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Puppy Mills: What they are, ways to work against them
  • RhondabeeRhondabee
    Posts: 175
    I was asked to post my comments in another topic to this more general topic - I was replying to someone who asked about petitioning to outlaw puppy mills:

    Puppy mills are legal as long as the meet the requirements of the law, which are usually bare minimum standards of living for the dogs. I live in Missouri and the majority of the people in Missouri voted to change the law (to basically require larger cages, no stacked cages & clean water, ect), but the it didn't do any good. The lobbyists for the puppy mills got the Missouri legislators to basically overturn the new law. The vote of the majority doesn't seem to count. It makes me very angry. Here is a link that explains the situation:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/15/missouri-anti-puppy-mill-law_n_849648.html

    I wrote to our governor about this & I asked him why I should even bother to vote if my vote doesn't end up counting for anything. I know the Governor did end up signing a "compromise" bill, while repealing the law passed by the voters. It did away with the limitation of 50 or below breeding dogs and eliminated other parts of the voter-passed bill, but did keep some requirements, such as larger cages. I was curious as to how this new bill affected the puppy mill industry in MO and as someone else posted some breeders have left Missouri to go to other states with less restrictive requirements, but there are still plenty left in Missouri. I know some of the legislators said they knew the people did not want to put the law-abiding licensed breeders out of business, but I know I did. I would have been happy if all the USDA licensed dog breeders went out of business. I'm happy to support all reputable breeders who put their dogs' needs first above making money, but as far as I'm concerned, dog breeding should not be a livestock business and that is is what USDA licensed breeding facilities are.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/where-did-missouri-s-puppy-mill-debate-go/article_4be18df6-955c-58fe-8360-846c5c11ca35.html

    The only real way to end puppy mills is to educate people not to buy from them.


    Post edited by Rhondabee at 2012-06-30 18:04:13
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    The recent auction cost the rescue $11,300 from the mill auctions.

    The rescue obviously made a big difference to the life of the 11 Shibas rescued, but the fat check of $11,300 is making some millers pretty happy and they probably would not think twice about doing it again. Irresponsible breeding pays! And that money would probably encourage more irresponsible breeding down the road. :(
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2012-07-04 00:04:47
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Ouch.

    Where are you getting this $11K figure, Sandra?

    I'm seeing a lot of discussion and reflection about this auction across breeds. Most people seem to think that the prices were ridiculous, but people (including the general public, which was allowed to attend) were paying them.
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    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    @curlytails

    That's the number Pam Peterson posted on one of the threads on Facebook. I was shocked at the price tag. It is a lot of money that can be used on dogs already in the system, fixing them up and getting them to good loving homes, rather than paying some millers to liquidate their inventory.

    I understand what a big impact/positive change it is for the 11 Shibas rescued, but I really think it is very wrong to pay the miller using limited resources rescue has. They save the dogs right in front of them, but that very same money is going to fund many future mill puppies.
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2012-07-04 00:04:28
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Some of you may have already seen this on Dogster, and it's actually more about BYB breeders than mills, but still, it is a heartbreaking story: http://www.dogster.com/the-scoop/rosie-backyard-breeding-inbreeding-hoarder?utm_source=Sters+Newsletter+Subscribers&utm_campaign=f8111a45b3-07032012_Dogster_newsletter&utm_medium=email

    Also, one of my friends from another forum just retold us the terrible story of her dog who is mill rescue. The mill had over 200 dogs. They "disposed" of dogs that were too old to breed by breaking their necks. When the rescue went in, they found a live dog in a pile of dead and decaying animals. Her neck was broken in two places and her teeth were infected and she had maggots burrowing in her skin, but she was alive. She was 9 or 10 years old and they had decided she was no longer useful.

    My friend has had her for three years. Her little dog Cee Cee is about 4 pounds, probably a chiauaua mix. She has spent well almost 20,000 on keeping this little dog alive, but she has a happy, lively companion, and she says she never once has regretted taking on this little dog and her care.

    So....I don't know. I see the point about how spending money at the mills benefits these asses, but on the other hand, I think about the individual dogs too. Dogs like Rosie or dogs like Cee Cee. Maybe they should just have been euthanized, who knows? But I'm glad someone is saving them. And I'm glad, too, that those Shibas are out of the mills, and glad I was able to donate a little to the cause.

    eta: and I will add though, that the money they spent to rescue these dogs was money raised specifically FOR that, not other money from the rescue in general. They asked for donations for this, and they raised that much in a matter of days, just for rescuing these particular dogs. So it's not actually accurate to say that it is taking money away from the rescue in general and other dogs. That money was FOR this auction.

    Also, they say $7,000 on their web page here: http://tristateshiba.org/auction.php
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2012-07-04 00:16:37
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    @shibamistress

    The difference of how your friend got Cee Cee or someone rescued Rosie is that these dogs are usually turned in, be given away free or with very low price by the backyard breeders or mills because they see no economic value of these dogs.

    Not every dogs can be saved and if you just focus on saving individual dog, then the same justification can be made to buying dogs from pet stores or mills, because you are saving that specific dog. You will save that specific dog, but it is your money that encourages more irresponsible breeding. And we all know the motives behind all irresponsible breeding is the financial gains from these activities.

