“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.”
You are that chunky bit that looks like the bottom of a park bench right there. That’s you.
Bah dum chhh! Chemistry nerds (or just people who took year 9 science) will get this joke and that’s because it is true and hilarious. One area where “the precipitate” is something even more unpleasant than the gunk floating in your test tube is dog breeding. That’s right kids, if you as a breeder aren’t part of the solution, you’re not only part of the problem you are the problem. Full stop.
What pray tell is the problem? Well, that depends on who you ask, but I’ll break it down for you.
For better or for worse (depending on who you ask) in the United States breeders, hoping to do the right thing by their dogs and developed in conjunction with universities, veterinarians and people who just gave a damn, created tests to quantify the quality and health of their stock. How well that works in the case of OFA hips/elbows is debateable* but the genetic tests and marker tests alone have been a wondrous addition to the world of dog breeding. In educated hands they make what was once a total crapshoot in terms of health, something potentially predictable; as much as these things can be and for breeders who care that is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It allows breeders and buyers to make truly informed and educated decisions on where they want their program to go in the case of breeders and functional dealbreakers in terms of what is and is not acceptable, needed or wanted. I truly love what testing has brought to the table in both of my breeds, and this dear friends is the crux of the issue.
Anything short of full disclosure on health testing results is spitting on your breed standard, insulting fellow breeders and defrauding your buyers. Full Stop. No Excuses.
Every Single One
I’m not sure when “A little information is a dangerous thing” became the norm in dog breeding but we need to knock that shit off. Information is glorious. Information does nothing but allow you to make BETTER decisions for your dogs.
“But Fang! People are mean and other breeders are cannibals. One sign of a problem in my dogs and they won’t sell me a dog or breed to mine and I won’t be able to sell my puppies, woe is me poor innocent waif blah blah.”
Newflash! People are already trashing your dogs, your haircut, your personality, what you bred, what you didn’t breed and they’re doing it on hearsay. People say your dog has shitty elbows and carries EIC and sneezes lime Jello? Prove them wrong, test and make that shit public. Or prove them right and show you have nothing to hide. You know what sketchy? A breeder who does not test.
Secondarily, you know what’s really sketchy? A breeder who hides the bad things. Guess what kids, people who care are going to do the research. If there is a lack of a test on one of your dogs but suspiciously everything else has it with sunshine and rainbows flying out its ass? That’s a bad sign. “Why wasn’t “x” done when everyone else was?” To people in the know, I’m sorry but the implication of that is you’re hiding something. Who hides things? Scummy, suspect people.
It really is, dog.
Dog people eat our own. We know we do and we should own that. We hold others to our own, hopefully high standards, and love our dogs, our breeds and our communities to distraction. We want what’s best for all of those and often times, the vehemence and nastiness in those disagreements spirals out of control. This however is no excuse.
I will argue to the ground that any information, regardless of actual result or status, is the only service breeders can offer their buyers and the public at large. You cannot guarantee health, beauty, temperament, titles, or a death date beyond reasonable precautionary measures but you can offer piles of information for those who want to hear it. If someone doesn’t want to hear it, they probably don’t need one of your dogs. You can also offer other breeders the courtesy of allowing them an unvarnished look at other lineages and what they could be risking or breeding in to. Would you not want the same courtesy? I can tell you from just clicking through databases, a single bad result does not remove a dog from the breeding pool. It removes the shock of a bad result in offspring, and forces breeders to be more conscientious about future breeding choices (And what is and is not a good choice to minimize or eliminate a problem). What about this is a bad thing?
In essence anything short of full disclosure on a database such as OFA which is publicly accessible to any and all who may look is morally reprehensible.
Or at least the standard clump and toss in some extras for funsies. Otherwise you’ll be viewed with suspicion, doubt and distrust. It’s up to you, really.
Any information is better than no information.
Complete information gives the community at large a better chance at beating back the ever encroaching health problems that plague breeds. Hiding that information is an insult. Do us all a favor and try being part of the solution. It’s the right thing to do.
And now you know.
*But only a little, so no excuses peeps.