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The Catahoula Breeder's Dilemma

When breeding Catahoulas, there are certain things that a breeder can control, and a multitude of things he cannot. When a client asks for a certain look, coat color, or eye color, this is received as input as to what the client would like to own, and not an order form to have that puppy built by the breeding pair.

It is my desire to present you with what you want, and to have you own an Abney Catahoula, however, I cannot control these things. In addition, approximately every 5 or so years, Mother Nature, that's God's Reproductive Specialist, decides that the kennel needs to undergo some type of tragedy. Whether it's the loss of a dog, sterility, loss of litters, defective litters, whatever, it's placed in my pocket, and I have to deal with it.

Merle Genes are at play in the Catahoula, and it is nearly impossible to determine what will be produced in the terms of color. Placing two dogs together that look almost identical will not ensure that the offspring will appear the same. Merle Genes have a way of doing what they want to do, regardless of what the breeder intends, or hopes to produce. This is partly the reason it takes so long to place an order and have that order filled to the criteria that the client has chosen. Hopefully this will help you to understand what is taking place in all Catahoula kennels.

Controllable Factors.

  • 1. Your deposit is placed in the order it is received, and the picking follows that order.
  • 2. I can choose the male and female to be bred. This in no way ensures a breeding.
  • 3. I can ensure the delivery of a healthy, well cared for puppy to my client.
  • 4. I do make shipping arrangements and attempt to make it convenient for both myself and client.
  • 5. I send email notifications and a phone message when your turn comes to pick a pup. At that time, you have 24 hours to request pictures, choose a pup, or passing on the litter. Clients must have had some idea of what they wanted before placing a deposit, so why would it take more than 24 hours to make a decision if it's what you want?
  • 6. If no litters were produced, you did not move up on the list.

Uncontrollable Factors

  • 1. The heat cycles in a Catahoula does not always occur every six months as it occurs in other breeds. Catahoulas will cycle between 4 and 9 months. Breeders plan, bitches make the ultimate decision.
  • 2. Although I choose the male and female to breed, the bitch does not always like the male. This would mean breeding to another male, or going to a vet to perform an Artificial Insemination. AI is not always feasible, and does increase the costs of breeding. Regardless of what a breeder will tell you, those costs are passed on to the client.
  • 3. Neither normal breeding nor AI is a guarantee of a pregnancy. It all depends on the Bitch.
  • 4. The size of the litter is determined by the number of eggs that are fertilized, the number of puppies born alive, pups that survive the ordeal, and those pups that are defective and not suitable for adopting.
  • 5. Colors are determined by the genes shared by the sire and dam, and their distribution during conception. What is produced may not be what you want, or what anyone wants, but it is now here, living and breathing, and needs the same amount of attention and care, and it needs a home.
  • 6. Having to wait a longer time for the pup you want is dependent on the number of pups that arrive and are healthy, those ahead of you choosing, and, of course, what you desire. No one considers that turning down a puppy means a longer wait for their puppy.
  • 7. Clients moving, changing email and/or telephone numbers. It's your responsibility to keep me updated.
  • 8. Clients going out of town, on vacation, etc., during the picking cycle. Watch the website.

These things are a part of the breeders dilemma that most clients do not understand. Backyard breeders can be found in parking lots all over this country. Why? It is because they don't want the puppies and want to get rid of them. They are looking for puppies to be somewhere other than in their homes.

Those of us dedicated to breeding a particular breed want the same thing, but we take the time to ensure a good breeding pair, and we want the pups to go a home where they will receive the attention they deserve, as well as an owner that understands the breed. If you turn down a dog because it doesn't suit the aesthetic value of what you want, we breeders still have that pup and need to locate a new home. It costs the same to keep and rear that pup even though you don't like it. It also takes up room at the kennel, removing the possibilities of another breeding because puppies are still around. Dedicated breeders do not wish to be a puppy mill or keep every puppy that no one wants. Putting down a healthy puppy is totally irresponsible. So we're caring for that puppy until it finds a new home. Thus, your waiting time is increased.

This may seem harsh, but it's the truth, and it's time someone places it before the public. Catahoula breeders are doing the best they can to get you what you want, but they do not have control over coat and eye color. We are not breeding Golden Retrievers or German Shepherds. There is no color stamp on our breed. So, when placing a deposit with any reputable Catahoula Breeder, expect to wait for what you want.
We plan. The Bitches decide.

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