In the realm of responsible dog breeding, it is far too easy to simply say, I am doing my part.
Doing your part guarantees the best for your dogs and hopefully the families that come to know and love them, but frankly the world needs more than that.
While I would so dearly wish the consistently critical lens many people view a puppy breeder through would fall out, it will never disappear unless you help to break it yourself.
Change is needed, and every puppy breeder should be prepared to embrace it.
From taking a defined, public stand against cropping and docking, to making yourself an easily recognized member of your local community, change must come.
One can no longer assume that doing the best for our dogs personally is enough.
The strict application process, turning down unsuitable homes and families, and running a responsible operation does nothing to impact the way breeders and sellers are viewed by the community and world at large.
So how do we make an impact?
Be a part of your communities, show the worth of your breeds beyond health, lineage, quality and temperament assurances.
Don’t be recognized as “that dog breeder” when you’re out and about.
Be known as the owner of dogs people feel safe letting their kids run up to.
Showcase your happy, healthy animals in a way that doesn’t come off as aggressive or defensive toward the rescue or adoptive community. Turn the tables on the common misconceptions as walking proof.
The breeding community owes it to themselves to be the exception.
It may not always be easy, and everyone will struggle at some point regardless of experience.
In the end, you should look for options to give back to the community that you are willing and able to do.
Some breeders have trained one of their dogs as a service dog and donated him or her to someone in need.
Others have raised a puppy to be an ambassador or a therapy dog who regularly visits nursing homes and hospitals.
Clearly these are exceptional examples and may not be suitable or possible for every puppy breeder but they are great ones.
There is an unlimited number of ways to positively influence public perception and start breaking down barriers in the areas we live and do business.
Each person dedicated to responsible puppy breeding or selling has a part to play.
We know in our hearts we have passion and love for all dogs, from the abandoned mutt to the show-caliber purebred.
We simply need a louder megaphone when it comes to showing the world we aren’t on opposite sides.
We support the same goals, donate to the same shelters, favor spay and neuter for companion-only animals, are pro-adoption and anti-puppy mill.
Let us all work together to do our part to enlighten the world of the true face of puppy breeders.