Why Breed dogs? Many people ask me this question, and all I can say is different people breed for a different reason. Some breed to produce working dogs, be they field, protection, tracking, obedience, etc. Other people are out to provide the best animal “physically” as they can, according to their breed standard (show breeders fall into this category). Still, others breed for temperament. And lastly, people produce with a multiple of the above in mind. Remember, these are all REPUTABLE breeders I am discussing. There are people out there breeding for the wrong reasons. If you don’t know how to spot a puppy mill or back yard breeder, please visit Different Kinds of Breeders (located to your left) to clear this up.
Where do I fit into all of this? I suppose I fall into the last category. I feel breeding for the best Shiba means breeding for all of the above. I want a dog that fits the Standard of the breed, but also one who has a sound temperament, health, and working ability. Where do I place the majority of my pups? Most of the time, in pet homes. Very few dogs truly make breeding quality. Of those I am lucky enough to produce, I usually want first pick. If there is a top-notch puppy, but I cannot keep that animal, I will place that pup with a person looking to breed/show. They must be serious about breeding and understand what is involved. I encourage all my puppy owners to try for obedience, therapy, and agility titles, but I’m far from disappointed if they only love their new baby.
There are so many dogs in this magnificent world of ours, why should we bring more into it? Because, if people who care about their breed do not, who will? Should we leave it to the Puppy Mills and Back Yard Breeders to provide the public with “pure breeds”? I would think NOT! I would much rather have one of my puppies, guaranteed to be genetically free of any health problems than some poor dog who ends up crippled, costing the owner thousands of dollars in vet bills. That does not include the heartbreak when the dog has to be put down early in its life.
Some of you will say, “People should stop getting purebreds and save a pound puppy from death”. Well, this will never happen. Purebreds are around for one reason. People like to know what they are getting. I know, no two dogs are the same. However, all Shiba Inu have “SOME” Shiba traits (easy to house train, clean, only reach so tall, etc.). If you live in an apartment, and you can only have a dog that is less than 25 lb., you can research breeds based on size. If you have allergies, you can get a non-shedding breed. If you are a bird hunter, you might want a Setter. The list is endless.
You might now say, “Why don’t they go to pure breed rescue and find a dog in need instead of buying a puppy from you?” Well, I encourage Rescue. I foster English Setters and Shibas until homes can be found for them. I think relief is one of the best programs out there to get a registered, but many people still want a puppy. They want to be responsible for all that puppy’s good and bad points. They want to see it grow and learn. They want a guarantee on that dog’s health, which you can’t get with a rescue. Some people don’t need a puppy for one reason or another. If someone comes to me in this situation, I let him or she know where I stand. Next, I try to help them find a suitable animal, be it a retired show dog to a beautiful rescue. I have found a little education can go along way.
We responsible breeders are not the problem. We are the solution. We provide people with healthy, happy pets for ten or more years of their life. We take back all the puppies we produce for ANY reason. We are delighted to help the new owners out with training, housebreaking, or any other problem. We try as best we can to keep track of every puppy we produce. We are there for the good times as well as the bad. That’s what being a breeder is all about.
The one thing we are not is in it for the money. You can’t produce this kind of pup and make a living off it. First, to get a dog that you should breed is not cheap. Then, there is the cost of showing your new baby (entry fees, hotels, meals, travel time, etc.). Even if you don’t show, there are health clearance test that EVER BREEDING ANIMAL MUST HAVE! (hip, elbow, and patella x-rays, eye certification, ear testing, heart, thyroid, etc. Whatever is appropriate for that breed). The cost of a good Stud dog (oh boy… that’s at least one or two pet pups). What about shipping your girl to this wonderful boy (another puppy). Now, what if your girl has to have a C-section? What if her milk is wrong or if she doesn’t like being a mom? What if the pups die? What if she dies!?! No, you don’t make money you make ulcers!
We will continue to breed here at Paragon, but only when the time is right (the parents have to pass all the health clearances and be of good quality both mentally and physically). The puppies we do produce will only go to GREAT homes. We will keep a pup here before we sell it to someone who won’t love it the way all dogs should be enjoyed. Dogs are for life. They should not be taken lightly. They share our hopes, our dreams, and our lives. They love us for who we are. They love us, unconditionally. They are a gift from God.