CyberScots On-Line Discussions
"To Breed or Not to Breed"

        This page sets forth the CyberScots on-line discussions regarding the pros and cons of breeding your Scottish Terrier.  This has been a recurring topic on the CyberScots Line over the years.  Before you breed, please read this discussion and consider the positions with an open heart and mind. 

        Please review these E-mails before arguing breeding practices on the CyberScots Line.   These discussions may appear heated, but it is only because we all care so much about the health and well-being of  this exceptional breed.

    Please note:  Off-topic text has been edited out of the messages.

Scottie-L and CyberScots E-mail regarding breeding discussion.
The posts set forth below are from the March 1998 Puppy Mill/Breeder Discussion.

From: Cindy Cooke

Casual breeding has awful consequences--stay on this list for six months and see how many dogs are on special diets because they have skin problems.  Sure, reputable breeders produce puppies with health problems, now and again, but as far as is possible at today's level of technology, they try to avoid them. Casual breeders can't avoid them because they don't know what's in their pedigrees.

As I have repeatedly said, you may do as you please. It's a free country and you are free to disregard anything that is said on this list. As for those of you who seem to think that I am advocating some form of euthenasia for imperfect dogs, please think again. Every Scottie deserves a loving home--I just think that every loving Scottie home ought to have a healthy, good-natured dog who meets the description in the breed standard.

Finally, I'm a little tired of always being the point man in this discussion. I know that many of you agree with me but you always depend on me to speak up. Thank you for your private e-mail but it would do a lot more good if you went public.

Cindy Cooke
Anstamm Scottish Terriers

From: EsqScot (Lynne)

I will have to go on the record agreeing with Cindy. We have 5 Scotties, only 2 of them are from breeders that I know personally & trust to tell me the good & bad things about them. The older of my 5 are from a backyard breeder , who claimed to be a reputable breeder. Well, two of the three older dogs from the backyard "reputable" breeder have extreme allergies. We of course neutered the older 3 a long time ago because we didn't want to pass on any unknown problems., We now know alot more about Scotties & are very active in our local STC & beginning to become more active in STCA.  We would recommend to any & all of you to become more involved with your local STC & learn as much as you can about the breed & breed standard, you & your Scotties will benefit by what you learn. We love & care for all of our Scotties equally.

From: Erin Akins

Dear Cindy and Others:

I have been on this list almost since the beginning...and on Prodigy before that...and each time CIndy has given "the lecture" she has always taken the flack from it. Cindy...we sit back and let you do the dirty work cus you do it so well. Over the years you have honed your letter and approach and this last letter, I thought, was the best of all. I know first hand the way you are always willing to help us with our technical questions about our Scotties. I know that you only mean well and its a tough position to be in.  People do not need to take her letters as anything more than a wake up call. I was pissed the first time I heard "the lecture" too...but I opened my eyes and listened more...and found the place that Cindy and other breeders are coming from and found that all what they say is very valid.  On a note of similarity, let me tell you how I was woke up yesterday.. A dear pal called me... she has been backyard breeding Rotties for years. I
have given her "the lecture" and we have fought over it, but remained pals..which after yesterday is going to be harder to do. Her big news was that her Rottie bitch had died while giving birth. She had known the dog was not eating for a week prior to the birth...she had 8 pups...5 born dead..3 alive...and some still inside her. I begged her to take the dog to the vet two days before she welped and died. Do you know how hard it is to be sympathetic to a woman that is boohooing over her beloved Rottie dying...when she didnt have the right to breed this dog in the first place ! She sold the pups to anyone that had 200.00 and never sold any papers with them so they would not be tempted to breed.. she never even knew if her dogs had good hips or not. I'm furious.

Now.. this is not what the case is here.. or what prompted the latest "lecture" But it could be. I see both sides of this issue...but I'm firmly behind "the lecture" no matter who gives it.

Many of us have started out with a pet shop dog and then learned from that. YOu have at your fingertips here the most knowlegeble and well respected breeders in the field right here on this list. Many don't go out front like Cindy does, others do. But all will help you in an instant..all you have to do is ask.

From: "Dawn D. West"

Hello all!

I would like to respond to this thread!

