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Old 03-26-2011, 07:34 AM   #1
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Default Guide to Finding a Reputable Breeder

This information has been compiled to assist puppy buyers in finding a responsible reputable breeder. Some of the articles are written for a specific breed (other than Yorkies) but still provide valuable information that can be applied to any breed.

If you are interested in adopting a rescue and providing a loving home for a homeless pet, please visit Pet adoption: Want a dog or cat? Adopt a pet on Petfinder

If you have already purchased a baby that is sick, please check out your puppy lemon law.Puppy Lemon Law States

If you are interested in breeding please read http://www.yorkietalk.com/forums/yor...-answered.html


Index:

Intro............................................. ......2
Official breed standard ...........................3
Dog Breeders ........................................4
Traits of a Backyard Breeder ....................5
Traits of Reputable Breeder ......................6
Use this guide to obtain a quality puppy......7
What is a Puppy Mill? ..............................8
What is a Broker? ...................................9
What is a Backyard Breeder? ...................10
What is in a Website...............................11
(continued) ..........................................12
Does “AKC” mean a quality dog? ...............13
Novices Interviewing Breeders...................14
Reading Your Puppy Guarantee .................15
(continued) ...........................................16
Yorkshire Terrier Health ...........................17

All sources are cited with credit to the author and/or a link to the page.

Thanks to all who have contributed in the making of this thread!

Last edited by Wylie's Mom; 05-15-2011 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:38 AM   #2
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While there are many places a purebred puppy can be purchased, only one source can be recommended with confidence -- a responsible, reputable breeder. While places like pet shops are motivated by profit and quick turn-over, their dogs also often come from puppy mills, less than choice living conditions, mass-produced, and have health problems; not to even mention the usual low quality or badly-bred dogs they send out. A reputable breeder only produces puppies because of a love of the breed and a dream of perfection. To that end, responsible breeders carefully screen breeding pairs, check out health issues, compliment a pedigree, work to improve faults, breed to strengthen or enhance a line, provide the buyer with a written guarantee, and provide support and advice to the new owners throughout the dog's life. Reputable breeders are usually members of the national breed club. However being a member of that club or selling AKC dogs in itself is no guarantee of quality or an ethical breeder alone. Some people use those memberships as tools when talking with a less than informed buyer. It is a good thing by all means, and you should look for that, but there are plenty of other things which must come along with it. A reputable breeder strives to produce beautiful dogs according to the standard of perfection for the breed, they also place equal importance in breeding dogs that have good temperaments, and are healthy.


A reputable breeder is constantly striving to produce better dogs with each generation, and their selection of dogs used for breeding is a result of years of study and a thorough knowledge of the breed. Because this type of breeder is trying to produce puppies that they can win with in the show ring, they are highly motivated to do the best breeding possible. Any puppy sold should be a pet first, a loved family member. However, not every puppy produced will meet the exceptionally high standards demanded of a top show dog. The puppies who for one reason or another are not destined for the conformation ring will then be offered for sale as companions to deserving homes.



For the full article, see Why Purchase A Bulldog Puppy From A Reputable Breeder? | Bulldogs World - The Oldest English Bulldog website

Last edited by Wylie's Mom; 03-27-2011 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:44 AM   #3
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The Official Breed Standard for the Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America (YTCA) is the Mother Club of the Yorkshire Terrier who writes and governs the breed standard of perfection. The AKC adopts the official breed standard from the YTCA.

As with all purebred dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club, there
is an approved Breed Standard for Yorkshire Terriers. This standard of
perfection is a written description of how the ideal Yorkshire Terrier should
look. All responsible breeders strive to produce dogs that conform to this
Breed Standard. Yorkshire Terriers with major deviations from that Standard
in appearance should not be bred.

General Appearance

That of a long-haired toy terrier whose blue and tan coat is parted on the face and from the base of the skull to the end of the tail and hangs evenly and quite straight down each side of body. The body is neat, compact and well proportioned. The dog's high head carriage and confident manner should give the appearance of vigor and self importance.

Head

Small and rather flat on top, the skull not too prominent or round, the muzzle not too long, with the bite neither undershot nor overshot and teeth sound. Either scissors bite or level bite is acceptable. The nose is black. Eyes are medium in size and not too prominent; dark in color and sparkling with a sharp, intelligent expression. Eye rims are dark. Ears are small, V-shaped, carried erect and set not too far apart.

Body

Well proportioned and very compact. The back is rather short, the back line level, with height at shoulder the same as at the rump.

Legs and Feet

Forelegs should be straight, elbows neither in nor out. Hind legs straight when viewed from behind, but stifles are moderately bent when viewed from the sides. Feet are round with black toenails. Dew claws, if any, are generally removed from the hind legs. Dew claws on the forelegs may be removed.

Tail

Docked to a medium length and carried slightly higher than the level of the back.

Coat

Quality, texture and quantity of coat are of prime importance. Hair is glossy, fine and silky in texture. Coat on the body is moderately long and perfectly straight (not wavy). It may be trimmed to floor length to give ease of movement and a neater appearance, if desired. The fall on the head is long, tied with one bow in center of head or parted in the middle and tied with two bows. Hair on muzzle is very long. Hair should be trimmed short on tips of ears and may be trimmed on feet to give them a neat appearance.

Colors

Puppies are born black and tan and are normally darker in body color, showing an intermingling of black hair in the tan until they are matured. Color of hair on body and richness of tan on head and legs are of prime importance in adult dogs, to which the following color requirements apply: BLUE: Is a dark steel blue, not a silver blue and not mingled with fawn, bronzy or black hairs. TAN: All tan hair is darker at the roots than in the middle, shading to still lighter tan at the tips. There should be no sooty or black hair intermingled with any of the tan.

Color on Body

The blue extends over the body from back of neck to root of tail. Hair on tail is a darker blue, especially at end of tail.

Head Fall

A rich golden tan, deeper in color at sides of head, at ear roots and on the muzzle, with ears a deep rich tan. Tan color should not extend down on back of neck.

Chest and Legs

A bright, rich tan, not extending above the elbow on the forelegs nor above the stifle on the hind legs.

Weight

Must not exceed seven pounds.

Disqualification

Any solid color or combination of colors other than blue and tan as described above. Any white markings other than a small white spot on the forechest that does not exceed 1 inch at its longest dimension.

Approved July 10, 2007
Effective Oct. 1, 2007

http://ytca.org/frame_index2.html

Information from the National Breed Club, YTCA:

Breeder Contact: Yorkshire Terrier Club of America About The Club
Code of Ethics / Code of Conduct: Yorkshire Terrier Club of America About The Club
History of the Yorkshire Terrer: History of the Yorkshire Terrier by Joan Gordon
Frequently Asked Questions: Yorkshire Terrier Club of America (Awards)

Last edited by Wylie's Mom; 03-27-2011 at 06:46 PM. Reason: Added Bolding
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:49 AM   #4
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Dog Breeders


There are a lot of terms for breeders that can be very confusing. For example: "Backyard Breeder" Usually that term is said with disgust. But why, you might be thinking, would anyone object to the home bred dog? Isn't it good to have dogs that are loved instead of bred like cattle? Isn't it good to raise puppies in a home instead of in cages? And you are right. Both of those things are good. But that isn't what being a "Backyard Breeder" means.

The term "backyard breeder" has nothing to do with backyards - it is just a shortcut name for a careless or clueless breeder. That would be someone without the knowledge or concern to breed for good health and permanent placement.

The typical backyard breeder loves their dog. They may love the idea of having puppies. They might think it would be cool to make back their purchase money. They don't see themselves as breeders, and they don't think they are doing it for the money. The problem with the backyard breeder isn't lack of caring, it is that lack of knowledge kills dogs.

Most"backyard breeders" have no idea that their dog can appear to be healthy, yet can pass on serious genetic disease. Most have never heard of sexually transmitted diseases in dogs. And most sincerely believe that they can find good homes, but they have no idea how to make that real enough to protect their dogs from dying in shelters. The problem with backyard breeders is that they add dogs to the population without taking any steps to help reduce the numbers with serious genetic disease, and failing to know how to protect their dogs from ending up in shelters. So their dogs die.

Then there is the so-called "professional breeder." This does not have a consistent meaning in the dog world. For some it means someone who uses a high level of knowledge and skill in breeding and placement. Those people use the term "professional" to indicate that high level of knowledge and skill. For others "professional breeder" is a dirty word because they use the term "professional" as a synonym for "income producing." And the problem with breeding dogs as a source of income is that the needs of the dogs will always be shortchanged in that situation. A person cannot do all the health testing, all the pedigree research, all the puppy buyer support and follow up, all the registrations and all the other steps - and still make a consistent profit.

The hobby breeder is a term used with reverence by some, and scorn by others. For those who like hobby breeders it is intended to reflect a breeder who breeds purely because they are driven by a love of the breed, and a love of dogs. Their commitment to learning is unbounded by financial sense, money is spent because it satisfies the drive for the sake of the activity itself rather than any sense of investment. For the users of the term in this sense the hobby breeder is the top choice, the one that breeds bases on dedication rather than income. Others see the term "hobby breeder" as reflecting a sense of frivolity. It leaves the impression of one who breeds for fun but without the necessary depth of commitment to knowledge and to the welfare of the dogs.

A "show breeder" is seen by some as the essence of what a breeder should be. That would be an individual committed to breeding "for the betterment of the breed." A show breeder is at least typically in an environment where knowledge is readily available. Yet others look upon the "show breeder" with a jaundiced eye. They feel that in too many cases the "show breeder" is more about their own ego, and less about the welfare of the dogs. There is sometimes a sense that the goals of the show breeder are too narrow e.g. looking for beauty but ignoring health or temperament. Often the show breeder is viewed as shallow in some senses, and overly focused on small things.

The commercial breeder is pretty clearly one who breeds dogs for income. While many reject that at least on an emotional basis there are some who feel the sheer volume provides the commercial breeder with a level of experience unattained by those engaged with fewer dogs. Certainly the commercial breeder wastes little time or effort on issues such as permanent placement. If the dog loses its home after it is sold the commercial breeder does not view that as something that they can or should take any responsibility for.

The puppy mill ... no one ever thinks they are a puppy mill. The general consensus is that a "puppy mill" is a place where the dogs are bred in large numbers, without attention to health, temperament or breed qualities. Generally people use the term to reference truly bad breeding conditions, abusive conditions. Nevertheless there are large numbers of people who use the term for any commercial breeder. That is, for some a "puppy mill" is any commercial production of dogs regardless of whether their environment is clean and spacious or cramped and dirty.

Then there is the term "reputable breeder". Sounds good - it is a breeder with a reputation. But a reputation for what? Is a reputation for breeding winning show dogs all we want from a breeder? Or do we want more?

Even the term "responsible breeder" is meaningless as a term by itself. Being "responsible" means different things to different people. But at least the terms "responsible breeder" and "careless breeder" suggest the user's view of the qualities of the breeder. This site exists to suggest some qualities that one might wish to see on a "responsible breeder." Loving a dog, and loving a breed, is reflected in what you do to benefit and protect the dog and the breed.

Dog Breeders
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:50 AM   #5
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TRAITS OF A BACKYARD BREEDER

(i.e. Red Flags to watch out for)

• Motive for breeding: "fun", "good for kids", "to make money". Does not screen buyers and seldom refuses to sell, even if buyer is unsuitable.

• Breeds the family pet to any convenient pet of the same breed just to have purebred pups. Has no understanding or concern with genetics, pedigree bloodlines, or breed improvement.

