Sometimes, someone dreams of owning an animal of a particular breed. Most often it concerns dogs and cats, but it can be about horses, rabbits, snakes, etc. Is it wrong?
Disclaimer:) I am not a specialist in breeding and I do not feel entitled to judge what is a good breeding, good puppy farm (there are also supposedly ones), and what a pathology. I get socially involved in helping organizations and people dealing with animal rights. And what more often I encounter the effects of drastic animal use or treating them in a mindless way. Therefore, I present a general outline of the issue in the form of a FAQ. If something arouses your doubts or you want to deepen your knowledge about some aspect of the topic, let me know in the comments – we will look for answers together.
In the very sympathy for a specific breed and the resulting desire to introduce such an animal to your family, there is nothing wrong. However, it is worth restraining your feelings for a moment and letting your reason speak.
Does our admiration includes features other than the appearance of the breed?
Breeding selection is associated not only with the fact that the animal is characterized by a specific size, type of figure, type of fur or color. In general, it is also associated with a specific set of mental characteristics, behaviors and care requirements. Therefore, when deciding on a dog or cat of a chosen breed, let us think about other issues.
Does the animal’s typical character fit our family, housing conditions and lifestyle?
That’s a good question. And all also depends on the family. Some breeds love when there is a lot going on around, they are sociable and strongly “interactive”. They will be a good choice for a family with children or a frequent visitor. Other races will be tired and stressed with such conditions, considering them a mess and turmoil. The pet of the social race will be tormented when we leave him alone at home for a few hours. A more solitary race will be easier to adapt or even like a silent period when the household is at work or school. Character traits all the more you need to pay attention if more than one animal is to be found at home. And even more so – if there are different species.
In the case of dogs, pay attention to whether they belong to breeds that need long walks even every day. It may be hard to provide that. In cats, the available size will be important, but not only. Some races are “low-fluctuating” (enough for them that they can jump on a bed or a cabinet, higher places are not very interesting), others need to be able to observe their territory from some place under the ceiling.
What about nutrition and care?
The different races have different dietary requirements regarding both the amount of food and its composition. It should be remembered that along with the desirable traits of a given breed, also those less wanted by us are cumulative, including, for example, problems with the digestive system or inclinations to diseases related to feeding (for example diabetes or deposits in the kidneys and bladder).
Remember also that long-haired animals will probably need more grooming, regular combing or even cutting. But hairless breeds require a higher temperature in the home – one that can be difficult to bear for someone in your household. When choosing a breed with flattened faces, we must take into account the necessity of frequent (even daily) eye washing or a much greater risk of problems with teeth, respiratory system, etc. In general: the more the race differs from the original ancestors of the species, the greater the risk of chronic diseases of many kinds, the more extra care probably required and – which is much worse – the shorter life period expected.
Where to get a purebred creature?
It may seem that it’s easy: internet, search engine, name of the breed – and we already have a breeding. We go there, choose a pet, then pay the appropriate amount, take a new family member home and live happily ever after.
Unfortunately, acting in this way, we risk getting something terribly unethical: a PUPPY FARM.
Who are the puppy farmers?
We also call them puppy millers. They are people preying on the gullibility of people who want to buy an animal of a chosen breed cheaply. However, this is not the worst. The most-obvious feature of most puppy millers is the way animals are treated in them. As such a “business” is usually focused on the highest profit achieved at the lowest possible cost – animals are treated there as machines for the production of subsequent copies (females are fertilized immediately after the birth of the litter, which is debilitating for the body). In fact, machines are often treated better, because they are at least subjected to periodic inspections or repairs, because the purchase of subsequent ones can be expensive. Bitches or female cats are exploited without a distress from the owners – if one is “broken”, it is disposed. Nobody also cares about the current needs of animals: they are often malnourished, almost always neglected in every respect. Paradoxically, keeping dogs or cats in too cold rooms or unprotected cages (you should not confuse this with the most positive access to catwalks!) Makes the coat thicker, so after a small cosmetics before the buyer’s visit, the animal looks quite good.
Breeding or pseudo-breeding – how to distinguish them?
Real farms are associated in recognized associations with a long tradition (and also registered in the tax office).
In Poland, in the case of dogs, it is the Polish Kennel Club, celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. On their website (http://www.zkwp.pl) you can learn a lot of important information about the breeding.
Trustworthy organizations associating cat breeders is more. The largest and most trustworthy are: Felis Polonia (http://www.felispolonia.eu) and Polish Felinological Association (https://www.pzf.pl. In general, the sign that an organization is in order is its affiliation – directly or indirectly – to one of the continental or global organizations listed here: http://www.worldcatcongress.org/wp/org_mem.php.
