out there. Breeders who I view as reputable seem to be having back to back litters, sometimes multiple litters at the same time. AND, yes I know I added to this problem by insisting that my boxers were all puppies when they came home. Growing up my family took in strays and rescues and I wanted to experience the puppy thing. Now that I have, going forward, I will be rescuing.

Also, I know that there's a HUGE difference between a BYB and a reputable breeder in terms of breeding ethics and why they're breeding, but at the end of the day a litter is a litter and each litter just produces more dogs to the planet's population which is already way too high! At what point does a breeder look at their program and accomplishments and say that's enough? When do they stop breeding or at least slow down?
 

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Mandy I think all those points are very valid. I have wondered that myself many times. I understand the logic(their perception not mine) of reputable breeders trying to improve the breed. But in the end a litter is a litter and its more dogs in possible need of rescue. I know I know I have heard the arguments from breeders insisting if the owner doesnt want the dog to bring them back but that doesnt always happen and no matter how intensely you check up on someone things happen in life or your judgement could have been totally wrong. That pup/dog might some day be discarded, abused or neglected.

Its a fine line I suppose but until you are involved in rescue or volunteer at a shelter especially a kill shelter you wont ever know that side
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's part of what I don't understand. Most breeders say they will take dogs back if their owners can't keep them anymore. BUT, if said breeder had 10 or 12 owners suddenly call and say they can't keep their dog anymore, would this breeder be able to take back a dozen dogs when they already own a dozen? I know that's a very unlikely scenario, but strange things happen all the time.

I do respect those breeders who do breed to better the breed I just don't feel that having 10-20 litters a year (which if there's 6-8 puppies per litter is 60-80 to 120-160 dogs reproduced) is necessary. That's a LOT of dogs!
 

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Hmm...interestering thread. I cannot wait to read some responses on here from breeders. This has been debated in different arenas and its always interesting to hear ppls thoughts and ideas! ~Misty~
 

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Well, personally I think BYB's far outweigh reputable breeders and that is why so many end up in shelters and rescue. Just look at puppyfind.com
If a breeder is having 10-20 litters a year - are they really reputable?
Or just trying to look like they are?

:)
 

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I understand your point regarding all the homeless and discarded pets that are filling the shelters to the point where thousands are euthanized annually.

Since I am one of the few breeders on this forum I am just going to say how I see things.

Many people seek breeders because like you they want to experience a puppy. Where I think people go wrong is when they support BYBs, pet stores and Puppymills cause of locality, convenience, impulse buys or because the price is right. I am not going to say all shelter dogs are from these types of breeders but I am pretty confident that they make up the majority of dogs that are filling those shelters.

Other people do not want to take the risk of health issues or behavioural problems from a rescue or shelter dog.

Reputable/ethical breeders will NEVER allow their dogs to be given away or placed in a rescue or shelter. The possibility of several clients calling at the same time to hand over their dogs is also slim to none. Breeders carefully screen their potential clients, they check in often with them and provide a support system. They usually have a list of people who are looking for older dogs or clients who are interested in placing a second dog in their homes. Their main focus is what's best for the dogs that they produced.

My advice is to stop supporting BYBs and pet stores. If you can not afford to purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder who thoroughly health tests then turn to the rescues or shelters for that family companion.

I often hear that people feel badly for the puppies they see but by paying for those dogs you are just encouraging them to continue breeding. Until people say NO MORE, this will never end.

Now let's cover breeding practices:

Having back to back litters is common and IMO should not be frowned upon. Many reproduction specialists encourage this type of breeding as they say a healthy reproductive system is one that is being used. Many breeders will do a back to back then have a break and do another back to back. Every breeder has an opinion on how many litters a female should have. Some will say 2-3 and others will say more.


As for a breeder having 10-20 litters in a year, to me that's just crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Kari, of course I respect your opinions, but I have to question the part about reputable breeders never allowing one of their puppies to be turned into a shelter. I don’t know how long you’ve been breeding or how many puppies you’ve produced, but can you say with 100% certainty that you know where 100% of your dogs are? I only ask because when these breeders have so many puppies I feel it’s virtually impossible to keep track of all of them. Even if a breeder only has 4 litters a year (just to use a low number) with an average of 4-6 puppies per litter, that’s 16-24 pups a year. If they’ve been breeding for 12 years (just using that since that’s old for a boxer) that’s 192 – 288 puppies over that time period. I just don’t how it’s possible to keep track of that many dogs to know that one was never turned into a shelter. It probably seems I’m going to the extreme here and I guess I am, but that’s what this thread is about I guess.