• Sells with Full Registration

• All pups are pet-quality

• Though the pets (sire/dam of pups) may be well loved, they were not tested for hip dysplasia or for other genetic problems.

• Offers no health guarantee beyond proof of shots, if that. Unqualified to give help if problems develop.

• Seller has little knowledge of breed history, the national breed club or of the AKC breed standard. May claim this does not matter for "just pets".

• Pups raised in makeshift accommodations, sometimes unsanitary, indicating lack of long-term investment in breeding and lack of true care for the puppies well-being.

• Even when selling "just pets", may produce AKC papers or "championship pedigrees" as proof of quality. Yet seller does not increase his own knowledge through participation in national, regional, or local breed clubs. Is not involved in showing their dogs to "prove" quality.

• May be unwilling to show a buyer the entire litter or to introduce the dam of the litter. Cannot or will not compare/critique pups or pup’s ancestors.

• Prices are at the low end of local range, since must move pups quickly. Advertises in the local newspaper classifieds.

• No concern for the future of individual pups or the breed as a whole. Does not use AKC’s limited registration option or ask for spay/neuter contract to guard against the breeding of sub-standard pups. If you cannot keep pup, tells you to take it to a dog pound or to sell it.

• Not "into" dogs (has "pets" around the house)

• Is not involved in the "dog world"

• Quality of dogs is almost always substandard, however, he does not test his dogs in shows or trials (Dogs are just pets or "breeding machines")

• Pedigrees mostly a list of pets bred by backyard breeders; pups may not even have "papers"; may be mongrels (Cockapoos, etc.)

• Honestly believes that because he places/sells all his pups, he does not contribute in any way to the needless slaughter of millions of dogs per year in shelters (Does not see his role in his pups making pups and them making more pups and so on)

• Not particularly educated about breed, often not aware of his own breed's genetic defects; does not consider mate's genetics

• Says "Goodbye" and "Good luck"

• Has no references

• Knows nothing about the other dogs on puppies' pedigrees

• Does not concern himself with the puppies' well-being or how puppies' health affects his breeding "plan"

• Breeds just to breed or make money or see his "great dog" procreate

• Breeds regularly if for money or if puppy mill; if for ego, breeds once in awhile, or "just once" before neutering or spaying

• Often repeats breedings, mainly those that are cheap and convenient.

• Dogs used for breeding rarely meet breed standard

• Breeds shy/aggressive dogs with poor temperaments

• Breeds dogs at almost any age, and any number of times

• Mate choice is that which is convenient, cheap, local (very often owns both sire and dam)

• Does no genetic testing; ignorantly breeds defective animals or those which are carriers, thus, perpetuating disease in breed

• Puppies are sold after birth in the local newspaper, first-come, first-served

• Puppies are sold with no guarantee

• No contracts; does not care what you do with puppies

• Says "Find them good homes". Does not Requires pups back if new homes don't work out

• Dogs on property may be aggressive or shy, and untrained

• Puppy mills are overloaded, "warehoused" dogs are not groomed or exercised, don't look healthy or happy

• Might have to "lock up" pups' aggressive or shy parents (dogs that should never have been bred)

• Raises puppies outdoors

• Dam and pups are alone for long hours

• Feeds cheap, grocery store dog food (containing 4D meat/chemicals)

• Has no understanding and takes no precautions to prevent puppy-killer disease

• Doesn't know leaving litter earlier can cause lifelong temperament problems or staying too long can hurt bonding with humans

• Does not understand or want to be troubled with any kind of training; just tries to keep puppies quiet and contained until sold

• Knows nothing about puppy-testing or matching puppies with buyers; allows buyers to pick the "cutest" one

• Says all pups are high quality

• Is not concerned about buyers being prepared for pups

• sells two pups at the same time and Would consider this killing two birds with one sale

• Sells first-come, first-served to whomever has the cash; does not find out which homes are substandard

• Is not concerned whether or not buyers can afford to properly care for pups

• Does not reject high-risk buyers: (renters, young people, those with poor track records, low income, other pets, dogs kept outdoors)

• Doesn't care if pups live as outdoor dogs or chained dogs, being unhappy or anxious being isolated and separated from "packs"

• Does not consider pups' best interests

• Encourages buyers to breed, regardless of quality

• Shows no concern for pups after sale; knows no trainers

• Does not provide even his own dogs with enough time, attention, exercise or training

Backyard Breeders Damage the Breed

Last edited by Wylie's Mom; 03-27-2011 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:53 AM   #6
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TRAITS OF A REPUTABLE BREEDER

(Things to look for)


• Dedication to producing quality dogs is serious avocation. Has so much invested in dogs that he struggles to break even, not make a profit. Will sell pups only to approved buyers.

• Can explain how planned breedings are used to emphasize or minimize specific qualities through linebreeding, outcrossing, or more rarely, inbreeding.

• Males can used for stud younger than 2 however, a breeder can not AKC register a litter from a stud younger that 7 months of age. For females minimum 18 months or second season

• Written contractual commitment to replace a dog with genetic faults or to help owner deal with problem.

• Loves the breed and can talk at length about its background, uses, and ideal type.

• Has an investment in dog equipment and the puppies environment is sanitary and loving.

• Belongs to national, regional, and/or local dog clubs, indicating a love for the sport of purebred dogs. Shows their dogs as an objective test of how his stock measures up.

• Shows litter and dam in a sanitary environment. Helps buyer evaluate and choose a pup. Explains criteria for "show prospects" versus "pet picks".

• Prices will be at the high end of local range. Price will not reflect all that is invested in the pups. A reputable breeder never profits from the sale of puppies. Does not advertise in the newspaper. Has an established waiting list for the pups.

• After purchase, will help you with grooming or training problems. Will take back a pup you cannot keep rather than see it disposed of inappropriately. Sells pets with spay/neuter agreement and on AKC limited registration.

