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issue > reputable breeders


In Minnesota, there is no comprehensive listing of total breeders, type, locations, owners, breed specialty, quantity of animals produced, consumer complaints or “quality” of conditions. The public is left to figure out which breeders are reputable or not.

Unfortunately, Minnesotans still buy puppies and kittens from pet stores, via the Internet or through classified ads, not knowing that they may be supporting inhumane breeding practices — contributing to a cycle of abuse.


Reputable breeders can lead the way

Substandard/negligent dog and cat breeding facilities in Minnesota are tarnishing the reputation of responsible breeders, contributing to animal overpopulation and euthanasia, and creating physical and psychological harm to animals.

Reputable dog and cat breeding facilities do not tolerate animal suffering. Their policies include meeting and interviewing the person or family who will care for the animal, and placing each animal with a spay and neuter contract. They understand the enormous amount of time and money it takes to properly care for each animal, which is why many smaller breeders break-even or lose money. Profit is not the goal. Dogs and cats are viewed and treated as life—not products to be mass produced with little or no socialization or human interaction.

If you are a breeder who has seen, as many have, the harm inflicted by negligent breeders on individual animals and an overall breed, please don't remain silent. A courageous few can help change old ways of thinking and shape new policies that can protect animals and reputable breeders.


Sometimes It’s About Ethics

The following excerpt is from Canine Reproduction and Whelping: A Dog Breeder’s Guide by Myra Savant-Harris RN. The author/breeder recently spoke to a group of dog breeders at the University of Minnesota. (Reprinted with permission.)

"Before you make a decision to breed your dogs, decide what it is you hope to accomplish. What is your goal, other than to have a litter of puppies? Do you want to better the breed? Do you want to win in the show ring with something that you have produced yourself instead of purchased? Do you want to work on specific health issues that could be decreased or maybe even eliminated with careful breeding practices? Do you want to provide little Susie and little Bobby with an opportunity to witness the “miracle of birth”? (Please just say no.) Are you hoping to finance that long-awaited trip to Hawaii? (Again, just say no.) What are your goals? Put them in writing.

If providing your kids with an education that involves the miracle of birth is your goal … forget it. If a puppy buyer asks for breeding privileges so that their kids can enjoy a litter of puppies, or so that they can recoup their investment, think it over carefully before you let them walk out the door with one of your puppies. First, what they may end up providing themselves with is an expensive stud fee and a breeding that doesn’t take in the first place. Second, you may be providing them with an education about c-sections in the middle of the night, and puppies may be dying right and left because they don’t know what they are doing. Worst of all, Sue and Bob may end up being the kids sitting in front of the grocery store with a litter of puppies in a cardboard box willing to pawn them off on the first warm body to say yes to a puppy. Does anyone need an education like this?

Before you allow “Stud Muffin” to impregnate “In-Season Sadie,”, keep in mind that humane societies all over the United States are putting thousands of dogs to death every week. These are dogs that simply weren’t wanted by anyone. Oh, someone may have wanted them when they were adorable little pups sitting in a box outside the grocery store (heaven forbid) or advertised in the newspaper, (not all that great either) but when push came to shove … these were dogs who simply were not loved, and were not valued and treasured. Someone made a conscious decision to breed those dogs, or they carelessly allowed the dogs to take matters that will end up being killed because they are not wanted? Do you want to produce puppies that will end up as adults tied to trees in the yard, ignored except for a daily feeding and watering? Large numbers of puppies who are born live horrible lives and meet a quick demise at the hands of owners who have tired of them. Consider these factors before you do a breeding, not while the Doberman Pincher from next door is tied with your little Cocker Spaniel girl and your fence is lying in pieces in your backyard. A lot of dog breeding simply should not be taking place. Good breeders, however, are working hard to address the longevity and quality of life of dogs.

Conscientious, careful breeders are producing thousands of puppies every year, each of whom will be lovingly and carefully placed into wonderful homes to provide years of pleasure and companionship to carefully chosen owners. Good breeders are making good breeding choices such as:

  • Never breeding more pups than can be placed in good homes.
  • Never breeding a dog that is affected by a known genetically transmitted disease.
  • Taking back their pups for re-homing if the need arises.
  • Religiously testing their dogs for diseases prevalent within their breed.
  • Not placing pups in pet stores for selling.
  • Placing pet quality animals with spay and neuter contracts.
  • Mentoring new puppy buyers and breeders thoughtfully and patiently.

Dog breeders are, in a way, creators of life. There are responsibilities that go along with the creation of each of those little lives no matter how you view it. Please take the responsibilities of canine breeding seriously. Be one of those breeders who makes good choices.”


Dog Breeder’s Codes of Ethics Links

Most reputable breeders follow a code of ethics. As indicated by the link below, however, some codes are worthwhile and others are not.

There are some principles which are considered highly ethical across all breeders. One principle, in particular, is “not selling to pet shops.”
(NOTE: Some URLs listed within link below are no longer valid.)

Excerpt from the above site: “Comparing the various codes can be enlightening. Of those that spell out exactly what health tests are required most tend to be rather conservative, requiring only the most widely known tests (such as hip x-rays). This is, sadly, true even where more serious problems can readily be tested for and risks reduced, such as cardiomyopathy. In many cases you can use links on the pages to get more information on the breeds, on their health problems, and on locating responsible breeder. In most cases there is no connection between complying with the codes and getting a dog registered. The non-AKC (American Kennel Club) breed registries are the most common exception. Some of those registries withhold registration if breeding guidelines are ignored.”



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