No facebook group or discussion related to this topic comes along without (at least one) comment like “but I didn’t want a show dog, so why should I care about a pedigree papers?”
I don’t need a dog with pedigree
Under such a comment, you will usually find a debate with tens of other reactions. Those who understand the problem try to provide rational arguments and explain the reasons why there is something like kennel clubs, the breeding rules, what responsible breeding means and that the purpose of all of this is certainly not the “entitlement for the dog to enter the show”. For the sake of regular dog owners, we could call this right to enter a dog show a “byproduct”. Some of the knowledgeable people including the breeders do not join these discussions anymore. The truth is, that it takes energy, time and it usually leads nowhere, because if the opposite side is not willing to drop the well-known cliches and untruthful ideas that spread among the general public for years, there will hardly be a positive outcome from such discussion.
How to explain to the people, that the purpose of a pedigree is not to entitle a dog for the shows or exhibition champions, but to protect the dog owners (and even more those ones who might not be so experienced) and to protect the dogs themselves - puppies and their parents?
We are convinced that polite discussion and introduction of honest work being done by responsible and serious breeders might help the general public to find relevant information, based on which they will approach the purchase of their sports or couch buddy in a different manner than they would have before.
Why should I toss the money for the pedigree for a couch dog (or a yard dog, pet dog… )
There is a lot of articles and information that explain the purpose and meaning of the breeding, protection of the breeds and also rules and regulations that define it and that must be obeyed by the breeders. The question is, whether these are hidden before the public or not. We could say who really WANTS to know, is able to get to the information. On our website NIPPON POSITIVE, there are 3 detailed articles focusing on the background of dogs reproduction, purpose of breeding rules and what they mean in terms of their protection of dog buyers and the dogs themselves.
For the person new to this topic, or a future dog first-time owner it is good to know that breeding rules (norms) are here to protect also those who are not aware of the topic.
Only a few of us are doctors, vets, specialists in genetics, ethology or other scientific disciplines relevant for dog breeding and reproduction. Despite that, some people with higher self-confidence demonstrate their opinions in the discussions while there is a lack of knowledge behind those opinions unfortunately. The more knowledgeable and experienced ones then watch those people publicly embarass themselves by proving incompetent and repeating the “evergreen” untruthful cliches.
To give you some context from these advertisements on the most used commercial portal in Slovakia and Czech republic, these are just some samples demonstrating the lack of knowledge and respect about the breeds. One person is selling “7,5 weeks old beautiful puppies of shiba inu, 3x cream males, 1x black and tan male and 1x yellow female”...
Well, there is nothing like a cream or yellow color of Shiba in the standard.
The other Akita ad says (with a lot of grammatical errors): “Im selling a breeding group of akita inu : 1x male 3 years old 100% stud dog that mates with also problematic females, 2x females 3 years old and 2x females 2 years old that are already pregnant. They are very good mothers, dogs are good for guarding, I want 100 EUR for each, more info by the phone.”
There is just so much wrong about this ad :(. There is nothing like a “breeding group” if the dogs have no pedigree. Why would anybody reproduce problematic dogs? Etc..
How to get out of this?
In our opinion, we as dog lovers, should first of all define our common objective.
One thing is how the lagging legislation in Slovakia can(not) support us, but the other thing is how we and our deeds and way of thinking can influence the thinking of other people in our environment. Our organization was established with a purpose to protect the traditional Japanese breeds, the situation is, however, similar also with the other breeds. Honestly, broadcasting the movie with the legendary tale of Hachiko 1-2x a year on a TV is not quite helpful in this matter either. If you happen to have spent some more time with the Japanese dogs already, you might be aware that the commercial portals are flooded with the ads shortly after the movie is repeated on a TV.
Many of us have already given up on the education of others and willingness to change something. It seems that this applies also quite significantly to the breeders and cynologists who join the public Facebook discussions only occasionally. Many of them used to fight for a long time, but everyone has their limits and you will not get a loan in this case. We belong to those who engage when we have energy and patience to calmly and politely explain to the opposite side the background behind they are part of. We know a lot of people that bought a puppy of Japanese breed without thinking it through in advance properly and they shared the opinion that we used as a statement at the beginning of this article. Back in that time thay probably could not have had a different opinion, their belief was shaped by the information they had. Today there is more information and also the quality of it is better and thus many of these people changed their minds and would act differently. This is when we are say “Cool!”. This is a self reflection and ability to learn, admit that we were wrong because we missed information or did not want to do a proper research.
