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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Are you color prejudice?

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•For the record...we breed the Chatham Hill Retriever, which is an out-cross between two different breeds to create a smaller version of a Flat Coated Retriever, which comes in Black, Liver(Brown) or Yellow(Cream).  It is our goal for it to  be more like a miniature Flat Coated Retriever NOT a miniature Golden Retriever.  So... What does this question about color prejudice mean on a blog about breeding dogs?  Well simply that we've discovered that even though Flat Coated Retrievers come in Black, Liver or Yellow colors and we've now mirrored this color palette with our Chatham Hill Retrievers, it has become clear that the majority of people coming to us for a Chattie are just stuck on a color and don't do any research beyond that.  They just prefer yellow and often think that we breed a miniature Golden Retriever.  They are in fact so enamored with the romanticized stories of the Golden Retriever as the top tier family dog and have no clue what a Flat Coated Retriever is or that it even required a Flat Coated Retriever for a Golden Retriever to even exist.  And even if there is a perfectly healthy Black or Brown Retriever pup available....  there are 10 to 1 odds that the next person contacting us is going to ask when the next Yellow, Cream, Chestnut or Red miniature Golden Retriever Puppy will be available.  And that speaks so much about the lack of knowledge about retrievers in general that most of these curious people have.  They've been brainwashed into believing there are two types of Retrievers...Labrador and Golden Types.  And like the majority of us as children we've been conditioned to associated the lighter creamy color with being the more desirable, more angelic, more peaceful looking.  Like every little boy or girl who grows up thinking that being a blue eyed blond is the best thing in the world because doors of opportunity will just swing open automatically for you when you arrive at your destination.  Well... there are many Black haired and Brown eyed individuals in this world that would prove otherwise.  Its unfortunate that these stereotypes for humans also hold true for dogs.

I'll bet your eyes went right to the white one
• There is a purpose and a goal we are trying to achieve at Chatham Hill.  Its not to create just yellow dogs.  We understand that you may envision yourself with a certain color dog.  But, our goal here is not to just breed to meet a demand for a yellow dog.  Our goal is to breed for a healthier longer lived retriever with a stronger immune system.  And we strive for diversity in how we produce our puppies and strive for heterosis in what the results are.  Which means we are open to variations in type, and COLOR.   And when we qualify a buyer... one of the things we're going to ask is why you want that particular color.  Depending on what you say and how you word your response....will determine whether we continue to speak with you.  Here's a hint...if you've read this blog then you have a much better idea of what we're all about.  If we were to just take orders and strive to fill a demand then we would be functioning on a level like a McDonalds and only focused on serving the desires of our customers.  However, our goals are different.  We are trying to produce a better dog and serving the needs of the future for our dogs.  Hopefully in a way that is more about natural selection and diversity than it is about making cookie cutter clones of the same thing over and over again.  We can certainly use what we've learned and what we've been taught to predict the outcomes with the ingredients we are using.  But, we allow our ingredients to choose how they want to mix and match.   Sort of a naturally selective process within the diverse selection we've acquired. 

But, people stuck on only the color of a dog can be a bit ignorant of the bigger picture.

Get it right people, this is a miniature Flat Coated Retriever
• Simply put.  People who think that a cream colored dog is somehow superior to the other colors...are stupid.  Yes I said it, they are stupid.  If they can't see the benefits to a well thought out hybrid and only care about the color of this very different type of dog then they are definitely just ignorant or possibly pretentious and only want what they want.  Well, okay we get it, sometimes we all have our personal preferences.  It would serve them better to do a little homework to understand what we're doing and what a Chatham Hill Retriever, a Flat Coated Retriever, and what a Spaniel whether American, English, Field, or Springer is all about.  After educating themselves if they still really want to wait for one of our puppies based on just the color alone, then that's their right to do so.  But, we let you know we don't breed for just Yellow/Cream colored puppies so the wait could be a long one and from our experience we've had people waiting for almost 3 years to obtain the Yellow puppy they envisioned owning.  Our goal has always been to produce a healthy puppy that will fill the requirements of a family companion, a smaller Gun dog, Or a service dog.  Just how how Ignorant of the benefits of a well planned hybrid are those people stuck on just color?  Well....they will likely jump at an opportunity to buy a cream puppy even if that puppy has a health problem that is revealed to them beforehand.  Yes, that's how stupid they can be.  We've been at this long enough to see the trending firsthand.  Our targeted market is an educated consumer, but more and more we're seeing the impulsive buyer who happens to have an internet connection that we have to struggle with educating... and they usually still just don't get it.

I'll bet your eyes went right to the upper left of this photo
• As an Example of a conditioned preference for white...We've observed through our experiences that when there are children in a family that visits to see our puppies, they are automatically drawn to the lightest colored puppies in the litter.  That is a fact.  Perhaps they have been conditioned from their upbringing to prefer the lighter color.  If there is a mixed litter with all the colors in it...the kids will always go for the lightest colored pups.  Just like placing a white Barbie, a tan Barbie and a black Barbie doll in front of a group of kids and observing which one they go to first, 9 times out of 10...they always go for the blond white Barbie doll.  The only exception to that rule has been when we have an entire litter of Black or Brown puppies only.  In those cases its the standout puppy that is preferred and usually the choice of the adults who have to convince their children of that choice... which is either the biggest or the smallest pup or the one with a white spot on it.  Or in keeping with the lightest colored puppy a litter of Black and Brown puppies.... they reach for the brown ones. 

