A conflict of Morality: numbers

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by Kat09Tails, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    I was sitting down with a dear friend who shares my breed and we got into a discussion of numbers pertaining to breeding dogs. There is a conflict in my mind with establishing a line of dogs bearing my kennel name and the suggested numbers of dogs it takes to do so. One breeder I spoke with said if I bred normal size dogs that a minimum of ten litters a year was needed to establish a kennel name but for dogs who whelp as small of litters as mine fifteen to twenty would be more ideal to produce the number you would need to select a few really nice dogs. This breeder is a well established and well respected breeder of papillons and herself owns a kennel with at least 40 adult dogs. She owns most of her own studs sends her dogs out to campaign with handlers and has a lot of champions that bear her kennel name.

    I gotta say I gagged on these numbers a bit. Then I decided I would do a quick non scientific survey of some of the top names in the toy fancy to see how many dogs they owned or listed as being sole owners on their websites. 48, 60ish, 110, 70, 35, 55, and a staggering 147. HOLY CRAP. Only two of these kennels would be even legal in my state due to anti puppymill laws. I have to wonder about temperament selection, quality of life, and how well any breeder could know a dog when they have so many and with the numbers being produced and readily eaten up by people within the fancy the impact of these kinds of operations on the breed as a whole.

    Anyway, I guess that's my point of ponder and I wondered what you guys who have experience with successful bloodlines/breeders and breeding dogs think?
     
  2. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    in order to establish the dogo, the nores martinez brothers had a fulltime staff of almost 2 DOZEN people to care for, train & work the very many dogs in their kennels. 6 of those were dedicated solely to feeding & & cleaning up after the dogs. think about that, how many dogs do you have to have to require 6 people to put in a FULL days work every day.
     
  3. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    Do you think 1930's standards of care and animal breeding apply to today? It's not ment as a challenge but rather as a question since the role of dogs has changed rather dramatically in the modern day compared to before the 1970's. I guess I would question buying a dog even from great lines from a place where the dogs were in a kennel with 50-100 other dogs. It's not really the image people usually think of, I think ,when we think of the reputable breeder.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  4. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    I think for one person, or even a couple or a small family to mange by themselves, those numbers are impossible. If you had a kennel and staff and everything else, maybe it'd work. But to me, what's the point? Sure, you're making lots of dogs, but what are you doing with them? There's no way you can compete or work them all yourself (hire handlers, yes). Why have dogs if you're not even the ones taking care of them? I know it's just a matter of opinion, but I would rather have a small kennel with a couple litters a year, tops, so I can care for my dogs myself, train them myself, and compete them myself. Who cares if I'd ever make a big name for myself - as long as I was breeding the kind of dog I wanted to breed, I'd be happy.

    I also tend to think that smaller dogs can become overwhelming (number wise) faster because people think "Oh, they're little, let's get/breed more of them, there's plenty of room!" (not everyone, of course). To have the same number of large dogs would take MUCH more room, but really a large dog doesn't take all that much more care than a small dog.

    I guess just go with what YOU want from your breed. You don't HAVE to have giant kennels if you're breeding the quality of dogs you want to breed. Personally, I'd choose a lesser known line over a super-popular one any day.
     
  5. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    When establishing the dogo, they were creating an entirely new breed. To get that sort of genetic consistency yes you do need to work in high volume. I've done it with poultry. We hatched out over 300 birds a year, and then culled all but the top 10% that fit our standards. Of those, only the top 2-3% became breeders.

    To make a line within a existing breed, it depends on what you are going for and how good you are at predicting the outcomes and making good matches. A lot of people in my breed say you can breed a litter, and hope maybe 2-3 come out show quality. IMHO, if your success rate is that low, you're doing a crappy job matching dogs up. My mentors have been very successful getting 80-100% success rates with their planned breedings, partly because they educate themselves and partly because they have a good eye for pairings that work.
     
  6. JennSLK

    JennSLK F150 and a .30-06

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    What Romy said.

    There is no reason for that many dogs. It sounds like a glorified puppy mill IMHO.

    If you are breeding your own line you do not need that many dogs. You start out with 1 -3 females and pick males from other breeders that suit the type of dogs your breeding.

    Of course I know your dogs are all fully health tested before breeding ;)
     
  7. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    depends what your goals are, but i'd love to come across a breeder getting 80% success rates regularly. I guess your standards will dictate as well what's considered success.

    it's the law of averages, dog breeding doesn't escape them either, no matter how good you think you are. You can definitely stack the deck in your favor, but it's still messy.

    i know working kennels that have a good reputation and have lots of successful dogs, have breds lots and lots and lots of dogs.
     
  8. JennSLK

    JennSLK F150 and a .30-06

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    I know wich breeder Romy is thinking about, Im pretty sure anyways. They have stunning dogs. Thier standard is BIS and BISS winning dogs, and Am/Can Ch's.

    I also know a Borzoi breeder who easily has a 80% sucsess rate. Both in Am and Can as well as germany.

    I can think of many Doberman, Beagle, Aussie, Daxie, Whippet, ect.. breeder that have the same.
     
  9. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Just because they're the owner doesn't mean the dog lives with them.

    But yea, those numbers are quite staggering and unnecessary.
     