First of all, I agree 100% - every Scottie deserves a loving and caring home.

My little Molly was purchased from a pet store in Dearborn, Michigan. I knew, by buying from such a place, that she would NEVER be breed standard. I love Molly, SO MUCH, and she is one spoiled little girl.  After seeing Champion Scotties, I now see how much my little girl
differs from them. I am currently walking a local breeders pregnant bitch. The preggy doggy is an AKC Scottish Terrier, so is Molly. The preggy doggy (PD) is brindle, so is Molly. The PD is female ( I would hope so), so is Molly. BUT, if you look at both of them - there is a difference. And the difference is....the PD is breed standard (she "Finished" last November) and my Molly isnt!

But I have to agree with the notion that breeding should be done by people who know what they are doing. I would NEVER consider breeding - I have no clue about bloodlines, DNA, etc. I have also seen people do the "backyard" breeding thing. In fact, my husbands parents used to
breed Shar-Pei's (sp), in the late 80's, mearly for $$. I dont agree with what my in-laws did and my husband knows NOT to bring the subject up around me, cause I can get very *hot* about it.

I do know that people, who want to breed, have to start somewhere. I am NOT saying that breeding the oversized Scottie is right nor wrong,  Im saying that if one chooses to breed, they should do so with the breed standard and the health of the pups in mind.

I also feel that leaving the list would be a mistake. I have learned so much by being here. I dont really post "heavy" things - mainly fluff, cause I am just starting to learn about the breed myself.
Ok, I have posted my .02$ for today!
From: JIM TODT & ROXANNE HUCKSTEP

I agree with both Erin and Camille. I too hated the "lectures" when I first joined the list. I also resented the "uppity" contracts. I thought the McVan people had to be the most stuck up people on earth when I met them at a dog show several years ago. After reading their contract I decided I couldn't get a decent scottie without signing my life away. But the longer I listened and thought about it I came to agree.

My first scottie (most georgous wheaten ever!) was bought as a pet in 1968. I showed him once just for fun and he took best terrier. I look at his pedigree today and I know why -- his breeding (Viewpark, Blanarts, Glendoune, and Anstamm). My second scottie came from a different breeder and he was also a well breed wheaten and it showed.  My third scottie was from the first breeder and she was a great scottie but pet quality (not all of the great lines of the first).

I am owned by my fourth scottie--a pet quality named Katie. There was no question she would be neutered because she is pet quality. I couldn't love her any less than my others. But breeding does show!

I also work with scottie rescue. That is what really made up my mind. Like Camille, it a too much sometimes to see what these dogs go through just to be loved.

Stick with the list. It can get crazy and testy sometimes but that keeps it from getting boring. (And NO I am not prejudice because I had a dog with Anstamm blood).


Roxanne

From: "Josie O'Brien"

I am very new to Scottish Terriers and breeding practices, et cetera, and I try to gain my knowledge from the persons on this list who have been in Scottish Terriers for years. I appreciate all their help and I also appreciate that they help people like myself not to repeat the mistakes that have taken place over the generations. I used to think the only place you could get a dog was either from a pet shop or from the newspaper.  I had no idea you could actually get a dog from those "show people." The truth is that those "show people" are human too. They love the dogs just like we all with pet pups do and they are their pets too. The time the pups spend in showing is very short and they still love their pups after they have attained their championships.

As for myself, I have two "pet shop" puppies and they are sisters. They were given to me for free. One of them is perfectly healthy and the other one has cost me thousands and thousands of dollars to keep in as "healthy" form as she can be. She has every terrible skin problem probably known to a scottie. She has had her fur shaved off and had the test to see what she is allergic to. Her result is that she is allergic to everything. I learned through the line that with food changes and with Advantage and also with having the yards sprayed, Toto can live a healthy life and she is also "drug free." She had previously had to take shots of cortisone every few days. She now can be a happy puppy and live without awful needles sticking her skin. Toto weighs 35 pounds which is way over what she should (she is a pig). I did not breed Toto and Dottie because I knew that they would not make healthy puppies. Their mom and dad were truly pet shop puppies and they do show what many warn us about in buying puppies where the person has not been very careful in who the pups are bred to.

