AKC Gazette

August 1994

Richard R. Maze




Guest columnist Nancy Paul judged bitches at the Bulldog Club of America 1993 national specialty.

Breed Your Bitch – Why?

It was a wonderful experience judging bitches at the BCA national. Many new people were there. I hope they picked up helpful information from reliable old-timers on showing, basic Bulldog care, what to do and not to do, but perhaps most important the whys and why nots of breeding.

All responsible dog people should ask why they are breeding and know the consequences of having a litter. If you breed for a show puppy are you willing and able to keep possible prospects eight or nine months or even longer if they need time to mature? Or do you claim you want a show candidate but never keep one long enough to determine the quality of the dogs you bred?

Are you really breeding for a show prospect or is this an excuse to cover show expenses or other personal wants and needs? Compounding this offense is selling bitches to pet people and insisting on puppies and even litters back to enhance your finances. Think about it. A dog is not a commodity that can be thrown away when it is no longer convenient to keep it, although many do just that, as can be seen by the following.

The American Humane Association says 6.3 million dogs were destroyed in 1992. It’s not only mixed breeds that are victims. In an unstructured survey by the AHA it was estimated that 25 to 30 percent were purebreds—about 2 million! These figures are appalling to all animal lovers.

Based on this information, are you willing to spend the time to place pups as carefully as possible, or will you take the money and run? Don’t soothe your conscience with the old cliché, “No body will spend that much money for a dog and not care for it.” Many of us know the sad falsity of that remark. Are you prepared to help place and even take back dogs that you sell until a suitable home can be found? You should be.

Esther Findling’s chart on how to determine if a dog should be bred warns against breeding “so kids can see puppies being born, or because you want ‘a puppy from her.’ “Its main theme is “Don’t breed out of greed!” If you decide to breed, you are accountable for every dog from every litter.

This is only the tip of the iceberg of what we should take into account before breeding a bitch. Remember the frightening euthanasia statistics are used to lobby for restrictions on dog ownership and stricter enforcement of existing laws.

A Transfer of Ownership should contain registration and tattoo numbers, name, price and all necessary and pertinent information. Add the following terms to your transfers as a start in protecting your dogs from becoming victims. It combines two agreements. I thank Bulldoggers Deb and Harve Rairie for sharing their sales stipulations.

Specific Conditions of the Transfer

1)     The dog will be maintained with normal and adequate veterinary care as required.

2)     The dog cannot be sold, transferred or destroyed without Seller’s written permission.

3)     Seller has the right of first refusal if Buyer finds it necessary to place the dog.

4)     The dog or its offspring cannot be sold through a pet store or other retail establishment.

5)     If any of the above conditions are not met, the dog will be returned to Seller at no cost and a penalty equal to the price of the dog when it was transferred will be paid to Seller.

A final note: Stud dog owners have responsibilities too, but that’s another story. – NP

Nancy, thanks for an impressive “eye-opener.”

Richard R. Maze, 45 Carolane Trail, Houston, TX 77024-5120.