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Modern Day Roadblocks to Preservation Breeding

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382 – The Annual, 2017-18

By Pilar Kuhn

Last year, while at a dog show, I overheard three judges chatting about their day. One of them said, “No one brings us puppies anymore. No young dogs. All anyone really cares about is a special and campaigning and group and Best In Show appearances.” Last fall, we took three of our young dogs to compete over the big four-day weekend of Hatboro, Devon, and Montgomery County; and our numbers were down this year. In fact, since I got involved with Scotties, last year had the lowest entry I can remember. Our National sweepstakes entry was also low, but it was still in line with the statistics that our sweepstakes entries are generally around 20% of the total entry at Montgomery County. Last year the entry for Scotties was eighty-four. When my husband first started showing Scotties twenty years ago, the entry was close to two-hundred at the prestigious fall Terrier show.

One evening’s discussion during our national weekend was titled, “Where have all the Scotties gone,” but this really isn’t just about one breed. It’s about all breeds. We compared the total number of entries at Montgomery County from 2000 to last yea rand, in sixteen years, the total entry has decreased from around 2,400 to around 1,400. What is playing a part in this decline while the pet industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds and billions of dollars? We, personally, have been doing our part to maintain two breeding programs, but we took a hard look at what factors have allowed us to do so and what may prohibit others, including wonderful people we have sold puppies to who are helping us maintain our genetics outside of our home.

When I got my first Bouvier in 1998, I lived in a condo and worked full-time in the entertainment industry. Long hours as a single woman with limited space would never have allowed me to consider breeding a litter of Bouviers even if my first Bouvier had been breeding stock. When my husband got his first Scottie in 1996, he also lived in an apartment. When he added his first show Scottie a few years later, he was still in an apartment and made a few moves prior to settling into a house that would eventually allow him to have litters. This was before we met. Even when we got married and combined our breeds under one roof, the house we lived in had a decent- sized yard, but it would have been challenging to have litters in both breeds at the same time in that environment due to space, local zoning, and laws regarding the number of dogs allowed on a property. We knew one day we would need the space and proper zoning that would allow us to maintain both breeds and grow our breeding programs the way we aspired to do together. We were fortunate to
find just that.

Click here to read the complete article
382 – The Annual, 2017-18

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  • October 2018