How hard is it to be a dog breeder?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

Being a dog breeder is not an easy task. It requires a lot of dedication, time, and effort. One of the biggest challenges is avoiding kennel blindness. This term refers to the tendency of breeders to become so attached to their own dogs and their breeding program that they lose objectivity.

Kennel blindness can be a result of several factors. Firstly, breeders may become emotionally attached to their dogs, especially if they have been with them for a long time. This emotional attachment can cloud their judgment and prevent them from making rational decisions about breeding.

Secondly, breeders may become so focused on their own dogs that they fail to see the faults and weaknesses in their breeding program. They may overlook health issues, temperament problems, or conformational faults because they are so invested in their own dogs.

To avoid kennel blindness, it is important for breeders to have a willingness to learn and be open to feedback. They should actively seek out opinions and evaluations from other breeders, judges, and experienced dog owners. This can provide valuable insights and help them identify areas that need improvement.

Additionally, breeders should be humble enough to accept that they may not have all the answers and that there is always room for improvement. They should be willing to admit their mistakes and learn from them. This can be challenging, as it requires a certain level of self-reflection and self-criticism.

Having a good eye for a dog is also crucial for a breeder. This means being able to recognize the qualities and characteristics that make a dog a good representative of its breed. It involves evaluating structure, movement, temperament, and overall health. Developing this skill takes time and experience, but it is essential for making informed breeding decisions.

Furthermore, luck can also play a role in breeding. Even with the best planning and selection, there are no guarantees in breeding dogs. Sometimes, despite careful consideration and selection, the desired traits may not be passed on or health issues may arise. It is important for breeders to be prepared for these uncertainties and be ready to make adjustments to their breeding program if necessary.

Being a dog breeder is a challenging but rewarding endeavor. Avoiding kennel blindness is crucial for breeders to maintain objectivity and make informed decisions. It requires a willingness to learn, humility, and the ability to recognize a good dog. While there are no guarantees in breeding, with dedication and perseverance, breeders can strive to improve their lines and contribute to the betterment of their chosen breed.