German Shepherds have bad hips, Rottweilers are aggressive, Dachshunds have backs that give up – most breeds are plagued by man-made genetic issues.
Ballito dog trainer Scott Farlam is a strong advocate for ethical breeders, as he said they are on a mission to create the best possible version of the breed.
“If you’re looking for a companion animal, a rescue dog is great, but if you want a working dog, it’s crucial to stay away from backyard breeders. I think these breeders should be doomed to a hefty fine, which would show a significant drop in our overflowing shelters and the number of health issues created by poor husbandry,” Farlam said.
To qualify as an ethical breeder, Farlam said you must meet the following criteria:
1. Experience is key
Ask for the breeder’s background with their specific breed – they should know the history of the breed, what it was traditionally bred for and what, if any, breeding problems the breed has had.
People bred a lot of natural aggression in German Shepherds, for example, because they were used in military and police work and were believed to need aggression.
Also Read: Look into the Salt Rock History Books
Over time some have also become aggressive towards their handlers and this has become a problematic genetic trait which is often a fear reaction as the dog is not confident.
The new breed line is not about aggression, but about confidence and drive.
2. Check the family tree
“The breeder must understand and know the full history of the sire (sire) and dam (dam) they wish to mate – where they come from, what type of personality and health traits they have. Ask these questions to the breeder to understand the type of dog he is raising.
From the way a dog bites to the way it walks, these are all genetic traits.
3. Worth the wait
Ethical breeders usually have a waiting list of around a year as they often only breed one litter per year.
“A good breeder won’t just pump puppies. Trendy breeds such as the Boston Terrier are bred by one in two people and you can buy a puppy on Gumtree today, but breeders have no plan. They simply breed them because they are trendy, not because they understand or want to improve the breed.
4. Understand the breed yourself
Before committing to a dog, research the breed thoroughly before going to a breeder. Understand what the breed requires and be realistic about whether you can provide the right environment and lifestyle.
“My favorite breed is a Belgian Malinois, yet this is the last breed I would recommend to anyone as they need a lot of work. People complain if their husky runs away when they have to run. Or if their Dachsie digs the garden – they are bred to hunt burrowing animals like badgers. If these dogs aren’t worked, that pent up energy causes problems that get them in trouble.
5. Return Policy
After passing your home check, ethical breeders will sign a contract with you which states that if you cannot keep the dog for any reason, the dog must return to the breeder.
Be the first to get the latest news straight to your device with our newly launched push notifications! Simply visit our website and click on the icon above.
Do you want to receive news alerts from The North Coast Courier via WhatsApp? Send us a WhatsApp message (not an SMS) with your first and last name on 061 718 4438.
Please read our WhatsApp mailing list disclaimer.
Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram