Why We Breed
- the state or quality of being or becoming perfect.
- the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence, as in some art.
- a perfect embodiment or example of something.
- a quality, trait, or feature of the highest degree of excellence.
- the highest or most nearly perfect degree of a quality or trait.
- the act or fact of perfecting.
We are often asked why we left our original intent of using rescue dogs as service dogs by the wayside and took up breeding our own. When 4 Paws was founded, we saw the use of rescue dogs as service dogs a win/win situation. When we were small and only needed to find less than a handful of dogs at a time, it worked.
The problem one faces when choosing a dog for service work is that the service dog must be of the highest quality possible. We need to make sure that the dog acts appropriately in public and has no behavioral issues. When searching a shelter for a dog we found that we would need to test 60 dogs to find one who might make it. Even then until this dog settled into life outside the shelter many issues can’t be found in a one hour evaluation. As we grew and needed more and more dogs, it became harder and harder to find them.
As we grew we also learned so much about the art of placing service dogs and became more selective in what we would accept or not in a dog. By the time we had classes of 5 or more recipients, it was becoming nearly impossible to find enough dogs. If we had 100 dogs in the building, more than 50% of them would be up for adoption. Trainers were spending more hours evaluating dogs than they had time for training. It soon became clear that though the idea of using rescue dogs was a valiant one, it was not a practical or cost effective one. For example, currently at any given time we own more than 500 dogs and only 5% of them will be up for adoption! In striving to use dogs who are close as possible to perfect in meeting the overall ideal of a service dog, it was imperative that we moved from rescue to breeding.