I know, you immediately saw the yellow dog here
• We have qualified buyers before by asking if they have a color preference and heard many times that "Oh we have have no preference in color and are more interested in long term health, who the parents are and the temperament of those parents."  Only to hear when the pups are finally born that they now prefer to wait for yellow pups.  Which means the reservations and the time we took to place that pup on hold thus causing us to pass up on other qualified families who were put on a waiting list because of this current family amounts to a waste of our time and has now put the dark colored puppy on a reserved list while we scan through the list of other waiting families who gave their deposits to ask if they are ready for one of these puppies now.  Usually the answer is still the timing is not good just yet.  AND THAT'S OKAY, we get it, after all we just sprung this on them with very short notice...because an ignorant family just passed on the color.  So we'll now make that puppy available for the newer inquiries and start the whole interview process all over again. 

• We've also considered the idea of just not breeding for yellow anymore.  Because, people for whatever reason seem to think the Black and Brown puppies are simply not as good as the Yellow variations, which is oddly the complete opposite from what Flat Coated Retriever people think.  That's right... in the Flat Coated Retriever Community a Yellow dog is an undesirable trait.  And they come up with many fabricated stories about the inferior health and problems you will encounter with a Yellow dog.  They are of course STUPID in this thinking and are so far from the truth its just ridiculous.  This is also hilarious as its the complete opposite for our Chatties.  So for us, not breeding for yellow would be a bad decision that ultimately removes another variable from our diversity planning.   And even though we raise all our Chattie pups the same way there is a perception that the yellow colored puppies are somehow the more desirable color trait.  For the record, they are not any smarter, faster, stronger or calmer than the other colored puppies.... They are just Yellow.   Which means for most of these people who care about appearance ....they will look dirty when they really are dirty as their fur will turn muddy or greasy or even dull when wet.  So if you want will have to get over obsessions with cleanliness or just irritate that puppy to the point where it actually fears you.  Which happens because you really do have to bathe it to get it looking the part of a clean dog and puppies tend to be dirty little piles of fun so any clean freaks out there...think it over.  And keep in mind a Yellow puppy is not any healthier and won't live any longer then a Black or Brown puppy....they are just Yellow. 

• We have also been toying with the concept of getting people to consider the darker colors by perhaps just inflating the pricing for our yellow pups like other breeders of Comfort Retrievers who ask an absurd amount close to $6k just for the privilege of owning a yellow pup.  We also suspect these breeders don't sell many puppies.  But, since they also seem to depend on the income from their operations.... they put the pups out there at top dollar amounts to basically prey on the stupid/ignorant audience and only lower the prices as the puppies get older.  Which, also devalues their entire breeding program.  It tells the buyer... there is a premium for owning a yellow pup only if purchased while its still relatively young.  Yet that yellow pup was raised just like the Black or Brown puppy.  So out the gate a puppy of any color other than yellow is in the opinion of these breeders... not the best buy for your money or the biggest return of profit for themselves.   What it really means if they lower prices for when that puppy gets older is that its not valuable to them unless its just a puppy, which on their part involves little to no investment of their time to train it, therefore its also not housebroken and not able to hold its bladder for more than just a few hours. Yet, that is what they charge you a premium for.  Does this make any sense people?
Diversity planning starring at you

 • In reality..if these breeders actually do things properly...the older the puppy the more it should cost since it will have more training, conditioning, more socializing and a better bond with people in general.  So does it really reflect upon any breeders in a positive way to say their older pups are worth less money?  It should convey to the buyers that these breeders put no additional effort after 8 weeks  into the things like housebreaking and training beyond what they sell you as that 8 week or younger puppy and therefore since the older pup has now been set in its ways without any further investment in their time and will pee and poop in the house and not give you undivided attention when you train it... it is now a problem and a burden for them and a loss of income since they have to feed please buy it at this cheaper price and deal with it yourself.   You'll likely have a bad experience with trying to figure out an older dog with no social skills.  You'll likely become frustrated and disappointed and begin to consider surrendering that bargain priced older pup into a shelter system.   GOOD LUCK with that.

• It is has been our experience that people who are only stuck on a color are extremely closed minded.   In fact, its to the point where if you come to us requesting ANY specific color without knowing anything about Flatties, Chatties and Spaniels...we're likely to turn you away.  And it doesn't matter if you want only Black or Liver or Yellow.... We feel its to the point where if you're not open to any color provided its a healthy puppy then well.... We're inclined to not take your name or your deposit and certainly not confident that putting you on a waiting list will put a puppy in a favorable situation.   When you call a Breeder, it should be about getting a great dog from a great breeder and knowing a little bit about the background of that breed you're interested in.  The process involved with Whelping, Socializing and caring for the puppies, their parents and the entire concept behind why that breeder is doing what they do.  You're buying into that breeder and making an investment in what they produce as a whole.  Not any specific color and certainly not when its convenient timing for you.  If that's what its about for you...then you need to go to a pet store.  Because that's where you'll find what color you want when you want it and then learn that pet store puppy is nothing like what you can get from a responsible breeder....Again GOOD LUCK with that.

• For the rest of the people who come to us with a bit of experience or with an understanding of what a Chatham Hill Dog is.   Let's talk.


1 comment:

  1. Kepler Zhou
    In you pictures, you said that "I bet your eyes went right to the yellow one." That is not true for everyone. I am a kid and when I look at this blog, my eyes go to the liver and black ones. For me, I do not feel that lighter is better. I have nothing against light colors, but I just do NOT get why others feel that white is better.
    Thanks for letting me reply.


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