Social Question

MagsRags's avatar

Do puppy mill laws hurt responsible dog breeders?

Asked by MagsRags (5769points) January 11th, 2010
33 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

Oregon has a new law going into effect with the goal of curbing problems with puppy mills. A few other states have similar laws or are considering them, but Oregon’s is considered quite comprehensive. It will limit breeders from owning more than 50 adult dogs for breeding, require more comprehensive record keeping, and regulate how the dogs are treated – no more small crates and no more stacking crates. Each dog has to get at least one hour a day out of the crate. Also, pet shops will be required to provide puppy buyers information on where their new pet came from.

This all sounds totally sensible and minimally humane to me. But I know the law of unintended consequences can create unforseen problems. With one exception that ended badly, I have always adopted mixed breed dogs, so I have no personal experience with large scale breeding operations, bad or good. Anyone here have experiences they’d care to share?

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dpworkin's avatar

Kindly explain how any breeder could be called “responsible” considering the huge excess of dogs we have, and their daily euthanasia. Breeders cater to vanity and vanity only, at huge social cost. Far better to regulate them all off the face of the earth.

eponymoushipster's avatar

dog nazi

bunnygrl's avatar

@pdworkin well said. So many little angels being killed because they don’t have a home, better to rescue than copy the latest celeb dog of choice. I wish I could give you more than one GA <hugs> xx

Pazza's avatar

Looks to me like puppy mill laws don’t hurt puppy mills. They should be against the law period.

Earthilings

MagsRags's avatar

@pdworkin your point is well taken. I am ambivalent about dog breeders ingeneral, but clealry not all breeders keep their dogs in tiny cages and force them to pop out one litter after another. If we stipulate that breeders have a right to exist as long as they run their businesses in a reasonable way, that takes us back to my original question.

One of the reasons I asked is that when I read about this in my local paper, I was surprised that 50 breeding dogs was considered reasonable. It’s hard for me to imagine taking good care of that many adult dogs.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I don’t think what you have just described hurts responsible dog breeders at all (I’m not getting into the arguement about how I feel about buying from a breeder vs adopting because a: I have done both and b: that’s not what the question is about), if anything a good breeder who cares about their animals should welcome this law. I strongly believe that all breeders should be regularly vetted and have guidelines to which they should live and work by. I also think that they should be licenced so that if they don’t follow the guidelines they could lose their licence or if they are not liscenced then they should face punishment. Maybe this would be a way to keep tabs on all the breeders out their and make sure every breeder is breeding in a humane enviroment.

dogperson's avatar

To some people, 50 dogs is a lot of work. Maybe they have employees, then that might not be enough to keep them busy, therefore costing jobs. Breeders provide a product. The supply is governed by demand. If there is overpopulation of DOGs, not the breeders fault. If oversupply of Puppies, then breeders can be blamed. If people get a puppy, creating demand, and then abandon it, you have dogs in the shelter system. Why not license people who want to own a dog. You need a license to buy and own a gun or to get married, why not license dog owners, showing that they are dedicated and committed to be responsible dog owners. Make abandoning a dog illegal and the overpopulation of dogs will correct itself.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@dogperson GA. I know I would happily pay a licence fee for all of my dogs!

tinyfaery's avatar

Even if it did, oh well. Dog breeders should have consequences for allowing so many dogs to be destroyed while they happily play with nature.

nicobanks's avatar

I don’t believe there’s any such thing as responsible dog breeding. No matter how wonderfully you treat the individual dogs in your care and encourage your clients to treat their dogs well, you’re still bringing new lives into an overpopulated world. The person who just left with your own specially-bred puppy could have taken a puppy home from a local rescue shelter instead.

evil2's avatar

@nicobanks much like people do, why do we all births of humans at all they are overpopuluating a planet and there are so many available for adoption….stop porcreating and take a good little one home from a shelter…

bunnygrl's avatar

@nicobanks <hugs> you’re a lovely person xx and @evil2 sooner or later the world’s population is going to have to be controlled because the way we’re heading is frightening, and I know you’re being sarcastic but the number of children in care homes and orphanages is beyond heartbreaking and does not make for tasteful humour.

