DanBar Ranch
in loving memory of Dan and Barbara Jessup
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DanBar Ranch Breeding Philosophies 
Here I hope to answer any questions you may  have about breeding practices.  I have set it up in a Question and Answer format.

Q) Is it true that "mutts" are healthier and smarter than purebreds?

A) Short answer "No". Long answer: dogs are products of their genetics.  The reason that purebred dogs appear to have "issues" is that they are bred and sold; which attracts those more interested in money than the welfare of the dogs.  Mutts are not held to any type of standard, nor are records kept on their health. So at first sight mutts might seem to not have the issues which purebred dogs have - but they do.  Breed a purebred golden retriever to a purebred standard poodle, and the resulting puppy will inherit the genes (both good and bad) from both parents. If either the sire or dam had genes for poor temperament or health, the puppy will inherit them. Now, they may not be displayed by the pup, because not all genes are "dominant" and result in something you can see. But there is nothing about being a cross between two different breeds that will somehow make the pup "healthier".  

What makes a puppy healthy is dedicated breeders who health test their breeding dogs to make sure bad genetics are not present.  What makes a "backyard breeder" is two things: they don't health check and they generally just breed to what they have in their own backyard (don't use outside studs) hence the term "backyard breeder".  (Some people think it is because they breed their dogs in the backyard, but actually, just about everyone does! The term came from those who don't want to pay for a stud fee so they just breed to their own male over and over again).

Q) Is it possible for a breeder to guarantee the health of a puppy?

A) The best ANY breeder can do is breed health tested dogs together. After that a breeder has NO control over non genetic issues such as cancer.  It is unrealistic to expect a breeder to guarantee that any pup will have perfect health and live to be 16 years old.  The average life span of dogs in American today is approximately ten years. 

Q) Then what is a "health guarantee"?

A) A good breeder will offer a limited health guarantee. Most will offer a full or partial refund if the dog develops specific genetic diseases by the age of 2 years. This is the best a breeder can do, because there simply is NO guarantee available to breeder or buyer, of perfect health.  If a breeder demands you return a puppy that develops issues, this is just their way of "weaseling out" of a guarantee, as VERY few people will give up a beloved family member after a year of two in the family - and those breeders know that, and know they will not have to honor the written guarantee.

Q) Do you inbreed, and isn't it harmful?

A) Please click HERE to go to my page on BREEDING METHODS. 

Q) Why do you sell your pups with "full" registration? Don't you worry that they might be bred?

A) No! I'm not! To be honest, I think those breeders who sell ALL their pups with limited registration are doing NOTHING to help the overall health and well being of dogs, nor are they helping the sport of dog shows and trials which is in bad shape today.

If someone has their heart set on breeding, why would I not try and help them?  Well, one reason some breeders won't sell pups with full registration is just plain and simple greed - they want to keep the price of their breed high, and the availability of puppies low.  To my mind all they are accomplishing is forcing people to either buy a "rescue" dog, buy a poorly bred dog off Craig's List of "Next Day Puppy" or some such.  I would MUCH rather have people interested in breeding get a HEALTH TESTED, WELL TEMPERED dog from me, and let me help and mentor them.  That's how it used to be, and that's how it should be.

There ARE puppy peddlers out there, but it is VERY easy to identify them.   And due to intensive spay and neuter campaigns by humane societies, there are far less available puppies than before.  So few, in fact, that human groups and "rescues" have take to BUYING puppy mill puppies at auctions to resale at their shelters!  Worse, some groups lift "street dogs" off the streets of third world countries and truck them into the United States for resale as "rescues". What this ends up meaning is that when you go to buy a puppy, you have to be very careful to make sure you are getting a sound, healthy, well reared pup from a reputable breeder. 

When I decide to take up breeding my favorite breeds, I found it surprisingly difficult to locate a pup for a reasonable price from a breeder who bothered to health check.  Some "show" breeders did health check, but would not sell me a pup with full registration as they did not want COMPETITION for puppy sales!  Those who did not health check would sell me a pup, no questions asked, but then I had to foot the bill for all health testing and the heartache if a beloved pup came back as not fit for breeding.  It is a very frustrating state of affairs. 

So, I decided that since my primary concern was the betterment of my breed, and to produce healthy, sound, health checked and titled dogs for myself and for others looking for the same thing, that I would offer any pup NOT HAVING A SERIOUS FAULT OR HARMFUL GENETICS with full registration.  In this way, if someone who buys one of my pups decides they do want to breed, I am glad they are using one of my HEALTH TESTED and SOUND dogs to do so, instead of some Craig's List or backyard breeder dog. 

I do hope that casual dog owners will LEAVE BREEDING TO BREEDERS, however, the dog fancy is suffering right now from lack of interest, and if I can encourage someone to take up performance events, or showing, or even a serious breeding program, I will do all I can to help them. My contract that all puppy buyers sign state that IF THEY ARE GOING TO BREED THEIR DOG, they MUST do basic health testing.  I honestly would rather, if someone is going to breed, that they do it with a proven healthy, well tempered representative of the breed from me, than, as I said, a dog from some source that only cares about the monetary gain in selling the pup. 

I also believe in culling. That means to remove pups from the breeding population of the breed by either euthanasia or by castration.  If a pup is born seriously deformed, medically compromised or temperamently unsound so that its quality of life will not be good, I will humanely euthanize a pup.  If a pup has a disqualifying fault such as really poor markings or coat quality, it will be sold with "limited registration".

Breeding Page 2