I should also say that I love Toto and Dottie unbelieveably so. They are my little fluttering angels. However, I do know that my little Toto has had to go through an awful lot of pain and discomfort due to her breeding.

I also have a well-bred pup and I see a great difference in her well thought out breeding.

We are a very large group of people and I love that we all come from different areas of the scottish terrier world. I hope we can all learn from one another. I have learned so much in the couple years we have been running the line. Many of my views have changed and many have not. We are all human and can do as we please. I have to also say that I have had my feelings stomped on in running the line, but I did not want to quit and do not intend to quit over hurt feelings. The dogs are the most important thing and that is who this line is dedicated to help.
From: Janet Noble

I have to disagree somewhat with this. I completely agree that the world's best Scottie, Rottie, whatever is probably sitting in someone's backyard, undiscovered. However, you prove that you are the best by going out and defeating other great dogs. I had someone tell me once that he did not think that my Rottie was the best working Rottie because this other dog in the club had had bad training and, if he had had good training, he would be the best! I was ballistic! You are only the best if you go out and do it - anywhere, anytime! There is another Rottie that has won his national club's Schutzhund championship and his national club's Sieger championship but has never done it unless the trial or show was at his local club, in his own backyard! Does this make him the best? I don't think so! That is one of the reasons we have dog shows - to help determine who are the best dogs and how, genetically they got there. I do prefer the German system for this where the dog must have success as a working dog, a breed suitability test, show dog and sire before being proclaimed Sieger (in German Shepherds) but USA shows do have something to give; if you understand and work around the politics and financial aspects of the game. For example, the top Five Rotts in the country last year, according to a friend of mine - I have not seen the article - each showed to only 4 judges! They just followed the 4 that really liked them around the country! That is what makes the achievements of the Mal at Westminster so incredible

- #2 dog without ever getting on an airplane! I have one of the most "famous" Scotties around - McGruff. He became famous for his good looks and incredible working ability as he did Schutzhund, police work and narcotic detection as well as lots of canine demos. He was completely sound and healthy. Was he bred? Not a chance; all because he has an underbite! Did he have a lot to give to the breed? You bet but it was not enough to overcome this fault. My young dog is the result of a breeding between very accomplished and well known show dogs. Will he be bred as he is beautiful and an incredible worker? Not a chance; because he is oversized - at 29 pounds. Both of these dogs are loved beyond reason and have wonderful lives doing the things they love best - after all, who else would find out that her Scot's favorite activity is herding?

What's the saying - You breed the best to the best and hope for the best! Sorry this is so long but, even though I have never bred, I am probably a worse fanatic about it than even the others as I have a breed that is being ruined by "pet" breeding and the ramifications of it.
From: Marilyn Garfield

I have been following this thread for the last day or so, and since I still have .02 cents left in my pocket, I am going to give it at this time. It is a shame that Cindy has to take the blunt of this all. I personally appreciate the fact that she has taken the time to respond to the breeding thread with the so called name "the lecture". Cindy is a good writer and has put what many of us feel in the proper perspective. What she said wasn't to hurt anyones feelings, but was getting right down to the core of what the Scottish Terrier is all about and how to preserve the breed we all love so much.

Many have expressed their feelings and I think that is important to clear the air once in a while. To my knowledge this is what a list is all about, sharing your opinions with others in "good
taste". The bottom line is with all the new people joining the list daily, if just 'one person' learns something from this thread regarding breeding or purchasing a puppy then we will know it was
all worth talking about.

I admire the many on the list that have taken in the rescue dogs, those that support your Scots, no matter of their looks, health problems, ect., you all are very special people. But keep in mind,
even us that show play a very important role in rescue through our breed clubs. WE DO CARE about ALL the scots and that is why we donate our time and money to support all rescue efforts!

