I started out raising Cairn Terriers 14 years ago. I began with one female. I saw plenty of Cairns out there that were a poor example of the breed. I bred out bad eyes and poor skin. Improved on coat at every opportunity. There is a large gene that will pop up now and again and I slowly got rid of that. It is one of the hardest and most persistent to breed out. One puppy from each litter would be twice the size of the rest.
I have been grooming dogs and worked for vets for over 25 years. I have seen what the general public at large has to choose from. The Wall Street Journal some time ago printed a very good article … About purebreed dogs. Over 50% of all dogs that have AKC papers have from moderate to severe health problems. Much of the problem has come from “puppy mills” and even more from “backyard breeders”. More people than not, think it’s cute to have puppies around. It is a huge undertaking to say the least. Certainly, not all dogs with papers should be bred. Only the best should be allowed to do that. In grooming I see miniature poodles every day that have legs of a dachshund on them. That is not the breed standard. But because of certain people in this area that have flooded the market with dogs having knee problems and short legs, people think this is cute and what they should look like. Never knowing down the road they have multiple knee surgeries in store.
attached. It is a very hard thing to have a member of the family four legged or two legged become ill. When working with the veterinarians I saw far too many families have heartache over puppies with serious health issues. Now CKC has only perpetuated that very issue by allowing people to register dogs with little or no proof of lineage. Even worse many people who were afraid of being checked up on by AKC or have been barred from AKC for obvious reasons may now register with CKC [Continental Kennel Club-not to be confused with the Canadian Kennel Club]. The Continental Kennel Club registers everything including dogs from AKC with limited registration. They also register litters where parents are from DIFFERENT breeds … What next? If we don’t’ like the rules, let’s just change them right? WRONG!!!
I purchased my first Standard with several intentions in mind. I was tired of grooming inferior dogs with poor haircoat. I also wanted a dog for my daughter that she could walk without a leash. An outrageous notion for a Cairn!!! They will run as hard as they can to the fields and woods when they get out of a fenced yard with never a thought as to how hard you are chasing them!! What a joy Barbie has been. She was only the beginning. I have never done anything in my life with an attitude any less than “doing it the Best”. So I scouted for a male for the first breeding and kept “Blue” from that litter. I then traded a female from the same litter for an Apricot female from a nice line of dogs from Illinois.
I have two children, the grooming shop and a ceramic shop. My days are never filled with idol time. I breed for temperament and attitude. I want good sound dogs with dispositions of Gold. The Poodle world is a hard one to break into. There are breeders out there who have been doing this for 30+ years. I have found once they realize you are serious and want to learn and do your best; they will embrace you with open arms, as it should be.
I have people call me all the time … Well we don’t really want a show dog … Not all puppies are show quality. You do want a dog that has had the thought and breeding behind it for showing. Better conformation gives you less health problems. Which leads me to another topic. Standards have several health issues that the competent breeders are trying to eliminate. vWD is a bleeding disorder, OFA is for hip soundness, SA is sebaceous adenitis a skin disorder and Retinal Atrophy is an eye disorder. All of these conditions may range from mild to severe problems. Regardless of the moderation I test for all of the above-mentioned health issues. I will put in writing a lifetime health warranty. I stand behind my dogs. Other breeders may say well we don’t test but we will replace the dog … what with? Another dog from the same parents? I don’t think so.
Barbie missed out on showing as I got her at a time when I was not able to do that. What she has done is received her CGC (Canine Good Citizen) from AKC. This is an award honoring obedient behavior and the willingness and ability to be in a crowd situation as well as 9 other types of situations. It is a step toward becoming a therapy dog. Something I think all dogs should be able to do. If they are good enough to be around people in nursing homes and hospitals I never have a worry over selling a puppy to a family.
Limited registration and contracts protect the new owners as well as my reputation. I have people who refuse to buy a dog without full registration. My question would then be …are you buying a family pet as you say or are you misleading me? I have no intention of any of my puppies ever going to puppy mills … To owners who want 1 litter … to owners who want to breed 1 time because they think it’s better for their dog … Spaying and neutering prevents ovarian, cervical, uterine and prostrate and testicular cancer as well as keeping a dog’s mind healthier from the lack of all those “raging” hormones. He or she is a happier, healthier family member. Serious show prospects may be sold with full registration under strict contract rules only. Co-owning applies until the contract has been met.