How long have you been breeding Yorkies?
Have been a registered KUSA breeder of Yorkshire Terriers since the end of 2005
Why did you choose to breed these dogs?
Everywhere I went with Mr Bo-Jangles, my first Yorkie that I got as a birthday present from my husband, people would stop to stare and wanted to touch and cuddle him, also wanting to know where they could get one. I then started investigating as saw that even though there were a few registered breeders in Cape Town and the Western Cape, there might still be a “gap” in the market. We had, by then, also purchased a female Yorkie as a mate for Bo.
What is your opinion on backyard breeders?
Backyard Breeders? Mmmmm, that’s a hard one, because I happen to know several people that breed, for instance, larger breeds and these are obviously kept outside or in outside rooms, still getting the love, care and attention of the smaller “house-breeds”. Would they be considered “backyard breeders”? I have also seen some breeders that keep even the smaller breeds in camped off areas, with sufficient shelter, fresh water and space to run and play, and where the babies are brought up under very clean conditions. As I don’t live with these people mentioned, I really have no idea how they would handle or assist with the difficult birth of a litter etc, or where the babies are born. Don’t know if they are kept warm and safe or in a clean environment….this is all a matter of speculation. My honest opinion is that “backyard breeders” are people that breed these or any other dogs, not giving them the care and attention they deserve, in unsavoury conditions. Whether it be in cages on top of each other, or in dirty outside caged and/or cemented areas, usually without enough shelter, access to fresh water and regular and decent food. They also don’t have an idea of when the dogs mated, don’t pay attention to the maternity period and will therefore not be ready or aware, should something go wrong during delivery. These poor moms are usually left unattended, and the babies are brought up only learning the pack mentality, and therefore become skittish and are usually quite feral and scared of human contact, as they know no better. The females are also “over-bred” and no consideration is given to any health issues they might develop due to this, and sometimes die horrifically painful deaths, more often than not, during a difficult delivery. So, I think the term “puppy-milling” and “backyard-breeders” go hand in hand, but once again, that’s just my opinion. To keep any very large amount of dogs, one should be able to handle everything that goes with the territory, and anything above and beyond that, should be seriously reconsidered, as it’s the dogs’ health and welfare that then becomes secondary to what is considered humane.
What do you think is a responsible breeder?
As a responsible breeder my first and foremost responsibility is, at all times, the well-being of my pets. Also, taking on the commitment, regardless of how many years, spent with these all-forgiving, trusting and loving creatures. They cannot speak for themselves and are therefore at the mercy of human nature, whether good or bad. Breeding is not for the faint-hearted, cold and callous. One needs to have compassion, understanding of what the difference is between right and wrong, to always strive to improve on the particular breed which you’ve made your preference, and to “assist” Mother Nature, to whichever extent is needed, even as early as during the gestation period and thereafter. One also needs to educate oneself, by any means possible, on anything one might never have known before. One is never to old to learn something new. New owners need to be made aware of any pitfalls, dangers as well as any pleasure etc., and everything regarding having a puppy. It is up to us, as responsible breeders, to educate and inform, as well as be available, should there be any queries after the puppies leave our homes. Responsible breeders also know instinctively when not to breed with a particular bitch, maybe for health reasons, or for genetic problems that may arise, or for any other reasons. There are many that can be listed, but it’s knowing “when” that is most important. Sometimes it’s just the wrong combination of male to female and to know that you’re doing everything in your power to keep the breed as pure as possible. If one cannot be careful enough to keep different breeds separate, only one particular breed of dog would be recommended, because at the end of the day, one only “breaks down” the preferred breed. There are more than enough cross-bred dogs all over the world to satisfy the demand for them, and it’s my responsibility as breeder not to add to the worldwide problem with over-population. The original breeders of registered breeds have spent many years researching everything they could, have spent time and energy to study their behaviour, distinct markings, characteristics, colours, coats etc and are relying on us to maintain the standards set by them, which I feel is our duty to do.
How do you raise your puppies?