Folks, it's all of us that can make the difference as to weather or not our breed will survive and be preserved.
From: Camille Partridge

Well, since I just inadvertantly dumped the reply I had composed to this thread, I will start over. -Cyber member-,  I hope you are still online, please do not leave. I, personally, felt attacked by a previous post regarding Westminster winners, but I won't leave the list. I am here to share what I have learned and to learn from others. What I have learned, through doing rescue for 6 years, is that there are many, many lovely dogs in the world that need homes, and not enough good homes for them all. I write what some would refer to as "snooty, uppity, blue-blood" sales contracts for my puppies, so that NONE OF THEM EVER end up in a shelter or rescue, unless that buyer were to knowingly break the contract. I know that many of you feel some of us are too restrictive with our pups, we demand spay/neuters on any dog we deem not up to the most rigorous standards for passing genes on to the next generation. "Why?" is the perpetual cry I hear. Because we want to know that our puppies, and grand-puppies, and great-grandpuppies are safe and loved, not tied in a backyard or beaten, or starved, or dead because they became inconvenient. Because we want our breed to remain the dog we came to know and love, many years ago. We don't want a wiry-coated, black or brindle, prick-eared Basset Hound! If we wanted a wiry coated long backed hound we'd get a PBGV! We want a Scottie, and we want it to look like a Scottie and act like a Scottie. We want the next generation of puppies to be as healthy or healthier, and as typy or typier than the current generation. Long backs can end up with intervetebral disc disease (talk to Dachsie breeders), an over size Scottie cannot do the job for which it was bred, which is *still* part of the Standard for one simple reason, that job is what CREATED the Scottish Terrier! Since I love this breed I do everything in my power to see that when I leave this world the Scotties I leave behind will be dogs that people can look at and say "That's a Scottie!", not "What kind of dog is that?" In closing I will say one more thing. The last time this discussion came up was the day that my Mother had to take her much-loved Doogie to the vet for euthanization. Doogie was a rescue dog I took in, an abused dog sold from a pet store to a very awful home, who was far, far beyond any hope of rehabilitation. We did the best we could for him for over two years, and when we could no longer risk his incredible rage and fear-biting, we let him go. We gave him a couple of years of love and care, and we hope that his spirit is healed, and that we will see him again when we cross the Rainbow Bridge. The pain that he suffered in his life, and the pain that we suffered in his loss, should NEVER, EVER HAVE HAPPENED! Whoever owned his parents or grandparents may have bred them "just once, because we wanted to raise a litter, and they are both so sweet", but in failing to consider what would happen to each and every puppy, and by letting one go to a home where it was not neutered, a generation or two later, a horrible, abusive, vicious S.O.B. bought an innocent little puppy and turned him into a monster whose only relief from the pain and terror of his entire existance was death, for even in his sleep, Doogie SCREAMED, nightly, in relived fear and pain! So now, again, I explain the WHY to so many of you who feel that Cindy and I and others like us are "mean, pushy, snooty, demanding, overly restrictive" breeders who are trying "to stamp out competition and keep all the money to ourselves" NO, WE ARE NOT! We have, too many of us, seen the Doogies of this world, held them in our arms as they died on the vet's table, wept tears of pain for that loss, and tears of anger and frustration, because someone, somewhere, just wanted to breed one litter, just once, and did not care what happened after that! We keep picking up those pieces of pain that you carelessly leave in your wake, a generation or two later, and we do it because we love Scotties so much, but that doesn't mean that we wish we didn't have to! Tonight I will go home and hug my Lucy, the mother of the most recent Westminster Best In Show Scottie, and be happy I was so honored and priviledged to have her and Peggy Sue's sire, my beloved Bucky, enter my life. I was honored and priviledged to be entrusted with them by their breeders, and I, in turn, will restrict their grandpuppies' reproduction and the offspring thereof, so that, to the very best of my ability, they will all markedly resemble Peggy Sue and all the other champion-caliber Scotties in their lineage, and that NONE of them will ever end up like poor, wounded Doogie!
From: MRS FANG2 (Arlene)

Dear Camille,

Your reply was excellent. Instead of rehashing all the valid reasons, one point really stood out.
Screening potential new owners. Interviewing, getting to know them and them you. This does not happen when someone comes, cash in hand, hot to take a cute little puppy home on a them. Its several telephone calls and visits later. If I feel comfortable with them and they agree with my stipulations:  1.neutering.  2.they sign my Contract of love & lifetime care. (if for any reason they find it impossible to carry on their commitment of dogownership, said puppy is returned to me).Passing the criteria, I bless them with one of my babes. By that time, they realize I am part of the package. I have made some terrific friends via my pups. I share any and all advice, information, medical updates etc. with them. The joy my babes have brought into their lives is a fantastic wonderful thing. 
From:  Lynne

