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Caucasian Ovcharka

Club USA

Responsible breeding

Caucasian Ovcharka Club USA fully supports responsible breeding. COCUSA also supports participation in dog sports and other activities that depend on canine working partners; the use of dogs in law enforcement; dogs as companions or helpers for people with Disabilities; and reasonable efforts to rescue unwanted dogs for new placement.

We expect responsible breeders to maintain the health and integrity of this ancient breed; provide help to individuals who need help with dog training, or with other dog-related questions or concerns. Purebred dog owners, breeders, exhibitors, and clubs are primary sources for public education about dogs and responsible dog ownership. However, because of the rise of our urban/suburban society and the dilemmas caused by surplus and nuisance pets, today's breeders need to educate themselves about dogs, about specifics of the breed, and about socializing and training. They also need to plan each breeding decision to ensure positive outcomes for their puppies and they must be prepared to take back dogs and offer advice on socializing and training in order to ensure success with their breeding program.

Producing healthy, well-bred puppies requires an in-depth knowledge and a professional attitude. COCUSA urges casual breeders to increase their knowledge of the breed and breeding so they can make good decisions. If the breeder is not ready to acknowledge all of these responsibilities, then they should leave breeding to those who have the dedication to do so. It requires a desire and understanding to pursue it as an avocation, the willingness to spend the necessary time and effort to make informed breeding and placement decisions. After carefully placing the puppies, they should maintain contact with the puppy’s buyers to ensure the buyer is satisfied and the best interests of the puppy have been met.

Breed enthusiasts know that size, coat type, exercise needs, energy level, trainability, level of aggressiveness and temperament can be predicted within a few weeks of the birth, thus allowing prospective buyers to purchase a puppy that meets their lifestyle, experience, special needs and living conditions.

Well-bred purebred dogs are carefully bred to the standard of their breed. Dogs that do not meet the breed standard for these characteristics shall not be suitable for breeding. A poorly-bred dog may be hyperactive, bull-headed, and snappish, or have other inherited behavior or health characteristics that make it a poor choice for a dog’s new family. Therefore, selecting the right breeding pair is crucial for success.

To recognize the differences among breeders and other sources that sell or place dogs, the following information may be useful (andlike any attempts at labeling, the categories that are described below are generalities that may not be true for every case).

Non-commercial breeders

Breed enthusiasts (also known as show breeders, purebred dog fanciers, hobbyists and responsible breeders) are motivated by the Love of a breed; and Pride in producing high-quality show and working dogs. They desire to contribute to improvement of breed health and performance skills; enjoy breed competitions and sports; become knowledgeable about breed history and bloodlines; provide appropriate health care and housing for adult dogs and puppies; raise, train, and socialize puppies in their homes; participate in dog shows so their dogs can be evaluated for adherence to specific breed standards of excellence and for performance ability; and help with public education efforts promoted by national or local dog organizations. Their dogs appear healthy and well-socialized. Their breeding stock meets the standard of excellence for the breed and is screened for genetic diseases and structural problems prior to producing a litter. Responsible breeders offer a contract that protects the puppy and the buyer as well as the breeder. They participate in breed activities; including dog shows and help puppy buyers get involved in these endeavors. They join dog clubs and participate in club projects ranging from public education programs to dog training classes. Prospective buyers have an opportunity to be able to see where litters are raised, talk to the breeder about health clearances and socialization, and meet the dam/sire of the litter. A responsible breed enthusiast also helps buyers select the best puppy for their circumstances, and often declines to place high-drive or Alpha dogs in non-experienced hands, and remains available to help buyers after they take the puppy home. The relationship does not end when the puppy goes to its new family. Responsible breed fanciers keep in touch with buyers, answer questions about training and behavior, and enjoy the thriving relationship between the dog and the family. They also take back dogs if buyers can no longer keep them, and they keep retired breeding or working dogs if they cannot find a good pet home for them.

Casual breeders are the other non-commercial breeders who raise dogs in their homes and sell directly to the public. They are known as "backyard breeders." Casual breeders breed litters so children or other family members can witness a birth. Or they mistakenly believe that a female dog needs a litter to be 'fulfilled’ or they did not neuter their pets or keep them properly confined. They may hope to earn a little extra money and haven't yet learned that litters often cost more than they bring in. They generally lack the knowledge and experience necessary to make prudent breeding decisions. They almost certainly lack in-depth knowledge about breed conformation, temperament, and training and are often uneducated about general health and inherited diseases, normal and abnormal breed behavior, lack in training techniques for correcting misbehavior or aggression. They are extremely unlikely to join clubs, contribute to breed rescue efforts, or take back dogs if placements do not work out. They can unwittingly contribute to irresponsible dog ownership.