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There are many different types of dog breeders in the world. They range from puppy mills to top show breeders
and there are many differing opinions as to what methods and philosophies are ideal or even acceptable in the
world of dog breeding.
In an effort to prioritize and clarify what makes a good breeder, this particular explanation is broken down into 4
levels that resemble a pyramid, and representing what a responsible dog breeder's foundation should be.
This applies to breeders of standard as well as breeders of Disqualified colors.
Level #1: Priority should first be given to the dogs in your care. They need proper nutrition, proper housing,
proper attention, proper health care. Their well being comes before any thing else. It does not matter what the
rest of your goals and practices are if your dogs are in poor health or are kept in poor conditions. This is the
immediate need and first focus for your dogs.
Level #2: Next comes ensuring your puppies are produced with proper health in mind. Health testing parents to
prevent producing avoidable genetic issues in the offspring protects not only future generations but protects
the new homes you place any puppies in. This is progressing to a more forward way of thinking about your
breeding program. You are not breeding for the moment, you are thinking about the resulting puppies' health
and the happiness of their future homes and you are dealing honestly with the people who you place your
Level #3: The next priority is striving to produce quality. With each generation, you focus on producing better
and better quality dogs and improving upon conformation, health, temperament in your own breeding program.
You are thinking of future generations and concentrating on producing quality for many years to come.
Level #4: Finally, your goal is to improve the Boston Terrier breed. This is accomplished by closely studying
the standard. It's also listening to long time breeders who have experience in solidifying key traits in a breeding
program that may have begun to fade within the breed. It's looking beyond your own preference and looking at
the ideal. If you prefer more rear angulation or a slanted topline, you toss those preferences out the window
and accept that the Boston is meant to have moderate angulation and a flat topline. It is looking at what the
standard states the breed should look like and striving for consistency, so that our young breed as a whole can
have the same success as the breeds that have been bred for consistency for many centuries.
Ideally in every breeding program, all four levels are in place. However that is often not the case.
Puppy mills rarely, if ever, have the first level in place for their foundation.
Backyard and casual breeders usually have level 1 in place in taking good care of their pets but giving no
thought to what they are producing, how it may affect that puppy's family, and whether or not that puppy will live
a good life.
Level 2 is where breeders take responsibility. Having level 2 in place, breeders begin to pull away from the
backyard breeding category and into that of a more responsible breeder. However many profit breeders get
stuck at this level without ever having a higher purpose than money or their own enjoyment.
Having Level 3 in place requires more dedication, education, and commitment to the breed. Anyone can take
two Bostons and produce puppies, but a true breeder of Bostons will study conformation and educate
themselves on what to look for and how to produce it. This level is their commitment to quality.
Level 4 is where a breeder puts their own preferences aside for the good of the breed. It is not about their
program and their own dogs, but about the breed itself and the dedicate themselves to producing only the best
for that reason.
Breeders can have level 3 and 4 in place without taking good care of their dogs or dealing well with people,
which is paramount in having a good foundation. Breeders can also have 1 and 2 without any regard to the
future implications caused by the litters they produce. There is the hope that all breeders will have all four
elements in place when taking on the responsibility of breeding future generations, however the reality is that
people breed for many reasons, oftentimes personal reasons that do not allow them to broaden their focus or
paradigm outside of their own wants and needs.
|A Message to Breeders of DQ Bostons