This is why breeders are "Breeders" for the life of a litter.  No matter how old the Scottie a reputable breeder should always be prepared to take it back. All Scotties deserve to be cared for & loved for as long as they live. That's why we need only reputable breeders like Cindy & Camille & all the others that stand behind their Scotties forever.
Question from a CyberScots Member:

I am curious as to how the sales contracts are monitored. I know you all are discriminate about who you sell to. But just how do you KNOW  the contract stipulations re. shelter and neuter spay are not broken and what are the consequences? I have a healthy and unopinionated curiosity. I need to know! I am sure this is a dumb question with an easy answer.

Answer by Amy Cada:

A lot of research, a lot of questions, and a lot praying!!!!! I am fortunate to have one of Camille's babies at my house, we had a LOT of discussions about what I wanted, needed, and hoped for in a pup, conversely, she had a lot of questions for me!!! I guess I passed "muster" because I got exactly what I asked for, and she found a good home that honored the spay/neuter contract.

From: mary deason

I do see your point about getting the dog back. One of the items in my contract is that I offer a fair market value for the returned pup. Read, dollars in that persons hand so that they are more likely to return a puppy to me than to the pound. Secondly, I can withhold the blue registration slip until I have proof (veterinary certificate) of spay/neuter. When I moved, I took pains to contact each and every owner who had one of my babies to let them know where I was and to check on again. I am in no way special or unusual in these things. All reputable breeders do this. I remember once getting a year old malamute, a real beauty. The breeder had just gone through a long court battle to get the bitch back after the her contact of "no breeding" was broken. It cost her significantly, but she didn't want her "baby" bred to just any dog. She won her case, which is how I came to get the dog.  Are there ever loopholes, probably. But we do the very best we can.
The raising of a litter involves a very significant emotional cost. We put our lives into those precious little bundles of fur. Camille, Cindy, Toni, Sandy and others set a high standard. We do need that standard.  Ultimately it helps us all.
From:  Val

Thank you Camille! Thank you and your mother for being there for Doogie!  For anyone who doesn't believe stories like Doogie's, just work at an animal shelter for a while. (And those of us who volunteer are generally protected from the pain and suffering of the animals who are in no way adoptable). And the ones who are adoptable? They don't all find homes. That's the way it is. So if anyone needs convincing, in this day and age, of spaying and neutering their pets, and leaving the hard work of good breeding to people like Camille and Cindy who and those who do require ironclad contracts of their pups' owners, (including Beth White, Ty's wonderful breeder who spends most of her time these days rescuing Dals who are the offspring of the Disney movie) just tell them to volunteer at their local shelter. It'll convince them in no time. Guess I can't stay on the fence in this part of the debate, no matter how hard I try!
From:  Toni Hines

I really think you should reconsider and stay on the list. With a new litter coming you may find your self in need of some quick advice if any thing goes wrong. (God For Bid) First of all I want to say I'm sorry to hear you got some really nasty letters. This letter is not to ridicule. I myself don't over react to someone saying they have a 30# dog,because I have had dog that when I pick them up they feel like 30# but when put on the scales are no where near that.I have also seen 30# dogs that are quite nice,but just need to lose some weight. 

I have known Cindy for years,since she and I have been breeding for about the same amount of time.We don't always agree,but we agree to disagree. That is one thing in breeding if we only pick our friend because they agee with us we will not learn much or have any true friends.Now unless you got a nasty letter from her that I didn't see,I honestly think she was only trying to be helpful,she was not meaning to ridicule you. It is hard sometimes when there are so many people that we don't really know all in one place such as this list. We get excited about something and then someone says "Are you sure you want to do this" and then of course there are the ones that write to us privately and send nasty notes. Now our feeling have been hurt and we sometimes don't take the time to think about the ones that may be a bit negative,but are not ment to be nasty,just helpful.It is easy to get your feelings hurt so easily when you love something as much as we all love our LDBs. I was shocked to think some one would suggest that you abort these pups.If I were to suggest something it would be that you attend some shows and see more scotties up close and personal. You will see smaller dogs and you will see bigger dogs.The one thing that most of them will have in common is quality,but even then not everyone will agree on that.It does give one a chance to look at what is in the show ring and then to take a long honest look at what we have at home. It is nice to talk to breeder and have some one show you how they apply the standard to the breed.(Believe me there are some new breeders out there that think they know but I have my doubts,hopefully they will learn) I don't know where you live but if you live close enough to Dayton,Oh. I would be glad to talk with you.I have been a breeder for 26yrs and I'm still learning myself.

