I started this hobby as a child. My parents had a pedigree dog before I was born. In my childhood home we had a collie. We all loved our collie so much. All the suddenly our collie died in tender age of 14 years. I wanted a new dog myself. As a child myself I got a lowchen as my very first own dog. A Year later I started to show her. I fell desperately in love with this breed and bit later with lhasas. That was a beginning of a life time journey in the world of pedigree dogs. I am now48 years of age. In over 30 years with this hobby I have learned so much. One of the most important lessons I have learned over the years is love. I have understood over the years “if there is no love there is nothing.” To breed great dogs the love is a must. What is love in pedigree dog breeding? How to protect the love in breeding?
My dog breeding started quite typical Northern European way – the love is there
As I showed my dogs as child myself it was my parents who had to drive me to dog shows. They did not drive me just to dog shows but every happenings anything to do with lowchens or pedigree dogs. I do remember year 1982 as we were visiting in Sweden. It was first meeting of Scandinavian löwchen people ever in Scandinavia. Frede McGregor (Littlecourt) was judging and having lessons about löwchens. That was a must happening. I did adore everything Freda McGreogor said. This lady had a passion. She became my biggest löwchen mentor ever. In future years I did visit her house and kennel in Kent,UK several times.
I bred my first all breed BEST in SHOW winning löwchen early 1980´s. So that was 30 years ago. Back then I was still living with my parents. They both did support me so much. As I was still a teenager I was a breeder. I had won my first all breed BEST in SHOW with own homebred dog. At my childhood home I could have 5 dogs myself. I did not realize that then. But all this was possible because of love and care I got myself. My parents loved me. This ment I had extra love to give for my dogs. That is really the secret of keeping happy dogs. You must have extra energy and love .yourself. That is the only way you will be able to give all this for your dogs.
In Northern Europe dogs are more or less family members. People do love their dogs a lot. This was also the way I did grew up into this hobby. So the love was very natural element with the dogs. It was much later I did realize this is not the way to deal with dogs all over the world. Cultural differencies really are quite big around the world as we measure the relationship between dogs and human beings. This relationship varies from love to hate.
In Northern Europe dogs usually can be part of your life also in everyday life. There is more love.
It is all about love – breeder must have something to give
One of the most important lessons I have learned over the years is that. The breeder´s I often respect most are people that someone has loved a lot. These people have had so much love, care and attention that they do have extra love to give themselves. This is perhaps one of the biggest and best recipy a dog breeder can have. It is not the parents that has and can to give the love forever. Evenif that often gives the secure and best foundation to build up your life. A breeder should have later on a good life himself. So that there will be enough love to pass it forward.
Without secure and caring life breeder can´t really take care of his dogs in best possible way. As if keeping and breeding dogs you need to have so much to give. Breeder need lot of energy. Every breeder should think carefully where to get that kind of energy to keep going. Love is one of the best energy resources. As personal happiness is one of the greatest resources of energy that is needed in dog breeding. In a long run you will realize if the breeder really got it or was he burnt out far too soon.
Without a breaks and investments to yourself you can´t breed dogs for decades. A breeder must relax and take care of his energy levels.
What do you give? You give your own energy, time, inspiration and love. I know myself how very demanding this is. There has been times in past that I had been very tired myself. This is life. Work, relationships, illnessies, your loved ones, studies, economy and busy life in general cause lot of pressure toward breeders aswell. I know very well in my personal experience that if I do not feel good. Soon I do not have so much to give for my dogs either. That is more or less a fact.
There will be mistakes
The sad thing is that people have very little understanding for tired breeders. If you get in trouble or get too tired at work you can have a sickleave. In dog breeding this doesn´t quite work that easily. Sometimes we should have more understanding and support toward tired breeder. Most breeders do get tired some where between the road. That is if they do keep going for decades. Try some 30 – 40 years yourself and find out. Mistakes and faults can and do happen too. That is natural in life. It is terrible to see how little there is tolerance if the breeder gets tired or makes a serious mistake. How can one breed great dogs and keep going for decade after decade without making some faults? Other younger breeders can be very judgemental too. It is always much easier to judge than understand. Who is the one that cast the first stone?
Best way to avoid mistakes and not being tired is to take care yourself. Therefore I can´t tell how very important it is for a dog breeder to concentrate also to personal happiness. In the world of pedigree dogs this is a subject we do not talk enough. Breeder´s should be learned to pay lot attention how to build up a good quality life. While you own and breed pedigree dogs this a sometimes very difficult. As a younger breeder no one really told me this. I did not thougth about it. My parents were smart enough trying to talk about this. Their words of wisdom and life itself was my school with this issue. But who do listen to their parents well enough? I did learn my lesson the hard way by personal mistakes. These painful mistakes did open up my eyes.
There were some great role models. They did teach me by their example how qood quality life is possible also for a breeder. My mentors Norma Hamilton, Marianne Nixon and Freda McGreogor were people that all had lot of love to give for their dogs and mentor. Loving and supporting husbands by their side they all did so great breeding. Loving partner for sure is one thing that can help a breeders so much with lifes ups and down.
It is all about love and care. Happy well being dogs love each others aswell. The pack is happy.
Breeding dogs is ups and downs – there will be jealousy
Breeding dogs is like a life itself. We can easily say that this hobby is about give and take. There will be for sure lot of tears and pain. You do never know when and where the troubles are coming. But you can be sure there will be trouble. This is wonderful and happy hobby. However this is also hobby of heartache and tears. Sometimes there can be trouble after another. How do we prepair ourselves to meet these troubles? The best way is to feel as good as possible. I believe we need to have resources also outside of dogs.
