Winning isn't everything

Updated: Nov 15, 2019


The ban on the sale of three of the brachycephalic breeds on TradeMe in New Zealand (sadly not Chihuahuas, who are also classed as brachycephalic), and the alarming photos of the German Shepherd who won the Working Dog Group at Westminster has highlighted, yet again, some on the negative sides of Dog Showing.

Perhaps it is just human nature, but just as some athletes will take drugs to enhance their performance, some breeders will go to any lengths, up to and including risking the health of their dog, just to win a ribbon. There are many good breeders in the dog show world, but sadly many despicable ones, too, who count their need to be seen as a "winner" or an "expert" more important the well-being of their dogs or their lines.

At Kitaco Kennels we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standard. Our health testing is for more than show, our dogs' welfare is paramount and we make a point of basing our breeding plans on facts and the latest peer-reviewed science on reproduction and nutrition. We DNA test our dogs because we can interpret what that DNA profile means. We breed to exclude the Merle gene and will neuter any cryptorchid dogs before they go to their forever homes. We do not breed from dogs with known heart, eye or patella problems and can trace the health history of our lines back many generations. We can trace the pedigree of some of our dogs back to the 1940s.

We are honored to know and count as friends, so many excellent, ethical breeders of all breeds, and are glad to say that fortunately, they outnumber the dodgy ones. Whether we win or lose at a show is actually irrelevant (fun though, but irrelevant). We sleep soundly at night, whatever the outcome of a show, because our aim is not to just win a cheap ribbon but to leave the breed better than we found it.


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