Unfortunately, the very fact of registration does not give us a 100% guarantee that the breeding is properly conducted. After verifying this first criterion, other, less formalized ones need to be considered:
- What are the opinions of representatives of recognized associations, other breeders, supporters, owners of animals from a given breed, veterinarians, etc.?
- What do the animals look like and behave in breeding? Are they cheerful, calm? Do they look healthy? Are they not kept in the crowd? Are the rooms in a place where they are clean and the temperature is right?
- Does the breeder willingly explain where his animals come from (both the young ones sold and their parents), make their pedigrees available for inspection, allow contact with the mother of the litter put up for sale? (It is also worth checking if the kitten / puppy does not come from inbreeding – mother and father should not be closely related to each other).
- Does the breeder provide data on vaccinations and tests, indicate which veterinary services (office, clinic) he / she uses?
- Does the breeder show interest not only in how much we pay, but also in what conditions we offer our future pet?
- Is the animal offered to us not too young to be separated from the mother? (Note: the very information that a very young animal is for sale does not mean that the breeder intends to tear them away from the mother too early – in good kennels, from which animals are eagerly bought, even methods such as paying for months onward are applied. Often, breeders allow the toddler to get acquainted with the baby many weeks before they actually plan to give it to the new owner).
Canine breed and an animal in canine type – how do they differ?
In the most general approach: a purebred animal is one that comes from a registered breed, has a pedigree and meets other formal criteria of belonging to a race; an animal of breed type is one that just looks like a purebred or very similar to a purebred one.
If we do not intend to establish breeding ourselves, then it is worth thinking about adopting an animal in the type of breed. Unfortunately, it usually happens that soon after the appearance of a fashion for a race of hostels and streets floods waves of unwanted animals. These are in the first draft of the race, which did not meet the expectations of the owners, in subsequent – more or less mute next generations: the effect of thoughtless reproduction, both completely accidental and intentional. The shelters and foundations of the shelters often remain animals taken from the pseudo-breed.
And where to look for a cat or dog in the type of breed?
There are three options. The first is a trip to a shelter for homeless animals and to check if there is an animal in the type of race that we have dreamed of.
The second is to find a pro-animal foundation. There are even foundations that specialize in helping particular breeds or groups of dog breeds. Unfortunately, in Poland there are no official organizations aimed at supporting selected cat breeds, but with a little patience and with the help of feline forums and grapevine, you can find cats in the type of a given breed under the care of the foundation.
And the third one is online or press advertisements. And here again it is easy to find puppy millers.
I emphasize that these are only alarm signals that should arouse vigilance and encourage us to be more cautious. What should arouse our suspicions?
So called “life situations”. There are many life situations, let’s give the advertiser a chance to explain why this advertisement was formulated.
Phrases like “purebred dog/cat without pedigree”. An animal without pedigree is not purebred – it is, as I mentioned earlier, in the type of race. A private person who temporarily accepted a type-breed animal, or a breeder who, by coincidence, has allowed an unplanned breeding of his pet, will usually inform honestly about that.
You have to pay for the animal, but the price is significantly lower than for a dog / cat from legal breeding.
Some puppy farmers camouflage their unethical interest writing that they are giving away the animal for free, but expect in a “reimbursement”. However, here you need to make sure it is an illegal sale attempt. Some of those who spend an animal for adoption – especially private individuals who put the good of the animal first, saving them from some oppression – ask for, for example, participation in the costs of treatment, vaccinations, etc., or a payment for sterilization. This is completely normal and understandable. In this case, however, let’s ask to show bills – if we deal with honest adopters, it probably will not have any claims or demands for a higher amount than it can document as actual expenditures incurred for a given animal.
Persons honestly issuing an animal of breed type for adoption sterilize them before handing them over or oblige the adopter to carry out this treatment through an appropriate clause in the adoption agreement. They also do not spend animals without knowing what we expect from the animal and what we offer it. The most intimate will take care of the pre-adoption visit to check what awaits their wards when they are handed over to new caregivers.
Do you want to enjoy the company of a purebred animal or a type of race?
- Check if it fits you, and you to him – set your characters, temperaments, need of movement, etc.
- Think about whether you care:
- on what offers a racial (participation of the pet in exhibitions, running your own breeding or keeping a sire or pride in the fact that your pet has a pedigree) – then buy a pet from good breeding;
- on the direct characteristics of an animal (appearance, character) – in the latter case take seriously into giving the home a creature in a type of breed that has a much lower chance of a good fate.
- If you decide to adopt an animal of a type of breed – take it sterilized or take care of it as soon as possible so as not to feed the ranks of the unhappy homeless.
PS. Thank you very much to all my friends (and their friends), who helped me with the issues of trusted organizations associating dog and cat breeders, and of course our wonderful Martyna, who knows her dogs much better than me and has added many valuable comments and contacts to foundations dealing with the rescue of dogs of various breeds.