I would like to take the time to explain the word ‘Breeder’ to those out there who insist on telling me that their last dog was purchased from a ‘Breeder’ somewhere in Zootsville, who put their two pet dogs together to make puppies. First of all, anyone can call themselves a breeder, sort of like anyone can call themselves an electrician or plumber, and so on.
The following is my experienced opinion and as such is based on what I know. If you have more information to add to this post, by all means email me with your full identity and I will be more than happy to add or correct what I have written here.
So, a Rottweiler breeder, in my opinion, has the following characteristics:
1. They have dedicated himself to improving and maintaining the breed standard through excellent breeding stock and an understanding of the genotype and phenotype of the Rottweiler breed. This obviously goes beyond the ‘hobby’ phase as it takes a lot of time and hard work to develop any breeding program. Hobby breeders have their place, of course, as from this, some become dedicated Rottweiler fanciers who then develop their skills and breeding stock to finally enter the world of breeding, training and showing these magnificent dogs. However, do not misidentify one with the other. Know when you are buying a pup from a hobby breeder versus an actual, established kennel.
2. Ensures that his breeding stock do not have disqualifying faults in conformation; ensures they do not have major health concerns, such as hip dysplasia, before using them for breeding. Of course, there is no such thing as the perfect dog, but that is the entire reason you are doing a breeding program: to improve the breed, through adding what is good and eliminating what isn’t.
3. Waits at least until age two with a sire or dam to begin breeding.
4. Has a keen understanding of the Rottweiler Breed Standard by both reading and observing his own dogs and other specimens. A novice will not know much about what a Rottweiler should look like, only what they ‘think’ looks interesting, so they bypass the whole reason for breeding in the first place: to improve the breed. I’ve heard it all. I recently saw something written by some ‘expert’ who was looking for a dog with ‘a big blocky head and a short muzzle’ to use for breeding. This is idiocy. If you talk to someone who knows, they will agree on this point without fail.
5. Has a keen understanding of Rottweiler pedigrees, from research and study of what pedigrees have produced the best results. A breeder with enough experience will have a good handle on pedigrees, at least knowing what has produced good offspring in the past and what is producing in recent years. Since it takes so long for a pedigree to prove out, someone who has been working on a breeding program for only a year or two will not be able to show the fruits of his or her labors for at least five to seven years. Most people cannot last that long in the kennel business.
6. Can and has successfully trained Rottweilers in obedience, particularly, so as to impart this information to owners. I know people who have been marginally involved with this breed for a while who still cannot teach a dog to heel. This is hard to believe and harder yet to understand in light of the fact that training is a vital part of a Rottweiler’s life.
7. Understands the care and feeding of Rottweilers, from birth through to adulthood, so as to impart this information to owners. It takes work to raise a dog and owners need help sometimes. A breeder should have most of the answers or at least try to help. I have heard of ‘breeders’ who will not answer emails and phone calls from concerned owners who have questions. This, after having taken their money. It’s shameful, but true.
8. Has gone beyond the hobby stage in breeding Rottweilers. That is, beyond the activity of putting two dogs together to make puppies. While this is not always a sin (and sometimes it is done unethically), the hobby breeder must somehow progress beyond this level to learn enough to benefit both the breed and those who adopt puppies.
9. Actually creates and maintains a breeding program, whereby female offspring from his or her own litters are raised and if qualified, bred back to qualified sires on site or qualified sires from other kennels, in order to develop a line particular to his or her kennel. I have seen breeders do nothing more than import dogs and bitches from elsewhere to slam dunk a kennel into existence. While this is the quick result, I do not believe it’s the best result. Why do all of this work and not even have a line to call your own?
The above points are what, in my estimation, a breeder should have in order to have the integrity necessary to build and maintain a successful Rottweiler kennel. It may not sit well with everyone, but I don’t expect it to.