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Successful Dog Breeder

  My definition of a successful breeder is one who consistently improves the dogs he is breeding, year after year, even though these dogs are not winners. If he can show a definitely p lanned program, and if the quality of his dogs is steadily improving, I would say that this man—or woman—was a successful breeder. And the breeder who produces a winner from a small kennel, where he has only a few dogs to work with, is doing a bigger and better job than the one who has a few dozen dogs.

  To breed for improvement, you must know your breed and be able to recognize a good specimen when you see it. You must be able to visualize the perfect individual toward which you are striving, and never give up in your efforts to attain this end. Do not try to do more than you can afford. Food is the fuel which keeps your (Jogs' bodies functioning, so do not have more dogs than you can afford to feed properly. When you find yourself forced to put your dogs on short rations, you had better start looking around to see where you can cut down on the size of your kennel—that is, unless the condition is only temporary. I have seen the time when I was considering disposing of some of my stock, but my dogs and I weathered the storm. Sometimes they ate my food, and believe it or not, sometimes I ate theirs, but I hung onto that promising little bitch or that nicely marked dog, and later on the sacrifice proved worthwhile.

  The thing to be avoided by the beginning breeder is keeping every puppy which shows any promise at all. If you have something outstanding, by all means keep him if you want to, but do not allow your kennel to become overcrowded with a lot of middle-class pups and an abundance of hopes. It is better to err on the side of selling one which turns out to be a flyer than to keep for breeding or show purposes a collection of dogs which only wishful thinking will ever place above the mediocre class. It is far better to sell them as pets and go on breeding until you know you have something well worth keeping.

  Even if you should sell a flyer through an error in judgment, he is not lost to you. If lie bears your kennel name, he is bringing recognition to your breeding every time he wins. And that brings up another point. When you have decided definitely to enter this fascinating occupation, you should apply for a registered kennel name. This is not necessary, but sooner or later you will want to have one. And should you be successful in breeding a good pup at the start of your career, the fact that he bears your kennel name will mark him to other fanciers as being your product. A registered kennel name is just about the cheapest advertising you will ever get, provided your dogs are good.

  You have an obligation to other breeders if you are going to join their ranks. You must work with them and not at cross purposes. You must stand firm with them in keeping the price of thoroughbred dogs on a plane worthy of a highly specialized branch of science. When people try to make you lower your price, refer them to the S.P.C.A. If someone tells you that so-and-so will sell a pup for five dollars less than your price, tell him that is the place to go if he is satisfied with what he will get. Never bring your price so low that other breeders will term you a bargain counter.

  A good name is an invaluable thing, both among breeders and also in the eyes of the public, your prospective clients. Do not cut your prices. Show other breeders that you are interested in improving your breed, and that you want to work with them.

  Lastly, the Golden Rule is a very good guide to use in your dealings with those who come to purchase one of your pups. I make it a point never to sell a pup with a fault without pointing it out to the buyer. Whether he expects to show the dog or not does not alter my procedure. When he leaves my kennel, he knows both the good and the bad points of the dog he has bought. I am satisfied that this plan works. When those who have already purchased dogs from my kennels send their friends to me, it brings a glow of satisfaction. Quality takes care of sales. If I breed them right, I have no difficulty selling them.

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