Back to School with Golden Rescue - Backyard Breeders
Lesson #5: Backyard Breeders
Now that we have learned about puppy mills, we can turn our attention to a leading cause of homeless pets in the country: the BYB or Backyard breeder.
The leading cause of pet overpopulation in Canada, and, in turn, euthanasia rates, is currently the public’s purchase of puppies from Backyard breeders. These are breeders that are producing puppies for financial or personal gain, rather than the advancement of a single breed. They are often breeding multiple breeds and producing multiple litters to maximize their profits. Unlike puppy mills, BYB often operate out of their home or smaller scale facilities, but like mill breeders, they do not selectively breed for the health or genetics of a dog, and frequently breed their personal companions or inbred dogs. Backyard breeders are not all “bad” people: in fact, many are families that wish their children to see a litter born, feel their dog should experience being a mother, their dog is accidentally impregnated, or they just want one litter off of their dog. While these breeders might have honest intentions, they have devastating effects on the overpopulation of pets in our country.
Potential owners often unknowingly meet a backyard breeder and find their dogs to be living in substandard conditions. Having fallen in love with the adorable puppy in one’s arms, a potential family often finds themselves tempted to “rescue” the dog from this situation and take it home. Please, don’t! Your money only ensures that the breeder will continue to practice unethical breeding because it can turn a considerable profit.
How can you distinguish a responsible breeder from a BYB? The following is a list of tips and guidelines.
- Avoid purchasing a puppy from a breeder advertising dogs on online classified sites; reputable breeders do not use this practice. They don’t need to! Their reputation precedes them.
- Be wary of breeders who do not have the parents on site, or are hesitant for you to meet them
- Avoid breeders who do not perform the necessary health clearances on their breeding dogs and those that do not provide a health guarantee on puppies
- Avoid purchasing from a breeder that produces a variety of breeds; reputable breeders commit themselves to the advancement of a single breed and give it their full attention
- Walk away from a breeder if your gut tells you something is “off”. If you feel the situation is off, it most likely is!
- Do not purchase from a breeder who meets you and is willing to sell you a pup right away, or one that gathers little information from you; a responsible breeder wants to know as much about you as you do about them and their dogs
- Avoid breeders that do not provide you with ongoing support with your pup, or are not willing to take a dog back should the puppy not work out in the home
- Avoid breeders that do not belong to national and provincial kennel club or breed association, or cannot provide proof of CKC registration for their breeding stock and puppies
- Avoid breeders that cannot speak confidently as to why they bred two specific dogs to improve their lines
- Avoid breeders that have certain dogs “left” or do not know who will be purchasing their dogs; reputable breeders most often have approved homes lined up before they produce a litter
- Avoid being duped or persuaded by flashy sites that provide pictures of cute puppies for sale but little information about their history with the breed and their lines
- Avoid purchasing a puppy that does not appear clean, healthy, or well-socialized
- Avoid a breeder that is willing to sell a pup younger than a MINIMUM of 8 weeks old
And finally a great way to avoid supporting Backyard breeders:
Adopt your next pet and SPREAD THE WORD!
Although this is not an exhaustive list of tips, by following these guidelines, a family can greatly reduce the chances of supporting a Backyard breeder and contributing to the pet overpopulation in Canada. Unfortunately, a large percentage of BYB puppies will end up in shelters and rescue organizations across the country, and only a lucky few will find a forever home. By avoiding these breeders, we can greatly reduce the number of dogs in need of homes, and take the overwhelming stress off of rescue organizations.