"We" the responsible show breeders deserve to breed our dogs, because we are so, well, AWESOME, right? We pamper our pooches, we lose a ton of money breeding and showing our dogs. We seldom have litters, we screen our homes, we health test, we belong to breed clubs, we are motivated by love, not money.
Yes, we ARE the bees knees!!! But what about those who might have different goals and different purposes from ours? Are they less “worthy” of breeding? We seemingly don't have a problem with laws that limit those unscrupulous "other" breeders. And they may do things that most of us don't do. They sell dogs over the internet, or to "pet shops" or through brokers or they breed their bitches every year. But, we have to STOP assuming that every broker is bad, that pet stores are merchants of greed and horror, that anyone who is motivated by money is necessarily an evil abuser.
Because it's just plain not true.
All dogs are not destined to serve as primarily as "pets", although even those with jobs are usually dearly cherished by their owners. Military working dogs are procured via brokers and breeders who specifically breed for that market. Guide Dogs for the Blind organizations breed dogs for a specific “helpmate” function. They crossbreed, they breed for aptitude, and they certainly have more than one or two litters a year. Dogs used on farms and ranches have jobs to do, and those who are the strongest and smartest and demonstrate the best ability will probably be selected to be bred to provide us with the next generation.
Traditionally, we have had choice. The choice to own a purebred dog, or a mixed breed dog, to breed as we see fit, whether we want a pet litter of "doodles", or a show litter, or a litter to hopefully produce a dog who will excel at a certain function. (Even if that function is catching frisbees). Do we really want the government stepping in and setting up ridiculous breeding rules? Must belong to a breed club, must do X-Y-Z health certification, must not crossbreed, and on and on ad nauseum.
Do we really want the government demanding that we forego the purebred puppy in the pet shop, with a pedigree and a health history, in favor of imported strays with completely unknown backgrounds? Families who want a pet currently can pick up the newspaper want ads and find one to suit their needs (although last time I checked, there were NO pets advertised in our local paper). Should it be illegal to advertise animals over the internet or in newspaper want ads? Should people have to beg permission from the government in order to breed a litter? These are all issues we currently face in today's climate of government control of our hobby.
Animal Rights extremists want to replace puppies resulting from planned litters with unplanned, crossbred street dogs, many of which are from foreign countries. They've already gotten laws passed to make this the ONLY sort of pet found in a pet stores in many localities in California. They want strict government regulation of all breeding in the US. If the side effect of such over-regulation is causing most breeders to give up entirely, that would be dandy with them. If there were no pets in pet stores, or in newspaper ads, or on the internet, it would be "mission accomplished" for these Animal Wrongists.
We need to get past such attitudes. We need to recognize that passing laws intended to eliminate the few "bad apple" breeders will not accomplish that goal, but such laws will eliminate all the great dogs that we love in the process. The show dogs, the working dogs, the mixed breed "doodle" pets, ALL of them! Patti Page was even pressured to re-write her "doggie in the window" song to one that promotes adoption of shelter dogs.
"Dog breeding is a privilege, not a right" someone recently commented on this blog. I think many people are beginning to fall into this sort of mindset. On the contrary, I believe it is our RIGHT to breed our dog, our cat, our bird, our hamster or our farm animals. They belong to us, and it is our right to breed them. And once we give up that right to government control or even to the discretion of dog clubs, then woe betide us.
We are a nation where choice and freedom are supposed to be guarded and cherished. Our freedom to breed in an unrestricted manner and our choice to own the pet that we want should not be determined for us by others who believe that somehow they know best. When we arrive at the "no breeding" goal of animal fanatics, life as we know it will never be the same. We'll be missing a very important part of our heart and soul.