I understand that you (and other reputable breeders) are meticulous when it comes to screening homes, a lot of things can happen. Couples can break up, an owner may have an accident and become disabled, an owner can pass away or become hospitalized, an owner can lose their job… basically life can happen. In the end, this screening could end up being for nothing.

I don’t know. It’s just sad to me. I love seeing pictures of cute little puppies and I don’t regret going the puppy route one bit, but it just seems to me that there are way more puppies being produced than there’s a need for. One breeder that I’ve been watching since I was looking for Logan breeds to fill their demand. They do health testing any everything, but to me they breed way too much! At least they have the health testing on their side I will say that.

One last thing. When I said breeding back to back I didn’t necessarily mean the same bitch. I’m talking about breeding one litter right after the other regardless of who the bitch is. Basically they have a revolving door of puppies. I don’t know enough breeding to say if breeding back to back with the same bitch is good or not, but I do know a lot of breeders do it without an issue.
 

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I have been breeding 7 yrs and my contract is set up that none of our dogs can ever be signed over to a shelter or rescue. Of course, people can lie but that's when my microchips kick in as all shelters scan dogs on intake. There are only a small handful of clients that I have lost touch with and I guess it's possible that they could have rehomed their dogs on their own but I hope they would contact me first.
 

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That's right! I forgot you do micro chipping. That's just one of the things that separates you from these other breeders. I think a good chunk of the breeders out there have that same clause in their contract about taking the dog(s) back for whatever reason, but I wonder how many really, truly stand by it. And, how many of them really care in the end really.

It's these breeders (including show breeders who do health testing) who have crazy amounts of puppies. To the point where they couldn't possibly keep track of all of them or even try for that matter. That's a big part of the problem. Granted, even a dog from the most reputable breeder out there could wind up in a shelter at some point, but that's clearly not the fault of the breeder. It just goes to show that any dog, regardless of where it comes from, could wind up adding to the homeless dog population. I don't know... it's just been on my mind a lot lately.

I guess if people did their research before hand and bought only from a reputable breeder who is breeding the right way instead of a BYB that would kill the demand for BYB puppies and therefore put them out of business. I guess that's one answer. It's how to get to this point, that's the question.
 

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I wanted to ask as well....at what point does an ethical breeder become an unethical? If the pups are health tested, but the breeder starts pumping out 6 litters (so far, by may it will be 6 and I am sure more are coming) and is even advertising on kijiji and other sites to sell them.... Is the breeder still ethical? If the dogs are not shown in the ring, yet are being bred..... Are they bettering the breed???

I find it so sad that the true breeders who care, are dwindling, to the well disguised unethical breeders, pumping out multiple high prices puppies. Sigh.
 

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What kind of health tests are they doing? Also six litters out of one dog or multiple dogs? And in the same year? If the dogs are very good quality dogs and they have a really good reason for not showing I wouldn't have a problem. I would want them to still have the dog evaluated for conformation by a judge though.


I understand that kiliji is like craigslist right? I don't know if I would go with a breeder who advertises on there as most of the time they aren't good. I would be ok with them if they are a good breeder on a puppy find site. If they have to advertise that much though then they probably aren't that great.


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All different dogs. From Jan - may this year 6 litters will be born. It sucks because I honestly felt this was an amazing breeder. I am now embarrassed to tell people about how many litters. I have a few friends who work with rescues, and they are vocal about this. :(

The breeder is very nice. Parents are tested, dogs are from previous owners. Only 1 or 2 actually lives with the breeder. I think that is common.

I just want to be able to tell people who I got my girl from, without the judgement. If that males sense......
 

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All different dogs. From Jan - may this year 6 litters will be born. It sucks because I honestly felt this was an amazing breeder. I am now embarrassed to tell people about how many litters. I have a few friends who work with rescues, and they are vocal about this. :(



The breeder is very nice. Parents are tested, dogs are from previous owners. Only 1 or 2 actually lives with the breeder. I think that is common.



I just want to be able to tell people who I got my girl from, without the judgement. If that males sense......

