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Definition of a responsible Breeder

LuvMyPiggers

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COuld anyone give me a definition, refrence to what a responsible breeder is?
 

LuvMyPiggers

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Thank you Sabriel. I just needed it for refrence in a project i'm doing on animal crueltyu/welfare.
 

Sabriel

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Glad you found it helpful :)
 

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Tatalp said:

This is excellent - I feel there are just levels of care - some beeders go to few lengths, others go to greater. But every now and them no matter how well a breeder tries to ensure their animals never end up in rescue, some still do. It is amazing how few owners do not remember the contract to return at any age for any reason and not send animal to a shelter. It is also amazing how many breeders move and do not let owners of their animals know!

I also feel anyone breeding needs to actively support rescue and not just with a few bucks tossed over each year. If you put them out, you have to support either through fostering, offering services or donating a portion of every litter bred to rescue. I am sick of hearing breeders talk about what they do try and prevent critters from going to rescue but do they support rescue? No. Of all the breeders I have known over the years or many species, I can only think of a scant handful who have done more than just tossed a few dollars over at Christmas as part of a club group donation. :( Off the top of my head, I can think of TWO in dogs, none in cats and none in rabbits or cavies.
 

CavyKind

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I know of more than one breeder who would like to think of themselves as "responsible" and "rescuers"...yet one sells their guinea pigs to a local pet store chain and the other sells in free ad papers. Responsible breeders, not in my opinon...waste of space...too right.

Barbara
 

C&K

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I really think that there is a distinction between guinea pigs and dogs. With dogs, I can agree that some breeders may be "responsible" and that some breeds of dogs, are "necessary". If you are looking for a working dog, you can't just pick one up at the pound; and through careful research of genetics, life crippling illnesses can be alleviated, like hip dysplasia. If I where to get another dog, I am getting one from a shelter. For our purposes, I am not going to support the pet backyard breeders, because that is what most of them are.

However, I thought this site mainly focuses on Guinea Pigs, and in my opinion, there are very few parallels between guinea pig breeding and dog breeding. I don't care how careful any breeder is with breeding guinea pigs, how much they study the genetics, how diligent they are in finding homes, if they alter every pet that leaves their care. The plain fact is, even the most carefully thought out pig that is brought into this world right now and finds a forever home, condemns one that is already here to death, or at least prolonged suffering in a shelter that is not adequately set up to handle basic pig care.

I know one lady on this site who adopted a pig from the same shelter I did, the poor little guy sat there for 4 months, spurs on his feet, teeth chipping from inadequacies in his diet, with death hanging over his head, at any moment being expendable to make room for more a more desirable pet.


Right now I can find listings in a 3 hour drive of me, for pigs that have been in the shelter system since APRIL. this is not fair, however the Toronto area is not unique.

The only exception I have legitimately heard has a absence of pigs needing rescue right now is the Calgary Alberta area. However, even there, if you look hard enough, you can find pigs. Maybe out of all the areas I have heard about, Calgary is the one that I could almost understand a breeding program, however, I have a sickening feeling that if you look deeper into the situation, you may find the shelters are just euthanizing the pigs and can't be bothered placing them, even for people who call and leave names wanting to adopt. Yet, instead of breeding in Calgary, and potentially starting an overpopulation problem, wouldn't it be wonderful if instead someone opened up a rescue and where able to pig train in some of those poor pigs in Wisconsin?


Basically, with dogs, you have certain factors that make is necessary to breed, you have dogs that need to have certain personalities and traits in order to perform a working function in our society. With pigs, it is just a matter of how they look, and personally, I think anyone who is so hung up on how a pig appears, that they can't just open up their heart to any of the available pigs in need, honestly does not deserve one.


If we solved all the over population problems with pigs, no one hear would argue with careful well planned breeding programs which work to eliminate genetic problems, and only place pigs in good homes. But that is not happening anytime soon, and in my opinion, I agree, that there is no such thing as a responsible Guinea Pig breeder.
 

C&K

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As far as Guinea Pig Breeders doing rescue or giving funds to rescues sort of confuses me. People are spending thousands of dollars on rescuing guinea pigs from their own pockets, struggling to find good homes, and a breeder is going to toss them $$ for what? To clean up their mess? It is like walking into a room that someone has dedicated their lives and all their resources to taking care of, destroying it, and throwing down a wad of cash with a what? "Sorry about that, I'll help cover the expenses to restore it, not all of it, and you have to do the repair work yourself, but it should be enough to give you a good head start...". I think it is a little ludicrous.