Unwanted dogs and reproduction without pedigree
Our common objective - or at least one of them - should be a permanent and systematic decrease of numbers of stray dogs, dogs in shelters and dogs born outside of official kennels.
Those are in more than 90% cases their future clients. This is a big issue in Slovakia and unfortunately, with the popularization of the Japanese breeds, small or big “Hačiko”, these become to occur in the shelters more and more frequently. If we check out the development in recent years, the number of unwanted dogs is increasing. So what is the issue?
Please, let’s not finger point towards the government, police or other officers. Life is passing much quicker than the legislation manages to adjust. Now, in this election period, thanks to initiative driven by Sloboda zvierat (Animals freedom) we will see some arrangements around banning the people from keeping their dogs chained. There is still a long way ahead of us. This however helps only a few dogs in the country that suffer. The other part, and there is more than a thousand, waits in the shelters usually till the end of their lifetime. Including “Hačikos”.
Who is responsible for the overpressure of supply of dogs without pedigree?
If we want to move forward, we believe we should begin again and again on the side of demand. It is demand that creates the supply and it will not change. When we discuss with the opposite side that claims they do not need a dog from an official breeder because they do not want to show, we try to imagine them as someone close to us. A real person that believes that the dog with a pedigree is mainly about being shown on the shows.
The only way out is to continue endless conversation and dialogue. Yes, it might be frustrating, knowing there will be no end to it, we must admit that. It is true even more when it comes to decreasing numbers of dogs from the backyard breeders. If we do not politely, patiently and consistently communicate, we already know the result - increase of backyard bred, unwanted dogs.
Another samples from the ads:
“Selling a purebred dog without a pedigree …” - there is no such thing as purebred dog without a pedigree.
“PP”stands for “preukaz povodu” in Slovak (which means a pedigree license) but it can also stand for a Pet Pass. It is questionable, what the buyer will get… Buyer should know that the FCI (or AKIHO) pedigree can be claimed a purebred dog and that both parents (and their ancestors) went through the official approval for breeding. Not every dog with a pedigree is automatically suitable for reproduction. There are conditions that are evaluated by the official kennel club representatives that each dog must go through before being officially approved for breeding.
You can say a lot about the credibility and seriousness of the “seller” based on how the advertisement is written - using wording like Christmas discount or discount for shipping cost, tons of grammatical errors, etc…
I don’t have thousands to spend on a dog!
One of the most frequent arguments is money. Purebred dogs from the official kennels come more costly. However, the substance of what is cheap and what is expensive is not defined by the absolute amount of money in EUR. It is the reflection of the value that we do (not) get. We must focus on the value we are getting for the money and talk about this value. Also we should care about costs the breeder spent in order to raise our puppy responsibly. You can read more about financial and non-financial cost in our article How much a dog costs. The price reflects also the quality, invested sources, time and effort. But if the dog is already at home, it is too late to think about this …
My dog will have a wonderful life with me
It is a valid point to show also another side of our humanity - being able to perceive our decisions and behaviour in further context, in further magnitude than our yard or a flat, or our own will and our own future. We might take a good care of our dog, but what about his other X siblings (2-8 maybe)? The answer is in the shelters. By buying a puppy we are always co-responsible also for its litter mates. The count of all dogs in families and (unfortunately) also in shelters is a representation of the quality of our decisions.
Message to the backyard breeders
For those backyard breeders - smaller or bigger ones, hiding their four-legged money producers from the sights of public, we have a clear message. We know how you misdirect the potential buyers, we know you show them 1-2 pet dogs you care for, and the rest you will not (and cannot) show.
You can change phone numbers, not use your own name in the ads, publish nice but stolen pictures of puppies (...), offer PP (pet pass) instead of PP (pedigree), tell fairy tales to inexperienced buyers about purebred dogs that only hardly resemble the breed… we are watching you and carefully take notes of your ads. We will publish those phone numbers, cities, pseudonames you use while claiming “it is the first litter” or “it was the first and the last litter for the female because it is natural and it is good for her”, although we see them repeatedly.
If you do not care that your profit comes from your unethical behavior with no respect to the decent life of the dogs, while you consciously run unofficial backyard breeding avoiding the rules and not being responsible and controllable, then you must know that WE CARE.
We, who love our Japanese four leggers, know how you work. We will not only work to decrease your profit by decreasing the demand, we will also work on providing the clear information about your identity. Who you are, where you are from and what you do in order to get money that you are not able to earn in a different proper, honest way.
They cannot speak, but it is us who will be speaking on their behalf now.
For NIPPON POSITIVE Jana Martišková, Vladimír Belák a Viktor Adamov