Because of these facts we believe that dog breeding is best left to the "professional breeder". What makes a breeder professional?
A professional breeder is one who has made a lifetime commitment to the well-being and IMPROVEMENT of one, or possible two breeds.
A professional has studied and researched the breed and knows intimately its history and standard, its strong points and drawbacks.
A professional has spent time, effort and money researching and proving both the physical and behavioral qualities and health of the potential breeding stock. Those that do not prove out are NOT bred. A professional plans a litter only with the goal of puppies better than the parents, not for profit, vanity or fun.
The professional has both the time and mental fortitude to BE THERE for the dogs and puppies. A professional evaluates the litters and makes every effort to match puppy to buyer in temperment, attitude and energy level as well as physical abilities.
A professional NEVER sells to pet shops or laboratories. A professional requires and enforces spay/neuter agreements.
A professional is, first and foremost, selling to responsible, loving people. A professional keeps in periodic contact with the owners of puppies sold, not only to evaluate the breeding program, but also because s/he cares about the pups' well-being.
A professional does NOT have so many dogs that there is no time for individual attention, play and grooming. A professional also does not skimp on food quality, space, preventative medicine and health care. A professional assumes responsibility for the life created carefully screening buyers, helping find new homes, making a comfortable life for the retirees, and yes being able to make the decision to euthanize when a puppy born with a physical or behavioral problem has no chance for a quality life.
A professional builds a good reputation slowly based on dedication and consistent quality, not on volume, advertising, or from a casual or self-glorifying attitude.
A professional goes further and assumes some responsibility for the problems of the breed as a whole. A professional belongs to an organization for the breed, continues to read about new developments, and works to reduce the number of the breed that are carelessly bred, ill-cared for, and discarded.
A professional can look at a bigger picture than dog show wins or puppy sales and contributes in some way to the betterment of dogs as a whole.
Given a choice educated owners who buy from breeders prefer to work with these professionals. If professional breeding is more of an obligation than you care to take on, choose the responsible alternative of having your pet neutered.
Text adapted from Bonnie Wilcox, D.V.M.