It sounds like you feel embarrassed because your being judged by friends involved with rescues? IMO most rescue organizations don't really support any breeder despite how ethical they may be. If there are homes for all or most of the puppies is it unethical? In my opinion no, rescuing isn't for everyone people want the puppy experience, health testing is important to some. Don't feel embarrassed by how many litters they have had in a year feel proud of your puppy, his pedigree, personality and that you made a choice to have a responsibly bred health tested puppy. Breeding and litters can be debated until the cows come home.


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That sounds ok then and it is common if the dogs were co-owned and they were just advertising for them.

I just realized it looks like your girl is European so I could see why they don't show. If they're health testing-holter, echo, and thyroid at minimum-and breeding good quality dogs then I see no problem with the breeder.


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It sounds like you feel embarrassed because your being judged by friends involved with rescues? IMO most rescue organizations don't really support any breeder despite how ethical they may be. If there are homes for all or most of the puppies is it unethical? In my opinion no, rescuing isn't for everyone people want the puppy experience, health testing is important to some. Don't feel embarrassed by how many litters they have had in a year feel proud of your puppy, his pedigree, personality and that you made a choice to have a responsibly bred health tested puppy. Breeding and litters can be debated until the cows come home.


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I just wanted to echo this too as I agree. Where I live it's a pretty big dog city and area. We have a lot of shelters in the city, a lot of responsible breeders, and even more back yard breeders. I see a lot of the "don't breed or buy while animals sit and die" bumper stickers and other magnets. If people see Duke isn't neutered and ask if he's going to be bred and I say yes even after mentioning he is a show dog and is health tested, I still get that hostile and disgusted look sometimes and the disagreeing "oh" then they walk away without even looking at Duke. Some people will just never be happy. I'm definitely not saying this applies to all who rescue though.


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That's exactly what I get, from friends. I mentioned I would love to breed my girl (when she is older, health tested, etc) and friends were appalled. I then got educated on their rescues and how many dogs die. Sigh. It's hard to be proud of my amazing pup, with all the negative talk. It drives me nuts. I began wondering if I am the one who is wrong. :(

My one friend shares the rescue stats non stop. I am happy to hear that this is actually a debate and I am not the only one who gets treated badly for going the breeder route. I thought I was doing the right thing. Lol.

My girl is part Euro. She is so beautiful and honestly, the smartest pup I have ever met. Her parents are both amazing. Her dad was an import.

***should add, breed her with the breeder, not on my own. I have no clue how to breed, birth, or raise a litter.
 

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That's exactly what I get, from friends. I mentioned I would love to breed my girl (when she is older, health tested, etc) and friends were appalled. I then got educated on their rescues and how many dogs die. Sigh. It's hard to be proud of my amazing pup, with all the negative talk. It drives me nuts. I began wondering if I am the one who is wrong. :(

My one friend shares the rescue stats non stop. I am happy to hear that this is actually a debate and I am not the only one who gets treated badly for going the breeder route. I thought I was doing the right thing. Lol.

My girl is part Euro. She is so beautiful and honestly, the smartest pup I have ever met. Her parents are both amazing. Her dad was an import.

***should add, breed her with the breeder, not on my own. I have no clue how to breed, birth, or raise a litter.
I was just going to say make sure you seek help on the proper way, health testing and a conformation check but if your puppy is quality enough to breed your breeder should be able to help get you on the right track and you guys can negotiate a breeding rights contract, very important! But no matter what choice you make in life you will encounter nay Sayers!



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I was just going to say make sure you seek help on the proper way, health testing and a conformation check but if your puppy is quality enough to breed your breeder should be able to help get you on the right track and you guys can negotiate a breeding rights contract, very important! But no matter what choice you make in life you will encounter nay Sayers!



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I would have nothing to really do with the breeding, the breeder decides it all. Lol. I would just want one of my girls boys. She is so amazing.

Thanks for all the replies. Feeling a lot better, so thank you.
 

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I think it really depends on what they are doing with these puppies. Are they only breeding to supply a demand for pet puppies? Or are they breeding to keep thier next up and coming show or performance puppy? How many show quality puppies are being placed in show homes? If the breeder is keeping puppies back are they working with them and showing them? Or just raising them to breed in the future?

There are small scale breeders and larger scale breeders. It's not uncommon for a big name kennel who is very successful in the show ring to have 6+ litters a year.
 
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