By: Adam Levy
Reprinted with permission
Every once in a while, I hear someone make the statement about their program being about “quality, not quantity.” It happened again recently and got me thinking, what, exactly, is the point of that statement?
Many of the greatest dogs in history came from what we would call “breeding kennels” today. These are the kennels and breeders that are studied and celebrated. They produced families of dogs that carried distinct characteristics, hallmarking their stamp on a breed. When did it happen, that breeding kennels became negative or frowned upon, over the hobby breeder?
So, is the phrase “quality over quantity” being used with a negative connotation? As a preservation breeder, are you really doing your breed a service by attempting to put down other breeders who might have more litters than you do?
Who defines and judges quantity? And how? 14 puppies can come from one litter…or four.
Is quantity really a bad thing, if you consistently produce quality?
Can you call it a “program” when you aren’t breeding enough or consistently to understand what you are making? Can you define your style or do you know what you are breeding for, mentally and physically?
How are you defining quality? Is it titles? Health clearances? Well-loved pets and/or working dogs with happy families?
Who makes the judgement that one breeder is producing quantity over quality, where another is producing quality over quantity? I personally believe that any breed will make its biggest leaps forward when a breeder with a clear vision has the guts to ignore all the background noise and keep pushing forward in the right direction. Let’s leave it to the AR groups to be the one common enemy and not within