What Is A Breeder?

Although most people refer to anyone who has a litter of puppies as a “breeder”,   there are many types of “breeders”.  For example:

Accidental or occasional breeder; also known as “backyard breeder”.    Breed their female to the neighbor’s dog because they “like” him, or own a male and female that they breed deliberately or allowed an accidental breeding.  They have little or no knowledge of health issues, the standard for their breed, genetics, socializing, etc.  They probably will spend a minimal amount of money on a litter hoping to make money. 

Puppy mill breeder

These are the main supplier of pet shop puppies and are strictly a for profit business.  Dogs are kept in cramped wire cages and they receive little or no veterinary care, no socialization with people; probably have never touched the ground, and may always be kept on wire.  These dogs will be bred repeatedly until they die or no longer can breed.  Many of these dogs have severe health and emotional problems.  Puppies from these litters are usually very poor specimens of their given breeds. 

Ohio has recently become a large puppy mill state, due to the Amish turning to mass producing puppies as their new cash crop.  Profit is the bottom line for puppy mills, so they amount of money they spend on their dogs is minimal.

Designer puppy breeder

“Designer puppies” have become the new fad.  People are breeding two different breeds together that will have some cutesy sounding name.  Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, Puggle, Llasa poo, Maltipoo, are a few.  They tout them as being non allergenic, no health issues, no shedding, etc.  Ridiculous!

They are mixed breed dogs, glorified mutts that will have all the health issues of their parents’ breeds and probably more because the parents seldom have any health clearances or testing done.  Allergies are too individual to claim any breed to be non allergenic.  To say they won’t shed is also misleading, all dogs shed, and some just retain the loose hair in their coats and need to be vigilantly groomed.  They charge large sums of money for these pups.

Responsible Hobby Breeder

This is a breeder who has devoted countless hours to studying their chosen breed, learning genetics, understanding what health issues they face and striving to develop a dog that comes closest to their breed standard.   The health and welfare of their dogs will often come before their own needs.  They care deeply about the puppies they produce and only breed an. occasional litter, after much research and study.  They spend time and money traveling to dog shows to see prospective mates for their dogs and to learn more about their breed.  They will have all recommended health clearances done on their dogs, striving to produce the healthiest and soundest puppies they can.  They are very concerned about what kind of homes their pups go to, they will ask many questions and are not afraid to turn down a buyer if they feel it is not the best match for the pup.  They will try to match the right puppy with the right family to ensure a happy and successful relationship.  Most will take back the dog at any time in its lifetime, if necessary.  They do not want their dogs to end up in shelters or worse.  

Clearly, if you want a healthy dog with a good temperament, the responsible, hobby breeder is the place to buy a purebred puppy.  Don’t fall victim to the cute little puppy in the pet store, you will only be perpetuating the problem.  You aren't saving a puppy, you are victimizing many more puppies and adult dogs that will continue to live, breed, and die in abysmal conditions.

Copyright Karen Teplitzky




photo by woodland designs


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