Websites are one of the most powerful communications tool in existence today. In seconds an individual can form opinions and make assumptions. A website is your brand, your reputation, and your image. They speak volumes about organizations, companies, and yes breeders.
Over the past several months I have struggled with putting together a website for my breeding program. What should go on it? What shouldn’t? How can I be the most transparent to potential owners of my dogs, without putting my dogs, their breeders or others at risk?
In a perfect world I would love to list all of my dogs information.
I would scan in their original health clearances for the world to see. I would proudly list their pedigrees displaying every dog behind them for 10 generations. I would list their inbreeding co-efficients. I would speak in depth regarding the health history of their parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
I am very proud of my dogs and what is hopefully in store for my breeding program. I have big plans and every intention of making powerful and meaningful contributions to this breed.
Unfortunately this isn’t an ideal world. Original health clearances can and have been stolen off websites in the past. In the wrong hands, dogs can easily be misrepresented. Imagine a backyard breeder or a puppy mill printing off heart clearances, mri reports, etc and claiming them as their own. With editing software it is very easy.
Today pedigrees are used to discriminate against certain dogs and lines. Rumour, hearsay and common thought trump longevity, healthy offspring and test results. I can’t control breeding decisions that were made in the past, I can only judge what is in front of me in the present. I do not want to take part in past breeding decisions being questioned, picked apart and discredited.
As owners of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels who will hopefully at some point experience being owned by a cavalier from a responsible breeder, what is important for you to see on a breeder’s website?
What information would help you determine a reputable and responsible breeder from a poor one?
I would love and greatly benefit from a meaningful discussion on this topic. I know other breeder friends are struggling with the same decisions. Any help and advice is welcomed.