As we prepare for the holidays and await the beginning of a new year, let us pause to remember the people who are no longer with us but who have done so much for the benefit of our breed.
And let us resolve to give serious thought in 2009 to the issues that have accompanied the Bulldog’s rise to number 10 in popularity. If you care for our breed, you must give serious consideration to the problems of overbreeding. There is an alarming increase in Bulldog litter registrations. Entries are up at shows-look how many it takes today to get a major in our breed. The time to wake up and take action is now. We are all aware of the consequences of overbreeding in other breeds, but we choose to put our heads in the sand when it involves our own. After all, isn’t the problem those evil puppy mills and awful pet shops?
It is time for all concerned and responsible breeders to take notice. The breed’s best interests are at stake. Ask yourself, how many puppies were you responsible for bringing into the world last year? How many were from your own or co-owned bitches, and how many stud services did you give?
We never learn, it seems. We know that overbreeding is the death knell for any breed, yet we continue to brag about our latest litter of pups and the next ones we are planning. We close our eyes to the reality of the situation. Some individuals breed for the wrong reasons. To some, it’s a way to bring in extra income. To others, it is something more insidious; it is an ego trip and a numbers game of tallying up more champions and reaching certain plateaus. This causes jealousies and rivalries that do nobody any good. Stand ringside at a show and listen to the unflattering comments about the competition. Look on the Internet and read some breeders’ negative comments about other breeders and their dogs. Some people will do anything to assert superiority over their competition, including breeding far too many dogs in looking for that next show prospect, all the while proclaiming devotion to the breed.
The responsibilities of every Bulldog owner and breeder are obvious. It is imperative that we breed only those Bulldogs that are of good type and temperament, with no major faults or health issues. Let us work together to keep the Bulldog the special dog he is.
On behalf of myself and the officers of the Bulldog Club of America, have a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.
Amelia Averil, 8 Willow Brook Rd., Hillsdale, NJ 07612.