syz's avatar

Each dog has to get at least one hour a day out of the crate

Gee, just like prison. Only they’re not guilty of anything.

syz (35695points)“Great Answer” (3points)
MagsRags's avatar

@dogperson so do you feel that breeders should not be limited to 50 adult breeding dogs? If you have personal knowledge of a breeder who you feel is humane and responsible, may I ask how many times a female is bred per year? How many litters total before she is “retired”? I’m well aware that the mills often start with the first heat and keep turing out litters as frequently as possible until the mother dog is essentially used up. How does a non-mill breeder approach it?

MagsRags's avatar

@syz I know. It’s a step in the right direction, but doesn’t strike me as nearly enough. Again, I wonder how a breeder who considers themselves to not-a-mill deals with space and exercise and recreation for their dogs.

Likeradar's avatar

@syz Oh my. One hour a day outside of a crate would practically be torture for most healthy adult dogs. It makes me so sad thinking about how my dog gets antsy and irritable when she’s been in an apartment for more than 6 hours or so. Sick, sick, sick.

dogperson's avatar

@MagsRags Technically breeding a dog at first heat is best for the puppies that are born. I am speaking mainly physically, as the euerus and birthcanal is much more flexible in a young dog vs an older dog, thus many birthing problems are avoided by breeding younger, but the mother to be must be emotionally mature to handle this. How much should a dog be bred? This distinguishes breeders from each other, as each has their own criterion. Dogs should only be bred if the breeder feels he can secure homes for ALL the offspring. Puppymillers will generally breed all out and worry about placement later. That is wrong. My main point is breeding should follow supply and demand laws. When people take puppies and try to raise them and fail miserably and then proceed to abandon them, the supply demand chain is broken. Breeders still have demand for puppies which they will fill, but the supply of older dogs increases creating problems. The breeder is out of the loop there. Perhaps if every dog born would have a microchip ID, when they are abandone and or euthanized, the breeder would be informed. This sort of accounting is really necessary before the overpopulation issue can be resolved because some of the numbers and things posted on the web really just do not add up and are totally false. Microchip tracking will solve many issues, by not allowing people who abandon dogs to own dogs in the future, which will impact demand and the breeders will be forced to breed less. The number of dogs a breeder can handle should be determined by the facility and the appearance and well being of the animals, not some arbitrary number. For some people with certain mindsets, one dog is too many, to others more than 50 is entirely feasible.

syz's avatar

@dogperson Breeding a dog at first heat is not recommended. Many dogs will enter their first heat before being physically mature. Additionally, bitches should be retired from breeding at early middle age, which varies according to breed.

syz (35695points)“Great Answer” (0points)
dpworkin's avatar

@dogperson Where do you get your information? For a dog person you seem to be quite underinformed. I hope nobody takes your advice seriously.

rooeytoo's avatar

I never knew anyone I would consider a responsible breeder who owned 50 dogs. And those conditions are ridiculous. How could you possibly condition a dog to show or work if it were kept in a small cage all day.

Those conditions are the way puppy mills operate, not responsible breeders.

I know that many are against any breeding, I couldn’t do it except for clients. Too many unwanted dogs and all that. But those who are willing to spend thousands of dollars on health checks prior to the breeding, study pedigrees and animals before deciding on who to mate to whom. And genuinely trying to improve their breed. These folks definitely do not fall into the catagory of puppy mill and will not be affected by the law as related in the question.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@evil2 You have a point!