And breeders who rescue from everything I have heard, have a serious conflict of interest, and usually only rescue to abate their consciousness. I have heard it from a breeder who is on this site who "rescues as a side line" that she can't find homes for the rescues, people want the babies she breeds, and so she usually keeps the rescues that are brought to her. She justified breeding because the rescues where "undesirable" people did not "want them" therefore, it was OK to breed, because the rescued pigs where destined to never find homes anyway. So, the rescued pigs will live out their lives in a hutch in a shed, while the babies go to homes that will make them an active part of the family.
 

Homemom

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In all species, it is such a gray area.

Dogs are different... But many breed are companion only

I am talking supporting rescue. With dogs and there is still a need for breeding for working, etc, any good breeder also acknowledges that there is always a chance a dog they produced will end up in rescue no matter how hard they try not to.

The problem with companion only species - who decides who should breed?

When you join a dog club, part of the ethics in most clubs is that no animal will be placed through use of a Class A or B dealer, nor will shelters be used to place animals, etc. I never saw anything like this in any rabbit or cavy club bylaws.

Dog Registries in the US are different. Due to fair trade laws, they are limited in who they say can register. As long as the dog is purebred and from fully registered parents and the breeder does the proper papers when needed, they have to register. Quality and health do not matter. So regs attempt things the millers may find less appealing. The only thing that I now agree with the American Rabbit Breeder's Association is to have an animal registered, it must be over a certain age, have a pedigree of all the same breed and be evaluated by a registrar (precursor to being a judge). But the parents of the rabbit do not have to be registered which make falsifying papers easy :( . Right now in the US, even dogs with disqualifications and serious faults can be fully registered with breeding rights if the breeder does not check the limited registration box.

But again, what about solely companion animals like cavies? Who determines a good breeder from bad? It is such a slippery slope. If we end all breeding - hypothetical, it will never happen as there is always some idiot who forgets to alter a pet - there will be no pets. Could I live without piggies? Yes. Could I live happily without any animal companion, no.

But back to the topic at hand. Anyone for any reason who causes animals to be put on this earth has to be responsible and support those who clean up messes from bad owners and all breeders. I also challenged breeders in a Sheltie Pacesetter article (which can apply to cavies) to keep a list of ALL buyers and contact them at least once a year to see how things are going, remind them if there is a problem that the animal should be returned to them and not sent to a rescue and let the owners know if there is a move. Owners also have a responsibility if they go to a breeder (or rescue)to keep in touch as well and HONOR all contracts.

What if it were mandatory that no animal (pup, cat, rabbit, piggie, etc) in a pet shop or sold through these internet "warehouses" could be sold unless altered? Would that take a chunk out of "accidental" litters? No animal could be shipped for retail sale if it were not altered? Would this be less profitable for millers to breed. Sadly, in profit driven businesses, you have to hit that end as they do not care about anything else. Require ALL breeders to have to donate part of sales to rescues - how many would stop or scale back breeding as it would cut into profit?

But if breeders of any caliber, purposefully or accidentally, will not stop, then they have an obligation in my opinion, to support anyone who cleans up after messes. Even if their animals kept or sold or given away never see a rescue or shelter, for every animal they sell, that is one less to be adopted from a rescue.

The late Roger Caras, Pres of the ASPCA in the 1990s had a quote that went along the lines of if you get an animal from a breeder, go to a rescue and adopt it a friend.

And I do feel that people involved with different species can learn from the experiences of others.
 

C&K

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In a perfect world, things would work much the way that you discribe them. However, I think we are probably a 100 years away or more from the sort of changes you talk about. With the millions of pigs out there, and the millions of irresponsible people they belong to, having a world with no guinea pigs is just not going to happen anytime soon. If you have the ability to change the guinea pig breeding world from the inside out, then I think you should go for it, but in the interm, we have 1000's of displaced pigs every year that in the end are distroyed because they simply cannot find a home willing to take them in.

Cavy Breeding sickens me. I don't care if the individual breeder is responsible or not, because any resonable person would see that there are just to many homeless pigs and it makes no sense to be bringing more into this world, when another one is getting put to death. I find Roger Caras statement silly, why buy one and adopt one when you can adopt two instead? In my mind, that makes sense.

