Breeder Education

AKC/OESCA Breeders Education Committee
Jere Marder



While the site listed below is not written expressly for OES it is full of hints and facts about breeding and caring for your breeding stock. I think many people, breeders or not, will find it of great interest as it covers a multitude of subjects. If you do find it helpful it is always nice to let the authors know how and why you appreciated their work in putting it together.

A Good Breeder…

Is concerned with the dogs they produce…

  • Reputable OES breeders use recognized tests for hips, eyes & thyroid, per the OESCA Code of Ethics, and are encouraged to use BAER hearing tests as well.
  • A good breeder will spend great amounts of time and money to produce the best dogs that they can. This is an all out effort in animal husbandry which should be encouraged.
  • They will study pedigrees and potential genetic faults before breeding. Their dogs are tested and cleared of certain diseases and faults before being bred. They know their breed history and standard well.
  • They travel miles away from family and home to test their dogs against other dogs in their breed at dog shows to be sure they are producing quality dogs. They fully know the value of being a breeder of dogs with good temperament. Soundness, health, and temperament are of most concern.
  • Many go to the expense of having their dogs fully vaccinated (depending on the age of the dogs being released to the new owner) and are often micro chipped and have had their eyes checked for juvenile eye problems by a Board Certified Canine Ophthalmologist before they are sold; another effort to offering healthy dogs and being able to keep track of the dogs they sell.
  • Once the purchase has been made, the breeders are often co-owners in order to keep track of the dog that has been sold.
  • They ALWAYS seek to place their dogs in the best homes they can find. This means they are not in a hurry to place them. They will say no to a prospective buyer for a great many good reasons. They usually ask for more than one reference before considering someone for one of their dogs if they don't know the person they are selling to.
  • They often absorb the cost of having their own puppies neutered if they are not fit for breeding.
  • Reputable breeders include in their puppy contracts that, if for ANY reason, the new owner has to give the dog up, the Breeder has first option to take the dog back (in order to guarantee that it does not end up in a shelter or be passed from home to home with each one worse than the last).
  • They often travel many miles to acquire the services of expert veterinarians.
  • They rarely make money in this venture and it becomes a passion even more than a hobby. Sometimes they are blessed to just break even. It is not a mere business for the breeders that I know. It is a love for their breed that compels them to act in the way they do for the betterment and hopeful continuation of their breed into the future.
  • They know too well that good plans for a sound breeding is still, in the end, an endeavor with no guarantees. Still, with careful study of pedigrees it is better odds than breeding dogs with unknown faults and temperaments or breeding dogs known to have produced puppies with health or temperament issues or whose siblings or other closely related dogs have done so. This is why they prefer pure bred dogs to mixed breeds, or dogs whose pedigrees are not from lines that can be evaluated, yet they still have concern for ALL dogs.

Their Concern for other dogs...

  • They are fully aware and care about the plight of dogs that need to be rescued. They are often a part of the rescue arm of their national breed clubs which match dogs for families that want a particular breed. They make room to house dogs waiting for that perfect match. They give their time to do this to see that every dog within their breed might enjoy the privilege of having found a forever home.
  • They often offer their expertise, time and energy, for local animal shelters.

They are concerned about maintaining their integrity with other breeders and with the public.

  • All their dogs are registered with a reputable canine registry, one that does its own inspections of breeders that register dogs with them.
  • They join their breed and/or an all breed clubs to stay abreast of canine health issues and potentially harmful legislation. By associating themselves with breed, all breed clubs, and national registries, they are bound by codes of ethics and as such are open to being inspected if their integrity is questioned.
  • Breeders of show dogs are able to sell their stock based on their reputation and this is the best regulation that exists to keep a breeder's integrity intact.
  • They are often mentors to new owners who want to get involved with their dogs in dog shows or performance trials. They are willingly available to new owners to answer questions and help the owners work out problems they might encounter with their dogs even if the dog is purchased from another breeder.
  • Good breeders often volunteer their time to support or lobby against public issues concerning dogs.
  • Most good breeders are also good citizens.
  • Breeders such as these are the cream of the crop. They are not part of the problem but are certainly a part of the solution. Most legislators do not understand the plight that bad regulation/legislation puts on these hobby breeders.

Most breeders are concerned that...

  • First, bad canine legislation puts good breeders in the same category with puppy mills or pet shops that sell puppies commercially. Such people may have good intentions but they rarely ever test their dogs against the standard of the breed. They rarely consider pedigrees or potential faults in structure or health or temperament of the dogs. Their major concern is that of seeing to it that the buyers' credit card is good when a sale is made and have little concern about the environment each dog sold is going into.
  • Secondly, by addressing laws to stop reputable breeders, legislators are forcing the same underground. It would be good for legislators to consider how they can stop ill-planned breedings, especially those who make little to no effort to produce healthy, sound dogs that have good temperaments and are true to their breed standard.
  • Dogs are creatures of the environment they live in. The value of a dog is not related to the amount of money an owner spends for the dog but is directly related to the amount of time he spends with his dog. One cannot guarantee that because people spend a large amount of money on a pet, that the pet will be better cared for. But it is a sure bet that those owners who spend money on their dogs will value their dogs and will be more likely to care for them better than some owners who buy a dog for pocket change. We acknowledge that there are exceptions to this statement.