I'm a firm believer in the fact we can always learn something new no matter how long we have done something.
From: Julia Benson

Hi Everyone,

I've been out of town and missed all the fun I guess.

Let me first of all say that while I am not a breeder, I am a nurse and am mindful of all the pitfalls that can befall even the most kindhearted breeder. I have a "rescue-type" Scotty, but Mags is spayed and I would never have dreamed of breeding her.

As many of you know, I plan to get another Scot in the next few months. I will get my little bundle (and expect to pay accordingly) from someone who has done their homework, has had genetic testing done, who has an excellent reputation, and who is checking out ME as a prospective mama for their pup. A few extra dollars provides an income for those who sure deserve success and (hopefully) will screen out those who just want to make an easy buck.
From: susan walsh

I have a VWD rescue dog. My breeder dit the test and determined my dog was a carrier. She tested 2% . She had her spaid before I was able to take he home. Before you breed any dog you should determine what you want to be carried out in the breed and what should be left behind. Size is one Problem. A 30 lb dog does not meet the standard by any means.think about it.
From: "Perry M. Lynch"

For the record, Michelle and I love our dogs and it matters not to us the status of their pedigree. I have learned a lot from the list re: genetic diseases and traits that are a danger to the breed, and Michelle & I had Duncan fixed after we learned about the puppy mills that he probably came from (Especially when we actually LOOKED at the pedigree and learned that his mom&dad were brother&sister from the same litter)!

I believe that you should choose the best possible stud for the best possible bitch, and I have learned this from reading the posts of Cindy Cooke and others like her on this list. So, Cindy, thank you for your knowledge and PLEASE don't leave the list!

I also believe that when trying to educate someone on the benefits of better breeding (or on the benefits of anything else, for that matter) you do not start out by telling the student about everything they did wrong. You start by expanding on what they did right, and introduce quality
control into the picture as you go. In my experience, when people realize on their own that they have been doing something wrong, they will do everything possible to correct the situation and educate others as well.

So in short, the member probably reacted too harshly for what was stated and emailed to her. She was, after all, new to the list and possibly not aware of the deep feelings that most of us have on this subject.
From: Michele Fujawa

With everyone making comments on the breeder issue, I'd like to say something (I am relatively new to showing scotties - 4 1/2 yrs. and I have purchased pet-store and backyard breeder scotties - I will always love each the same as the scotties I have now.... and I would still have them today.... if they didn't die at such young ages). I can't come close to topping what others have written about breeding. I am a firm believer and follower of the STCA's Code of Ethics (soon to be posted on the STCA website!!) and the Scottish Terrier Breed Standard (http://www.akc.org/scotty.htm) . It is no surprise that I fully support Cindy and her responses. I re-read all her responses several times and I saw lots of information, but nothing offensive. I met Cindy thru an e-mail list such as CYBERSCOTS. She didn't know me and I didn't show scotties.... my previous scotties did not come from reputable breeders (and I paid for it emotionally and financially). Cindy encouraged me to attend a dog show and to watch the scotties and meet the breeders/exhibitors. I joined the regional scottie club and attended small fun matches, seminars and meetings. I had subscribed to the Bagpiper and I read and re-read every STCA Handbook that I could get a hold of ( I have most back to 1972). I found everyone to be warm and supportive. Everyone was willing to talk scotties and we shared a common interest! I have learned so much in the past 5 years - and I am still learning! Scottie breeders/exhibitors are a great group of people. I see them at shows on almost a weekly basis and, for example, I have seen Cindy and Buffy, on several occassions, take so much time out of a busy day of showing (at times, multiple dogs) to answer questions and to talk to fellow scottie lovers - about scotties (any scottie). They welcome anyone and have bent over backward to share their knowledge and skills with anyone willing to learn! They are open, honest, and encouraging. There are so many breeders/exhibitors all over the country - at dog shows, specialties and regional clubs willing to offer this same support! For those of you who have been critical of reputable breeders/exhibitors.... please see a list of 1998 specialties/regional clubs at the STCA website.... attend a specialty in your area - join your regional club! You don't have to show.... you can learn so much and that knowledge, in turn, can benefit the well-being of any scottie!!!
From: House of Hanson in Illinois
Heidi, Haley, and Kipling