• "Into" Dogs (shows, training, clubs, etc.)

•Belongs to dog clubs and organizations

• Proves quality of dogs and suitability for breeding by competing for titles and certificates in conformation, obedience, agility, field trialing, Schutzhund, herding, tracking, earthdog trials, etc.

• Pups' pedigrees are filled with dogs who have obtained show titles/working certificates; never breeds dogs without "papers"

• Supports rescue groups; knows his actions inevitably play some part in pet overpopulation and euthanasia (one of every four dogs in shelters is purebred). Even with all his efforts to stem over- population, he knows "cracks" will lead to canine deaths

• Knowledgeable in every facet of breed, including that of health issues/defects; researches genetics when choosing mates

• Knowledgeable about house breaking, training, socializing, breeding, health; constantly reads dog-related materials

• Can and will help and educate puppy buyers re these issues

• Willing to give you his references

• Knows his puppies' ancestry

• Follows up on puppies' well-being; collects health information affecting his dogs

• Breeds to improve his dogs, his bloodlines and the breed

• Rarely breeds as he does not use dog breeding as a business and strives for quality, not quantity

• Rarely repeats a breeding

• Breeds only dogs which meet breed standard

• Breeds only dogs with stable temperaments

• Breeds only dogs over 2 years old, and a limited number of times

• Does all genetic testing and will provide proof; does not breed animals with genetic defects or which are carriers of defects

• Puppies are sold from waiting list created before breeding even takes place

• Puppies are sold with health guarantees

• Puppies are sold with contracts

• Requires pups back if new homes don't work out

• Dogs on property are friendly, socialized, trained

• Does not own more dogs than he has room, time or money for; Dogs are groomed, exercised, healthy, happy

• Will show you pups' parents if available, or if not, will have pictures

• Raises puppies indoors

• Stays home to care for puppies

• Feeds only premium dog food

• Visitors remove shoes and wash hands to prevent spread of parvovirus

• Keeps pups with mom and litter a minimum of 12 weeks to ensure sibling socialization and important lessons from pups' mother

• Socializes pups by systematically handling them and exposing them to various noises, children and other animals before sending them to new homes

• Tests pups to match their temperaments and drives with buyers' personalities and lifestyles

• Can honestly evaluate pups' quality

• Never sells to "impulse" buyers

• Never sells two pups at the same time to a novice

• Interviews prospective buyers, checks home and references, refuses to sell to substandard homes

• Wants to meet whole family; won't sell if children are abusive

• Sells only to buyers with disposable income (AKC reports it costs $1327 per year to properly care for a dog)

• Waits for buyers who offer lifelong homes (Knows that only 30 percent of all dogs stay in one home throughout their lives)

• Understands dogs are "pack" animals; sells pets only to buyers wanting to make pup an indoor dog and part of the family

• Sells only to buyers who make pup's safety a priority

• Encourages or requires buyers to spay/neuter pet-quality pups

• Encourages buyers to train pups; refers to good trainer

• Makes sure buyers understand pup's considerable need for time, attention, exercise and training

Responsible Breeders Improve the Breed

Last edited by Wylie's Mom; 07-24-2013 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:56 AM   #7
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USE THIS GUIDE TO OBTAIN A QUALITY PUPPY FROM A RESPONSIBLE BREEDER
(Comparisons from past 2 posts)


And be aware that dogs are not "things." They are living creatures who, by no choice of their own, are totally dependent upon us - and are at our mercy - for their very survival, not to mention quality of life. As pack animals, their mental health is dependent upon being with their pack. That may be other animals, or it may be us. It is very cruel to leave a dog alone all day. Dogs need a lot of attention. They need regular, systematic aerobic exercise for at least 20-30 minutes, at least 3-4 times a week, just to be healthy. Few dogs get the exercise they need for good physical and mental health. Lack of exercise is the number one reason, (then lack of training), that dogs become mischievous and burdensome, and are then blamed, then dumped, and too often, killed. ("A tired dog is a good dog.") Having a yard is not sufficient. Dogs do not exercise themselves unless chasing something along the fence line, and that, in and of itself, is a problem. To make good pets, they need training. And most importantly, to be safe pets, they need early socialization. Lack of socialization the first 4-6 months of a dog's life creates shy dogs, which too-often become fear-biters, which, along with those who were simply born with poor temperaments, are responsible for the majority of the 4.7 million dog bites annually. (Sixty percent of victims are children; Half of all kids 12 and under have been bitten by a dog; Every day more than 900 people are hospitalized with dog bites; Every year 25 people are killed by dogs.)


If you can not be a responsible dog owner, please wait until you can be.


And please don't breed out of greed or ego or for any reason other than to improve the breed (i.e., to make the puppies better than their parents). Most purebred dogs, and of course, all mixed-breed dogs, should not be bred. The majority of dogs have some defect (in structure, temperament, health) that should not be perpetuated. Dogs used for breeding should be free of all defects - that's the definition of quality. ("Papers" mean nothing; They are simply, and nothing more than, birth certificates. Plenty of dogs have "papers," but are so poorly bred they actually look like mutts.) And no human should ever breed any dog without veterinary/laboratory testing and pedigree research to be sure that dog is free of (and not a carrier of) genetic defects. FAILURE TO TEST/SEARCH FOR INHERITABLE HEALTH PROBLEMS IS THE NUMBER ONE MARK OF A BACKYARD BREEDER. IT IS ALSO THE MOST DAMAGING TO CANINES, AND THE MOST HEARTBREAKING TO PUPPY-BUYERS, WHO END UP WITH YET ANOTHER GENERATION OF POOR-QUALITY DOGS WHO TOO OFTEN DEVELOP EXPENSIVE, EARLY HEALTH PROBLEMS AND OFTEN DIE PREMATURELY.


