Join Date: Oct 2008
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I think everybody who steered you away from this BYB is pretty spot-on. These days, there's no excuse for breeding dogs without hip, elbow, heart, and eye clearances. It's not terribly expensive to get them done, and they pay for themselves down the road.
I too had a BYB dog a long time ago, and he is the dog responsible for my having fallen in love with the breed. Nonetheless, he had shoulder surgery at three to repair a genetic defect that the father and several of his littermates had. His parents were the two intact household dogs of some people down the street. He was not bred thoughtfully or carefully, and though he was a credit to the breed in terms of temperament, he would have had a better life if his "breeders" had taken more care in matching up his parents. You're not really acting in the breed's best interest if all you're doing is mating your pets.
I'm sure lots of people who have had BYB dogs never had a problem. That doesn't mean you shouldn't make every effort to decrease the odds of having to put a dog through expensive and, worse, painful injury, surgery, and recovery.
As far as health guarantees, if a breeder is doing all clearances, why not ask them to draw up a rider in your contract that states they'll refund a certain percentage of the purchase price in the event of a genetic problem like hip or elbow dysplasia? If they have all the clearances and they haven't been seeing it in their dogs, they may be willing to do so, since the financial risk and reward balance out for them. They also may be happy to hear that you would not give up a dog under any circumstances and would simply like the financial help of the purchase price (or a large percentage of it) being given back to you to go towards medical bills.
With that kind of rider in the contract, a dog with all clearances, even an expensive one, is dramatically cheaper than a BYB dog. A well-bred dog might cost $1000-$2000, but that might not even cover one hip.