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Old 02-17-2013, 01:28 PM
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Underage Breeding discussion

To avoid further hijack of the "get a grip" thread, here is a new thread to discuss underage breeding.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:30 PM
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New Thread to Discuss Double Standard toward Breeder Ethics

I am starting this to pull out of the de-railing of the original posters thread regarding a puppy from a well-known breeder. I do not often start threads, but I felt compelled to do this, because I am very concerned that this forum appear to be compromising one of the most important qualities we have: principles that are defended with no double standards.

My concern is that if we do not stand on principle equally with all breeders, we lose credibility when we have conversations with people about why it's ok to buy a puppy from one breeder but not another. I have a huge problem with the idea that it's ok for an "experienced breeder who knows their lines" to breed a dog on prelims but for anyone else it's unethical. How in the world do we qualify 'experienced' or 'knows their lines' . Someone could have studied pedigrees and health stats for decades yet only have bred a limited number of litters and we would label them as 'unethical' for doing this.

Stating that someone knows their lines and has years of health clearance information to go on is very misleading. I may be wrong, but it's my understanding that things like heart clearance by a cardiologist and elbow clearances and yearly eye checks are relatively new ideas to the breed as far as being a standard clearance. Not many breeders out there can honestly say they are breeding dogs today who have 5 generations of all 4 clearances behind them including the cardiologist heart clearance. Saying that because their dogs never dropped dead from heart failure doesn't allow them just assume that none of those dogs were carriers of a genetic predisposition that can be passed along and present itself in a puppy I buy from them.

In the previous thread the statement was made.... "But it's important to remember that the COE are not punitive "rules." They are a code of ethics." A code of ethics is a moral standard that governs the behavior of a group of people. (I know how much some people on this forum cringe at the use of the term 'moral standards', but that doesn't change the definition of the word used on the GRCA website.) Just because the GRCA doesn't pursue punitive action doesn't mean that this forum should ever back down on ethical issues.

Without standards and principles, I maintain that we are nothing but a group of people who love Goldens and have no business giving people pointers on what defines a reputable breeder or even what is in the best interest of the breed as a whole.

This is something I'm very upset about. I will be interested in the thoughts of others. I can be tolerant of opposing viewpoints without feeing I should sacrifice my own standards of right and wrong.


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Old 02-17-2013, 01:31 PM
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Personally, I think they should be arrested and prosecuted for statutory rape.

Oh, wait......nevermind!
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:34 PM
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I think that was very well said, and I tend to agree with you. I'm open to hearing more about why there are exceptions for some people, and if there are valid reasons, accepting the concept. But at the moment, I'm with you.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:34 PM
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To get things started, I will give my opinion on underage breeding (i.e. breeding of dogs under the age of 2 who cannot have final OFA hip and elbow clearances). I don't like it. I wouldn't do it and I would not buy a puppy from a breeding where either the sire or dam did not have final clearances. I have had a dog with moderate to severe hip dysplasia (my Chloe) and HAVE to stack the deck in my favor on getting a healthy dog. I just couldn't take the risk....there's already so much risk and uncertainty inherent in golden breeding even when things are done right, I just couldn't risk the unknown. I do understand it is something that is done by highly experienced and well respected breeders, and while I don't judge, I still wouldn't get a puppy from one of those breedings.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:39 PM
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You are a better person than I. I would judge. I don't care about their reputation or standing in the breed. Unless someone can help me understand how they could possibly predict hip and elbow clearances any better than anyone else, I stand ready to judge by the same standards upon which the rest of us (generic "us," as I am not a breeder) are judged.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:43 PM
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It used to be quite the norm to proof a male that was showing great promise before he was 2. This was in the 90's and forward. It was not discussed and encouraged but I knew breeders in just about every breed that were doing it. What I was often told when I asked was that this way they could see if he would produce and if he would produce himself or better, before they invested a ton of money in him to be finished.

Now I do know that this is no longer commonly being done around here but some of the breeders that have been around a long time do still do it. Since it is now well know in the age of information that even a dog with fantastic clear bloodlines can end up with HD I think it is a risk not worth taking to make sure past those initial tests that they are indeed clear. And does appear as a double standard that can certainly hurt those that wish to educate the general public that it is smarter and safer to buy from a breeder that follow the code of ethics set in place by the parent club.
Those that buy from joe smoe will just point out when we try and educate, well those breeders don't follow it why should I worry about buying from some else that doesn't either. Right or wrong or how much knowledge and education that informed breeder is using to base their decision to breed that dog before two has that is all the public will see was they in fact did.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:44 PM
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I tend to agree with you as well. I did not want to hijack the OPs thread on the issue....less about a double standard (at least for me) and more about not having 10 pages of discussion of underage breeding in a thread about another issue. As I stated in the other thread, under age breeding is not for me. At ALL. I don't condone it or support it. But it is something I know is done on occasion by highly respected breeders. That's it on my end: personally, not for me and I don't like it, but I know it's done. I would never recommend someone get a puppy from an underage breeding, I don't think it's worth the risk no matter who the breeder is.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:50 PM
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This is one of those cases where I'd be happy to hear the breeder's side of things, or understand why somebody would breed a young dog vs waiting a few months. Why would you be in a rush to breed a young male golden? When he was apparently only a year old?!

You can probably make the argument that these people have known GOOD stock that they are breeding from and breedings may be lower risk than like say those cases where you have those other breeders who are breeding dogs they purchased for breeding , who have a spotty clearance history if any at all, as soon as it is reasonably possible to breed them.

A good example would be Jacks' mom who I believe was a few months shy of 24 months when she was bred. They chose to breed her on prelims vs wait for her to come in heat again. This breeder is very experienced and knows the breeding stock of their dogs.... and there was no harm done since she got all the official clearances when she was old enough.

^ I didn't KNOW the clearances were prelims when I purchased Jacks. I probably would have backed away from the breeder had I known. And that would have been tragic since I adore Jacks.

My feeling is that when you have people breeding a young male - there better be a darn good reason for doing so - specifically since you do not have the "don't want to wait for next heat" excuse.

If a breeder makes a standard practice of breeding underage dogs, I would stay away from them.

*** On the subject - I know of more than a few breeders who cut corners and breed dogs who did not pass their clearances. Because a dog was "too good to throw away". I posted about one litter here in MI where I was initially head over heels in excitement about buying a puppy from a litter... the male was a point or two away from getting his GCH. The original breeder/owner gave up the dog when they found out his elbows did not pass. The breeder here in MI had a lot of people look at the elbows and decided to breed the dog anyway.

And there are a LOT of breeders out there who would NEVER breed a golden with a gay tail or a zipper nose... but they would breed a dog with a failed elbow clearance.

The above is why if you are a puppy buyer, you just have to be very careful while interviewing breeders.

Another breeder here in MI - she bred her golden who failed her elbow clearances to a couple boys who had excellent and proven structure. That may be fine or an easy gamble for some people, but not one I'd take. <- And I know this breeder and think she is otherwise an awesome breeder who is over the top concerned with the breed and very involved with the local clubs.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:52 PM
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Well put. In my search for a pup i have visited a few different breeders. I have also asked on here what people thought about the breeders. In the end this is a forum and everything said good or bad should be taken with a grain of salt. I have my own views and when it comes to breeders I feel it has to be a gut instinct. They may have been doing this for years and have healthy animals and a spotless pedigree but if I get a wrong feeling from them i would not buy from them.
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