"Volume" and "Profit" Breeding
Regarding "volume" breeders or "profit" breeders.... I have mixed feelings about this. Each year I receive dozens of
inquiries from people who would like a quality Boston from health tested parents and from a breeder who offers a guarantee
and support. I do not have dozens of puppies each year so many of these people continue on their search and some often
settle for a Boston from a backyard breeder. If I bred more, I could still easily place all of my puppies in wonderful homes.
This is the case with many reputable breeders, lots of inquiries, very few puppies.
In the ideal world, all potential Boston owners would flock to the shelters or rescues to find their next pet. I would encourage
anyone to start looking there and you can find available rescues in your area here. However many potential new Boston
owners have chosen to go to a reputable breeder because they want to avoid the "unknowns" in getting a dog from other
sources, whether it be health or behavior related. They are prepared to invest many years into their new pet and may not
want to bring a 10 year old dog home for their kids to fall in love with and then see it pass away from old age only 2 or 3
years later. Maybe they are looking for a Boston puppy because they chose the breed for specific reasons and traits that a
Boston mix may not have. Whatever the reason, the harsh truth is that many will not go to a shelter for their next
companion. If there are not reputable breeders who health test with puppies available, the next stop is a backyard breeder
who breeds for profit without consideration of the health or behavioral problems they could be producing. This then results
in more shelter dogs.... Reputable breeders are necessary.
So, when reputable show breeders are only having 2 or 3 litters per year and many of those puppies are show prospects
that are not available to the public, where does someone go to get a nice quality health tested Boston? They bounce
around on "waiting lists" where in a year's time, only one or two out of dozens ever get puppies. Get on the list of several
breeders and your odds improve, but there's still a long wait.
Why so few litters?
There's a stigma in breeding, especially Bostons, that says if you have more than 2-3 litters in a year's time, you are a
volume breeder and you are in it for the money. Why? Because when you breed for your next show prospect, you cannot
keep a puppy from each of a half dozen litters per year unless you keep your dogs in a kennel. If so, it's now considered
"volume". But wait.... Bostons usually have 2 or 3 puppies in their litters. Someone breeding labs or shepherds might
produce ten puppies, keep one, and sell nine. If a lab or shepherd breeder has two or three litters a year, that's a couple
dozen or more puppies for two or three show prospects.. So why is it that a Boston breeder can't produce four litters of
three and keep one or two without being demonized? Hmmm. Below is a link to a great article on this very subject that was
To Spend or Not to Spend?
On the same subject, there was a big debate on what was okay and not okay to buy with money from puppy sales. I
recently saw someone put down another breeder for stating that puppy sales pay for their dog expenses. They were
appalled that their dogs "paid their own way". Why is this wrong? Do we need to take food off of the tables to support our
dogs in order to be reputable? In my opinion, that's ridiculous. I have also seen statements of "we do not fund our show
expenses with the sale of puppies". Why not??? What would be a better way to invest anything you have left over if not in
the showing of your dogs to test their quality? I can understand not breeding for the sole purpose of funding the dog show
account but we ARE breeders who DO require some sort of monetary compensation for the puppies we place. Why is it a
sin to pay our entry feels with anything left over? We "dog people" are crazy sometimes.
So where do I land in this argument? I think any money left over from a litter (and I do agree there is often nothing left over,
whether you had one litter or four) can be spent on things you need. First on the list being dogs supplies, shows, etc. Later
down the list, perhaps replacing carpets or furniture that the dogs have abused. Where I draw the line is when the puppies
become an income that is depended upon. Because puppies are not predictable, the income is not predictable, and when
things do not go well and someone has bills to pay, corners can get cut. Whether that is health testing, care of the dogs, or
even placing the dog where the biggest price is offered... some things are sacrificed. The visa bill comes due and suddenly
that breeder has to have a "fire sale" on their "keeper" dogs in order to get by. That is breeding for the wrong reason and
under the wrong circumstances. Occasionally "crap happens" but putting yourself in an ongoing position of counting on
puppy sales to pay your bills is always a bad idea and not in the best interest of your dogs or the breed in general.