I don’t breed shelter dogs.
Previously published in Sight & Scent Magazine
Wendy Wieland Martin
I don’t breed shelter dogs. I do breed planned, wanted, healthy purebred dogs. I am not one of the bad
Bless those who take in abandoned, unwanted, or rescue dogs. Save your derision for those who don’t
bother to spay or neuter their pets, who breed to make a few bucks or to “educate” the kids. Those who
get bored with that cute puppy who grew into something unexpected, who are surprised that a dog
needs training, who cannot be bothered with medical basics, are the ones dumping their dogs at the
shelters – or in the streets.
Don’t scorn those who adopt planned, healthy, purebred dogs. The breeders of these dogs are doing
a service for all dogs. They are testing to assure that eyes are good; hips, elbows, knees are well-
constructed, that hearts are healthy. Breeders have nearly doubled the lifespan of the Great Dane,
and helped identify the generic marker for a deadly liver disease in English cockers, enabling breeders
to get closer to breeding the problem out. Participation by breeders in university research for numerous
medical conditions has helped make dogs and people healthier – by donating blood samples and
having our beloved healthy and affected dogs tested throughout their lifetimes and by contributing
testing samples and information to humane, needed research projects.
I can predict the temperament, quirks and health of the dogs I breed. I can tell you which one has its
grandmother’s eyes; where its stubbornness or funny voice comes from. Because my dogs are
purebred, I can predict their size and attitude, whether they will “give voice” when they catch the scent of
a rabbit or if they will flush a bird from the bush. I can tell you whether they will make good protective
dogs, or will herd the kids. I show, train and hunt with my dogs to make sure they are healthy enough
mentally and physically to perform as expected for their breed.
I take every precaution I can to assure that my dogs will never be found in a shelter. I guarantee in
writing that every dog I breed can be returned to me at any time in its life.
Those who visit shelters may find “purebred” dogs, but they are less likely to find dogs bred by “dog
fancy” breeders. At the demand of members, national breed clubs require members to pledge to a strict
ethics oath and work to weed out those who violate the code of ethics. Members rescue, evaluate,
foster and find “forever homes” for the dogs. Our activities with our dogs are true labors of love. And
we do it for all the love we get back.
I don’t breed shelter dogs. I proudly and carefully breed beloved, healthy purebred dogs.
I am one of the many good guys in the dog fancy.