Monday, December 15, 2008

What happened here??

I don't get it.

Today I stumbled across A & R Country Kennels and had a look around. They breed designer dogs only. Okay. Not enough to land you on MoT. They aim to sell healthy dogs; no mention of hybrid vigour. Alright. Two-year health warranty for each puppy and not a NuVet link in sight, not bad... Their puppies leave home after 8 weeks, vet-checked and ready to go; even better... Their facilities seem great; looking good...

And then I got punched in the face with the realization that they've got about eight litters on the go simultaneously.



Is this a Christmas thing? This is a Christmas thing, right? Well then why on earth are most of their litters so far off the mark from D-Day? And WHY ARE THERE EIGHT LITTERS?

And then more holes are poked in the kennels all around me. Why is there no page where I can look at the sires and bitches? Why isn't your health warranty actually on the site? Why have you only raised "85%" of your "purebed stock"? Why do you call Goldendoodles "Golden-poos"? Are these F1 crosses or what? Why do you have a litter of Goldendoodles ready for adoption when you also claim that you only breed your Golden retriever bitches once a year each for summer litters? Why are you breeding "Eskie-poos" when American Eskimo dogs are already quite healthy, thank you very much, and require dog-savviness? Why do you keep saying your poos are "non-shedding" when this very likely isn't true for every single puppy, especially the Goldens? Why is your spay/neuter recommendation crammed at the bottom of the page like fine print? Why are three of your eight litters Shih-poos? WHY DO YOU HAVE EIGHT LITTERS??

Sigh. They sound like nice people, too. But I have to say it.




Good grief. It seems appearances can indeed be deceiving.


water_bearer said...

I didn't get a chance to chime in on the "what defines a puppy mill" post, but here's an example of someone who is in that funny gray area. Puppy mill? Certainly not. I believe them when they say they don't sell to pet stores. And their facility is immaculate and seems very comfortable for the dogs. Also, good marketing with the pics and website. The animals seem healthy, and all the basic health guarantee stuff is there. They don't appear to be complete dog idiots either, and the links they provide to info. sources are pretty good too.


while they don't actually use the term "hybrid vigor," under every "breed" (and they do call them that) description, they specifically state they're crossing breeds to get healthier puppies. It's worded a little differently here and there, but implied is that crosses are automatically more healthy.

From the Cock-a-poo description, "By crossing these two breeds, we are aiming for healthier puppies."

Under the subsection "Health" on the "Poodle Crosses" page:

"Our goal is to produce healthy puppies. When the Poodle is crossed with the various purebreds, we are finding that the offspring are much healthier than the purebreds. Each purebred has their own problems with health. We are eliminating and/or lessening the chances of the problems being passed on to the offspring therefore creating a healthier happier puppy."

I think this woman is smarter than your average bear and I would not rank her in the backyard yokel breeder category, but I suspect her careful wording has less to do with honesty and more to do with dancing around legalities.

Also, with the Pom-Poo...
Not one dog looks like any of the other Pom-Poos.

And whatever Poodle (I'm guessing sire, and the Miniature one) they use in most of their crosses, must have one hell of an underbite because apparently whatever you breed him to, the puppies get an underbite. Attractive.

Then there's the number of "breeds" here. Eleven different crosses???? Mostly Poodles? If you love Poodles so much, then why not just breed Poodles, or if you're bound and determined to market a "poo" then focus on one or two. It's not like this is a Goldendoodle Kennel, or Labradoodle Enthusiast. And they're clearly not interested in bench-bred dogs or that underbite wouldn't be in the breeding program.

So... clean, modern, comfortable facilities and lack of spelling errors aside, this is still a person whose sole goal is to breed as many types of "poos" as possible. I don't give a shit if they're vaccinated and well-socialized. This is not a good enough reason to warrant so many more dogs being made. Ugh.

muttpuppiesontrial said...

Absolutely right, WB... Not enough to get smacked with the 'puppy mill' stick, but still somebody who should not be breeding the way they do.

I have a term, "abandon ship breeders"... These are the people who used to breed purebreds, but suddenly realize there's a market for crosses and that mixed dogs are alledgedly healthier. And once they figure this out... "Abandon ship!" I wonder if that's what happened here, since these two are so hung up on poodles.

Forget breeding your favourite breed healthier. Just bail out and start mixing 'em up like doggy cocktails.

an American in Copenhagen said...

This is a full scale factory and is definitely a puppy mill. No question.

I don't think puppy mills are evil on principal. This seems like a nice facility where the adult dogs are likely very happy. I question how well one person can socialize eight litters at once but in general it looks like a place (as in location) I would buy a dog from.

I question the choice of breeding stock and crosses she's making but so long as there's a market for the dogs she's producing I can't really fault her too much.

My biggest complaint is that for all her talk of 'health is #1' there is no mention of health testing her breeding stock. If she's not bragging about it on her site then you know it's not being done.

I wouldn't buy a dog who wasn't from health tested parents. I just don't want to give my money to people who aren't making an effort toward improving the next generation of dogs. If I wanted an irresponsibly bred crossbred dog I would go to the pound.

Note to MoT-- I think she raises only 85% of her purebreds because she occasionally uses an outside sire or buys a dog to add to her program. That's definitely not something to criticize her for.

L said...

It's kind of like the semantics of one of the terms FHoTD coined -- the horse isn't quite in a rescue situation, but it sure could use an "upgrade"!