I think that one of the only responsible breeders I know of is you. I may be wrong, but I believe it was you on another thread that stated you used to breed, but overtime realized that there was no need for you to be bringing more into this world with the epidemic levels of overpopulation. In an ideal world, people like you would once the cavy was in danger of becoming extinct, start regulated breeding programs to save them. Everyone here would applaud and cheer you. But can breeding and rescue fall hand in hand in todays current situation? I don't think so. Most people I talk to here don't think so. I don't think that it is fair to ask anyone to clean up the mess breeders make, even if they are funded by those who make the mess themselves.

The great thing about sites like this, and Guinea Lynx, is they educate the average person on rescue work, and why to adopt as opposed to buy. Sites like these, could become very powerful tools now and into the future, and could urge wide sweeping change as more people become educated and refuse to buy. If breeders can't make a living off of breeding, and petstores can make a go of it IF they sell animals, then it is much more likely that change will take place. The world works off of supply and demand. The higher the demand for pedigree and petstore pigs, the more pigs will be bred. However, if demand drops, so will the mass breeding of pigs. If demand drops low enough, then perhaps, responsible breeding could be a topic worth considering.

Most of us would not want to live without Cavies. However, many have more then we/they want simply because they could not stand turning their backs to a pig in need. I know of many people who have 10+ pigs, that in an ideal world would only want 2 or 3.

Perhaps you have a shot at changing the show world and breeding programs from the inside out, but the most power that most of us have, is simply to boycott all breeding and petstore sales, until such a day as there are no homeless pigs.

Are there nice breeders out there? Probably.
Are there well intentioned breeders out there? Definately.
Do all pigs that are deliberately bred add to the problem of homeless pigs? Absolutely.
 

smoot

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It's hard for me to see the intentional breeding of ANY pet species as good. Thousands of unwanted cats and dogs are euthanized at my local humane society every year. I'm sure most other cities have this problem, too.

Dog breeders stand to make so much more money than guinea pig breeders. A purebred Chihuahua here goes for $800-$1000, "Teacups" going for $1200 sometimes. The smaller it is, the more expensive it is. So breeders are encouraged to make them smaller, thus giving them even more congenital problems. Buyers don't care - they just want to be able to have the smallest, "cutest" dog.

I suppose it's justifiable that working dogs need to be specially bred, but why breed pet dogs? I find it bizarre that some people find guinea pig breeding repulsive under every circumstance, but those same people will brag about their purebred (non-working) dog that they got from a breeder.

I know that this forum is supposed to be about guinea pigs, but it's hard for me to take people's indignation seriously when they're being hypocritical. I'm sure lots of breeders call themselves "responsible", but you and I both know from the whack-jobs that troll here that it's almost always a load of manure.
 

Homemom

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Aye, and there us the rub.

I am beginning to define breeders as opposed to responsibly as more and more better from worse. It is a gray area as to how people define it - this is why breeding laws come under such fire.

In the dog world, it is tough at times to get what you need for work from a rescue. Some dogs have such specialized traits (like live stock guardians to help cut down on predation and the need for poisoning and trapping) that you really cannot find them from any rescue dog. Though in LSG breeds, there is a rescue testing some of the ones they get is for working and successfully placing them in working environs where they are happier and healthier - especially mentally! But the wrong dog with the wrong temperament just tossed out there could end up being a live stock killer as opposed to a guarder.


There are reasons why I stopped breeding that I outlined in a cage size questions from a person who was breeding cavies. And it really put me to tears writing it. But it has been over a decade since I last had any litters and there is a reason. I thought I was breeding first for my own needs (I used to spin Angora wool) but even with known small litters, I could not keep all the offspring. But when I really got into rescue and cleaning up messes from two other in my area, I stopped. There was also no need for me to breed as I could always find what I needed. (That and allergies to rabbits that got worse).

Same with dogs. I do not breed. It just took me time to realize that through rabbit work.

I think this discussion is an excellent one as I am finding it very thought provoking. And it is nice to have rational discussions as opposed to many boards which just bash anyone as opposed to trying to give other points of view.

And every species needs to be viewed differently.

Cavies - what are they used for? Pet and show. There is no working ability, no commercial use as even some breeds of rabbit have. So is there a need to breed? Not really. As long as there are pet shops indescriminantly selling, owners intentionally or unintentionally allowing opposite sex critters together, there is no need for breeding for pet - even if the breeder never sells through a store.

Well, my attitudes towards showing cavies are changing the more I read here. Thank you all... SERIOUSLY! I a;away had issues with aspects of showing and questioned them. Also, unlike dogs, cavies have to be bred a heck of a lot more each year. One cavy an produce more offspring in a year if they have three and four pup litters than a dog can in that same year. (And I remember one cavy when I was a not much more than an older adolescent who had over seven! The poor sow was owned by a woman in the club).

