It is common to see dog owners’ discuss on FB and other forums the number of litters and dogs a good breeder has to have and no one seems to agree on the same number. The truth is….THERE ISN’T ONE! Some people can’t adequately care for 2 dogs, while others can maintain 20 dogs in good health, condition and training – same goes for litters and puppy care. Remember, NOT all breeders are breeding full-time, in the modern days it is a passion and commonly a hobby which takes ALL of your time outside of your 9am-5pm job (yes, I’m one of the latter). Being an ethical breeder involves understanding where your limits are (physical, emotional, time-management, priorities setting ability, etc) and how many dogs you can provide a good life, care, food and training to. Some, just blindly become hoarders due to inability to separate emotional attachment and consciously evaluate physical capabilities and their adaptability to the new lifestyle. Yes, ownership of multiple dogs is a lifestyle of its own and needs preparation and clear understanding.
Don’t blindly judge a breeder that has the number of dogs or litters YOU are not able to take care of (which is okay, we are all different and our situations are different) nor rely on someone’s self-proclaimed “standards”. Instead, do your own research and look for these indications of an ethical breeder:
- Quality of dogs’ life in the program – training and socialization, coat and teeth quality, healthy weight, body and muscle condition, etc.
- Breeders’ involvement with their dogs and canine community – to confirm the breeder does work with, individually socialize and train their dogs ensure the breeder is into at least one of the following – performance sports, trials or conformation events. A plus if they are involved in their own breed or local all-breed club(s). You can also go to see their dogs in action yourself and talk to the breeder in person by attending one of the events they perform at.
- OFA and CHIC health certifications – you can confirm these using the dog(s) registered name and inputting to OFA.org search bar. You will find breed appropriate health exams performed on a searched dog – these are not your regular annual vet checks, but are specifically instructed and graded exams. Some of which need to be performed by a board certified veterinary specialist.
I hope this post sheds some light on another breeder myth and you understand the importance of research on how much time is dedicated by a breeder to each dog, including their mental and physical condition vs looking for and counting their dogs and litters.