Are non-breeders (i.e., those who possess minimal or nonexistent breeding credentials) actually capable or qualified to give legitimate advice or make serious judgments regarding breeding choices and practices? [214 votes total]

Yes (73) 34%
No (115) 54%
No Opinion (26) 12%

Post Info  Comment
Posted By: N/A

Posted On: 2 days ago
Views: 38

I disagree with you, Randy. There are newbies who want and feel they need a mentor and do thier best to do right by thier mentor and the dogs they have put many years of effort into creating. I feel I am one of those newbies, and hope my mentor feels the same. You are correct in the fact that some people have to learn the hard way, i.e. trial and error. I just don't think it's fair for you to group all newbies in the same category.

Posted By: randy

Posted On: 10 days ago
Views: 201

Newbies are not looking for someone to mentor them. They are looking for someone to agree with them. They will take "advise" from someone who is a newbie themselves, and then complain when it doesn't work out. You must learn on your own, experience is in deed the best teacher, unfortunately for all the ugly, mediocre puppies running around. A mentor can get you started but after that everyone becomes an instant expert, and has opinnions that they want to express and want others to agree with. There is a big difference bewteen making improvements in the breed and having one good litter or puppy to hang your hat on. Best advise is to "Look at The Picture."what will your decisions look like in the future. I have made lots of mistakes in the beginning and am still trying to overcome them, but the big change is that I am tryig to overcome them and not make excuses for them, or justifing them.

Posted By: Michelle Tessman

Posted On: 13 days ago
Views: 429

Mentor as it is described in the Miriam Webster Dictionary is a trusted counselor or guide.

I have been mentored by some of the top breeders in the country and I have never met some of them before, others I consider very good friends. I took the time on my own to study breeding programs, watch ringside on countless occasions, and study every move top handlers make.

A breeder should not need to tell someone step by step how to breed, show, feed, etc. One on his/her own should learn, research, and gather information before getting into this. You cannot approach an experienced breeder of top show dogs and ask the very basic of questions. In order for that breeder to be one of the top, it takes them a lot of time to get to the top. When I say top breeder, I don't mean one successful litter, I am talking about years of success and consistency.

People new to Danes, showing, and breeding can't come to the table uneducated and expect someone who has worked hard for years to take them and teach them everything. With the Internet, there are boat loads of information filled with value and knowledge. There is also some not so great stuff out there. This is where you have to have a gut instinct and try your best to separate the two. Now if you do your homework and feel as though you have educated yourself, breeders have no problem working with someone who shows drive and a willingness to learn and work hard. I don't quite understand why people think that breeders owe them the time and energy it takes to hold someone's hand.

I know some of this sounds harsh, but this is one of the problems that contributes to poorly bred dogs. People feel that they are owed something and if they don't get it, they settle. So they go off with what they have and try to make it work. You may get lucky once, but if you don't know what to do with it after that then things can start to fall apart.

I was standing ringside once and someone said I just don't get heads, I can't tell which ones are correct and which ones aren't. If one can't identify a good head from a bad head on a Dane and they own multiple dogs and actively show, this is a problem. Now someone had to sell them the dog and here is where the cycle begins. You have to do your homework and just settling is unacceptable. I think a lot of people decide I want to breed and show and just go and do it blindly thinking they have an idea of what they are doing. Now that is not a case of not finding a good mentor, it's a case of one not holding themselves to a higher standard.

Posted By: Deb King

Posted On: 13 days ago
Views: 439

I've seen both sides of what Scott and Sean are saying. On the one hand I was lucky and had some local mentoring as a newbie. I joined an all breed club as there are no nearby dane club. A blue breeder took me under their wing and introduced me to some wonderful people in GDC Mid-South. I feel very lucky and got a nice start in the breed.

Unfortunately I can't say the same for some other newbies that started out at the same time. Of course it doesn't help that there are a lot of 15 minute experts in the area too. So it can be very confusing to someone new.

I could stand ringside and quietly ask questions without it being thought I was trying to critisize dogs. This is very important as once I asked someone a question and the next thing I knew I was getting a lecture by the person that owned the dog I asked the question about. Very embarassing moment and I no longer ask that person questions even though they grew up in danes. The person I got the lecture from is someone I've gotten to know better and have become close to though.

On the other hand I have harles in an area where there aren't a lot of reputable harle breeders. So I'm still playing catch up on the genetics part and that has to be done long distance.

JMHO and .02 worth,

Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 13 days ago
Views: 459

I am afraid that I would look at the specific request to mentor someone is too apt to be heard as "Would you tell me everything you know & I will pick & choose what I will do.". It would be better IMO if you ask specific questions of the person you would like to mentor you & listen carefully to, & remember, what they say. If they hear good questions & find that you are really listenning they are more apt to ultimately mentor them. Most of the best mentors have had more than 1 person pick their brain & then totally ignore all of the answers. It sort of follows the idea that once you have been burnt more than once you will be much more careful before you share much of your data again.

Posted By: Doesn't matter

Posted On: Dec 11
Views: 480

Mr. Billings, on some levels you are correct, but not as correct as Sean. I have tried it. No, I don't expect them to seek me out. I have actually said in person, on the phone and in email that I want this individual to teach and mentor me. I have tried to give the benefit of the doubt to this person. Which is to say that this is where I am hoping that Sean is correct and that distance plays a part. Owning an animal that was bred by this individual, you would think they would take a more active roll in what I want to do. It's really kind of a mute point now though. I have made plans to do what I think are the right things. What my own research tells me are the right things. I feel confident that all will be fine, but it is not due in part to my "breeder" that it will or will not turn out as this breeder doesn't see the need to "teach".

Posted By: Sean

Posted On: Dec 7
Views: 628

"However, finding a long time breeder that wants to mentor the "newbies" is not an easy task."

I agree with Scot, it is easier than you think.

However IMO in order to truely mentor someone you need to be close at hand to that mentor, so you can see touch and feel what they are talking about. Whether its going over their dogs or just being at a dog show with them where the possibility are endless. Nothing replaces live examples, though we can learn a lot from viewing pictures of the past it still doesn't replace "hands On"

Pick up the phone abandon the "internet, Email, etc."

Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: Dec 6
Views: 673

I wonder how hard it really is to find a mentor since we know breeders in many parts of the US & Canada that are very willing to mentor people that really show that they WANT to learn. They are not going to walk up to you & ask if you want a mentor nor are they going to jump at mentoring someone until that person has shown that they REALLY want to learn. Most are willing to mentor because they want to have more new breeders doing things as they think they should be done whether it is breeding or showing. If you make it somewhat obvious that you want to learn from them you may be surprised by the fact that they are willing to try you out to be sure that you really WANT to learn. Try it, you might like it!

Posted By: Doesn't matter

Posted On: Dec 6
Views: 705

Amen to that! However, finding a long time breeder that wants to mentor the "newbies" is not an easy task.

Posted By: Cheryl Cline

Posted On: Dec 2
Views: 928

Everyone has to start at the beginning. You have to learn to walk before you can gait in the ring.

Thus, a non-breeder, who is saavy enough to study the Standard, go to shows to watch AND listen, study the genotypes of previous generations and the phenotypes of their get, talk AND listen to respected breeders, can have decent input into a breeding program better than a long-time breeder whose breeding program belies the Standard.

In the medical field, if you want to find a good doctor, find out who the doctors themselves. As a non-breeder, if you want to find a good breeder to mentor you, find out who the other breeders go to. Good mentoring is as good as the perfect doctor, and a non-breeder has to start somewhere.