Helping Dog Breeders Build Value with Quality Imagery
Sep 4, 2020 | By: Tracy Allard
Most days my job doesn't feel like work. I truly love what I do and c'mon, photographing a litter of puppies is pretty darn fun (and then there's the puppy breath!). For the breeders of these puppies it's a labor of love, but it's also a business. Running a quality breeding program isn't cheap. The breeders I work with devote significant time and financial resources into the dogs in their programs and in many cases, they are also beloved family members. Quality imagery for a website and marketing purposes sets you apart and draws attention to your program's value while also educating potential puppy parents as to why they should select one of your puppies.
It's week 36 in the Pet Photography 52 Week Project and the theme is "work", so I thought I'd take this opportunity to write a blog post about the work of producing a litter of puppies - and it's no small feat when done well! I love that my work as a pet photographer helps local Dallas - Fort Worth dog breeders draw attention to the quality of their programs and as a dog trainer, it fills my heart to know that there are so many great ones out there working hard to produce healthy and confident canines that will thrive in their new homes.
Genetic testing and meeting the requirements necessary for CHIC (Canine Health Information Center) certification are the hallmark of a responsible breeder. As a dog trainer, I love hearing about those that also DO things with their dogs like earn a CGC (Canine Good Citizen) title, or other type of performance title, as evidence the dog has a sound temperament and no behavior problems might be inherited by their offspring.
Ensuring parental health and viability is just the tip of the iceberg, once the puppies arrive there are a number of established curriculums (i.e. Puppy Culture, Avidog, Badass Breeder etc.) designed to take advantage of key periods in the development cycle so that by the time they go to their new homes they're confident little canines. That means activities with every puppy EVERY SINGLE DAY. It's an exhausting undertaking when done right and who benefits most from all of the breeders' work? The new puppy parent does! So it's important that you do your homework and choose well.
When it's nearing the time for the puppies to go to their new homes, a temperament test is done BEFORE puppy parents select their new family member. As a dog trainer, I can't stress the importance of this enough! Your breeder wants the puppy to be successful in your home and you should want the same.
I know that you might have fallen in love with a particular pup in the litter, but if that pup's temperament isn't ideal for your family and how you intend to enjoy your puppy, everybody looses. I've seen the heartbreak of a family that loves their dog, but it's also making their life miserable because it's not a good match - and I've seen the joy of the perfect placement of a pup that was tailor made for a family or retired couple. Let your breeder help you with your selection!
Don't be surprised if your breeder asks you to sign a contract that you will spay / neuter your puppy when appropriate and if for any reason you can no longer keep them, you will return to the breeder. It truly is a lifetime commitment to the health and well-being of both the adult dogs and all their offspring.
Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography is a Certified Professional Photographer with the organization Professional Photographers of America; a designation held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry and professionalism. She regularly photographs puppies for a number of dog breeders in the Dallas - Fort Worth area and would love to help you add value to your breeding program with quality imagery of your breeding adults and puppy litters.
Penny Whistle specializes in both on-location and studio photography providing pet, equine, family, couples & engagement and high school senior portraits as well as corporate headshots and commercial photography services in her studio located in historic downtown Carrollton as well as on location in Coppell, Grapevine, Southlake, Flower Mound and surrounding communities in Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas.