Backyard Breeder-

  1. Motive for breeding “fun,” “good for kids,” “to make money.” Doesn’t screen buyers and seldom refuses to sell, even if buyer is unsuitable
  2. Breeds family pet to any convenient pet of same breed just to have pure-bred pups. Has no concern for genetics, bloodlines or breed improvements.
  3. Though pet may be well-loved, it wasn’t x-rayed for hip dysplasia or checked for other heritable problems.
  4. Offers no health guarantees beyond proof of shots, if that. Unqualified to give help if problems develop.
  5. Seller has little knowledge of breed history or American Kennel Club (AKC) standard. May claim that this doesn’t matter for “just pets.”
  6. Pups raised in makeshift accommodations, indicating lack of long-term investment in breeding.
  7. Even when selling “just pets,” may produce AKC papers or “championship pedigree” as proof of quality. Yet seller doesn’t increase own knowledge through participation in national or local breed club. Doesn’t show own dogs to “prove” quality.
  8. May be unwilling to show buyer entire litter or to introduce dam of litter. Can’t or won’t compare/critique pups or pups’ ancestors.
  9. Prices at low end of local range, since must move pups quickly.
  10. No concern for the future of individual pups or breed as a whole. Doesn’t use AKC’s limited registration option or ask for spay/neuter contract to guard against breeding of substandard pets. If you can’t keep pup, tells you to take it to dog pound or sell it.

Hobby Breeder-

  1. Dedication to producing quality dogs is serious avocation. Has so much invested in dogs that struggles to break even, not make profit. Will sell pups only to approved buyers.
  2. Can explain how planned breeding to emphasize specific qualities through linebreeding, outcrossing or, more rarely, inbreeding.
  3. Has breeding stock x-rayed to check for hip dysplasia and tests for other genetic faults. Can produce certification to prove claims.
  4. Lifetime commitment to replace a dog with genetic faults or to help owner deal with problem.
  5. Loves breed and can talk at length about its background, uses and ideal type.
  6. Has a serious investment in dog equipment such as puppy pens, crates and grooming tables and knows how to use it.
  7. Belongs to a local or national dog club, indicating a love for sport of dogs. Exhibits own dogs as an objective test of how stock measures up.
  8. Shows litter and dam in a sanitary environment. Helps buyer evaluate and choose pup. Explains criteria for “show picks” versus “pet picks.
  9. Prices will be at high end of local range, not cut-fate. Price won’t reflect all that is invested in pups
  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 pets with spay/neuter agreement or limited AKC registration.

(author-Chris Helvorson)