What is a Puppy Mill or a Backyard breeder?

Many people have heard the terms "Backyard Breeder" and "Puppymill Breeder" but do not understand what these terms mean.  We have provided information below, to help you understand these terms and to help you stay away from these types on individuals when you are considering the purchase of a puppy.


Puppy Mill Breeder - Defined as an individual who produces mass quantities of puppies with no breeding program, no attention to the placement of puppies, poor health and socialization practices, substandard/deplorable living conditions, no medical care for malnourished and sick breeding stock.  Breeds strictly for money.

Backyard Breeder - Defined as an individual who has pets that are bred by accident or breeds on purpose for a variety of reasons.  This type of person ignores the breed standards, genetics, behavior, and good health practices.  A backyard breeder can be considered a hobby breeder or a commercial breeder - depending on the amount of dogs they are breeding, level of interest, and need for income.


How to spot a Puppy Mill breeder or a Backyard Breeder:

Pet Stores - The dogs found in a pet store are from puppy mill breeders or backyard breeders.  A good breeder never sells their puppies to a pet store.

The terms teacup, tiny, mini, micro, toy  - are used by breeders to entice you, the potential petowner!!  Unless you are looking for a poodle, stay away from breeders who use these terms as they are nothing more than a sales gimmick.  Many times, the "toy"  or "tiny" dog you buy does not end up being a small dog.  A good rule of thumb is to multiply the dog's weight at 12 weeks of age times two.  Doubling the 12 week weight works for many bloodlines.  However, the very best way to accurately determine the adult weight of a puppy is to buy from a reputable breeder.

Designer Mixed Breeds - A breeder who is selling a mixed breed dog is NOT a good breeder.  Never pay an expensive price for a mixed breed dog.  If you want a mixed breed dog, check out your local pound or shelter......their facilities abound with dogs looking for good homes.  Breeders who are breeding designer mixed dogs will tell you that these dogs do not have the same health problems as their purebred counterparts.  This is not a true statement.  Vets today are finding that these mixed breed Designer dogs are inheriting the genetic and health problems of the two breeds.

CKC Registered - Stay away from breeders who tell you their puppies are CKC registered.  CKC does not require the same stringent requirements that AKC does and a good breeder will not register their puppies through CKC.


How you can help to stop Puppy Mill Breeders and Backyard Breeders: 

Do not spend money in a pet store that sells puppies or kittens. While it is true that the actual puppy you are looking at might need a good home, buying that animal gives money back to the puppy mill that bred the puppy.  When you shop in pet stores you are continuing the cycle.  The parents of the puppy are doomed to a lifetime in the puppy mill, as are generations of dogs to follow.  The cycle of suffering has to be broken and the only way to do that is to stop buying from pet stores.  When the pet store's demand is reduced they will buy less from the puppy mills.  Lack of financial support and educating the public are two of the ways that pet owners can help stamp out puppy mills and backyard breeders.


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