We have a severe pet-overpopulation crisis in the US; We slaughter thousands of beautiful, vital, healthy dogs every single day. (Twenty-five percent of shelter dogs are purebred.) Every puppy produced by a backyard breeder and placed in a home takes the place of one killed in a shelter because no one adopted it. And every puppy produced by a backyard breeder can make more puppies, and those puppies can make more puppies and so on. (And of course, backyard breeders, through their encouragement and the dispersal of misinformation, have a knack for turning uneducated buyers into yet more backyard breeders.) There just are not enough homes (not to mention "good" homes) available for all these puppies. No matter how hard one tries, only 30 percent of all dogs (and their pups and their pups and so on) live their entire lives in the home to which they went after weaning. Seventy percent will be given away or abandoned or dumped along the way for one reason or another. (Common excuses are, "We didn't have time for him," "He was too much trouble," "He kept jumping on us," "He bit my child," "We couldn't afford him," "We had to move." None of these were good homes to begin with. The buyers failed to socialize or train, or they lacked time, money or commitment. Again, there just are not enough "good" homes for all the puppies born.) Why not leave breeding dogs to those with the ability and desire and quality animals to do so at a "professional" level?


If everyone bred only dogs with excellent conformation, and stable, correct temperaments, working titles and clean health, we would have top-quality dogs in this country. Get your dog evaluated by judges and trainers. If he meets breed standard, and is healthy, and has the correct temperament and drives, show him, work him, and get him titled. If you feel you have what it takes to be a "professional" breeder, educate yourself, and with enough experience in dogs, maybe you, too, could make a positive contribution to your breed. But if your dog's only credentials are that it is a great pet, then love it, socialize it, train it, exercise it, give it the best in feed, comfort and veterinary care, but for its own good (including better health - ask your vet!), and for the sake of puppy-buyers, society, and all canines, get it spayed or neutered.


Resist the Greed; Don't Support Backyard Breeders, and Certainly Don't Become One.


Source of compiled information:
Victoria Rose Copyright © 1999, PO Box 4816, Auburn, CA 95604
Found at
Use this guide to obtain a quality puppy from a responsible breeder
And
Backyard Breeder vs Reputable Breeder
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:01 AM   #8
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What is a Puppy Mill?

The "Puppy Mill" often evokes horrific mental images of waste filled cages, dogs stacked like boxes at a warehouse, disease, and even death. But not all Puppy Mills are what we see in the media: some appear quite clean and even lovely. But puppy mills all have the same thing in common: the desire for PROFIT.

Profit is made in many ways

1) Lessening of expenses. The less money you expend to create something, the more profit you have upon sale. Millers resort to many cost cutting measures such as: low quality food, poor health care, no health screenings for hereditary problems, lack of medical care except what may be mandated by state law, not showing their dogs to prove that they are bettering the breed.

2) Increased production. The more product you create for sale and at the least cost. So, if you can produce more goods for sale at a lower cost, you have more profit. Millers breed as many dogs as possible. A female may be bred as soon as she comes into season and then every season after that until her litter size drops and she is no longer profitable (then she may go to auction or be destroyed) or bred until she dies. Death may occur die to old age, infection, cancer, illness, etc.

Just because a puppy mill does not look like what you see on the news, does not mean it is a good place. With the Internet, more and more millers are selling directly to the public as well as to brokers! When you search for a breeder, how do you know if you are getting a good one or not?

How can you tell a miller? Look for a few things:

1) Multiple breeds being bred and sold. Good breeders stick to one or two breeds.

2) Cutsie prefixes such as "Teacup."

3) They take credit card.

4) The website looks good but upon closer inspection is lacking vital information such as: titled dogs, health screenings, etc.

5) Puppies (those in the USA) are registered with registries other than the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, American Rare Breed Association, or the Fιdιration Cynologique International. Now note, millers can get around the rules and due to fair trade laws, the AKC and UKC cannot deny registering a puppy. But if you see registrations like Continental Kennel Club, America's Pet Registry, Universal Kennel Club, Inc., etc., be suspicious. American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club registered does not equal great or healthy, but these registries are taking steps to make it less profitable for millers to register puppies. Therefore, many registries catering to millers and unethical breeders are cropping up. Be an educated buyer!

6) They breed more than a few litters a year, breed females every heat cycle, start breeding before the age of 18 - 24 months, etc.

7) Create "rare breeds" by crossing dogs and giving the offspring a funky name like "Dalimer."


OK, upon first inspection, you do not see anything that raises concerns on the website or wen you call (thanks to the Internet, millers are not only selling to brokers but also directly to the public). Now what?


Time to start asking questions. This is taken from West Wind Dog Training...

"Sadly, not all people professing to be reputable and responsible breeders are. A good breeder will all but interrogate you. You should also have the chance to question the breeder. If you are not sure or uneasy with an answer, do not hesitate to ask for an explanation. If at any time you get an uneasy feeling or just are not satisfied, look elsewhere. A few things to ask about are:

1. What is the asking price of the puppies? Some breeders will ask the same for pet quality and show potential puppies. Compare prices with other breeders of the same breed and if the price is considerably higher or lower do not hesitate to ask why. Do not hesitate to ask why if there is a big difference in pet and show pups. Unless there is a visible disqualification or the puppy visibly will not be showing potential, the younger the pup the harder it is to determine show quality. A person who really knows the breed can have a good idea what pups have show POTENTIAL and what may not. Much happens while the puppy grows and that eight week show prospect may not be show potential at 9 months! And avoid ANY breeder who charges different for males or females or who charges extra if you want a pedigree or registration. It is not that expensive to register a litter so the potential owners can individually register puppies. (Many kennel clubs like the AKC require all litters to be registered by the breeder. Then papers are sent out that are given to buyers of puppies so the owner can register them in their name).

