The Breeder's Conundrum
I breed Great Danes because I passionately love my dogs. I select each and every one for specific reasons. I always select on temperament and looks and an "it" factor if I can find it. My breeding program has multiple facets, and in order to have a true breeding program, I believe you have to breed more than 1 or 2 litters per year. It's not about breeding quantity over quality, but in order to get the best of the best, the more to choose from, the better dogs you can select. The math only makes sense! Back in the 1960's, the main breeders had large breeding kennels of 100+ dogs, and that is how it was done. Now with the way society is, it is looked down upon, when you have multiple breeding dogs. So in order to keep a reasonable number of dogs that you can give them all the individual attention that they need, you come to the crux of the problem. How do you balance the appropriate number of dogs to continue to improve the dogs you breed, and keep the number to acceptable levels so that you can give each dog the individual attention they deserve?
The idea behind a sound breeding program is that each generation is better than the previous. So if a favorite bitch/stud has given you puppies that are as good or better than themselves it makes more sense to continue using those lines in the younger offspring and let the older dogs enjoy a pampered "couch" retirement lifestyle!
The Retired Breeding Dog
Eventually, all breeders retire either a stud dog or a breeding bitch. If you have a small breeding program, and place all of your puppies, then it is easy to retire your favorite dogs to the couch and not think twice. But what if you have a larger breeding program, and you look at one of your favorite dogs or bitches, and you wish that they could retire onto YOUR couch and spend a life of leisure. But your house is not quiet! You have puppies, and bitches with puppies, and young dogs and it can be quite chaotic at times. Your favorite bitch is getting older, and you know that she has done her job well, and you have 1 or 2 of her most beautiful puppies that are growing up in your house to be used in your breeding program if they make the cut. In a perfect world, a quiet home and their own personal couch and maybe a couple of kids to dote on them would be what you would wish for them.
Societal Pressure or Personal Preference
We have made the decision that regardless of how much we love our favorite, retired breeding stud dogs and bitches, we would rather find them their perfect retirement home to live out the remainder of their life, then bow to the pressures of society that don't always understand the dynamics of a larger pack, and don't know your individual dogs' personalities, etc. It's because we LOVE our dogs, that we will choose to place our retirees. If we didn't love them, we could keep them happy and healthy and love spread out among all of our dogs. Getting a retiree is not getting a give away dog that is unwanted. You are getting our most favorite, most loved and appreciated dog that has given more than we could ever have asked. You are lucky to have this opportunity and we will only place them in the PERFECT retirement home for that dog. We hope you open your mind and hearts to understand what we mean.