Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I got a pretty good response to my three articles about breeding problems. Then I got a private e-mail from someone who asked if I would continue this subject but to dive into it a little deeper. She asked me if I could write about those breeders that knowingly breed dogs with genetic health problems in their bloodlines. She was most concerned with those that use dogs for breeding that has produced bloat, mega, toxic gut, temperament problems, hips, elbows, etc. She continued by saying that we all know several big time breeders that may produce puppies with mega that will put them down but still breed their littermates. She wanted to know if this is contaminating the gene pool or not.

So this writer made me think about this subject and what I knew about it. And yes she was right, we probably all know of some of the breeders that she is talking about. For instance, someone told me recently of a litter that was born a few years back that has several dogs being shown right now. One of the littermates was put to sleep because the puppy had mega. This very same litter also has a few with bad temperament problems that are being trained for the show ring right now. These types of breeders may think that they are fooling the public but people talk that have had contact with these dogs that they’re showing or training. This genetic problem of poor temperament is sometimes overlooked all for the sake of attaining an undeserving dog’s championship so the parent’s can obtain some more ROM (register of merit) points. I don’t consider these types of people breeders. I consider them polluters…..those that chose to pollute the gene pool with genetically inferior animals all in the name of producing some show dogs.

Before I go any further, I want to say that not all show dogs are genetically inferior animals. Most breeders are good, honest people trying to produce the best dogs that they can. Most show dogs deserve to be show dogs and deserve to be bred. I'm addressing those that choose to breed pretty darn anything that they want to breed if it's going to help them attain their goals. I'm just trying to address the writers questions about those breeders that knowingly breed animals with genetic health problems.

Some are of the belief that if the mother only produced these genetic health problems in one litter and never again, then what’s the harm in it? Oh, but what about her grandchildren or great grandchildren that are now being bred and are producing these genetic health problems? Just because they don’t have the problem themselves doesn’t mean that they don’t or can’t carry the faulty gene through their parents or grandparents. This is a reason why the genetic pool can become so unhealthy.

It is very tempting as a breeder that has just produced a puppy that is everything that he had been hoping for in a show quality dog to breed him anyway even if his littermates were not healthy. They figure, what the heck. Who will know? Maybe no one at first, but eventually the bloodlines will tell. You can only hide it for so long before the genetic problems keep popping up time and time again in the offspring.

Rumor has it…….that some Select dogs, some champions, some ROM titled dogs have had their share of genetic health problems. Heck if you breed long enough, you will probably run into some of these problems. But what about some of these dogs that have the problems but yet the owner/breeder continue to show him anyway? What the heck do they care? They got their show dogs and that’s all that matters to them.

What about some breeders breeding dogs that have bad elbows and even those with bad hips? These are the type of breeders that I classify as the “right now” breeders. Yeah, I just made that up. But what I mean is that they only care about what’s happening right now in this dog’s lifetime. They’re not concerned about the future of the breed and how their genetically inferior dog may be impacting the German Shepherd gene pool for decades to come. It’s all about the winning…..right here, right now and the heck with tomorrow.

And what about those unsuspecting buyers that buy a show dog sired by one of these genetic disasters? They trust that the breeder is selling them a good quality dog. And maybe the youngster is a good quality dog, but carries every major health problem you can think of! Then the next question is what type of obligation does the breeder have to give to a buyer about these puppies genetics? Do you believe that the buyer is buying the dog as is…..what you see is what you get? Maybe you’re of the belief that the person is buying a show dog and that’s what you’re selling them? When a person buys a show dog, aren’t they going to want to breed her when she finishes her championship? So does the breeder have the obligation of selling a show dog that can be bred?

So you spend your couple of grand. Your puppy finishes quickly. You breed her time and time again but each and every litter has genetic health problems. You’re frustrated that your beautiful quality show dog will probably never see one of her offspring shown. But hey, you should be happy, she was a quick winner. You now own yourself a genetically inferior but show ring worthy champion. Congratulations!

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My rating: Choosing to breed genetically unhealthy dogs: (1)

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