    Public policy and education should be the way to go.
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2012-07-04 00:41:38
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    My thought is that is far, far more money than should have been exchanged in this transaction. Even though they did purchase only breedable females except for the one male puppy (and like I said above, those are usually the ones that go for the highest cost), and even though this was a complete kennel dispersal, ultimately I agree that the price was too high.

    I think pre-publicizing rescue's attendance at this auction really backfired (for all breeds, not just Shibas). This is not how it usually, or ideally goes.

    But it does reveal that the public is a tricky beast to educate, huh? You want to show them these things are happening -- and this campaign certainly did open up a lot of eyes -- but you also want them to respond in a restrained manner in the face of so much cruelty, which is not always reasonable because the basis of this response is precisely in defiance of reason! Donations will pour in because people do care but they're not all going to care the exact same way.

    Anyway, I thought they were going to cap the amount they were willing to spend, and socked the rest away for vetting, etc. I'm sorry that did not happen. But I still support Tri-State and Safe Harbor for what they do overall, as rescues.

    I'll repeat my trite summary: It's a really difficult, complicated situation... As long as we can keep discussing all these intertwined issues, it's better than nothing.

    --

    One more related link: Here's the eyewitness account of a woman who attended the April 21st auction in Vail, IA. I'm trying to get a more detailed catalog for this one. All I know is that Shibas were the most represented breed at that particular auction, with 31 females and 13 males out of about 240 dogs.

    "My Auction Adventures"
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    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-07-04 01:45:53
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Actually, my point about the rescue dogs was just about terrible the mills are. I didn't mean to compare those dogs to these dogs who have been purchased; it was just another point about how horrible mill situations can be. that was probably not as clear as it could have been. (I'd actually just been posting about those stories about dogs from the mills, then added the other parts about this particular rescue as I saw I'd crossposted with others).

    That said, I just disagree on this. I do think it was a lot of money to spend, probably too much. But I don't think that purchasing these dogs at auctions is always wrong. I agree that education and policy should be the way to go and we should work those avenues to close the mills down.

    But in the meantime, I'm not willing to turn my back on the dogs already in mills.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Here is kind of another way at looking at this sort of situation. Say the rescue didn't go to the auction, and all those pups wound up in another mill. The likelihood is is that each female would have been bred during every heat until they were no longer useful. So if each of those females were "retired" at 7yrs old that would potentially be 4 more litters for the three 5yr olds, 10 more litters for the three 2yr olds, and 14 litters for the four 8wk olds EACH. Those 10 girls have the potential of producing 98 litters total during their lifespans. If each litter had two puppies, that's almost 200 shiba inus that could have been sold in a pet store or used for future breeding. If 40 were held back for breeding and the rest sold off for $500 each (though often for more), that's almost $80,000 made from just those 10 dogs.

    Even if the breeding was more conservative, the older 3 being bred 2 more times and the rest bred 5 times each, that would be 41 litters with an approximate $33,000 profit (with 16 pups were held back for breeding). Now repeat those numbers again for the pups held for future breeding, and again for any hold backs of the pups pups, and again, and again.

    So thinking about it in those lines, that $7,000 is chump change compared to what the mill could have made off of breeding those shibas. It does suck that any money went into the pockets of millers, and to an extent I don't like the fact of rescues going to auctions, but it's nothing like "rescuing" from a pet store. These auction purchases aren't going to encourage mills to breed more just so they can sell more in auction, if anything I'd imagine that the millers were pissed and insulted that they weren't able to stop the rescue from taking away future money makers.
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  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    The amount of money spent is exactly why I thought this was a bad idea. Yea those 11 dogs are out, but with that money, how many more dogs will be bought in? Your saving dogs right infront of you, yet ignoring dogs who will suffer later. There are tons of shibas who don't have homes, or have terrible medical problems. Heck even donating that money for research into common breed problems like thyroid, and allergies, would have been better, or helping out shiba owners in low cost areas (perhaps funding training for owners who can't handle behavioral problems). There are so many other ways you can help shibas, I just can't find this justifiable, especially at that price. I thought it would be way cheaper, but they paid full price.
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    @Calia

    I don't think the miller really care if rescues are there at the auction. Rescues to the sellers are just another potential buyers as long as they do not disturb and make a scene at the auction. For the sellers, the more the merrier, driving up the price of their offering. For other millers who are there to bid, rescues are just another competitor and they will bid to whatever they think the pup is worth to them for their "business".

    The seller (supposedly a mill trying to liquidate its inventory) gets a big check from the dogs he no longer needs. He either chooses to get out of the mill business and pursue something else (probably something just as unethical as the mill business) or get rid of some breeds and use that fat check to purchase FRESHER and YOUNGER stocks (breeds that are popular and maybe have more puppies in a litter) to create many more mill puppies. Either way, it is giving the seller a fat check to pursue whatever his heart desires and I doubt a fat check would send a message to this seller that mill is bad business.

    IMO, I think rescue should focus their resources on helping dogs already in the system, rather than trying to enter into a commercial transaction with a miller such as a full on auction.