2. What health tests have been done on BOTH parents of the litter? Any breed should have hips (OFA or Penn Hip) eyes (CERF) and ideally thyroid. Then is up to you as potential buyer to know what other tests the breed you are looking at should have. The breeder should be able to show documentation of all tests. Do not blindly accept their word – some dishonest breeders will lie and say all tests have been done. And if the breeder says there is nothing in the line so testing is not important, avoid this person as well. Some health problems are polygenetic (more than one set of genes involved – not a simple dominant/recessive). Some health problems take years to show fully or may be there but not showing outwardly. For example, some dysplastic dogs never show signs of having it and it is only diagnosed upon testing.

3. What temperament testing and socialization has been done? Granted, young puppies should not leave the property due to a growing immune system; however, the breeder should expose the puppies to as many things as possible like vacuum cleaners, children, house sounds, etc. The older the puppy, the more experiences it should have. Has the breeder temperament tested and what method was used? A good breeder will help match the right personality to you. If you are a quiet family and the breeder pushes a dominant pup on you, leave. On the other hand, if you like the look of one puppy and the breeder, after interviewing you, decides it is not the right match, respect that.

4. What goals does the breeder have with the breeding program and how does the breeder go about to achieve this? If the breeder breeds just to produce more dogs, for pets only or anything that does not go towards the bettering of the breeder's lines and the breed as a whole, go elsewhere. And if the breeder breeds for working ability first, you could end up with a handful! Look for one who breeds for companionship as well as type and working ability – unless you are looking exclusively for a working dog.

5. What does the breeder feel are the strengths and weaknesses in the breed and the breeder's program? The breeder should be open with you about the program and where they hope to go with it. Avoid the breeder who insists there are no better dogs around then his.

6. Can you see the pedigrees of both sire and dam? Can you see at least the dam? The sire may not be on site but the dam should be. If not, you could be dealing with a broker (one who sells dogs not bred by that person).

7. What type of contract does the breeder have for pet or show puppies (it should include a spay/neuter agreement and health guarantee)? Do not get pressured into becoming contracted to show or breed your dog – even if you do plan to show and possibly get into breeding someday. Everything should be spelled out in the contract. And be wary of a breeder sells you a young puppy that is "definitely show quality." So much happens during growth and development – the younger the puppy; the harder it is to tell show quality. A breeder who really knows the breed can tell if a young pup has POTENTIAL but should not be guaranteeing the dog will be a show dog. Another red flag is the breeder who has no written contract at all. All puppies whether pet or show potential should be sold with a written contract.

8. What does the breeder feed the puppies? You want to try and keep the puppies on the same brand of food. If the breeder uses something you do not, gradually wean the puppy to your preferred brand. If the puppies have no boosters prior to leaving the dam, look elsewhere.

9. What inoculations have been given? Eight-week-old puppies should have had their first set of inoculations and you should be given documentation of this. If not, go elsewhere.

10. Can you get references of previous puppy buyers? If the breeder will not give them, go elsewhere.

11. Can you have your own vet examine the puppy before you fully commit? You may be asked to put down a deposit but you should have the option of having your vet examine the puppy with in a couple days after purchase (always a good idea to have this done and the breeder may require it).

12. Are you active in any breed clubs (all breed or ideally breed specialty)? Many clubs have a breeder code of ethics that they want their members to adhere to. Just being AKC registered is not a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. It just means the puppy was from registered parents and the breeder has taken the steps to begin the registration process for the puppies. Even pet stores can sell AKC registered pups if the miller registers the dogs. The AKC cannot police everyone professing to be a good breeder so again, being an educated consumer is very important."

And of course, ANY puppy from a pet store comes originally from a mill or at least an unethical breeder. NO ethical breeder will EVER sell puppies through a pet store, auction, or place puppies they cannot find homes for in a shelter or rescue.

Source: What is a Puppy Mill?

Last edited by Wylie's Mom; 03-26-2011 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:43 AM   #9
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What is a Broker?


A broker is the "middle man." They are the ones who buy a puppy from a miller and sell the pup to the pet store, another broker, or directly to the public. A broker will buy a puppy for say $120 from a miller (why millers breed so many puppies - they get little from the pup). Then the broker will sell the pup to a pet shop for a profit. Then the pet shop will sell the puppy to the public for even more. Say a pet shop sells a Shetland Sheepdog pup for $800.00. The miller gets $120 from the broker for every Sheltie sold. In order to make $800.00, the miller has to sell to the broker 7 - 8 Sheltie pups.

Brokers may frequent Auctions to find puppies to sell as well as breeding stock to sell back to millers.

How can you tell a broker? Well, look for puppies being sold that were not bred by them. This is the first cue. However, some good breeders will work in conjunction with other breeders and may take puppies as stud fee and if the pup does not grow out as hoped, it will be sold as a pet. But brokers regularly sell puppies they do not breed.
Use the same questions and guide you would use for helping determine if a breeder is a miller or not


source:
What is a Broker?

Last edited by Wylie's Mom; 03-26-2011 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:45 AM   #10
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What is a Backyard Breeder?


So, why are back yard breeders a problem? Well, they just breed dogs for the sake of it. They may have a sweet pet they want to try and reproduce or they think that their dogs are quality because they have papers and/or are registered with some registry. They think maybe they can make a few dollars selling pups, etc. They just put out dogs without real consideration for the future of not only the breed but the puppies produced.