I would address this privately to Cindy, but it will also serve as my first and last word on the topic at hand (this time around). For those of you who are new to the list, I have two scotties now, but when I joined I had none. We had lost our beloved "firstborn", Mickey, when he escaped our patio at night and tried to cross a busy street. One year later, still grieving, I found the Cyberscots list and worked through my grief by identifying with all the scottie anectdotes, and remembering why we loved our Mickey so much.

Mickey was the progeny of a backyard breeder's pet quality bitch and a pet shop dog owned by her daughter. He was too large, his ears were big, his tail was not quite right, and his skin was terrible. He had scottie cramp, and in our and the vets ignorance he was diagnosed and operated on for hip dysplasia. No matter, we adored him, and at the vets recommendation, we had him neutered. For nine and a half years, he was everything a family could desire in a pet.

Though my husband was anxious to find another scottie, I was not.  Cyberscots gave me the desire to open my heart again. The postings of Camille, Charla, and Cindy were nearly always saved to my files for future reference, as it was clear that I would learn from them -- and learn I did. Before I signed on to the list, we might have rushed out to purchase the first scottie we saw in the paper, as we did with Mickey. It was the list that educated me about the hazards of what I now describe as casual breeding. It was the list, but from the very beginning it was Cindy's posts that stood out for their wealth of information and no-nonsense delivery. It was clear from the get go that the well-being and future of the Scottish Terrier was this woman's life work, and I was relieved to see it was in such capable hands. Such was the strength of my impression.

Imagine my surprise, when, after some time on the list, it was Cindy who gave me the opportunity to love a scottie again. We travelled to Michigan in October and brought home our Haley. It is a matter of record that we did not find Buffy and Cindy to be arrogant or stingy.  I did not feel that we were subjected to any unusual or harshscrutiny. Nor has there been any surveillance on our house since we brought Haley home, as far as I know <wink>.

In late November or early December, Cindy's advice saved us from making the mistake of buying a wheaten puppy from a breeder of questionable reputation. Cindy and others on the list eventually led me to a fine pup from an established line who I know will not disappoint me, and whose breeder will always be available to me.  With breeders like Anstamm and Chess behind our scotties, I feel that I have adopted so much more than two wonderful pets -- I have a built in safety net of the finest possible construction.

"I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." --Abraham Lincoln
From: Mike Serrano

I do not post a lot but prefer to lurk. Once in awhile though the topic being discussed or flamed just is to tempting. This is one of them. Cindy sure does NOT need me to come to her defense and I am not defending but I certainly am supporting her and what she has to say on breeding. She is correct. She is not lecturing but is trying to educate. I for one would miss her input tremendously. She has devoted her life toward one goal: the betterment of the Scottish Terrier and to assist those interested in learning about the breed. To her and the other devoted fanciers out there: my hats off to you.

I began my journey 14 years ago with a pet store Scotty like so many of us had. I thought because it was registered with the AKC it was the best there was. I will always love my Scottie McDog. It was my love of him that sent me on the path to learn more. I was fortunate to run accross folks that helped me learn and grow and yes I did run into some of those who would not give me the time of day. It's not a perfect world and yet as I grew I also learned that those who turned their nose up at me really didn't know all that much anyway or they ceased to grow.