  10. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    ok, I gotta know who these breeders are
     
  11. JennSLK

    JennSLK F150 and a .30-06

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  12. Boemy

    Boemy New Member

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    I visited a small dog breeder once--I don't want to say her kennel name in public, but I can assure you anyone looking at her health testing and the dogs she produced would consider her a reputable breeder. Breeding to better the breed and so on. Also well-known within her breed.

    So, as I say, I arranged a visit, being interested in the breed in question and being as I was travelling through the area she was in. She had one litter of puppies at that point who were nicely contained in a sort of soft-sided playpen in a bedroom. There was a male dog running around with a bellyband on and two or three other dogs trotting around the house. In addition, the lady clearly knew her stuff. "Wow, this is great!" I was thinking.

    Then the lady took me to a different part of the house. It looked like an animal shelter. Stacks and stacks of cages, each with a dog in it staring out. Easily forty dogs. They started barking excitedly and the lady grabbed a spray bottle of water and started screaming at them to shut up. She let them out and they ran around the yard, but they were popped right back in the cages as soon as we went back into the house.

    Her conversation was oddly sterile compared to most pet owners. Everything she talked about in relation to her dogs was either about racking up points and championships or how awesome the conformation on this or that dog was . . . Never anything about a funny habit a dog might have or about their personalities. I made one or two overtures talking about my own pets--just trying to share some funny stories with a fellow pet owner, you know--and she just ignored me and steered the conversation right back to ribbons.

    This was a toy breed bred for companionship that some breeders claim are unhappy unless they spend an extensive amount of time with their people.
     
  13. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

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    The line that my AmStaf is from was founded by a guy that started in the late 60s. I'd guess that he'd have 15 - 20 dogs at his place. He's a wealthy man and until recently had a full time employee that lived on his property as a kennel manager. In the years that my friend was his kennel manager, he typically had 1 or 2 litters a year, and often took puppies back from litters off of his stud dogs. The dogs are heavily linebred on his foundation bitch. The dogs are healthy, long lived, and generally have more drive than average for the breed.

    I think that developing your own line can be done with great concern to the dogs, but sadly, I don't think that the above breeder is the norm. It seems that so many with the same accomplishments do it at the expense of high quality care for the dogs.
     
  14. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    Well, Paps are rare as hens teeth in South Africa and I am helping establish a line out of two first gen dogs, Travis's dad is imported from Australia and Riley's parents are English imports. That does not mean I have a million dogs. MY dogs quality of life is first and foremost.

    When I do breed I will be keeping any worthy females and homing males on either performance or show contracts. I will continue with my bitches but don't see myself having another stud besides Travis. I will also only use Travis for one litter out of Riley. There are plenty of STUNNING males up country for me to use with Riley.

    So no, my opinion is that you shouldn't have those sorts of numbers.
     
  15. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Wait define successful... if we are talking strictly conformation.. that is pretty easy (relative to other traits) to breed for. It shouldn't be hard to get 80% success rate when a knowledgeable person with a good eye for what is 'in' breeds.

    I would say that breeding for speed, or working ability would be harder as these aren't traits you can 'see'. There are more variables etc.

    That said those are stupid numbers. And it depends on what you mean by establishing a line. I know of a breeder (in JRTs) who breeds 2-6 litters a year and has very consistent looking (ie you can look at it and say "thats X's dogs) AND working dogs.
     
  16. dachshunds4me

    dachshunds4me Member

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    I think that a kennel name gets established when the dogs are winning shows and competitions, not sheer numbers.
    Just like with unknown race horses, they are worth nothing except when they win-the winners are then sought out to breed/breed to.
     
  17. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

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    I think more than just being a kennel name is implied, but the physical stamp on the dogs. I can look at different AmStafs & APBTs and often have a good idea where they came from just by what they look like.
     
  18. dachshunds4me

    dachshunds4me Member

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    I understand but for a start up kennel you'd need to acquire dogs from somewhere...and they'll bear the "physical stamp" of where they came from, won't they?
    I mean, breeding 10 litters in a year isn't going to change them significantly, or is that the point, to achieve a significant change in looks or appearance?
     
  19. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

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    I suppose to bring them as close as possible to your interpretation of the breed standard as possible.

    For example, the bloodline that Grant comes from tends to produce leggier dogs with more drive than a lot of AmStafs. When I have him next to another dog of his breed, he is the same height but often longer in leg and weighs much less. For example...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Both dogs meet the breed standard, and both would win under different judges who interpret the breed standard in different ways. This is why dogs belonging to different breeders and from different bloodlines look differently, yet are still members of the same breed bred to the same standard. Yes, you can mix and match the dogs from breeders that you obtain from that meet your opinion of perfection.
     
  20. MaryAndDobes

    MaryAndDobes New Member

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    You breed one litter of dogs and it has your kennel name on it, and technically you have just established a "name". IMO, all it takes to establish a good name is to breed quality dogs, period. You could do that in one litter!

    A friend of mine bred her first litter, and it contained a stunning dog that set the ring on fire (and a couple of champion littermates as well), was a quality producer and people flocked to breed to him. It took one litter to establish herself as a breeder of quality.

    Quality, not quantity.
     

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