  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Well, since I'm starting to feel really irritable and a bit overly emotional about this discussion, I guess I will bow out of it, but I will say I get to choose where I spend my money. I chose to spend part of it specifically for this auction and I don't regret it. I have also sent money to this and other rescue groups for their regular operating costs, and will continue to do so when I have the small amounts I can send. I find it problematic that it can be suggested that people who do decide to help with purchases like this are somehow either not informed or are actually hurting the breed by doing this. That's not the case--it's just that we have differences of opinions in how to help dogs.

    I think it's a strength, not a weakness, that we do have these differences. Discussion is important, and hearing different views. Also, I think it is important that there is a multi-pronged approach to rescue, whether I agree with the different positions on this issue or not.

    Mostly, though, I just keep thinking, really? People really look at the pictures of those dogs and think, it would be better to let them stay in the mills if there is a way to get them out? I don't understand that at all.
  • RhondabeeRhondabee
    Posts: 175
    Southwest Kennel Auctions publishes an online magazine called Kennel Spotlight. kennelspotlight .com For anyone that wants to see the mindset of puppy millers, read the magazine. Makes me sick to my stomach, but confirms what I thought that the millers are just dog farmers and see nothing wrong with breeding dogs for profit and treating them like farm livestock. I don't want to support any dog breeder that has that mind set and I hope the general public doesn't want to either. And look at who advertises in this magazine.
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Related to the Millersburg, OH auction on June 30th:
    Reporters Thrown out of Dog Auction, Threatened with Arrest
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    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Saw this site linked elsewhere -- seems to be a pretty thorough source for information and criticism against puppy mills: Pets Adviser

    These articles, in particular, seemed pretty useful:
    Puppy Mill Red Flags: Don't Be An Accidental Supporter
    Puppy Mill Statistics in 2012
    How One Impulse Buy at a Pet Store Became a Nightmare
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    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • jimjim
    Posts: 55
    Notoriousscrat; I think that my opinion is similar to yours. My wife wanted a Shiba for over twenty years. But they were always priced out of her reach. Even the pet shop prices were more than she could justify paying. To many of us an extra thousand dollars or more for a pet, who we never intend to breed (for fun OR profit), or show, or compete, is too much. So, what is it about a pet from a reliable breeder that adds so much extra to that price tag?
    If we had decided to breed our Niki, we would have fed her the same food, played fetch with her the same way, provided the same toys and vet care. So if she had 4 pups, how could I justify several thousand dollars of profit from her? What exactly IS a "reliable breeder".
    Maybe I read more into your comment than I should have but I thought you might have been saying that if "reliable breeders" could reduce the profit margin, puppy mills might not get enough sales to stay in business.
  • Haha. It had been so long since I wrote that post, that I actually had to go back and reread it, LOL.

    I think you've half got what I meant. Mostly what I meant was that puppy mills will always be in business because of accessibility. Specifically what I meant was that they're aren't enough dogs from reputable breeders to fill the demand for dogs and that reputable breeders are hard to find, so people are going to get puppies from other sources since that is easy. Basically, what I think is that reputable breeders as they are now can't meet that demand and drive mills out of business, so that means that a business model similar to reputable breeders is probably the only way that will happen. Overall, though, I do think that you got my point: in order for puppy mills to go out of business, it needs to stop being a profitable business.

    As to what a reputable breeder is, etc, a couple of points.

    1. They're actually often cheaper than pet stores. Whether they're cheaper than mills or BYBs just depends. Mills and BYBs often price their pups are extremely high or very low.

    2. Reputable breeders actually don't make money on their dogs because of all that goes into them. The parents of their litters have been health tested (CERF on eyes, OFA on hips, elbows and knees) to help try and make sure that the genetic diseases common to the breed aren't passed on to their offspring. Not only that, but the grandparents and great grandparents are similarly tested, for the same reasons. The parents, grandparents, and great grandparents are also all show champions (which some people may or may not think is necessary, however I have never seen a breeder who health tests and does the other things necessary to give a puppy its best start in life who didn't show, so . . .). The puppy's parents may also have other titles in things such as rally, etc. There's the effort that goes into acquiring dogs worthy of breeding from other reputable breeders (who keep the same standards they do). They're also feeding the litter, making sure they get their shots, making sure they get proper handling and socialization, etc. Puppy mill puppies have none of this. They and their parents are generally kept in stacked cages with little human contact until the puppies are brought home. Backyard breeder puppies may get some of this (for instance, they may very well have a lot of human contact), but they don't have the health testing or the showing background. Having all of these things so that the puppies have the best possible chance of being healthy and well-balanced are what makes a breeder reputable.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4785
    @notoriousscrat

    Excellent points
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • Yes, very good points. And I will add, too, that when I got my puppy mill girl, I thought the same thing--I'm not going to breed her, a dog is dog, why pay $1000-$1500 for a dog when I can get this one for $300? The place looked ok, and she was cute.

    So I bought a puppy mill dog. I even went there and picked her up, at thought it has since gotten worse, at that time it was probably fairly benign as mills go--dogs were not stacked in crates, but in kennels and runs, though there were a lot of dogs, who did not get socialized, of course, or health tested or any of that.

    So my "less expensive" mill dog? At a conservative estimate (not counting food and meds and routine vet care) has cost me $12,000 so far. She is 6 years old. These bills are from her medical problems, or the thousands of dollars I've spent on my other dog who she has injured. She is epileptic, has luxating patella and a torn ACL (LP in both knees, only did the surgery on one), kidney problems, and serious temperament issues.