Joining a club is usually your first foot in the door. I belong to 4 clubs: the SFBSTC, STCC, STCA and an all breed club the SJKC where I serve on the board and also act as Public Education Coordinator. Yes, there are personality conflicts in dog clubs, again, we do not live in a perfect world. Choose to learn and put the rest aside and you'll be better off. I've served in many capacities from Club President on down but all the while learning and sometimes the hard way but nevertheless learning. It is a lifelong journey; it never stops.

My philosophy on breeding is simply this: your goal is to better the breed and to better (hopefully) what you currently have. If this isn't #1 than don't do it. I know when folks ask me about breeding This is my first question to them. Why do want to breed this dog? What do you hope to achieve? What is your long term goals?

If you want just a good companion dog then buy one. Or perhaps consider rescuing one. I think the bottom line here for many of us is to prevent breeding for all the wrong reasons. Your heart may be in the right place but you may also sell a dog to someone whose heart isn't and then the
cranking out of puppies begins. This is why rescue exists. For those who have done rescue you know how heartbreaking it can be at times.
From: Iva K Burks

Please stay on the list. Your information and assistance was invaluable to us when our Abbey has ill. You put me in touch with a breeder in my state who grilled me before selling a puppy. Our first Scotty was from a backyard person and we didn't know any better. We went through much with her because of allergies and then spleen cancer at age 8. Sassy has been a great girl. She is very healthy and loving. When time came to get another (as I swore I would never be without a Scotty again and the only way I could think of not was to have two), the breeder referred us to another who was equally choosy about her dogs. Zack has also been a healthy, loving dog.  Thank you, breeders, for being zealous in keeping our breed moving toward better health. We learned a hard lesson but learn it we did.
From:  Cindy Cooke

You're right--linebreeding and the resulting narrowness of the gene pool has its risks. As Bill pointed out, however, the entire breed of Scottish Terriers is descended from a single bitch (Splinter II) and two dogs, Alister & Dundee. In the 30's, the breed again passed through a tiny number of "keyhole" sires. The trick is to cull out the carriers of these problems while maintaining breed type. Some of the problems you cited ARE genetic but some may be environmental. Breeders who study these things don't have all the answers but they are constantly searching. Nearly everyone attributes the increase in bladder cancer not to genetics but to environmental factors. The increase in C-sections may well be due to better nourished moms producing bigger pups. Whatever the answers are, we're the ones that are looking, funding the research, asking the questions so that the scientists can find the answers. BTW, while we have, on occasion produced dogs with skin problems, we have IN EVERY CASE, backtracked to try to find the source of the problem and weed those sires/dams out of our breeding program. As a result, we just don't have dogs with skin problems. Our dogs eat regular old Pedigree dry--no exotic and expensive diets. That is true for the vast majority of breeders who show--it's nearly impossible to have top winning dogs who have bad skin!
From: Cindy Cooke

A breeder becomes a breeder when he decides that he will dedicate his life to breeding the very best possible Scottish Terriers (or the breed of his choice). It starts with education. First you start with the best possible bitch you can find. Twenty years ago, I owned an ugly, mean (and I mean that--he put a woman in the hospital) little Scottie that I bought from a backyard breeder. He was too mean for the local groomers so I had to learn to trim. One thing led to another. When I announced to my friends in Texas that I planned to buy a Happy Venture son from Miriam Stamm, they all laughed until they cried. "Nobody knows you--you've never put a point on a dog. She'll never sell you a puppy." Well, she did--a Best in Sweepstakes puppy. Sadly, she had a genetic defect that was, we discovered, being produced by one of the breed's top sires. Buffy had bred a lot of Happy Venture daughters to that dog and then those daughters back to Happy Venture. Within the next year, she also discovered that that same dog was a carrier of VWD, as were nearly all of his daughters. She had to spay most of her good bitches and start almost from scratch. Twenty years ago, she was gettin $1000 for Happy Venture daughters--she never batted an eyelash. They were spayed and good homes were found for each of them. That's what a
BREEDER does. There were some lean years when she didn't do much winning after that but she patiently bred the clear ones and eventually, she was back in the winners' circle. I've got to leave for a show now, but most of this is spelled out in any book on breeding--even mine (we've got a new fridge but need the living room painted.)

MUSIC:  Castle on a Cloud -