BREEDING PRACTICES

    Within the area of breeding practices there is a very broad spectrum of problems or perceived problems used as targets.  Some are
1. dog population in general and also bird dog population and illogical potential inverse relationship between bird dog population and quail population (and the number of bird hunters)
2. appropriate breeding age and frequency (frequency should be related
to the above (#1)
3. appropriate locales and facilities

1.  Population issues and perceived problems

To dispute that we have an overpopulation of dogs is to ignore the facts.
Just check the stats from any source which report the numbers of dogs in shelters, rescue operations and numbers of dogs euthanized.  Zeroing in on pointers... they are not immune to this.  Exacerbating the problems with bird dogs is the situation with the bobwhite quail populations and subsequent drastic reduction in the number of quail hunters. Below is a quote from my personal kennel homepage.

. Scarcity of quail -  This has led to dogs being trained solely on liberated birds and has led to generations of dogs that don't know how to hunt and handle wild game. While they are nowhere near the endangered species category the bob-white is nowhere near as plentiful as they were is the past.  This is a a major contributing factor to the change listed next.
. Decline in number of bird hunters - In this part of the country there is almost no bird hunting.  Preserves are about the only place you can find significant numbers of bird hunters.  Those who use to hunt have quit or have changed to turkey or deer hunting - both very abundant game species here.  This, of course, means no demand for bird dogs.  In the fifties one ad the Sunday classifieds would be sufficient to sell an entire litter.  Last year an ad running continuously from August to January sold one pup to a hunter.  The rest were sold as pets.

The above quote is copied from Observations which may be viewed in its entirety at www.fieldtrialpointers.net/fkud10-98.html .   Most of the other observations on that page are not relevant to this set of remarks.                                              

Breeding, whether by commercial kennels, professional trainers, or backyard breeders,  has continued full speed ahead without regard to the consequences.   Historically, most scrupulous field trial breeders have dealt with their surpluses, including dogs that weren’t quite competition level, through the hunting dog market.  In light of the above, this market has suffered a drastic downturn.  Breeders who continue to ignore this are contributing to attacks from the groups who want to legislate to prevent this.  Unfortunately none  of the  previously mentioned groups seem to want to address this head-on.  

2.   appropriate breeding age and frequency

There is a fairly consistent consensus (within just a very few years) among veterinarians regarding the upper limits of age for breeding of females and also a time for initial breeding at the lower end.  Highly correlated with with this at the upper end (which is the by far most frequent abuse) is the comfort and well being of the brood bitch.  There is a registry that even will not register litters from bitches beyond this age.

There is very high consistency concerning recommended frequency of breedings also.  There are very logical individual exceptions to this relating to litter size.exceptions.  Without regard to vet recommendations there is still the relationship between frequency of breeding and the overpopulation which is referred to previously..... the more frequent the breedings the greater the overpopulation problem.

3.   appropriate locales and facilities

Well being, including happiness and contentment, of the brood bitch and puppies precludes breeding sporting dogs in urban settings in general.
There are, of course,  exceptions to this, but in most cases it is a valid position.  

After about a month in age pups should not be restricted to small concrete floored kennels.  Letting a them run free a few times a day is not sufficient if your criterion is the maximum possible happiness and contentment for the developing pups.  They need enough space so that they can run and play as well as interact with various stimuli.  There is no rule of thumb as to minimum size but it should be large enough to be sanitary.  Because of safety from predators, in some cases they may need to be confined at nights.  Otherwise they should be free until they are of age at which they go too far for their own safety.  In general that may be around six months of age.   There is a great deal,of variation of this depending on how they have been treated and their genetic constitution.


conclusions and desired action regarding above remarks about breeding practices.

Bottom line is simple on this: either you support the above or you don't!   If you support the above then you should take action toward self regulation, encourage others to, and at the same time vigorously oppose government regulations in this area, which in many cases are self inflicted by irresponsible dog ownership.   If you do not support the above then then you are part of the problem  which makes you a contributor to weaponry used by those who want to legislate, in some case, to end the breeding of dogs by individuals.   It is you, those without self responsibility, who should be regulated out of dog breeding! 

 Let's eliminate the need for government regulation!

To be continued... the next segment will address transportation and housing