[Discussion] The line between a back yard breeder and a great breeder can be very fine and somewhat blurred at times, what criteria(s) would you use to set them apart?

I also have a dog sitting behind me that could easily be a show champion, has her Junior Courser title and an RN, and will never be bred because she has no papers. My first whippet champion came from a dam that was not titled.

This might be the case in AKC where there are very few dogs per show and they are all competing for points, but not so much in other venues like KC or FCI. In those, you'll rarely get champion puppies out of paperless, purely racing line or not top winning parents. Why is that? It's because frequently those breeding for pet or working homes are letting in structural faults as they prioritise working ability/drive and often skimp on health testing too. Working breeders are just as bad as conformation breeders in ignoring the other side. Neither side really wants to admit their faults (with exceptions).

However, working/pet dogs have a much better chance in AKC than in other venues. Conformation championship titles should be as difficult to achieve as a field trial championship title or any other sport championship-level title to make them worthwhile, but from what I've seen of AKC conformation, you can make a six month old okay dog a champion in one weekend. Does that really demonstrate excellent conformation? I would argue not. Just as a herding instinct test or a CAT doesn't demonstrate excellent herding/coursing ability.

I would also love a world where everyone breeds dual purpose dogs, but that won't happen very quickly when extremes in both sides do better. The driviest, world champion IPO malinois is not going to get its conformation championship. The GCh german shepherd with conformation accolades out of its arse is not going to get its IPO3. This is because breeders breed for different things and have different priorities when selecting a puppy. Breeders who have the time, knowledge and inclination to be active in more than one venue are also hard to come by, and some breeds are just split so far that it makes it really difficult to find a dog that can really do both.

My personal goal with breeding will be to do both, but then I have the time and the money and an obsession with dogs. I will own a breed that is not split in half. And I will work to help that breed flourish as a dual-purpose breed in my country. But I can do that because the numbers are small. It is very difficult to make a significant difference when there are thousands of breeders all doing their own thing. It's a very complicated issue and I'm very pleased whenever I see people doing both, but there are strong opinions on either side and not many interested in crossing over.

/r/dogs Thread Parent