MY THOUGHTS….JMHO

So often, as I’ve worked for hours doing puppy chores, or spent hours on the road for deliveries and other business related road trips, I’ve written my thoughts in my head about all I’ve learned and come to understand with regard to genetic testing, among other hot topics, of our dogs for breeding. Yes, it is the responsible thing to do from a breeder, and a potential puppies buyers perspective. Is it always the right thing to do? That depends on the perspective of the quality of the breeder’s program, often way out of line and criticised even by our own fellow breeders beyond reason. Unfortunately, if I am not in a position to write down my thoughts as I’m writing them in my head, by the time I reach a place I can do so, most of the words have escaped me. Ever heard of “writer’s block”? It happens to song writers and story tellers all the time. When the inspiration hits them, they must move right then and there to write their thoughts down….or it may be gone or never written in the same way again. So, although social media was not really where I had planned to put these thoughts, one day a discussion came up, and the inspiration to write my thoughts down were with me at that moment. I did respond on the post, but I also kept a copy of those thoughts to share here on my website. I will likely edit and add more as time allows.

PARENT TESTING:

May, 2015

With regard to genetic defects:

It can happen, even with all testing done. I sold a purebred puppy to a breeder a couple of years ago, who although tested within the first 6 months, could not get her puppy to pass hips with either OFA or PennHip. I replaced her puppy...more than I've received for potential parents I've bought more times than I care to admit, but have not panned out for our program and were pulled at a loss. In this case, however, the mom was OFA Excellent....the dad....OFA Good...so please tell me...what happened? In that same litter, we had a blind puppy. The only blind puppy in our breeding history. The mom was CERF cleared, and the dad has had no known history of eye issues. The breeding was never repeated.

Much of the testing available to breeders is subjective. Sometimes, common sense is more objective. The bottom line is how the breeder handles a situation with a puppy from a problem that is without a doubt, congenital or genetic. Hard to prove, but in some cases, again, common sense and customer service prevails.

I believe our studs should be tested at the very least within our program. Generally, they will sire many more puppies in their career than a female who might have 3 - 5 litters, sometimes less. Many purebred breeders who want to maintain a certain pedigree will intentionally use a cleared to an infected or carrier to reduce or eliminate the issue in future generations. In other words, if one parent is tested and cleared for known genetic defects in that breed, the likelihood of the problem in the offspring is reduced substantially. If we pulled every parent for every little defect, this can substantially and dangerously reduce the gene pool furthering issues instead of reducing them. However, likewise, in the case of both parents being tested and cleared, that is never a guarantee either. As stated above, I know this from first hand experience.

Keep in mind, seldom are our children born perfect. Having a brother born with spina bifida, yet overcoming most odds due to his determination and courage, as well as wonderful parents, he has a wonderful life, a wonderful wife and two wonderful children. Did anyone question my mom as to what she did to have caused this back in 1964? No. Do they now? I dare you. 

As "breeders" of animals, we find ourselves often being compared to "manufacturers" that have molds, and should produce "perfection" all the time. Yes. We must do what we do with responsibility and health in mind for our puppies with all reasonable resources available. And I admit, some may not, and "profit" is their main objective. "Profit" should never be criticized, however, as it is our choice of profession. Animal Right’s Activists ( AR Terrorists) and many Purebred breeders love to use this as a way to lable breeders as “questionable” (terminology somewhat conservative to reality) if they make any money at all in breeding, especially with the idea of creating wonderful, healthy and loving pets. Not everyone desires a puppy for the show ring, nor is the uncertainty of “rescues” the right match for every family. If there is a little left at the end of the day, it is good to know that our efforts (which is never certain and always guarantees heartbreak), often 24/7, are not in vain. 

However, nothing is sure proof, and nature can be cruel. When things don't go the way we hope, or the way we have worked so hard to ensure, then it is up to us to determine how the situation will be handled. In our history of breeding (and yes....we've had lots of puppies in 7 years....so take that ARA's), we have been asked for a full refund only 3 times to help with "medical" expenses for alleged genetic defects, 2 of which were "questionable", but all three of which we honored. I do hope that I have not opened myself up to those that would take advantage of us, as "respect" and "honesty" works both ways. 

