- have clean kennels and facilities
- are happy for people to come to see the kennels (with an appointment)
- register their dogs with a recognized, reputable registry body
- are members in good standing with their breed club
- test their breeding dogs clear of known genetic problems in the breed
- refuse to breed or to sell for breeding, a dog proven to harbour a genetic defect.
- keep happy, clean dogs who are amenable to being greeted while their owner is nearby
- have their dogs evaluated by others through competition events
- screen owners of pet dogs as thoroughly as show dogs
- have contracts that outline the responsibilities and requirements of both breeder and owner
- take back dogs of their breeding, at any time, for any reason
- will not sell a puppy to impulse purchasers
- will not sell a puppy as a “surprise gift”
- do not market puppies as holiday gifts
- have filthy kennels and facilities
- don’t want people to see the kennels – ever
- have exceptionally fearful or vicious breeding dogs
- don’t register their dogs or register them with bogus registries
- do not test their breeding dogs clear of known hereditary diseases of the breed
- knowingly breed dogs with hereditary problems
- do not screen potential owners
- pressure people to buy pups on impulse
- will not take puppies of their breeding back if they don’t work out in their new homes
- promote their puppies as status symbols, holiday gifts or fashionable accessories
A responsible breeder is someone who puts their dog’s health and welfare ahead of their ego. The pursuit of breeding should be driven by the desire to produce better dogs.
The problem with breeding “just pets” is that there are too many dogs on this planet already. There are too many Shibas with health and/or temperament problems to make the production of more in any way justifiable.
For the person “just looking for a pet”, the intense drive that dedicated breeders have to produce the best Shibas possible may seem a little alien. However, these are the people who keep the breed looking and acting like Shibas.
If you’re looking for a Shiba, then you want a healthy Shiba who is going to look and act like one. You don’t want an incurably shy dog or one with painful and expensive knee problems.
Shiba inus are prone to eye problems, hip dysplasia, and luxating patellas (slipping knee caps). Epilepsy has been noted in some lines. Temperament problems, especially shyness and fear-biting are common in poorly bred specimens.
Which defects one tests for depends on the breed of dog one is testing. Some tests, like X-raying for joint problems, can’t be done until the dog is 18-24 months old. However, once the dog is ‘of age’, the test is usually considered “good” for the rest of the dog’s life. Some tests, such as the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) test for glaucoma and cataracts, have to be repeated every year to be considered valid.