    So don't ever thing the "lower priced" dog is going to be a good deal. I would much, much rather pay more for a puppy up front and have a better chance and getting a healthier dog.

    And in addition, now that I know about the mills, and know what most of them are like? There is no justifying supporting businesses that treat dogs like commodities, stack them in cages and confine them to a life of breeding. How anyone can know about the mills and support them is beyond me. Many of these dogs have never been out of a small cage in their lives. That is heartbreaking.
  • This is interesting -- and timely.

    Article from HuffPo:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/11/online-puppy-mills-international-fund-for-animal-welfare-report_n_2278156.html
    In one day, more than 733,000 puppies were advertised for sale, with prices ranging from $1 to thousands of dollars each, according to the report. The investigators estimated that 62 percent of the nearly 10,000 ads from the six puppy sale websites were likely from puppy mills, commercial breeders that prioritize profit above the animals' welfare.

    [...]

    The online advertiser with the largest percentage of puppy mill animals, according to study, was Animaroo, where 85 percent of the ads appeared to from puppy mills. Next was PuppyTrader, with 64 percent “likely puppy mill” ads, DogsNow with 62 percent, NextDayPets with 61 percent, PuppyFind with 55 percent and TerrificPets with 44 percent.


    The full report from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which produced the report, can be found here:
    http://www.ifaw.org/sites/default/files/ifaw-report-how-much-is-that-doggie-on-my-browser.pdf

    I haven't read through the full report yet, and I don't know much about the IFAW, but hey, let's look into it together, shall we?
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    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • I didn't much care for their criteria for if a breeder was reputable. I didn't really think it said much. I would have been looking for health testing, USDA, registries used, etc.
  • @notoriousscrat, True -- this forum is far more detailed and instructive in that regard. I didn't get the impression that the report was concerned with identifying reputable breeders though. The two-tiered "puppy mill criteria" they provide is more about defending their definition as to what they think is "likely a puppy mill."

    I do like that they organized thumbnail company profiles of each of the specific broker sites they looked at (though I wish they could have dug up some information about profits earned -- certainly most of these websites have a LOT of business at stake in colluding with known mills!). And I thought the conclusion did a good thing by leaning a little harder on the web companies themselves to police the quality of breeders, instead of just falling back on legislation, since even the proposed APHIS redefinition mentioned in the introduction is currently mired in politics. Ultimately it's still a pretty conservative report though, even by their own accounts.
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    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I have scanned this thread and early in it agreed with some points.

    One if the reasons I believe so many of us, myself included, bought at some point from a mill or BYB is accessibility.

    I was new to the whole dog world, no knowledge of where to start, so the Internet it was. What hits on Google started my education on Shibas and once deciding on one what hits on various Internet searches is where I started.

    While I know more since coming into the forum, the accessibility on the Internet is important. If reputable breeders can't stand out on the Internet, mills and BYB by default will capture more of the newbies and regular pet owner desires.
  • You pay a lot more for a "pet" from a good breeder because, unless it's a mismark, you should be able to put a CH on it. It may not be up to the breeder's standards, but that doesn't mean it can't win.
    You're paying for gas to all the shows the breeder went to to put titles on the parents. You're paying for van repairs, food, hotels, and other travel expenses. You're paying for all the health checks, which are very expensive, that have to be done for multiple dogs. Pet or show, there's a lot that goes into making those perfect little puppies.
  • @orangedoggie, I've actually heard arguments from breeders that they don't think it's entirely fair to count the travel expenses to and from dog shows, because showing and competing is something they would want to be involved with, regardless of a decision to breed any specific titled dog. Participating in shows and networking is necessary for the breeder's own education, not an activity that's done solely for the sake of breeding.

    Travel expenses to and from certain vets for some of the more specialized OFA tests, on the other hand, are more directly related to breeding, and so that counts.

    I always thought this was a good breakdown of puppy prices for my other breed: "Just why do puppies from a reputable breeder cost so much?". But I think she wrote this about a decade ago, when gas was much cheaper, and she also lives in the Midwest -- where the cost of living is significantly less than what breeders in other parts of the US have to deal with!
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    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-12-15 22:46:53
  • But it costs money to put CH titles on dogs. Show fees have gone way way up. The breeder (at least the ones I know) is thinking that if they want to be able to continue showing, the puppies have to cost something. And even a $2,000 puppy doesn't put a dent into a year of showing. I have friends who are all down in Florida now at the Eukanuba. It costs a ton.
    There are people out there who just breed to make pets, but look at all the mismarks and non-standard Shibas they usually have. Maybe they don't care about showing, but if they went they could see what the standard is and breed towards it.
    I count show travel expenses and entry fees because that's the most frequent thing my mentor complains about.
    And I do think it's related to breeding. Networking at shows is how you get breedings from other studs or to your studs, get new bitches to outcross to, see new dogs that have been imported, and generally find out who's doing what.
  • I don't think you do pay a whole lot more for a pet quality pup from a good breeder vs. a mill or a byb. Most prices are roughly the same. Shiba puppies run 800-1200 for pet quality, and that seems not to change much whether it is is a good breeder or not. Some mills are significantly cheaper, but that in itself should be a sign of a problem.

