Article by Grindhouse Bullies
The term Backyard Breeder is a derogatory term used to describe an individual who is breeding strictly for the purpose of financial gain, often inbreeding and with out canine registration papers (AKC, UKC, ABKC, etc). They often charge less money for their puppies than a responsible breeder, they breed for quantity not quality. These dogs may seem less expensive, but in the long run you may end up paying more for these dogs when health issues develop. There are other cases where people will claim their dogs “accidentally bred” or a family decides to breed their pet “just one time” often not caring about registration or genetics which may lead to unhealthy and/or unwanted puppies.
The risk that comes with owning a dog with unknown history is you can be surprised by genetic defects and disorders which otherwise could be avoided. These people are not usually aware of the fact that their actions are unethical. When you choose to breed for the wrong reasons the outcome is always less than favorable. Please leave breeding to professional breeders who have established kennels. If you’re adamant about breeding your family pet contact a reputable breeder and allow them to direct you properly.
Many people get confused by the term backyard breeder and apply it to hobbyist breeders which is incorrect. This term has nothing to do with the location in which you operate and with the crack down on commercial breeders often referred as puppy mills- pure breeds are being produce more by hobbyist or show homes. This type of breeding offers increased health, attention, care and proper social interaction needed to produce a well rounded animal.
When shopping around for your next family member you need to do your research. If the breeder is not willing to take the time to answer your questions or concerns you should look at other options. Breeders in general have a negative image by the general public due to the few bad apples. What I hope to gain with this article is for you to understand the differences and to not judge a group of people based off the select few. In my years I’ve worked with some great breeders but I’ve seen what popularity can do to a reputable breeder. Now you may not like the high end price of a pure breed or designer dog from a reputable breeder, but you need to understand the cost of producing a dog correctly.
From the cost of proper care, setup, food, vet bills, stud fees, progesterone testing, worming, vaccinating, surgeries, dental care just to mention a few can add up extremely fast. Now there’s nothing wrong with adopting a dog if you don’t have the finances to purchase a dog correctly many breeders like myself often offer productions to pet homes that have a document lineage but may not meet the requirements of their registry standard. If you wish to do your part the best options is to adopt or purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder. The worst thing is purchasing a puppy from a backyard breeder or pet store that often come from puppy mills or will buy unregistered puppies online through local ads, shelters, rescues and then charge you $500 up to $1000.
If you choose to purchase a pure bred dog there are some tips to assist you in finding a reputable breeder
1) It’s important you to ask for references, use search engines like Google and social media Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram to investigate them. Breeders commonly use social media to get in contact with their customer base. Look for photos AND Videos of the dogs interacting with the breeder, their family and living conditions. Most importantly, how they are treated!
2) Ensure the kennel is affiliated with a known and establish registry like the ABKC, RKC, BBCR or other reputable registry, not some registry ran out of someone’s garage. I see so many people get caught up in new registries and then before the years end they close their doors, all that money and time wasted! They should demonstrate extensive knowledge of the breed’s history, traits, temperament, and conformation and have years of experience with the breed.
3) Don’t just talk with them over the phone or on social media meet them in person if you can and inspect their breeding facility. A great way to judge a person is to see how they treat their animals. If you show up and their animals are standing in urine, fecal matter or dogs in small cages these are big red flags. Often times, a top breeder may not be in your state, ask for references and speak to customers who have purchased a dog from them. Ensure these people have invested time and money into a proper clean setup before you spend a single penny. Now many breeders are cautious about having visitors because of thievery, but a true breeder will meet you at a safe public location or at a confirmation event.
4) Pay attention to how their dogs interact with the breeder if they are properly trained and cared for they should have no issues interacting with strangers.
5) A responsible breeder will have detailed documentation of their pups lineage, demonstrate knowledge about canine health, genetics, socialization and development, and will take back their animals at any time and age if the buyers cannot keep them. If you have a breeder that is fully invest into their dogs they will give you more information than you know what to do with. I’m not going to say don’t purchase from a newly established kennel what I will state is be cautious and research them thoroughly.
6) Ask about their health guarantee and request a contract to review. If they don’t have a contract or health guarantee walk away! Never buy a dog with out a contract! NEVER BUY A DOG WITHOUT A CONTRACT! That is protection for you as much as it is for the breeder.
Almost every customer I’ve dealt with has had a previously bad experience and I ask them: Did you see the sire or dam before you placed a deposit? No. Did you research the pups bloodline, call local breeder? No. Did you sign a contract? No.
7) A great sign that your dealing with a responsible breeder is if their asking you questions as well providing you with advice and guidance. As a breeder I care about the well being of the animals I produce. You’ll find me asking how many dogs you own, any children in the household and what ages, where you live apartment or house, have you checked your HOA regulations etc.
8) Never feel pressured to purchase a puppy take your time if the breeder is trying to sell you what ever he currently has on the ground walk away, every breeder should be taking the time to find out what puppy is right for you.
9) Inquire about the bloodline the breeder uses and the health defects that are common within the breed/bloodline. A real breeder will be honest about where their yard is weak , no dog is perfect you have defects in every bloodline and breed. As a breeder myself I’ve seen high rears, clefs, overbite, underbite, weak rears, bad pastures, sway backs, kink tails and the list goes on.
Great sources of information are canine conformation shows, you should finds these type of events listed on registry websites. I encourage you to attend one of these shows before you purchase your first puppy, shows are usually filled with breeders from all over the state in which they have come to showcase their yard. I hope this article has helped you in your search and that it will prevent you from making common mistakes.