Alright I admit that “Dancing with the stars” is one of my favorite shows. So what does it have to do with dogs? Well actually nothing………but the title fits in with today’s subject. I get my ideas from many different things. It could be a conversation with someone, it could be something that I read or it could be something that people are responding to about something that I wrote. Sometimes what I write and what someone takes from that can head in all sorts of directions from the original subject matter. But it’s good. It stirs up conversation and through that conversation we can all learn something.
Like in all walks of life people can accomplish their goals in many different ways. And so it is the same in the breeding and showing of dogs. Some people are blessed with a good eye and a good mind and can produce winners time and time again. Then there are those who no matter how hard they try can never seem to produce a winner at all. And lastly there are those who rub elbows with the top people in the breed and ride on their coat tails to success. And these last people are the ones who really don’t know anything about the breed on their own but all of a sudden they become the breed experts. These are the people who are “Dancing with the stars!”
The truly knowledgeable people in our breed are those who fall into the first category. They are the ones who through trial and error, blood, sweat and tears have persevered and have given back to the breed. It is because of them that the breed continues. They know the pedigrees of the dogs that they breed. They know the faults of the lines and breed away from it. They know that even with the best laid plans that a litter can be a disappointment. They never give up. They know in order for their dogs to be winning dogs not only must they be well bred, but they should be well trained.
The second group of breeders continues to breed the same type of dogs year after year who will never even come close to finishing their championships or obedience titles. These are the type of breeders who breed with their hearts. They love their dogs and expect other people to love them as well. They never honestly evaluate their breeding stock, whereas the intelligent breeder knows that this is something that you must continue to do if you ever want to produce good producing dogs. They weed out the mediocre dogs from their breeding program.
The third type of “breeder” looks for others to make his decisions for him. He doesn’t know how to study a pedigree. He doesn’t know the proper structure of the dog to know that that is the reason he moves the way that he does. He doesn’t know the faults of the line because he doesn’t really know why he’s breeding to a particular dog except that he was told he should. This is the type of person who buys a dog from a good breeder, shows it, wins with it and starts “talking the talk” as if he really knows what he’s talking about. He’s the one that will say, “Look at the front on this guy, or the rear” and if you asked him, he wouldn’t even know what a good front or rear is. He was just told that by the one who really is the knowledgeable breeder. He’s the one that every other sentence out of his mouth will be “Well so and so said this or that.” He really doesn’t have an opinion of his own. God forbid if you were to ask him something about the breed. He wouldn’t know how to answer it if “so and so” wasn’t around to do it for him! This is the name dropper in the breed. He’s successful because someone he associates with is even more so.
I suppose all three types of people are necessary in the whole scheme of things. The successful breeder hopes that with each new litter that she produces that it’s better than the last. She looks forward to incorporating new blood into her lines. She knows that she’s looking to improve temperament, top lines, feet, etc. and she’s studied pedigrees to do so. The breeder that continues to breed mediocre stock will continue to breed his way hoping to prove once and for all his way is the right way. He keeps the pet market happy. The “elbow rubbers” will do what they have to do to get where they want to go. They keep the really good breeders happy. The good breeder has their dogs in a show home and the buyer is very happy to promote and shout the breeders name to anyone that will listen to him. Gee, just think of the free advertising the good breeder gets with the “elbow rubber!” It’s kind of like the barter system. You do this for me and I’ll do that for you!
So no matter which way these groups of people do it, they’re all happy in their little world. The good breeder gets the recognition that he deserves. The breeder in the second category can still complain to those who will listen to her about why she’s never produced a champion. And the last group can continue “Dancing with the stars” to get the attention that he craves. It’s a win – win situation. Everyone is happy.
My rating: the good breeder: (4), the mediocre breeder: (2), the elbow rubber: (2)