    And no, you can't put a champion on a pet quality puppy from a good breeder, because they are sold under a spay/neuter contract usually. That's why it is sold as a pet, not a show dog.
  • @orangedoggie Thanks for the clarification. I absolutely didn't mean to slight the incredible effort and cost that goes into showing, particularly at elite levels (we're definitely not talking rinky dink regional APRI shows here!). I guess my point was that even if you don't count the whole process of showing and titling dogs -- which, honestly, many pet people find rather confusing and alienating, and often comes up as an excuse to justify going for the "cheaper" pet -- there are still plenty of costs that legitimize the higher prices that responsible breeders ask. And they're all things that puppy mill breeders do NOT do.
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    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4785
    I think what @orangedoggie was pointing out by writing "You pay a lot more for a "pet" from a good breeder because, unless it's a mismark, you should be able to put a CH on it," is that the QUALITY of the dog is similar to it's littermate who was kept to show if the breeder is at a point to get good consistency in their litters. There may be only very small, small things that the breeder likes about the "pick" over another, and very often, these nice litters could all go to be shown and all finish in AKC, but the breeder sometimes doesn't have the need to keep siblings from the same litter, so, some have to get sold into non-show homes. The same effort and work went into them that went into the puppy kept to show. So while the remaining puppies are sold as "pets" on spay/neuter, IF they were to be shown they could have earned a Championship as their overall quality is just as good.

    I think prices on the coasts are increasing, although many still fit within the range that Lisa mentioned. It's expensive to live in these areas and that is going to reflect on price. I wouldn't itemize the cost of shows on a puppy sales receipt exactly, (it would be too depressing to see it all laid out, lol), but it would be in the back of my mind when deciding on price.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • Yes, thanks Lindsay. That was what I was trying to say. As an example, a good breeder might sell a puppy as pet quality because it has white feet and she doesn't want white feet in her breeding program. The puppy is every bit as good as the show puppies, but it will have some small thing that the breeder doesn't want to propagate in her lines.
  • TengaiTengai
    Posts: 275
    One January a few years ago I attempted to keep track of expenses itemized on paper. It didn't last very long as 3 or 4 weeks into it, I honestly didn't want my wife to see how much money was going out versed coming in! Granted I didn't have any money coming in at the time as we didn't have any pups to place, but even if we did we still wouldn't be on the plus side. It costs a lot to show, travel, entry fees and handler if you so choose to go that route(we don't). It costs more to do all the health checks(hips, knees, Thyroid, eyes including gonioscopy for glaucoma which many breeders do not do(the gonioscopy). yearly CERF exams do not check for glaucoma, on all your dogs. You have to be brutal if a dog does not pass all he or she is not bred, period. Doesn't matter how much money was invested in that dog, how many titles it has etc. That dog must be neutered/spayed and retired and possibly placed. Stud fees can be expensive. As often as not some breeders use outside studs. With a Shiba litter average of 3 pups, with a litter of one or two not unheard of and the breeder most likely wanting to keep a pup or two especially if an outside stud is used there may only be one pup or non available to place, therefore you are not even getting you stud fee back. Forget about all the other expenses. That's just the money part of breeding. Time is the other. To properly socialize pups it takes a lot of daily interaction, everyday for 8-10 weeks or longer. Raising a happy healthy litter is work. Lots of time and energy is devoted to it.
    I have had litters where really nice show potential pups go to companion homes. I happens. We can't keep them all. Sometimes no show homes are available that we trust. Sometimes family is waiting and you just like them and place a pup sooner so they don't have to wait any longer. Sometimes a pup that you weren't that crazy about so it went to a companion home turns out beautiful. You wished you kept it but its in a great home and that's all you really want for your pups.
    Just my thoughts.
  • Tre26Tre26
    Posts: 96
    It seems that maybe the key should be stronger legislation in terms of how you acquire dogs. This shipping sight unseen is an issue with me. We have always picked up our animals. If I ever get an animal out of state I will pick it up and fly it home under my care. This will help in many ways as it eliminates impulse buying, keeps more animals locally raised and therefore higher quality and when you purchase the animal you can see what you are getting and from where. The breeder will always have their kennels more company ready so there is more accountability. Just my thoughts.
    Tre26
  • @Tre26
    I personally think that shipping dogs can be done right, although I do agree that it does seem to contribute to impulse buying. Personally, I think the bigger problems are that breeders will sell to anyone rather than saying "no," and that the proper health testing hasn't been done (OFA on hips, elbows and knees and CERF on eyes in this breed). If I were going to impose legislation on breeders, I would be require them to either do the proper tests on their breeding stock or be fined the amount it would cost them to do so. It wouldn't fix the problem (but then I doubt legislation can do that in full) but it could at least help stop (not completely stop but help) people from getting dogs with health problems known to be a problem in the breed they're buying because the breeding stock was not properly screened.
    Post edited by notoriousscrat at 2012-12-16 12:37:51
  • Oh, sorry, Orangedoggie! I get it now! I did read it over several times trying to figure out if I was misreading, but I still did!