When I was 15, I had a job at a privately owned pizza/sub shop. I remember my boss said to me, "The customer is always right". I know I looked at him like he had 4 eyes.....but years later, I understood exactly what he meant. A breeder should never be judged based on problems that may legitimately be a birth issue, but in how they handle the problem with the puppy family to whom they sold the puppy. Keeping in mind, the moment a puppy leaves the arms of a breeder into the arms of any puppy family....therein begins the "grey area" of time for which anything environmental can work against all involved.

God Bless, and thank you again for considering us as your breeder and trusting us to raise a wonderful addition to your family.

Tina Law, Owner & Operator
Lawpdoodle K9 Manor

PRICING OUR PUPPIES:

Written June 10. 2015

Here’s my philosophy, or opinion. Take it or leave it. 

When I first entered the Doodle world over 7 years ago in January of 2008, (Goldendoodles and Labradoodles), I did see prices range in the $2000 - $3000 range….maybe even higher. (Our current price for our Sheepadoodles is $1400).  I respect some of the reasoning and investment behind these prices from the breeders that charge them and their customers that trust them with these prices.

Sheepadoodles were not in the picture at the time….at least not for me.  That happened a year and a half later when we began our research in mid-2009. Pricing when a “rookie” breeder can be a challenge. You don’t want to “under price” your mentors, but you realize you are “new”, so that may play into your value or lack thereof? I decided to go with my heart. I wanted to price high enough to know that my customers were making a serious investment and decision about their puppy (a $100 - $200 puppy is easily disposable with little thought if it becomes inconvenient just a few short months later), yet within a price range of families like my own. That is, affordable if serious enough to make the sacrifices to make it work.

I have never been, never will be, nor to be perfectly honest, want to be “among the wealthy lifestyle”….no offense. It is just not a need or desire of mine. We have a simple lifestyle, with a few “rich” blessings (more than we deserve) and lots of unconditional love, the most valuable asset of all aside from our Faith. However, compared to many 3rd world countries we all tend to ignore….we are all wealthy! God Bless America!

I hold nothing against those that make good money for a living. I do not believe in making a villain out of those that have honestly earned their wealth and enjoy the benefits, nor do I believe (as often our government does) think they should be punished for making a good living. Charity should be a choice. This is America, after all!

Many of these families are my customers. I don’t believe any of them think less of me if my prices happen to be less than others. The old adage, “You get what you pay for” is true in many senses, but not always. Who I am, my reputation, testing, etc. does not justify ridiculous prices such as some of what they refer to as “elite” breeders…a term often given to themselves to justify those higher prices whether earned or not. I fell into that trap of thinking I had to meet certain criteria to receive certain “endorsements” for breeding….only to learn….most of these so-called “endorsements” were just taking my money for being part of “their club”.

My Club is my customers. My reputation is what I do and have done for my customers. Social media presents it’s own challenges, as too many believe the lies and slander against innocents that have done nothing wrong. Those that spread these lies are often trying to improve their own image, not by doing right by their customers and running an honest business, but by putting others down to make themselves look better.  Sometimes, I long for the days before “social media”, and yet I admit I benefit from it as well by word of mouth referrals and exposure to lead people to our business on the world wide web.

To wrap up my thoughts on this subject, something many don’t consider when pricing puppies, is our ongoing expenses for carring for our dogs and our breeding business. We put their health and welfare obove all else. The price we ask for puppies is NOT our profit. I know it may not be the way everyone does it, but it is the way we do it. Unlike that 2 times a month paycheck as an employee of a company, in this business (and others) things can and will go wrong. And those things can be very expensive. There are NO guarantees, except the monthly bills and expenses that do not care what problems or unexpected emergencies we endure. ARA’s say we do what we do for greed. I wonder….what do they do for a living? Do they operate their business 7 days a week? Do they cope with the heartache when nature gets the best of them? Do they live and breathe the breath of every animal within their care? I do. I dare them to take that away from me. I know God gave me my animals and guided me through my business. I plan to do everything within myt power He gave me to give them the best they deserve and be the best that I can for those that I serve.

Tina

b© Lawpdoodle K9 Manor 2014