As stated previously dog breeding should be regarded as many other professions. Professional associations have often worked to ensure ethics and add credibility in other professions and it should with breeders.
One thing that is for sure, what the AKC breed specific clubs are doing is not working.
Another thing that has been attempted in varying degrees of success is the USDA’s efforts to license breeders and inspect breeding kennels. I am very skeptical about this working for two reasons
- It does little to educate breeders or the public of ethics and breeding best practices.
- It gives the public the perception that all breeders are being inspected and must be following some sort of ethics, when indeed this has proven not to be true with the current regulations.
What if we looked at the USDA’s license program and modified it to make sure breeders are educated and there is a method to educate the public through professional associations. The licensing procedure should follow:
- Complete a standard Fundamentals of Breeding (FB) written examination, which tests applicants on breadth of understanding of basic breeding principles
- Complete a written examination testing the applicants knowledge of breeding ethics.
- Require prior experience working with other accredited breeders for a given amount of time.
In addition to this the licensees are given the power by the USDA to say what the standards and best practices are for breeding as well as determining the ethics of breeding going forward.
This will inherently have licensees form professional breeders association(s) so they have more impact on the profession.
I believe this to be the best solution as if follows the models of other successful professional organizations such as professional engineering, legal and medical professions.
(as a result, we will have more of this – happy mom, happy babies, happy owners, happy breeders)
In conclusion, the atrocities that occur everyday to dogs, their caretakers and people like me in the business of breeding are truly not representative of the times we live in. We should know better, we need to do something about this now.