The Backyard Breeder vs. The Responsible Hobby Breeder

Consider this a guide to discern quality breeders.


The Backyard Breeder…

The Responsible Hobby Breeder…

1. Is motivated to breed because it is "fun", "good for kids", "to make money," or "wants to get their 'investment' back from the dog they bought." Doesn't screen buyers and seldom refuses to sell, even if buyer is unsuitable.

1. Is dedicated to producing quality dogs as a serious avocation. Has so much invested in dogs that s/he struggles to break even, rarely making a "profit." Will sell pups only to approved buyers.

2. Breeds family pet or breeding stock to any convenient dog of same breed just to have purebred pups "with papers." Has no concern for, or knowledge of: genetics, bloodlines, animal husbandry, or breed improvement.

2. Can explain how and why the breeding was planned, with emphasis on specific qualities through linebreeding or outcrossing.

3. Has little or no knowledge of Basenji health issues. Though pet may be well loved, it wasn't tested or checked for heritable problems prior to breeding.

3. Has breeding stock x-rayed to check for hip dysplasia and tests for other genetic faults. Can produce certification to prove claims.

4. Offers no health guarantees beyond proof of shots, if that. Unqualified and/or unwilling to give help if problems develop.

4. Lifetime commitment to replace a dog with genetic faults or to help owner deal with problem.

5. Seller has little knowledge of breed history or AKC "Standard." May claim that this doesn't matter for "just pets".

5. Loves the breed and can talk at length about the breed's history, background, uses, and ideal type.

6. Pups raised in makeshift accommodations, indicating lack of long-term investment in breeding.

6. Has a serious investment in dog equipment such as puppy pens, crates and grooming tables and knows how to use it.

7. Even when selling "just pets", may display AKC "papers" or "championship pedigree" as proof of quality. Yet seller doesn't increase their own knowledge through participation in national or local breed clubs. Doesn't show their breeding stock in shows to "prove" quality, often feeling that dog shows are too expensive or that judges don't know anything. Has no knowledge of ancestors listed on the pedigree, much less their ownership, health status or whereabouts.

7. Belongs to and is actively involved with local or national dog clubs which indicates a love for the sport and welfare of dogs as a whole. Exhibits his/her own dogs at dog shows on a regular basis as an objective test of how their stock measures up to The Standard. Can identify ownership and whereabouts of all dogs listed on pedigrees.

8. May be unwilling to show buyer entire litter or to introduce dam and/or sire of litter. Can't or won't compare/critique pups or pups' ancestors.

8. Shows litter and other family members in a sanitary environment.

9. Prices puppies at low end of local range, since most want to move pups quickly at 8 weeks or often younger.

9. Prices will be at medium to high end of local range, not cut-rate. Price won't reflect all that is invested in pups.

10. No concern for the future of individual pups or breed as a whole. Doesn't employ AKC's limited registration option nor ask for spay/neuter contract to guard against breeding of substandard pets. If you can't keep the pup, s/he tells you to take it to dog pound or sell it.

10. After purchase, will help with grooming or training problems. Will take back pup you can't keep rather than see it disposed of inappropriately. Sells companion quality only with spay/neuter agreement or limited AKC registration.

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