Question; Am I an Ethical Breeder If.....?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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the Runaway- Bunny
Barked: Sun May 26, '13 10:06pm PST 
...this is a hypothetical situation. I am sincerely interested in people's opinions, this is not a set up for a specific response or with the intent to get people wound up. Rather, it is something I have thought quite a bit about, and am on the fence on personally, so am hoping I will get the full range of opinions on.

As the hypothetical breeder, I commit to (and execute on) the following in pursuit of creating superior performance dogs--for agility, OB/rally, flyball, etc;

- breeder produces on average one litter a year as deemed appropriate/timely, in the house, with extensive socialization, house breaking, exposure to new surfaces, noises, etc
- both parents of the litter are titled performance dogs with possible, but not required, confirmation titles
- both parents are proven to show above average to superior temperaments for their chosen sports and environments
- we follow all the appropriate health testing in relation to the parents' breeds
- we research pedigrees in an attempt to avoid potential health issues, but disclose any possible issues to buyers
- require spueter agreement with buyers as well as a "take back" clause
- parents and puppies are raised on wholesome and holistic diets and follow up-to-date vaccination protocols

...you see where I am going with this. But here's the punchline.

This breeding will not produce a "purebred" liter. Instead it will produce a litter of "hybrid" working/sport dogs, bred to perform above and beyond the standards of its respective sport genres.

Ex. See Border-Staffy, Border-Whippet, etc. Perhaps an Italian Russell (IG x Jack), or a Belgian Staffy (Mal x Pittie)? All of which in the right circumstances could produce phenomenal sport dogs.

Designer dogs? Yes, maybe. But not to make a buck, rather, purpose bred with proven parents and guaranteed homes. Is this a breach of ethics?

Please discuss.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sun May 26, '13 10:53pm PST 
This is going to get pretty heated, you know that rightlaugh out loud

Ok so are we talking about a one time breeding or occasional breeding to produce a purpose bred animal? That isn't really a designer dog.
I personally don't see the need BUT I understand that there is a huge sect of the dog world that does exactly that. As long as all appropriate measures are taken and any pups produced are ensured a safe, lifetime home, one way or the other then yes in my opinion it is ethically sound. Provided of course that the cross itself is sound, ei two breeds whose physical traits don't compromise each other or make a known weakness worse.
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Mon May 27, '13 12:04am PST 
"What Sabi said" may not be the most eloquent comment, but pretty much expresses my opinion. If you're doing all that, there's a clearly thought out purpose and good choices made, and all puppies ensured lifetime safe homes, I'd call it ethical.

Every one of today's breeds started with someone looking around and not seeing the dog they believed they needed among the existing breeds.


Barked: Mon May 27, '13 4:11am PST 
I think it fine if done how you said. In flyball they are doing Boarder/Whippet cross, The Boarder half for drive and concentration and the whippet half for speed. Its working good.
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Mon May 27, '13 4:43am PST 
My concern with this is what happens to the rest of the puppies? Yes, it is well and fine if they go to performance homes where the owners can and do deal with them but really, are there ten or more performance homes waiting for these dogs from every litter??
In most of these breeds this is a whole lotta dog for the average pet owner and it usually does not go well when they end up in over their heads. How does one guarantee that each dog will end up in only a performance home???? Around here, at least, there aren't that many performance people looking for dogs.

The Muddy- Princess
Barked: Mon May 27, '13 5:05am PST 
I agree with Toto, however, the same argument can be made against any dog bred primarily for success in a sport that requires very high drive. I assume any owner would need to be prepared for the worse case scenario in temperament of either of the breeds involved.

I do have a question, what is the point of a border staffie or an Belgian staffie? If you are looking for a height dog in Flyball, I would think a more lightly built dog than a staffie would be better.

The Monster
Barked: Mon May 27, '13 5:27am PST 
I have no problem with the breeding of sports mixes assuming that all puppies can be placed in appropriate homes. As it's already been mentioned, it's common practice in flyball, so I see it a lot. The dogs are definitely intense, but there seems to always be homes for the pups.

I see plenty of sports mixes being bred not to the standards laid out in the OP, too. Bad breeders abound everywhere. But given the criteria above, sure, heck, you might even be able to convince me to get one.

I do have a question, what is the point of a border staffie or an Belgian staffie? If you are looking for a height dog in Flyball, I would think a more lightly built dog than a staffie would be better.

Border x Staffie mixes are made for speed and drive. Height dogs are normally Staffie x Jack, Border x Jack or Mini Aussie x Jack (or a mixture somewhere in between).

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Mon May 27, '13 7:11am PST 
I'm going to preface this by saying I have absolutely no problem with mixing breeds for working purposes when done correctly and responsibly.

HOWEVER, I just have a hard time seeing the "necessity" of crossing for flyball.

Most sports are a stretch, I'm not exactly gung-ho about it for agility or schutzhund or what have you either, but flyball of all things is just especially silly.

It would be like crossing breeds to get a superior nose work dog. Really? Sorry, I lack in seeing the real "purpose" here. Things like flyball and nose work and dock diving are all nice things to do with your dog, and certainly a breeder who DOES do these things with their dogs is admirable and I appreciate the effort put into. But to muddle around in cross breeding specifically FOR it? Sorry, I just can't flow with that.

I wont say its "unethical" so much as nonsensical and I wouldn't really condone or endorse it.

Because I'm- Duncan, that's- why

Barked: Mon May 27, '13 7:24am PST 
I've come to think of the answer to this question not as a "Yes" or "No," but more of a scale, from "less ethical" to "more ethical." The breeder you described would obviously be doing a lot of things right, and would be more ethical than most out there.

However, that being said -- do you really think there's a need? Given your phenomenal success with Forest -- a rescue, who led your way into the sport world -- and now promisingly with Phineas (rescued as a 12-wk-old puppy). Given that you are aware of rescues going to the highest levels in the sports worlds. And given that such dogs are in shelters & rescue every day -- legions of them, particularly because they might not have been the best dogs for "average pet homes" .....

I don't know if there's a need for "sport mixes" to be bred, but I DO think there's a need and niche for rescues to develop, specific to the sports world. It would be awesome for there to be more sports-specific rescue groups, run by trainers and handlers with knowledge and expertise in the sport, to assess dogs, market them and place them into performance homes. In other words, people already entrenched in the sport would be needed to create the rescue -- they have the skill & knowledge base, and also the social networks, to make it work.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Mon May 27, '13 8:15am PST 
Ok I retract my previous statements. I didn't get the whole flyball thing. red face
Crossing to produce a superior tracking, herding, hunting dog is one thing but as Duncan said, the shelters are full of dogs that could and do excel in agility, flyball, disc dog and dock diving. In fact if I'm not mistaken the lady who started the Superdogs here in Calgary did so with a rescue. I could be wrong but I watch them every year at all the big events around here and I am certain a large number of them are rescues.
I am not belittling the activities, at all. In fact I have recently noted the positive impact such activities have on dogs with 'social issues'. I just don't see the need to be producing puppies for such activities.
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