In text HOW TO (GET IT RIGHT) we touched standard situation how easily an excited owner might, quite understandably, by thoughtless searching on the commercial portals slip from the right path leading towards a desired happy dog.
In text HOW MUCH A DOG COST we provided an overview of information to imagine better how a price is usually defined for a particular dog with pedigree from a responsible breeder, and that time and care invested to puppy is not always fully measurable. First weeks after puppy is born have the most crucial impact on its future behavior in life.
In this part we will try to zoom in on why we use different forms of the word
so often. We gave some space describing a responsible breeder, although we think we should pay similar attention to people, that make money out of producing and selling dogs outside of official process, out of any control, regardless of preservation of typical characteristics and outer appearance of the breed and without any guarantee towards a new owner that they would take a dog back shall an unpleasant situation occur in the future.
It is most often offers like this that we can find on the internet which are so easy to find. And as with anything else, also in this case, there will be exceptions. Based on information from HOW TO (DO IT RIGHT) and HOW MUCH WILL IT COST we should already have enough information in order to be able to recognize which selling ad comes from a reputable breeder and which comes from a business person selling fast moving goods instead.
Pai Amaya Kamiwaza, photo: Saskia.photography
Responsible breeders try to get the ideal dog - as close to defined standard as possible. They strive to get next generation of puppies to be closer to ideal than the generation before. Out of love towards their litters and breeding in which they had invested plenty of time, energy, money and emotion, they truly care about how their puppies will grow, how they will spend their best doggy years and in what conditions they will age until their time comes.
Unfortunately we usually cannot say the same about people that sell puppies without pedigree. Experience says that in vast majority of cases, they lose their interest for the puppy after getting paid and closing the door behind a new owner and.
We will now try to describe some of the main ethical issues that we regularly see with these sellers. We also get this information directly from the owners that burnt themselves in the past. It is right to add that it is not only about a particular breed, this is common in every dog breed.
Sellers of dogs without pedigrees often don't respect health risks and negative impacts of frequent pregnancies and birth deliveries on a dog’s body. For a better idea, we will add the following information:
A female gets a first heat in about 6-10 months of age. Similarly as for humans, it does not mean that a dog is quite ready for getting pregnant and delivering healthy babies. That is why the rules of kennel club order define, that females can be mated with a stud dog only once they reach a certain age which (in Akitas it is 18 months of age, Shibas it is 15 months), while they must officially meet all other criteria for breeding, too. Let’s continue. A female is usually ready to be impregnated at around 9.-14. day after starting the heat. Puppies grow in her belly for about 2 months and after delivery, puppies suck mom’s milk for another 4-5 weeks. That takes it around 4 months of quite stressful period having impact on female’s organism that needs certain time in order to regenerate and get back in a full shape ready for next litter. But as we mentioned, next heat starts in about 2 months. When such burden is multiplied by mating right in the next period, year by year, it leaves marks on the dog’s health which usually slowly deteriorates.
And again, kennel club and it’s order is here to look after meeting this rule: “A female can have 3 litters during 2 calendar years (calendar year is 1.1. - 31.12.) but after two litters in a row, breeder is obliged not to breed the female within the next heat cycle.” (quote from SKSJP breeding rules).
Poyumi Himesama Kamiwaza, photo: Saskia.photography
This basic rule is not followed too often by the puppy producers. There is a track of this on the commercial portals where we can find offers from the same sellers repeating every 6 months, or even more often if they have more females). Too often, these dogs that are used to produce puppies live in absolutely inappropriate conditions, without proper food, room, in neglected dirty kennels, without social contact with other dogs or people. We have witnessed these situations a few times. Advertisement offering pictures of happy puppies, in reality dogs being locked down in the backyard in disgusting conditions (lack of water, inappropriate food) which usually stays out of the future owner’s sight. And of course, the seller would not like to disclose anything of this from apparent reasons.
It is crucial for every dog to spend sufficient time after birth with their siblings and mother. First weeks are essential - a dog creates behavior patterns in the pack. It learns about hierarchy and different ranks. It also learns how to react on new impulses from the environment, how to cope with fear, etc. It is therefore important, that breeder spends enough time and effort with puppies during this period to ensure they face enough new different impulses and situations in the right way.
Puppies from irresponsible sellers often leave their mothers even before they get 6 weeks old, whereas kennel club order clearly states that a puppy can be transferred to a new home after it reaches 8th week of age (it can be even 9-10 weeks, depending on particular puppy - experienced breeder knows when is the right time for particular puppy to go start living in a new forever home).
Puppies coming out of irresponsible production often suffer from lack of socialization, which later shows as problems with anxiety, fear from loud and unexpected sounds/ noises or aggression (towards dogs or even people). A fearful dog, representative of whichever original japanese breed is exactly the opposite of what a typical representative should look like.
These sellers often do not even get the puppies vaccinated or microchipped . They tend to say there is no point since the puppy will change the owner soon and that the owners can register them already under their ownership. Understandably, such producer stays anonymous, their name is not displayed anywhere and nobody can make him responsible if their puppy has issues, gets ill or dies. In this situation, slovak law (although being far from sufficient) has made a rightful step ahead and gives the obligation to a breeder to microchip the dog before giving it away, be it for money or for free, by the 12th week of puppy’s age.