    No, you're right there. At least in looks (but certainly not in health) my Akita was only different from the dogs sold for show in that his color was fawn, which is not as flashy as the brindles and the more striking colors in his litter. I had several people ask me when he was a pup if I was going to show him. Of course, he ended up having rather severe health issues, as I'm sure other dogs in the litter did (or they are at least carriers) so in my mind ALL of the dogs in his litter should have been speutered, but that didn't happen, and that's a whole other story. Just suffice to say that sometimes even the best research does not help, though of course your odds are much better with finding a reputable breeder).

    @Tre26, while I personally would prefer to see the breeder too, buying locally does NOTHING to guarantee quality. What about the people who live nearby puppymills? All it does is allow people to check out the breeder, and if people are not educated on what a mill is or isn't, they STILL might make a mistake. I went and picked up my female Shiba from a mill, and didn't understand what I'd done til I was on this forum.
  • @Tengai, I do wish someone knowledgeable would prep a detailed, itemized breakdown for Shibas, so that I can stop referring to that outdated Basenji one! LOL. If anyone knows a good, recent example, please let me know. It would be a helpful one to add to the So you want to find a breeder discussion too...
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • Tre26Tre26
    Posts: 96
    Testing is a good requirement too. Fixing the puppymill issue will take time and educating the public. I know buying locally wouldn't completely eliminate puppymills. It just seems that when I was a kid there wasn't this pet quality stuff. You bought a purebred you had full rgistration and a good dog. Now there are more restrictions and the chances that you will get a poor quality animal are greater. It is sad and sometimes it makes me quite angry. I am not sure that the ads for animal adoption don't actually encourage irresponsible breeding ... The irresponsible breeder can just think...so what if my dogs end up in shelters people who want to do good will adopt them. I am not saying that shelters shouldn't exist. Just that breeders and shelters should work to educate the public about responsible breeding and pet ownership. A huge part of pet ownership is where you purchase a purebred animal. Mixes should not be allowed to be purchased fo more than the cost of what adoption at a shelter would be. Now that might be legislation that would end the puppymills.
    Tre26
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4785
    @Tre26

    How would you figure imported dogs into that plan? It isn't so black and white, and that is the danger in imposing blanket rules. We, in the US, wouldn't have our rare breeds or our Shibas without "buying sight unseen" at some point. Just offering a different perspective.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • Tre26Tre26
    Posts: 96
    You shouldn't import sight unseen period. If you have the cash to purchase and import a dog then you should have enough to travel and personally complete the sale...I would like to say fly it home but I do think they go through quarantine. So far I have not personally had the funds to purchase from over seas.
    Tre26
  • Tre26Tre26
    Posts: 96
    Technically I have purchased sight unseen but I have picked the animal up to finalize the sale. So I am not seeing your problem with this. Ending the puppy mill issue really requires consumers to be more responsible. Transporting your puppy home personally is an important step no matter where you buy them from. Pets would tend to be purchased locally but serious breeders would opt to purchase outside of their locations as they tend to travel more with their dogs from show to show.
    Tre26
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4785
    I don't really have the desire to address many of the misconceptions you seem to have, about a hobby you don't have, but I want to clarify that you DO realize that forbidding the purchase of breeding dogs not seen in person will severely limit the gene pool of rare breeds and push all but the most wealthy breeders out of breeding and send pet prices skyrocketing? I realize that is basically the entire point of legislation like this to a degree (eliminate pet ownership entirely). It's very shortsighted.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • Tre26Tre26
    Posts: 96
    Look this thread I thought was to discuss how to work against puppy mills. Not weather I have a hobby or not or how ignorant you lindsayt think I am. I know that I purchased a reasonably priced female a few months ago and she is a good pet so far. Althogh according to some in another thread she may be from a puppy mill. I was able to pick her up in person and followed my own code of ethics as a responsible owner. I will probably not breed her but I may have that option if it would benefit the breed in my area. Since the closest breeder is 40 miles away and I traveled 236 miles to get my puppy well it probably would be nice to have another option in my area. It costs a great deal of money to raise dogs and study. You also need a mentor from what I understand. If I ever do this I will do it right. Right now my hobby is reading about the breeds I am interested in and obedience training my dog. Hmm...what hobby is it I don't have. Hmm one of my friends from highschool recently traveled to a National show so what misconception do I have about confirmation? Seems that travel requiers money and frankly I am not sure I will have the extra surplus cash required one already needs a certain level of wealth for this other "hobby" . So... It is not meant to be any type of income in the first place. People who run puppymills look at it as a means to earn income and breed just to have stock to sell. There is no though for the consumer or the animal. Celebrities are purchasing basically mutts and carrying them around in purses. Creating a demant for these pups in a society where some people emulate these celebs. These mutts are offered on line for 5,000 or more. People buy them and then complain about the health problems they have or then give them up to a shelter where those not considered wealthy financially adopt them along with the behavior and health issues. I thought that was what we were discussing here and hoping to find solutions. NOT making personal attacks . I thought this would be fun to discuss my love of dogs and in particular the Shiba breed since that is what my puppy is. This is not fun...I deal with enough confrontational individuals at work where I was put in a more supervisory position recently. This was supposed to be something to be relaxing. Guess not.
    Tre26
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    I just have a question that has been in my head for a while. As I sit here reading about how much it costs to breed a great puppy and why prices are high, I wonder why is that even being discussed? Dog breeding/showing is a hobby. I find it interesting that unlike most hobbies people even expect any money back. I have hobbies, and I find the act of engaging in them to be more beneficial then thinking about any gains I could be made to sell the products of said hobby. It bothers me when I see the costs associated with showing a dog even being considered in why a puppy costs so much. Did you not have fun showing your dog? Is it not your joy to be in the ring, and win titles? I mean, if your showing a dog before its even at the point to pass relevant health tests, you have to go into it, with the thought this dog may not be breed-able. So why is that even figured in?