Often, BYBs breed dogs with faults. This perpetuates fault and problems in the breed. They do nothing to prove their dogs are of sound temperament and that they are breeding good representatives of the breed, etc. They just breed. And often, they do not even breed purebreds. Some BYBs "create" neat sounding things and think they are breeds - like Dalimers. This was seen listed in the Washington Post as a rare, German breed. Well, they are mutts - crosses of Dalmatians and Weimeraners, nothing more than a back yarder trying to make a buck

But many people who show and breed dogs do so from their homes? How do you know is a breeder is good or not? Through EDUCATION and ASKING questions. These questions will help you out:

"Sadly, not all people professing to be reputable and responsible breeders are. A good breeder will all but interrogate you. You should also have the chance to question the breeder. If you are not sure or uneasy with an answer, do not hesitate to ask for an explanation. If at any time you get an uneasy feeling or just are not satisfied, look elsewhere. A few things to ask about are:

1. What is the asking price of the puppies? Some breeders will ask the same for pet quality and show potential puppies. Compare prices with other breeders of the same breed and if the price is considerably higher or lower do not hesitate to ask why. Do not hesitate to ask why if there is a big difference in pet and show pups. Unless there is a visible disqualification or the puppy visibly will not be showing potential, the younger the pup the harder it is to determine show quality. A person who really knows the breed can have a good idea what pups have show POTENTIAL and what may not. Much happens while the puppy grows and that eight week show prospect may not be show potential at 9 months! And avoid ANY breeder who charges different for males or females or who charges extra if you want a pedigree or registration. It is not that expensive to register a litter so the potential owners can individually register puppies. (Many kennel clubs like the AKC require all litters to be registered by the breeder. Then papers are sent out that are given to buyers of puppies so the owner can register them in their name).

2. What health tests have been done on BOTH parents of the litter? Any dog should have hips (OFA or PennHip), eyes (CERF) and ideally thyroid prior to breeding. Then is up to you as potential buyer to know what other tests the breed you are looking at should have. Even crossbred puppies are prone to hereditary health issues and parents should be tested prior to breeding for anything common within the two breeds crossed. Though a reputable breeder will NOT cross as the predicability in outcome is less and there are too many negligent litters of crossbred pups from unaltered pets. The breeder should be able to show documentation of all tests and do not hesitate to verify the results. Do not blindly accept their word – some dishonest breeders will lie and say all tests have been done. And if the breeder says there is nothing in the line so testing is not important, avoid this person as well. Some health problems are polygenetic (more than one set of genes involved – not a simple dominant/recessive). Some health problems take years to show fully or may be there but not showing outwardly. For example, some dysplastic dogs never show signs of having it and it is only diagnosed upon testing.

3. What temperament testing and socialization has been done? Granted, young puppies should not leave the property due to a growing immune system; however, the breeder should expose the puppies to as many things as possible like vacuum cleaners, children, house sounds, etc. The older the puppy, the more experiences it should have. Has the breeder temperament tested and what method was used? A good breeder will help match the right personality to you. If you are a quiet family and the breeder pushes a dominant pup on you, leave. On the other hand, if you like the look of one puppy and the breeder, after interviewing you, decides it is not the right match, respect that.

4. What goals does the breeder have with the breeding program and how does the breeder go about to achieve this? If the breeder breeds just to produce more dogs, for pets only or anything that does not go towards the bettering of the breeder's lines and the breed as a whole, go elsewhere. And if the breeder breeds for working ability first, you could end up with a handful! Look for one who breeds for companionship as well as type and working ability – unless you are looking exclusively for a working dog.

5. What does the breeder feel are the strengths and weaknesses in the breed and the breeder's program? The breeder should be open with you about the program and where they hope to go with it. Avoid the breeder who insists there are no better dogs around then his.

6. Can you see the pedigrees of both sire and dam? Can you see at least the dam on premises? The sire may not be on site but the dam should be. If not, you could be dealing with a broker (one who sells dogs not bred by that person).

7. What type of contract does the breeder have for pet or show puppies (it should include a spay/neuter agreement and health guarantee)? Do not get pressured into becoming contracted to show or breed your dog – even if you do plan to show and possibly get into breeding someday. Everything should be spelled out in the contract. And be wary of a breeder sells you a young puppy that is "definitely show quality." So much happens during growth and development – the younger the puppy; the harder it is to tell show quality. A breeder who really knows the breed can tell if a young pup has POTENTIAL but should not be guaranteeing the dog will be a show dog. Another red flag is the breeder who has no written contract at all. All puppies whether pet or show potential should be sold with a written contract.

8. What does the breeder feed the puppies? You want to try and keep the puppies on the same brand of food. If the breeder uses something you do not, gradually wean the puppy to your preferred brand.

9. What inoculations have been given? Eight-week-old puppies should have had their first set of inoculations and you should be given documentation of this. If not, go elsewhere. If the puppies have no boosters prior to leaving the dam, look elsewhere.

10. Can you get references of previous puppy buyers? If the breeder will not give them, go elsewhere.

11. Can you have your own vet examine the puppy before you fully commit? You may be asked to put down a deposit but you should have the option of having your vet examine the puppy with in a couple days after purchase (always a good idea to have this done and the breeder may require it).

12. Are you active in any breed clubs (all breed or ideally breed specialty)? Many clubs have a breeder code of ethics that they want their members to adhere to. Just being AKC registered is not a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. It just means the puppy was from registered parents and the breeder has taken the steps to begin the registration process for the puppies. Even pet stores can sell AKC registered pups if the miller registers the dogs. The AKC cannot police everyone professing to be a breeder so again, being and educated consumer is very important.

Use your gut instinct and do not get suckered by cute faces or sob stories. Remember, this pup will be yours for the next ten years or much longer depending on breed. You should get the best possible puppy possible from the most responsible source you can find should you go the breeder route.

Many of these questions can be adapted to ask at a rescue as well. Do not hesitate to ask what is know about the background of the puppies (or adult dog), what medical care they have had and has the staff noticed anything about their temperaments that could be of concern? Ask about the adoption agreement and have it gone through carefully with you."


A good breeder takes a LIFETIME interest in ALL dogs produced. They want to know how your dog does in it's new home, love getting calls and cards from you and are always there to advise you of a problem comes up. If a medical condition crops up, they want to know so if it is potentially hereditary, they can alter the program and try to stop the problem in future generations. A good breeder is a mentor and best friend to all buyers and dogs they produced. And a good breeder will sell with a spay/neuter contract or alter the puppy or dog before placement!