As we already mentioned a couple of times, each breed has its own official standard and the goal of organizations covering the dog breeding is to make dogs as close to the ideal standard as possible when it comes to temperament, talents, skills or exterior. In order to ensure these absolutely essential goals, these organizations have control mechanisms and materialised in form of kennel clubs and their rules that must be obeyed by all member breeders.
Unfortunately, from time to time a black sheep arises among them, an officially registered member who selects which rules they obey and which they don't. They usually break certain rules, again, to boost their own cash flow and mostly with disrespect to the breed. However,there is only a limited number of such breeders and they get usually exposed quite early by the others.
Producers that are not under control often don’t have any issue to purposefully ignore “some officialities around standard” and often breed their females with dogs without pedigree, with potential behavior issues or outer appearance which is very distantly reminding of the breed or they mate individuals that are in close genetic relationship (father with daughter, mother with son, siblings, etc) without any knowledge about consequences. Many times puppies from such connections suffer from health issues. That is why we so often see Akitas with round eyes, cow legs, unbalanced poor body structure, long legs or Shibas with dark muzzles, ears long as rabbits, without typical thick coat, too small Shibas (miniature?) or too big ones that remind of something between Akita and Shiba, and so on.
By reproducing dogs without pedigrees, litters are produced that are sold as purebred dogs. However, as long as a dog does not have a pedigree, it can never be referred to as a particular purebred dog, in other words they cannot be advertised under the name of particular breed e.g. Akita, Shiba, Shikoku, etc. because that would be a false and deceptive advertising. Such dogs can be sold only as a cross-bred dog. Here again this law is often not respected and irresponsible sellers sell cross-bred dogs as purebred ones, which brings non-experienced buyers to deception. Under a lot of emotions they buy a puppy for which it is hard to predict how it will look when grown up, how healthy it will be and what will be its temperament.
Irresponsible seller typically tends to sell dogs outside of their property, somewhere on public place where the future owner cannot physically see and contact puppies’ parents (at least their mother) and see the conditions they live in.
Furthermore, there is usually no written contract defining the rights and duties of the seller and buyer (standard business contract).
This contract typically defines also rules that a breeder uses in order to have a particular type of control over the dog’s well being.
Here are some of the rules:
In case of puppies that are not meeting the standard and thus are disqualified from future breeding, owner is obliged to have the dog neutered after they reach certain age - this is to prevent further reproduction of such dog.
Rule defining obligation of owner to contact the breeder shall there be situation in the future when they would need to get rid of the dog. In that case, owners cannot give the dog away without prior breeder notification.
Breeder describes explicitly in the contract how the owner shall proceed in order to ensure the dog's well being, proper growth and development (e.g. with large breeds e.g. Akita, it is highly recommended that puppies avoid frequent jumping from the stairs or long walks in order not to develop later issues with joints).
We would like to underline that we are not by any means judging the dogs without pedigrees. It is clear that they are not the ones to be blamed for coming to this world and at the same time, most of them are perhaps loved the same way as dogs with pedigrees.
Above mentioned problems with irresponsible dog reproducers are very hard to address, because they are not controlled by anyone and do not take any responsibility for sick or problematic puppies they produce. Responsible thinking and doing is what we call for, and what we suggest to anyone considering buying a puppy. Unless legislation bans such irresponsible dog production, situation will be only hardly changed. But it will be only dogs and their owners who will suffer in the end (emotionally and financially).
Therefore, we in Nippon Positive OZ consider it a key factor to spread the word of urgency among first time dog owners who do not have any experience and tuhs understandably do not have any knowledge about what is right and responsible breeding, and that a price - similarly as with things - reflects also the quality.
In the end we would like to mention one more topic and that is a term of broader responsibility that we, as buyers have. When we are deciding about buying a cheaper puppy without pedigree, let’s please realize that although our puppy will have a happy life full of love with us, its siblings might not end up in the same way. If they are not sold, the producer will not keep them, they will get rid of “the problem”. Soon there will be next litter of small fluffy puppies and there will be no time and money to spend for those grown up adolescent dogs that nobody paid for. If they have at least some integrity, they will give the pups to the shelter and disappear. In other cases (unfortunately more frequent ones as it still appears) they end up relelased in the fields, tied to a tree in woods, or drowned in the trash bags.
Perhaps you will agree with us, that this is certainly the life these four legged pals deserve.
So let’s change that together! Because where there is no demand, there is no supply.
Puppies from kennel Z Podpolianskych lúk (Slovakia), photo/breeder: Dominika Paučová, breed Shiba
Puppies from kennel Fuen No Oka (Poland), Photo/breeder: Zuzanna Chade, breed Akita
Puppies from kennel Wakizashi of Tianito, photo: Tibor Tóth, breed Shiba
Puppies from kennels: Z Posvätného hája (with mother on the left), and Rubrum Solem (right)
3 months old puppy, breed: Shikoku, owner/photo: Tibor Tóth, kennel Wakizashi of Tianito
Photo: Kennel Kamiwaza, puppies - breed: Shiba
Photo/owner: Lindsay Vangrootenbruel, puppies from belgian kennel Takai, breed Kai
Photo/owner: Emília Hrnčírová, females BIZEN Go and BAKASU Go Sakura Kensha, breed Akita