I have been trying to get my state legislators to look at better laws restricting the importing of animals for retail sale over the past few years. . Not much but start small and then slowly work to no retail sale or mammals, birds and reptiles. Already my county has solid laws on exotics (like Degus and hedgehogs cannot be sold or even owned here but the next county up, they can be). If I cannot get my state leg. to take this seriously, maybe I can get my county to change. But the sad fact is, and Hunte Corp (biggest puppy broker in the US has shown this) it is amazing the pull the commercial pet industry can have politically!

Ideal world - yes, I speak from ideals but I am also a realists and know it will never happen.

But if I CAN CHANGE, or at least have a start at it, so can others is how I look at it.

Some may agree, some may not. That is all our perogative (?sp) as humans and this is what always keeps me thinking.
 

Access

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Other than pets/show, there is another act they are "used" for, Cavies like rats/mice are also used by scientific experimentors :( , if I remember correctly that is where Skinnies (hairless pigs) came from.
 

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Access said:
Other than pets/show, there is another act they are "used" for, Cavies like rats/mice are also used by scientific experimentors :( , if I remember correctly that is where Skinnies (hairless pigs) came from.

Yes but reseach animals in this capacity are rarely bred by the general breeders as there a strict guidelines they have to be bred by and cinditions they have to be kept under. It is almost impossible to get one of these animals out of a lab for a general pet. (Notimpossible and this very well may have been the way it happened or it may have been a fluke breeding as is what happened in the Sphynx cat if I remember their history correctly or the Munchkins that just showed up randomly as did teh Scottish Folds. Many hairless rats, mice, pigs were developed for research but these animals are very expensive. But the mutations causing the hairlessness is also out here in the general breeding pet populations so chances are the ones being bred as pets are from that end. Some labs take from the general public, but the animals bred for very specific research and for very specific traits, accoridng to them, do not come form nor will they knowingly go to the general public. Often these traits are used as a sort of marker.

Luckily, my husband's genetics work ended up being all human and tracking known genes in famillies. No animal research.

Some of the mutations seen in research, though similar to what we see in pets, there are differences at the molecular level.

:(

I just hate the hairless ones... We had a pet shop near by when I lived in MA that was selling hairless mice and rats after a fluke showed up in their stuff - poor inbred, miserable critters!
 

Homemom

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Access said:
Yeah the last two shows I have witnessed, there has been a skinny at each... I figure they are not that uncommon among showers simply b'cos they are unique or a novelty at shows.

last year: http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/shutaro/detail?.dir=2f37&.dnm=efb3.jpg
and this year: http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/shutaro/detail?.dir=ad30&.dnm=2e2f.jpg&.src=ph

Maybe the same pig...

OOOF! Looks like the one I had. Poor girl. There is a show locally in a few weeks I may check out to see what is showing up there. Be interesting to see how many skinnies are there.

I heard that there is a movement to get skinnies recognized for show. :( I wonder how far it has come in the ACBA. Once they get recognized, I know a few folk in the club I belonged to will pack the cavy room at the fair with them for sale! :( (sob) At one time the ARBA had set a rule I thought that no animal that was a "sprout" from a litter could be created into a new breed. It was started because American Fuzzy Lops and Jersey Woolies sprouted form litters of Holland Lops and Netherland Dwarves. A few liked them and started making a new breed of them. Since they were not to standard, a new breed was created from them. If skinnies are sprouts of another breed as hwta they appear to be, would they be eligable under the rule? Or is there a loophole?

They are so hard to keep warm that they would just die at shows. I can just see these at the northern shows in the fall or spring. The club I belonged to years ago used to hold a Midnight Madness show the first weekend in August. Often by 2 am, we were all in jackets and jeans. You'd see the cavy exhibitors packing carries with hay or covering them. And they were judged early so they could get out before it got cold - but not all did. Skinnies will end up pigcicles!!!

