Originally Posted by DanaRuns
I don't think it's a loaded question, at all! Maybe I'm just not seeing it. Here's where I am coming from:
Goldens are way overbred. But the problem is that people get puppies from back yard breeders and puppy mills rather than from reputable breeders because those BYB/PM pups are easy to find and are inexpensive. If there were more reputable hobby breeders, and healthy pups of good type, structure and temperament were therefore easier to find (and perhaps less expensive because of increased supply), perhaps it would be better overall for the breed and also for people buying Goldens. And since hobby breeders are generally conscientious about following their pups, there might be fewer unwanted or neglected ones.
OTOH, perhaps it would just increase the overall number of Goldens, and would increase rather than decrease the number of unwanted or neglected Goldens. I just don't know.
My gut feeling is that we need more good hobby breeders. If more quality puppies were available, I think it would be better for the breed in the long run. As it is, there are more poor quality Goldens than good quality ones. If we upped the number and percentage of quality pups, that has to be a good thing, right? But the conventional wisdom says we already have too many dogs, and it would be bad for dogs to breed even more of them. So, I don't know. Not intended as a loaded question, but a sincere inquiry into the philosophy and effect of improving the breed and making good Goldens more available to casual buyers.
The cold hard facts are that reputable hobby breeders cannot and never will be able to keep up with the demand for well bred goldens, nor do most of us want to have that many puppies!!! Most hobby breeders that I know, have a few well bred, planned litters per year. I have to have time for my family, time to go to shows, time to do other things with the dogs and if you are breeding, it takes an inordinate amount of time to raise a litter of puppies properly.
There are also quite a few people who would have no problem affording a puppy from a hobby breeder, but I have no interest in placing a puppy with them. Being able to afford the cost of the puppy is one small part of what is a good home. I have had attorneys, doctors and even vets that I have turned down as owners for our dogs. Any of them would have no problems with affording a dog-the issue is will they be a good home? Many of them do not have the time that is required to really raise a puppy properly and without that time, there will be problems ahead.
Also, even if there were more puppies available, I really fail to see how that would lower my costs of raising a litter which is where the price of my puppies is derived from. More puppies won't lower my food bill, my vet bills, the stud fee I have to pay, the costs associated with showing, etc, so I do not think that has anything to do with the cost. The cost of a well bred puppy is from what is going into them. When it costs $5-10000 to finish an American CH on a dog, $1200-1500 for a stud fee, $100 plus for ONE progesterone test and the same for brucella and then we add on clearances and things begin to really skyrocket as to the money that is invested in the dogs, before puppies ever hit the ground.
There are very few "unwanted" dogs. There are plenty of people who should have never gotten a dog and would have been much better off with a stuffed animal, rather than a living, breathing creature. There are also mixed breed puppies that you can find in a pound that usually need a home but again, people also tend to want a golden because they know what that dog is going to grow to be with looks, temperament and size, as well as the activity level of the dog. Unfortunately, those mixed breed puppies are also the result of someone else's lack of responsibility and I don't personally feel that I should be penalized(not being able to get the purebred dog that I want) because someone else is being an irresponsible pet owner. There are also plenty of dogs who are given up for rather serious behavior issues and some for lack of training and even more for health issues. Again, many of these people would have been better off with that stuffed animal.
I applaud those who support rescue and adopt that way, we have also taken in plenty of rescues over the years that obviously had nothing to do with our breeding program or they wouldn't be rescues, but again, if someone wants a purebred puppy, they should be able to get that dog, if they can care for it and meet the other basic needs. Those things are yet another thing that set a hobby breeder apart from the rest-the homes are screened, references are checked; they don't just get the dog because they showed up with cash in hand.
My waiting list is pretty full thru the summer-why?? I cannot keep up with the inquiries or the demand for puppies, even though I wind up referring most inquiries to other breeders because we just don't have puppies available. Again, I wouldn't want to, either. The puppies would be losing out, my family would be losing out and my dogs would be losing out. There are only so many hours in the day and raising a litter is a TON of work to do it right.
People often ask how I am feeling about the puppies when they leave....obviously, it is hard to see them leave because I have put my heart and soul into raising them and spent hours and hours playing with them, feeding them, cleaning up after them, trimming nails, giving baths, teaching so many different things, but-and this is a BIG but, by the time the puppies are 8 weeks old, they have become a 24 hr a day/7day a week job. It is always, the puppies need fed, the puppies need to go out, the puppies need to work on this, the puppies need to go for a ride in the car, the puppies, the puppies, the puppies......I think you get the picture there.
I cannot keep up with that pace indefinitely and there comes a point in time where the puppies need more individual time than I can possibly give to them, even with devoting most of my waking hours to them, so it is time to say goodbye and for them to move on to their new lives with their new owners. I miss them, absolutely, but I am not sad-afterall, I have done my best for them to have the most wonderful families waiting for them.