I am now a Legacy Breeder
I’ve renamed myself:
As they say perception is reality and for many the word breeder is a dirty word. What is the difference between me a responsible breeder and a commercial/profit breeder, a backyard breeder or the horrific puppy mill breeder? Sometimes it is hard to tell if you are not a “dog person” and you are just trying to find a nice puppy for your family. So what am I in reality?
Let’s face it Legacy Breeders like me are never, ever going to produce enough dogs to satisfy the dog loving general public. There are lots of puppy buyers out there that might be wonderful homes but don’t meet the criteria that I set out for my placements. In reality, commercial/profit breeders are going to take the place of what we now call “responsible breeders” and they will be selling dogs that may have some health testing etc, since that is what much of the public now expects. So how do we the “responsible breeders” of today educate the public on the difference?
Education, anyone can talk about breeding dogs. Why should someone listen to what I have to say? Why? Because I am a legacy breeder, that is why. My job is to protect and support the breed and as such I should be mentoring anyone interested in the breed. Does mentoring mean I’m going to sell you a puppy? No, but it does mean I’m going to give you the best information I can and give you the tools you will need to make an informed decision on how best to choose a dog for your lifestyle.
So who made me a Legacy breeder? Well I made myself a Legacy breeder and I did that by hard work. First I know that I have Cardigan Welsh Corgis, dogs that meet the breed standard. How do I know that? I took them to 3rd party experts for evaluation. That’s right I took them to DOG SHOWS! There was enough consensus that they met the breed standard that they were awarded Championships. These dogs that look like Cardigan Welsh Corgis but do they that act like Cardigan Welsh Corgis? Well, yes they do and I know that because I have them in working events and out in public where their temperaments are tested so I know they are smart and loyal and bidable and act like a Cardigan should act.
Ok, so now as a breeder, I know I have dogs who look and act like Cardigan Welsh Corgis but are they healthy? Genetics, environment and plain old luck can make a difference in the health but as a Legacy breeder I am doing what I can to make sure the dogs that I am using in my breeding program are producing healthy puppies. Many breeders do health testing but using the test to produce superior puppies that look and act like Cardigans are what should be expected from a Legacy breeder.
Now as a self-proclaimed Legacy breeder whose job it is to protect and promote the breed I have put in a lot of hard work to protect the breed. I’ve bred to the standard, I’ve made sure my dogs are temperamentally sound and Cardigan like. I’ve done my health testing and made it available to interested parties. What else should I be doing to protect and promote the breed? I should be educating and mentoring people who are just discovering our breed. That includes telling potential puppy buyers that a Cardigan might not be the right breed for them. Helping new people at dogs events, any new person, not just the people who got puppies from me or my friends. People who get a Solstice puppy will know because I am a Legacy Breeder and that they can always count on me to assist them with their dog and I will be supportive of their success and failures
I should also be serving the breed by working with other Legacy breeders and the parent club to promote and protect the breed. By educating I should be helping the public understand the difference between a Legacy breeder and others who breed for profit. I should educate not preach.
So as a self-proclaimed Legacy Breeder have I fulfilled the requirements what I believe separates me from profit breeders?
1. I’ve bred to the standard and have had 3rd party experts judge my dogs and confirm that they look like Cardigans.√
2. I’ve training my dogs so that they can perform tasks in a public setting and have been rewarded with titles to show we were succesful.√
3. I’ve performed health checks on my dogs and made the information available.√
4. I’ve not only joined my parent club but work with the membership to promote and protect our breed.√
5. I am an AKC Breeder of Merit. Some would argue that, “that isn’t saying much” but to me it means I belong to a dog club that is working to promote our breed and/or dog sports and I have agreed to abide by their code of ethics and conduct. I have promised to provide adequate health testing for my breed, I have promised to register and place my puppies wisely and it shows that I have bred dogs who meet their standard and have been rewarded for other working activities.√
6. I use this blog and social media as an outlet for education about the breed and dogs in general. Open lines of communication and a commitment to work with other Legacy Breeders on the health and welfare of our beloved breed.√
Yes, I think I have met all the criteria I have set forth to be labeled a Legacy Breeder, do you agree? Do you think having a title or description would assist those of us who have always been termed “Responsible Breeders” but go a lot further for our chosen breed be distinguished from those commercial/profit breeders who meet minimum responsibility requirements?
How about a poll to see what you think?