Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I know this is stupid.

I've had this crazy obsession lately with the idea of becoming a dog breeder. I think it's maternal instinct taken a weird turn, and it really is crazy.

Long time readers may remember my thoughts on dogs in the lead up to buying Arry - our 5 year old Cavy x Tibetan Spaniel. I was really after a battery operated dog, not a real one. But since then I've become a dog person. I'm a little silly in my affection towards Arry. She lived outside for the first couple of years of her life but now is a thoroughly inside dog. I don't mind her sleeping on my bed. I know. How far I've fallen. In the middle of the year we started looking after Daphne while Andrew's brother and his family are touring around Australia. Daffy is a little dog of unknown parentage. She is extremely affectionate. We've loved having her but have to give her back at Christmas. I have so enjoyed having two dogs, that I want another to replace her.

So I've been touring the web looking at different breeds of dogs.

But reading up on dog breeds has made me want to enter the world of dog breeding myself. Puppies are so cute! Why buy one pup when you could have all the excitement and suspense of a doggy pregnancy then a whole litter of beautiful pups? It is a New Idea. A New Interest. A New Hobby. I'm very into the idea. 

But it is silly.

1. The kind of attention to detail that you need as a breeder - vet visits, worming pups on time, registering them, selling them - is completely beyond me. I'm also not at all into cleaning up puppy poo and wee. Or staying at home to look after needy animals.

2. We could not breed from Arry. Even though she is still capable of it, being a hybrid dog herself, her pups mightn't be so desirable. Pedigree breeders (dog eugenic nazis) consider hybrids - even deliberately mated hybrids - an abhorrence. I don't agree at all, but I've been convinced by what I've read about responsible breeding that second generation hybrids are a lot riskier than first generation hybrids. 

3. I'm quite taken by the Cavalier / Bishon Frise mix. How beautiful is this pup?

But to breed pups like this, I'd need to buy two high quality pure bred dogs. That would make us a three dog family. Then, with a litter, perhaps a 7 dog family. 

4. We rent at the moment. I imagine it would be tricky to find a landlord in town that would be good with dog breeder tenants. And our current house really isn't suitable anyway.

5. Becoming a dog breeder would be entering a very weird community. I have my own set of eccentricities but I don't think they match the quirks of the dog breeding community.

Clearly it would be a stupid thing for me to contemplate becoming a dog breeder. Clearly. 



  1. Waiting to see who will be the first person to tell me not to think about doing this for even another moment. My guess is... Helen.

  2. We have a Tibalier (the technical term for a Cavy/Tibetan cross), but called Shai (or "Shy" if you're my wife), rather than Aravis, which is the name we decided on for our daughter instead. He is an awesome dog, fantastic with kids, super friendly, and looks nice too.

    We recently got a new Shihtzu-foxy-silky cross. Her name is Melody, but we call her "Ratdog", as she looks somewhat rat-like.

    As much as they are fun to play with, I don't think breeding is something I'd be interested in at all. I don't know you well enough to say whether you have the temperament for it, but my guess would be... no.

  3. Really - you have a Tibby? I didn't think anyone else did! Photo? And your daughter is called Aravis?!? We have to meet! I wanted to have twin girls called Aravis and Annika but God thought better of it.

  4. Yep, he came second-hand (his previous owners turned out to be allergic :( ). I've always liked CKCharles puppies, but now I think they look too scrawny.
    You can see him here (excuse the instagram, I stole the pic from my wife's facebook pics).
    And yep, I have a daughter called Aravis. We love her lots :)
    (She grew up a bit since those photos).

  5. Yeah. I'm not so keen on pure Cavaliers anymore either. Our dogs are more beautiful! (And probably cleverer!) Arry's recently been clipped. She was getting pretty out of control. Shai ooks quite like our Arry.

    And your Aravis looks awesome too.

  6. You forgot 6 - Legal work required by your local council (and State gov't?) to get a breeder's licence. That's the P word you don't like - paperwork.

    As for cross-breeds, they at least are less likely to have all the genetic inbreeding issues of 'pure' dogs - skulls too small for the brain (common in KCC spaniels), skulls to short to allow room for the sense of smell (pugs), hip dysplasia (larger dogs) to name but a few. More info here: http://sydney.edu.au/vetscience/lida/dogs/