Tag Archives: Breeders

The Power of Trust – Mentoring

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Photo by Bob Segal

“Our sport is failing and only we can turn the tide…If our (dog) show world is to survive we absolutely must take on the challenge…” This rings so true to me and that’s what I’m writing about today, what I intend to do for my part to help turn the tide.

I promised myself that I was going to do more, that I would speak out, to help turn the tide in the war against breeders of purebred dogs.

I promised myself I was going to do more to help mentor and teach newcomers to the sport, so I started this blog.

I promised myself I was going to do more to be kind to other breeders, to encourage sportsman like conduct not only in the ring but also in every day-to-day interaction with other breeders and exhibitors.

I promised myself I would treat others in the sport with respect even if, and especially when, I disagreed with their opinion.

I promised myself that I would continue to speak out against injustice, poor treatment of dogs and other people. I  know that this sometimes earns a label like controversial or possibly crazy, but what that means to me is that someone else heard, and by being heard have we not at least made a little difference, somewhere? How can this not be better than apathy?

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Photo by Bob Segal

And, I promised myself I would seek and endorse leaders for our clubs who understand and engage in open communication, who not only possess but also utilize negotiation skill to resolve conflict, those who actively engage in the preservation of the sport and the growth of organizations, as opposed to those who inadvertently drive membership away.

If we could all start here, by reading and understanding Viki Hayward’s – Mentoring The Power of Trust we might realize the importance of taking just one step toward turning the tide. Let’s bring new fanciers to the sport, bring success to another individual, bring back the recognition of our gorgeous purebred dogs.

I love Gordon Setters, don’t you?

What are you willing to contribute to bolster our failing sport?

OMG! There’s a Cat Fight at the Dog Show!

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Photo by Bob Segal

Come on” you didn’t really think I was going to write about cats today did you? We are here to talk about Gordon Setters aren’t we? I know you know who I’m talking about, those sweet, loving, kind creatures who share our home, hearth and heart?

Well, thinking about Gordon Setters, dogs, and dog shows and how kind dogs can be, and how thoughtless we humans can be sometimes I felt like, maybe, we could talk about starting a “Gordon Setter Breeder Kindness” movement this year. (GSBK – kind of sounds like a new Burger King sandwich doesn’t it?) Alright, seriously, what if we really started thinking about where we each would be without our fellow Gordon Setter breeders? I know that sometimes I feel like I have more in common with other breeders than I do with my family – what about you? And, aren’t many of our friends also  – need I say it – Gordon Setter breeders? What if we were all alone instead? What if we were the one and only, lonely breeder?

As the only breeder

  • we’d go home from the show with a ribbon, but no points, we were there, all alone, at the dog show.
  • no other Gordon Setters to compare ours too – how will we know who’s are better?
  • there would be no one at the dog show to congratulate us on our win – we’re there at the show all alone remember.
  • actually we would win every time that way – but who would be there to care?
  • no other breeders to bring dogs to the show  – oops  – no dog show now.
  • who will breed their bitch to our stud dog?
  • wait, how long will the breed survive before the gene pool becomes too small and inbreeding slowly destroys what’s left?

So I was thinking that maybe, if we decided to think differently about the bad things we might say, before we say them, we could start to fill our heads with thoughts of kindness instead. Kind thoughts, kind actions, they make us feel good, and that’s a win right? Our dogs you know, they don’t really care if they win or lose in the ring, they just like us to be happy. So let’s think about this, what we might choose to say or do, that may not be so very kind.

If we’re so desperate to sell our puppy that we trash talk another breeder under the mistaken notion that will seal the deal, should we stop instead to consider if we really needed to whelp that litter? If we truly believe our dogs are better than the rest then don’t we simply need to state their best qualities and the reason those qualities are valuable to the buyer? If we need to add to our sales pitch with statements about what’s wrong with another breeder’s dogs, are we instead questioning our own breeding’s value? Let me ask, do you like those political ads that are just trash talk about the opposition?

When it comes to our stud dog, well that’s not much different from selling a puppy is it? As a good breeder we know our dog isn’t right for every bitch, so why would we trash talk another breeder’s dog to increase the value and attractiveness of our own? Hey, did I mention that I despise those trash talking political ads? Tell me why I should vote for you, not why I shouldn’t vote for him. How about we just be kind to each other? It  just feels better, for everyone.

And at the dog show, do we need to trash talk the winner when we lose? Is this simply to reassure ourselves? Do we point out the winner’s faults, disperse ugly rumors or maybe blame our loss on a political or a blind judge? Honestly, losing is hard, and it truly feels lousy sometimes, but kindness, well it does make almost everything feel better.

It seems so simple…being kind to other breeders…how about we make this the year we do just that?

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

Gordon Setter Health Clearances before Breeding

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Photo by Bob Segal

As with any question, ask several breeders the same question and you’ll get several different answers. When it comes to acting responsibly as a breeder to bring healthy Gordon Setter puppies into the world it’s agreed that completing certain health clearances on breeding animals before any mating occurs should be a priority. However, ask any breeder which tests are necessary or which certifications are the most important – that could become a topic for debate. For purposes of this article, we are listing the screening tests that address health issues that pertain to the Gordon Setter along with where to obtain or find proof of existing certification. These screening tests are suggested tools that will prepare you to make informed breeding choices that will affect the health of many future generations of Gordon Setters. OFA Sticker

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) – screening/certification organizations. Click any of the active links below to be taken directly to that website for complete information.

Elbow Dysplasia

  • OFA
  • OVC (discontinued – certifications from 2007 – 2012 are available in a searchable database.)

Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Opthalmologist:

RCD4 Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA Late Onset)

Cerebellar Degeneration (CD) ( Cerebellar Cortical Abiotrophy CCA or Cerebellar Ataxia CA)

As a breeder it would be also important to understand the role CHIC plays for future genetic research. Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)  Please see our previously published article by Jerold S. Bell DVM The CHIC DNA Repository for Gordon Setter for more complete information regarding this organization. Briefly Dr. Bell’s opening stated… “The CHIC DNA repository is a joint project of the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), and the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC). It is open to all breeds of dogs. The stated objectives of the program are to: Facilitate more rapid research progress by expediting the sample collection process; Provide researchers with optimized family groups needed for research; Allow breeders to take advantage of future DNA based disease tests as they become available; and to Foster a team environment between breeders/owners and the research community improving the likelihood of genetic discovery.” Additional Links:  GSCA Health Survey 2004 Results

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Be Kind to Other Breeders – Start Today!

Thank You to our Guest Blogger – Jay Kitchener for allowing us to share his comments about the importance of breeders uniting – recognize our common goals.

Jay Kitchener
“The only thing two dog breeders will ever agree on is that a third dog breeder is doing it wrong. The opposition knows this, and they very effectively use it to drive wedges between all sub-groups of dog breeders. Dog breeders fight among themselves and scramble to condemn others while the opposition gains ground attacking all dog breeding. Dog breeders are doing the work of the opposition for them. Dog breeders are being played. Wake up. Take back the conversation!”

Please share your thoughts on the subject in the comment section.
(Photo via I Love Responsible Dog Breeders on Facebook)