    I mean, while you can tie testing into the direct act of breeding. I have seen people figure in the costs of vetting their dogs, training, sports, toys, crates, and food. All things you would have had to pay even if it was a pet, so why is that even relevant to discuss? Us pet owners pay all of that, and no gain is ever even considered.

    I guess my point is, I'm getting a little disgruntled with the cost of a pup. Shiba pups are significantly more expensive then a lot of other dogs. A large breed puppy from a reputable breeder is the same as a shiba, and you can't tell me its cheaper to raise a large breed as opposed to the small Shiba. I look online and I see tons of really cheap shibas, which means its easier for people to fall into the whole "snob" trap.

    I think something needs to be done on the community's part to do something about the price. I don't think its fair when I hear comments like if you can't afford a 2k puppy you shouldn't raise a dog. It ignores the very real issue that has been developing with the breed. Heck, if these dogs can win titles but are sold on spay/neuter contracts, that is a waste. It's artificially lowering the stock.

    If showing is the big driver in price, I say, cut it out of the equation for a bit. It may sound crazy, but what if dogs are sold on conditional contracts? Where the dog is not to be bred until after age 2 when the dog passes health and temperament checks, as well as be viewed by a board of breed enthusiasts separate from the kennel club. These dogs can produce pups to be sold at a lower price (it cuts out a lot of the cost being tied to breeding), that are still great quality. Obviously dogs from these conditions will only produce pups on a spay/neuter contract. If this can be fully realized by tech savvy individuals, I feel this can help combat the mills. I know a lot of people won't find this idea great, but outside of needing to find good individuals (can be be done by initially only selling to people who purchased a previous puppy), I don't see any real issue with this. It's a compromise, that I feel will be beneficial to all involved.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I agree with ya Inoushi.. I'm not a breeder so can't know what it's like, but i do have hobbies myself.

    I do think cost of puppies shouldn't be an issue especially if it's healthy pup and the parent's were health tested and are good examples of the breeds.

    Health tested as in checked for things like HD,LP, Eyes and so on not just a vet exam and the vet give the person a all clear dog is healthy..

    Sure health in shiba are not so great, but so in other breeds just about any there is some type of issue.

    That is why it's important to find one who does health testing and tries to breed a healthier shiba.

    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Tre26Tre26
    Posts: 96
    I agree and that is why I refuse to pay more than what it costs for most breeds. Thank you for getting the discussion back on track
    Tre26
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4785
    I'm not delving into that discussion either.

    Let's talk about HSUS legislation on the books and how it affects puppy mills and small "reputable" breeders:

    http://yesbiscuit.blogspot.com/2009/05/im-not-on-board-with-hsus-proposed-laws.html?m=1

    (Read the comments also)

    More (read the links and comments thoroughly before replying on this thread):

    https://cynoanarchist.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/lies-from-hsus-on-the-proposed-aphis-rule-change/


    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • I think it depends on the hobby. There are plenty of people who sell things as a hobby. They aren't making a living on it but they generally expect to get more out of it than they're putting in. For instance, there are hobby jewelry makers who will sell their stuff at local fairs or markets on weekends. They are by no means making a lot of money on what they sell, but in contrast to a reputable breeder they are by no means making less on, say, a bracelet than the cost of the supplies they put into it. In fact if they were people would think they're crazy. Yet reputable breeders do that all the time. I would say that shows very much that this is a hobby they do because they enjoy it and that's enough. Are they making some money to help recoup what they spent? Yes. But they're still losing money on every litter. That's a labor of love if I've ever seen one.

    Now, as to the conditional contract, I think it's an interesting idea. Personally, I do think that one CAN breed responsibly without showing (even though I've never seen anyone who does), although I respect and understand why people feel differently as I must admit that there are some Shibas from mills who seem so off-type that I think it's strain to call them Shibas at all whatever their pedigree. That said, if I were a reputable breeder, I'm not sure the fact that I'd sold them a puppy before would be enough to give them an intact dog. Maybe it would, but the thing about showing is that as their mentor you're constantly in CLOSE contact and the showing shows your dedication to what you're doing. Many people can say that they're dedicated but the nice thing about showing is that you have to put your money where your mouth is. Furthermore, I do think that a lot of people might not want to breed or might want to do it for the wrong reasons, which can be an impediment.