Unfortunately the world of pedigree dogs is also competiton. There is and will be lot of gossips, attacks and hard behaviour against successful breeders. As a younger breeders jealousy and rude gossips really often were hard to face. Over the years breeder need to learn how to live with jealousy around. Breeder must pay lot of attention who to work with. There will be doors need to be closed. There will be mistakes with people. Over the years one of the most important things a breeder must learn is how to behave himself. Social skills are important. Successful breeder must learn in short order who to trust and who to avoid. Most people in the world of pedigree dogs are great loving people but there are lot of snakes around for sure aswell. As a young breeder it was terrible to realize that so many you helped to start with this hobby soon turn their back to you and some of them even becomes your worste enemies? That is strange but sometimes name of the game. All you can do and see is that you created a monster.
Breeder will be in trouble for sure sooner or later. There will be many ups and downs.
Love and passion can and most likely will cause trouble
I was once told as a young breeder that there are people who hate to see passion. Passionate people makes easily some people jealous as they can´t feel the great passionate feelings themselves. Over the years I have learned to understand this better. I do believe it is not so much to do with recognized reality. It is more to do with subconsciousness. People see happy and passionate eyes. It is the inspiration, words and things done by inspirational happy person that easily irritate some other people.
Inspirational and passionate person easily say things straight and outloud. It is part of their creativity and passion. Sometimes you say thing that should not be said. So it is not only to do with jealousy. There are people that can control themselves in all occasions. Big feelings easily create spontanious behaviour. It is because of this you find yourself in trouble every now and then. So love and passion do cause misundertandings and trouble for sure. Passion makes you care. As and if you care you do protect the things that are important to you. This is sometimes hard to understand for the less passionate people. I do feel it is important that we still have people how really care and stand for what they believe in life.
As a young breeder it was terrible to face the jealousy and rude gossips. Unfortunately if you breed out of ordinary there will be jealousy for sure. Over the years you do need to learn to deal with it. First two decade it was protection now it is more like “let them talk.”
How to face disappointments – positive thinking
Breeder need tlearn the way to deal with disappointments. One of the biggest problem with breeders is that too many turn out to be bitter in a long run. I do understand this very well. Most breeders work very hard. They love their dogs and often there is not enough respect. All the disappointments in the dog breeding easily can turn you very negative and bitter person. We have all seen that. So I do feel that every breeder must find their own way to deal with dissappointments.
I do think positive thinking is a must in dog breeding. If not you need some other way to deal with serious downs . A great sence of humor for sure do help a breeder a lot. As I think about the very best breeders I respect. It is the positive thinking really that is needed to keep you going. You do know a great breeder as he can laugh to his mistakes later on. By telling terrible mistakes smile on your face you know this person has find the way to deal with disappointments. Every breeder would need to find the way to deal with disappointments. Partner and true friends helps a lot for sure too. But best way is to learn positive thinking. If you do not have positive state of mind by birth you can learn positive thinking.
In one moment you smile and share the best moments with your dogs . Soon later he can be gone and there will be tears….Legendary Multi BIS & BISS Int & Multi Ch Chic Choix Adrenalin Rush winning Helsinki Int. BEST in SHOW. He died because of cancern early 2014. This smile turned to tears of mine and owner Nina alike.
Love makes your breeding special – you need passion
Breeding dogs is a creative work. Being creative takes inspiration, intuition and lot of creativity. You must love about what you do. You must feed your body and sould with beautiful things that you do enjoy. This keep the inspiration flying. If you love what you do there will be passion. I once were asked how can you say breeding dog is a passion? I said. “It is not possible to breed dogs without a passion.” If there is love there will be passion for sure.
It is a terrible mistake to say that there should not be feelings in the breeding. If there is love there will be feelings. How can you breed dogs without feelings? Breeder must feel. But yes in a long run a talented breeder must be able to control the feelings. However I do think the worse thing there is in dog breeding is lacking of love and feelings.
Dog breeding is all about love. If there is no love there is nothing. There must be passion, inspiration, intuition and imagination to be able to breed beautiful pedigree dogs. That is creativity. I do feel breeding pedigree dogs can be art. The very best breeder´s are artists or kind of artits aswell. Art and creativity is much to do with love. I do believe Marc Chagall was one of the smartest creative persons ever. He said so wonderfull quotes that goes with dog breeding too. Here are two of his quotes that I really like a lot:
“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.”
“Art must be an expression of love or it is nothing”
If there is strong and true love there will be passion for sure. In dog breeding you need passion, inspiration, intuition and imagination. That makes breeding matter of hearth.
What is love in breeding?
It all start from love. You love dogs. Therefore you get a dog. A breeder loves his dogs. New born puppies make your hearth bumping. The moment new babies are born there is a connection. After all these years you do love the voice of baby drinking milk from the mother. Breeder´s get interested by specific breed or breeds. Over the years these breeds come very close to you. You might easily say that a passionate breeder care and love his breeds. The well being and the future of your breed/breeds is important to you. Call that what you want. But I do say that is love. This special moment a dog you bred is happy and well feels good. Their achievments feels special because you do care. As and if the feelings are there makes all more meaningful. This gives a breeder power and energy to continue after all these years.
As and if you do love what you do in life you will be happy. True dog breeder loves breeding dogs. That is part of happiness in life. You can do what you love in life. You love your dogs. They do love you. You love the game and you love the world of pedigree dogs. Having personal touch and true feelings toward your dogs make you work harder. You know everything by hearth. You want the very best for your own dogs. You want them to be happy, healthy and beautiful. That for sure is the interest of your dogs too. So belive me when I say:“Dog breeding without love is nothing.”
Breeder must love dogs and breeding. That means passion. This will keep the touch working with the breeder and his dogs.