Originally Posted by lrlittle
Breeding just seems a little creepy to me at best. And at worst, cruel. Dogs are "made" to have a certain shape/look/temperament. Many of them have their ears clipped or tails docked just to fit the right look so they can win a contest. I just don't get it. Seems like playing God to me.
I live in a city where 40,000 animals are euthanized in a year. So it's hard for me to see a reason to make more animals.
Every single puppy in the US comes from a breeder. There are no wild dogs here, so every born puppy came about because somebody let their female dog get pregnant, and many times *wanted* their female dog to get pregnant. If you own a female dog that gets pregnant, you are legally and morally a breeder, and you are playing God with every puppy you produce.
So you can't escape from "creepy" breeding, unless you want to sterilize all the dogs in America and end the canine population in ten years or so.
If you don't want to do that, then you have to divide the breeders into two groups: those who deliberately breed for specific traits like appearance, temperament, coat, working ability, and so on--and those who throw their dog's cha cha toward any male who comes down the street (or, and this is in my opinion worse, decide that because their girl is purebred or looks purebred, they can make some money if they get her together with Uncle Marv's similar male). If they can't sell the puppies, they go to the shelter. If someone buys one and then that dog bites someone, off it goes to the shelter too. One of these breeding choices is, to me, creepy--but it sure isn't the first one.
The "contests" we go to are far more positively motivated and contribute more to the health of the breed as a whole than you think--show breeders are open to peer criticism and their pedigrees are an open book. Because I am a show breeder, I can steer you toward a dog likely to be healthy, look like it's supposed to look (and function the way it's supposed to function), and so on, even if it's not my own or even close to my breeding. Do some dock and crop? Yes, but many do not, and even those who do are generally doing it because they're passionately devoted to the historical and traditional appearance of the dog, not to win contests (i.e., docking/cropping are a function of the dog's original job--they became a practice long before dog shows even existed). I don't crop, even though my breed is traditionally cropped, and I feel perfectly free to make that choice and not be penalized by my friends and peers.
Every breeder is the diety of the puppies he or she produces--there you're right.
I'll continue to say: Many rescues are wonderful. Many shelters function under an impossible workload and crushing grief and do the very best they can. If you have the time, resources, and money to rescue and rehab a dog, and you don't need very specific things in terms of health or coat or whatever, then the shelter/rescue should be the first place you head. But there is absolutely nothing morally or ethically wrong with buying from a responsible, ethical, high-quality breeder instead, and for some families it is the far better choice.