    Overall, though, I'll say that I can get where the if you can't pay $2000 for a puppy, you can't afford one thing is coming from. I dont think it's true, but I do get it. Puppies are expensive to raise and part of it is that it's the difference between absolutely can't afford and can't afford $2000 plus the cost of raising the puppy plus possible emergencies. Everyone's money ends somewhere and if it's there, then get a rescue dog. Rescues have puppies too and you're doing a service. Everyone's happy. However, I do also think there is a point where people just can't afford a dog and you shouldn't get a dog. Do I LIKE the fact that not everyone can afford a dog? No, I think it's unjust. But I also think that if you haven't figured out how to make sure they get all the basics and be able to afford emergency medical care (we keep insurance for this because we are, in fact, poor) then you can't afford a dog. The fact that it's tragic and wrong doesn't change the fact that the responsibility to the animal would be shirked and that the animal should then not be had. Social injustice doesn't mean that you just do what you want anyway and let another suffer. This goes for dogs, cats, hamsters and, yes, even children because I think one's right to do something ends where the rights of another (man or beast) not to be harmed begins (a la John Stuart Mill). Now I'm not saying that being poor means you can't have animals or whatever---some people are willing to give up more for animals, and if that's you, you can probably make it work---but some people really can't afford them, so they shouldn't whether that's just or not.
    Post edited by notoriousscrat at 2012-12-17 10:05:36
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    @lindsayt Why not have the discussion? I don't know about you but im sick of seeing innocent people and dogs fall victim to puppy mills. There is a huge demand for the breed by reputable individuals. How many people here are great owners with mill dogs? What's the most common thing that caused them to fall into the trap? Cost, long wait lists and the difficulty involved in finding a good breeder.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with breeding pets. However with the current system its hard to get a well bred pet that isn't involved in showing. Showing seems to be the biggest cost riser. I don't think its neccessary to produce good puppies. Health checks are. What if there are people interested in breeding healthy stock but would prefer to invest in doing productive things for their dogs, and focus on health, but can't obtain breedable dogs unless they agree to show?

    And this sort of thing does exist. Look at the other nippo breeds that are being bred here reputably without being shown because they are not recognized by the AKC. Heck you yourself own such a dog, so why is it an issue to be of the same dedication without the AKC for a shiba?

  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4785
    Why is it the same issue? It isn't the same issue because Shibas are not Kai Ken.

    There has to be a way to prove breeding dogs. Period. If that is showing, wonderful. Hunting, great. Whatever the accepted way that is for that breed, those breeders need to participate in it or go home and stop portraying themselves as something they aren't (which would be breeding "healthy" and "beautiful" pets). At least do health testing!!!

    The other Japanese breeds in the US aside from Shibas and Akitas are not AKC breeds yet. So of course they can't show in AKC. There just are too few, although Kai are on their way. Kai DO show in UKC and most Kai breeders in the states and abroad show their dogs, or at least hunt with them, or are directly breeding from import offspring who were shown and hunted (purchased sight unseen, gasp!)

    The "Mom and Pop" types who just want to breed for the pet market and not show (which is the accepted means to prove breeding stock in Shibas WORLDWIDE, and in the US it's showing via AKC and NIPPO) are not producing dogs that are going to look like their breed, and the health and motives are always going to be questionable if they can't make the effort to prove their dogs.

    I realize there are not enough show breeders breeding their own girls just to make pets. I realize there are impulsive people who want it now and go look for cheaper more accessible dogs somewhere else. I don't and won't ever believe that means a good breeder should begin catering to the pet market by cutting corners and not proving their dogs.

    I put a lot of training and testing and time into mine and by golly, if someone can't appreciate that and complain at my requirements, than they don't deserve to own MY dog. I will help educate them, and refer them along, and I often do, but I will not lower my standard to appease someone who can't save their pennies or plan ahead. Call it snobbish, I don't care. The dogs being in good hands is more important.

    I would like to see some tighter requirement on breeding. In many Euorpean countries, dogs can't breed without being health tested and shown and that is the only way people can get pets. They don't have the shelter issues in those countries, but of course, that extreme selection can result in very narrowed gene pools and there needs to be some exception made for foundation breeds as many may not have the best hips or elbows.

    In the least, in the US, I would like to see that ANY dog anywhere prior to being bred is health tested for hips, eyes, and given a general exam and overall body score on condition that is submitted along with the films. Regardless of it being shown or not. Specific breeds would need to do additional testing (cardiac, thyroid, glaucoma, etc). I think that would do some real damage to the large scale commercial mills who have hundreds of dogs, and is something reputable breeders already do.

    Religion and shipping without physically viewing have nothing to do with this.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2012-12-17 13:08:10
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    @lindsayt I don't know if that was directed at me. But I have stressed that health testing must be done, and that these dogs must be aquired from titled parents. This is the same thing you said is done with Nippo Imports that are not recognized by AKC. I'm not saying breed poor examples, im saying to breed quality dogs, who will be bred with producing pets in mind. Imagine if a breeder with a long wait list could acess such a pool?

    And the whole thing with if they can't pay this much they don't deserve it, is just serving to perputuate mills. That exact comment makes people become incapmed in the same way tre26 is. Its down right sad, and it helps nobody. If we really want to fight mills its up to the breed community. USDA, is not going to budge as long as a recession is going on. ASPCA has become a bloated organization. There are no legal avenues. So why not meet the pet demand, and take it out of hands of mills, while doing it responsibly?
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    One thing I am sick of people who want puppy Now! And calling breeder's wait list snobby..

    I think it's rude for members here to say such things. If your here on this forum you must like the breed and I do find it sad people go for the cheapest dogs..

    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)

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