@rooeytoo Couldn’t agree more! GA.

dpworkin's avatar

@rooeytoo Since my girlfriend’s dog guide is from Seeing Eye, which has its own team of geneticists and a very sophisticated breeding program, I would be a fool not to support carefully managed breeding programs which have a civic purpose, but I find pet and show breeding indefensible.

syz's avatar

@pdworkin We’ve been talking about becoming a guide dog puppy raiser.

syz (35695points)“Great Answer” (0points)
MagsRags's avatar

@dogperson it concerns me that you address the question of how often a dog should be bred only in terms of the breeder feeling he/she has a market for all the puppies. I work with pregnant humans and there are physical and psychological consequences to having too many babies and having them too close together. It seems logical that the same would be true of dogs.

rooeytoo's avatar

@pdworkin – so you are saying there should never be another litter of pups whelped unless it is done for the purpose of service dogs? That would mean in about 20 years no one would be able to own a pet dog unless it was a service dog that couldn’t cut it.

Sounds like PETA propaganda to me. I always want to have a dog and I choose a dog based on many factors which are determined by breed. Therefore I hope that I will always have access to buying a dog from a breeder whose dogs have an OFA certification, have been checked for PRA and SAS, thyroid function is a factor in my preferred breed. As @MagsRags I don’t want a pup from a bitch who has been bred only for financial gain and I know of no responsible breeder who makes money from their dogs, it is a labor of love.

I assume you would also be opposed to people owning cats or horses or pets of any kind unless they worked for humans or are our slaves so to speak.

I find animal abuse indefensible and I am opposed to that, it has nothing to do with responsible breeders.

dpworkin's avatar

@rooeytoo I don’t know as much as you do about the industry. If you say there is such a thing as a responsible breeder, I have to believe you, but something about the fact that there is such an excess of uncared for dogs, and the existence of an operation to generate yet more of them for pecuniary reasons only, rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps there is something ameliorative about specialty breeding that I don’t understand.

rooeytoo's avatar

Are you saying that you think it is not good to breed dogs for money when there are so many unwanted ones already.

I completely agree and yes, Perhaps there is something ameliorative about specialty breeding that you don’t understand.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@pdworkin The biggest problem is the fact that there are more irresponsible “breeders” than responisble ones which is why these new laws may help the situation. As @rooeytoo said, any good breeder knows that there isn’t money to be earnt from breeding good quality dogs. To make matters worse, not only are there too many irresponsible breeders but also plenty of ignorant buyers. The people who want a cute puppy for a very cheap price. These people rarely think to look for a breeder that does the relevant health tests etc on the dogs they breed from. I think there needs to be education all round on this matter. Yes, there needs to be less breeding but I certainly don’t think that it should be banned all together.

nicobanks's avatar

@evil2, and @Leanne who said evil2 has a point: I don’t know if you are being sarcastic or not, but there is a case to be made for human procreation that can’t be made for pet breeding, and that is the evolutionary drive. Perhaps humans are born with an innate need to procreate which, if denied, would result in misery. Perhaps. But certainly there is no innate, genetic, evolutionary need to breed pets!

OpryLeigh's avatar

@nicobanks Until there are loving parents and homes for all the orphans in the world I still think @evil2 has a point and saying “perhaps” something would happen if something else didn’t (ie: human procreation in this case) is not really a strong arguement. For the record, just because I agreed to an extent with @evil2 doesn’t mean that I agree with all pet breeding, I just think that there should be limits for both.

evil2's avatar

@nicobanks you think humans are the only ones with evolutionary drive? are you kidding…. all creatures have a drive to reproduce , i believe that this is a common drive umong all living things. We should limit human reproduction in the same manner , as we aim to do it for others….one world one vision….

nicobanks's avatar

@evil2 No, you misunderstand me, I’m saying there’s no evolutionary drive within humans to breed pets.

If you’re suggesting pets ought to be allowed to breed because of their own evolutionary drive, that’s basically the argument that pets should be allowed a natural life… but that argument is deeply flawed because pets, by definition, have already been taken out of their natural environment and a natural life is no longer possible for them. Through years of human-controlled inbreeding pets’ instincts (a.k.a. evolutionary drives) have been messed with. At this point humans have a fiduciary duty toward pets. It is thoroughly immoral to leave a pet to its own devices. At this point, it is in all pets best interest to be “fixed.”

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