, for one, believe that my puppies need to be raised in my home, where they will be protected from harm and the elements. Even though I’m at home full time, and so as to be able to give all my dogs sufficient attention, I do foresee that I would be biting off far more than I could chew, should I decide to invest in larger quantities of breeding bitches. There are several breeders with far more dogs than what I have, but I do believe that, without some full time help, this could become problematic for most. It’s not only the attention that I, and most of my breeder friends give our dogs, that’s important, but space for exercise, individual time spent with them, being able to pick up on a problem, should there be one, and to act accordingly, whether it is behavioural or health orientated. I am very fortunate that I have the space available to give my newborn babies and mommies the privacy, peace and quiet they need for nursing, and for the babies to develop at a normal rate. My babies are safe and secure in their “nursery” up until the age of 5 weeks, after which I start introducing them to the rest of the four-footed “family”, bit by bit. They get brought up in a normal household, filled with humans, laughter, noise, everyday sounds like hairdryers, vacuum cleaners, doorbells, barking etc, so that by the time they leave the “nest”, very few things scare them, unless it’s really very foreign and strange. They get to play outside, weather permitting of course, and actually have the freedom to choose where they want to be, what they want to do, who they want to play with, and they also get disciplined by either their mommies or by any other adult dogs that might not appreciate the pulling of hair or whatever they seem to want to try and do. If they have to be left alone during the day for any amount of time, they get left in the “nursery” with their mommy, as well as to sleep there at night, all safe and snug. They get handled, cuddled, petted, bathed and groomed, and treated like part of the “family”, all within reason, of course. I will never spoil any of the puppies by letting them sleep on our bed, for instance. That would be the prerogative of the new “owner” to decide what they want to allow in their own home. My puppies are very well socialised, “potty-trained” on newspaper, and are brought up to be puppies in every respect.
Do you have a funny story about your yorkies ?
No story in particular, unfortunately, although all my dogs make me laugh on a daily basis with the funny and weird things they get up to…
What is your favourite part of breeding?
The happiness I see that these special little babies bring to others, is what makes everything worth while. Every ounce of energy, the tears, sleepless nights, the worry, every first cry from the
newborn puppies and every little detail involved in being a breeder.
What is your advice for anyone interested in purchasing a Yorkie ?
Get as much information as you can from researching and speaking to owners and whomever could give you advice on the breed and whether it would suit your lifestyle, remember, it’s not a second-hand chair purchased at a shop that can be returned if you’re not satisfied…it’s a living creature with feelings and emotions just like us humans.. If you cannot commit to a lifetime’s love, work and care, do not buy this breed! Even though people tend to want to make Yorkies into “fashion accessories”, and it’s within their human right to choose to do so if preferred, one must never forget that they are still dogs, and would really rather be treated as such. Animals are and behave exactly they way we as humans bring them up as.
What myths are connected to Yorkies?(like pocket size yorkies etc...)
The one word I really and truly detest when people enquire about my puppies is “teacup”!!! This is a topic which I should rather not be asked to comment on, as people knowingly or in most cases, unknowingly, buy these so-called “teacups or pocket-sized” or any other weird name they can be given, without having any idea of where they come from, what health issues they could have, how much shorter their life expectancy is, and what they’re really in for. And, unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous breeders who exploit that and try and breed them smaller and smaller, so as to provide to the demand that’s been created. It is and will always be, a sore point to me as a breeder and a lover of the breed. From time to time any breeder could have a puppy that turns out smaller than the rest of a litter, but it’s knowing what would be best for that particular puppy’s future that makes all the difference in my eyes.
There are many issues relating to the well-being of these unfortunate “little ones”, which I, for one, cannot stress enough. So, as far as I’m concerned, it’s no “myth” that they’re considered the “runts” in the litters and therefore already have a deficit in many aspects, before even becoming healthy adult dogs.
Where did your love for dogs came from?
Growing up, we had a little “Skippertje” and he was treated like any “normal” dog. Wasn’t allowed to be on the beds, or mostly not even in the house, so on Sunday afternoons while my parents had a nap, my brothers and I would sneak him into the house, by any means possible. Until one day, when my younger brother had to hold on to my feet, while I leaned out the window to reach for him. My brother heard a sound, got a huge fright, and politely decided to let go of my feet, and I fell face first into the rockery under my bedroom window. The only one that consoled me that day, was Snippie, and that’s where my lifelong passion for all animals started, I must have realised even then that animals have far more insight, understanding, compassion as well as the ability to make everything better, even by just licking my wounds and tears. And that just because I showed him that he was special enough to fall flat on my face for..
Thereafter I had the pleasure of being in contact with all different animals while growing up, whether at our own home, friends’ homes or on my grandfather’s farms, and I just knew that nowhere
would be considered “home”, unless there was at least one dog or cat. My kids were also brought up and taught how to care for them, but both of them, fortunately, instinctively have the same
regard, passion and compassion for animals as I do.
Do you have any show titles?
I personally don’t have any show titles under my belt but two of my puppies from earlier litters have already walked off with ribbons and prizes for “Best in Breed” or “Best in Toy Group” at dog shows, even if just casually.
Any last thoughts?
One last thought….. It boggles my mind that there are human beings on this earth that do not appreciate:
the unconditional love,
trust they have in us to do the right thing,
pleasure we can derive from having animals in our lives,
the unselfish nature most animals display,
the playfulness, the laziness and just the pure blissful expression they have from merely one’s hand touching them.
Humans mostly don’t show appreciation, trust, love, compassion, kindness, tenderness and truthfulness, unless prompted or in return for something else. We are supposed to be the “teachers” of these emotions, but we face a lesson or more from our animals every day. We’re sometimes just too blind to notice…..
Cell no: 0835118276
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