I should post a picture of mine. It is on my other computer and when I try to access it from the one I use the most now (my other system is old and cranky, hubby leaves his work laptop at home for me when he does not need it for trips). But when I try to upload it through the network connection, it freezes. I have to email it to myself. When I got her, it was before I knew more about cages than what I learned from my past in showing. When my new vet explained the dangers of that type of cage that had been learned, I tossed it. But the picture is several years old. I only have one. Sadly, I lost (crash of system) a picture of my first rescue pig after moving to VA. I had a couple of her. My husband may have downloaded to disk somewhere. I hope so! The pig in my avatar is the one taken by the shelter where my son's most recent babe is from. That's Raichu. Mom was dumped while pregnant at the shelter. They fostered her out until the babies were old enough. He is an aby-mix. He is very tiny though now several months old. He just is not much bigger than my son's rat! (though chunkier).

I love studying genetics - profession in part for my hubby, hobby of mine (I used to be a bio major wanted to go vet med but could not pass any chemistry or advanced math due to my learning disability - actually it was a bio professor of mine that helped diagnose me about 17 years ago.) And the more I learn about genetics, the more scared I get!
 

C&K

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heard that there is a movement to get skinnies recognized for show. :( I wonder how far it has come in the ACBA. Once they get recognized, I know a few folk in the club I belonged to will pack the cavy room at the fair with them for sale! :( (sob) At one time the ARBA had set a rule I thought that no animal that was a "sprout" from a litter could be created into a new breed. It was started because American Fuzzy Lops and Jersey Woolies sprouted form litters of Holland Lops and Netherland Dwarves. A few liked them and started making a new breed of them. Since they were not to standard, a new breed was created from them. If skinnies are sprouts of another breed as hwta they appear to be, would they be eligable under the rule? Or is there a loophole?

I am more then willing to admit that you know much more about the show world with ACBA and ARBA then I do, but arn't they two separate organizations? If the ARBA says no new breeds from sprouts, how would that affect the ACBA? Unless they duplicated the policy? Do they usually have similar policies?

How would a new breed ever come into existance if it where not for "sprouts"?
 

Homemom

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Cavies-and-Kids said:
I am more then willing to admit that you know much more about the show world with ACBA and ARBA then I do, but arn't they two separate organizations? If the ARBA says no new breeds from sprouts, how would that affect the ACBA? Unless they duplicated the policy? Do they usually have similar policies?

How would a new breed ever come into existance if it where not for "sprouts"?

OK, let's see if I can make this short and sweet before having to getthe kids up.

ACBA acts as the parent club for cavies under the ARBA. This is where my confusion is. They really are not technically a separate org by the way they hold shows and such. It is more like a specialty club in some respects. I wonder if anyone would answer my questions as to the relationship between them. Hmmmm... Would be interesting. Also if tey have to follow the ARBA rules... BUT if cavies are considered the same breed and what most refer to as breeds are actually considered varieties - this is the loophole... They are not technically creating a new breed but a variety.

http://www.arba.net/nationalclub.htm

It was desired that new breeds develop through working with other breeds over many years to create the desired traits and not take a disqualification that shows up and make it a new breed instead of trying to breed the DQ out like ling hair in a breed supposed to be short hair. Every now and then a long haired Holland Lop or other breed (I saw it more in lops and have to admit, seeing a long haired French was really interesting) would crop up as technically, all domestics rabbits are genetically the same - what differes them is what genes are turned on and off. But you cannot take a Holland Lop and an English Spot, run the DNA and determine individual breed as there is no way to test for what segments on the genes are turned on or off which determines the traits that we consider separate breeds. I hope this makes sense as it got very confusing for me to grasp this as I thought genes were just genes and that was it. I still worry I am not passing this on right and often go back to the woman who taught me this (genetics and biochem lady as well as one of my dog behavior mentors). It is the alleles (spots on genes) that always got me!

Anyhow, there was issues with people taking DQ babies and trying to make new breeds. It is easier than trying to do it from scratch.

Well, boy is up, have to get ready before I have to get the tot up.
 

C&K

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Ok, so a sprout is not genetically different from the parent breed it came from. If you looked at the DNA for a American Fuzzy Lops or Jersey Wooly would not be different from the DNA for Holland Lops or Netherland Dwarves respectively?

It sounds similar to the White Shepard Gog sprouting from the German Shepard Dog. The WSD's want to be classed as their own breed because the white coat disqualifies them from show, but so far the kennel clubs are saying no.

So a new breed has to be competely different from the parent on a DNA level? So would you get a new breed out of crossing and then standardizing?

And the ARBA is the ACBA's parent... Interesting, I can see why you are confused about the sprouts then, because it does sound like the Skinny is a sprout, a recessive gene that cropped up in the lab and has deliberately been bred ever since. But the first Skinnies would have been the same as their parents, just had the hair gene turned off...
 
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