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Preferring a Pedigree

Recognising a Reputable Breeder

       

The popularity of any breed rises and falls over time. Although Chow Chows have yet to reach the heights of popularity they knew during the 1980's, today we still experience a scarcity of puppies, an over-supply of eager buyers, and long waiting lists.

Unfortunately too many buyers resort to the backyard breeders and fly-by-night puppy mills all too eager to exploit the demand. Pairings are un-researched. Parents are untested, frequently carrying a heavy genetic load of health problems and, too often are directly related. Cruciate injuries and dysplasias, infrequent prior to the 80's, boomed during the last popularity spike.

Informed, educated breeders who take the time to study documented genetic heritage and deliberately breed away from crippling diseases, are still trying to compensate for the damage begun more than thirty years ago.

Buying unregistered, supposedly pure-bred dogs, or registered dogs from breeders who have not tested their breeding stock, proliferates the health and temperament issues which challenge responsible breeders and damage the reputation of the Chow Chow breed as a whole.

In 2010 two Chow Chow back yard breeders on the outskirts of Cape Town were closed down within weeks of one another. Nine adult dogs were confiscated from one and seven from the other. Four of those dogs had to be euthanized because they were so disabled. All of them were living in appalling conditions, severely malnourished, and bred to exhaustion.

Preferring a Pedigree is not a matter of snob value. It is a badge of responsibility - in both the breeder and the buyer.

           
         
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