Source: What is a Backyard Breeder?

Last edited by Wylie's Mom; 03-26-2011 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:48 AM   #11
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What is in a website?
Karen Peak



The internet has made it very easy for potential dog owners to learn about different breeds and find breeders. Sadly, it has also made it easier for those with less than honorable breeding practices to have an outlet for their puppies. It is easy to be caught up by pictures of adorable puppies and wonderful sounding phrases. For those who opt not to adopt, it may be difficult to determine the quality of the breeder when gazing at those daring faces. Before you hit that email button or grab your phone, stop and look deeper.

When perusing at a breeder's website, there are a few things to look for to help you determine if this is a breeder truly working for the betterment of the breed or just trying to sell puppies. Here is a bunch of red flags to look for:

Mini/Toy/Teenies/Teacups/Precious Baby dolls – Know your breeds before you start looking at websites or calling breeders. For example, some breeds have Mini and Toy varieties; many do not. There is a Miniature Poodle and a Miniature Schnauzer. There is no mini Sheltie. Shelties should be between 13 and 16 inches at the withers. A 13-inch Sheltie is actually quite small when placed next to a 16-inch dog. No good breeder will intentionally breed undersized dogs. Even in breeds in the "Toy" group, there is no such thing as a teacup. In actuality, "teacups" may be more prone to medical issues. Do a search on the health issues associated with "teacups," it should be more than enough to dissuade you. These dogs are bred to do nothing but appeal to those following in the steps of some ding-a-ling public figure or people who think they need something to shove into a purse.

Giant/Enormous/Oversized/Monster – Just as no ethical breeder will intentionally breed undersized dogs, no breeder will intentionally breed dogs oversized. Sadly, many phrases used to describe oversized dogs are used in breeds such as American Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, etc. Again, know the breed standard. The UKC standard for an American Pit Bull Terrier is males between 35 and 60lbs with weight in proportion to height. Rottweiler males are between 24 to 27 inches at the shoulder and males average about 95 to 135 lbs (in proportion to height and build). These dogs are often being bred just to make money and appeal to the macho/tough image of some people just as teacups are often bred to appeal to those who want a living toy.

Rare Colors/Rare Coats – A breeder intentionally breeding undesired traits is not breeding ethically. Yes, sometimes breeders will get something not in standard; it just happens, no matter how well a breeder plans, genetics are genetics recessive genes can crop up. Fuzzy Mastiffs, black and tan Labradors, dilute Shelties, white Dobermans, etc. can all crop up from time to time. However, a good breeder will not treat them as something rare and special nor will they ask a significantly more amount of money for one. If you see catchwords such as "rare" raise that red flag.

All dogs are heath certified – If you see just this and nothing else, this should be a red flag. A breeder should state what tests have been done and the results for any dog they are breeding be it a male or female. It is up to you to know what tests should be done in the breed at minimum and what tests can be done. For example, if on a Sheltie site you see "genetically cleared for epilepsy" this is a breeder to avoid. As of now, there is no genetic test for this issue. Work is being done on one, but for now, there is no genetic test. A breeder should also be able to show you records of what tests were done and when. Some screenings, like eyes, should be done annually. One of the first things to look for is a list of tests done on the dogs. Never trust a breeder who states they do not health test, as the dogs are healthy or has no known issues. All dogs, even crosses, can inherit health issues. At bare minimum, breeders need to be checking hips, eyes and thyroid. It is vital that regardless of the breed you are looking at that you research the health issues and what can be DNA tested for or at least screened. Look for sites where breeders list what tests were done. Just shots and worming breeding dogs is not enough!

We breed only for loving pets – A good breeder breeds for the betterment of the breed. Along with breeding to the standard and for health and temperament, they will also be proving their dogs deserve to have their genetics passed on. Since competition in many sports is costly and time consuming, not all breeders are involved in all sports; HOWEVER, they should still be producing puppies that CAN go into other events. In every litter there will be puppies not to the standard and these will be sold as pets or performance only dogs. Someone breeding solely for pets is not proving that they are trying to improve a breed. In fact, these breeders are doing damage to breeds in the end to a greater degree than the "show" breeders are. If a breeder is only breeding for pets, this does not absolve them of needing to do health tests and screenings.

We always have cute puppies for you – You cannot always tell a good breeder by how many litters they produce a year. A good breeder breeds first for their needs and the puppies they do not keep or place in other show/performance homes go to carefully chosen pet homes. For some breeders, this may be a litter every two or three years, for others, they may breed several or litters a year. However, if a breeder always has young puppies available, then this is a red flag. Even some breeders who show and test their dogs may breed quantity trying to get quality. Use your gut here.

What breed do you need? We probably have it or can get it – Most good breeders limit themselves to a breed or two, or three. The more breeds bred the harder it is to maintain quality. Some breeders who are also handlers may have quite a few different breeds on the premises but themselves are only actively breeding their own dogs. If you see a site with lots of different breeds, this should be a red flag. This person is probably also a broker. A broker is the intermediary. They either purchase pups for resale to private homes or stores.

Our dogs are the best – A good breeder knows that there will always be dogs of superior and lesser quality. No breeder has the best dogs out there.

All puppies guaranteed – Sounds great but how long is the guarantee good? Many health issues can take years to show up so a guarantee of a few days or weeks or even a year is insufficient. A puppy can contract Parvo Virus before leaving the breeder and not show symptoms until he has been in the house for up to a couple weeks. The incubation period is about 4 – 14 days. Other things such as epilepsy may take three to four years to show up. Good breeders will have well written, guarantees for many years, even for life, and be very specific about what the parents have been tested for and what they will do should the offspring inherit an issue. Included in the guarantee/contract should be what will happen to the dog if for some reason, even ten years down the road, you must give the dog up.

Oodles of Doodles and Uggles - There are many people breeding what are called designer dogs. This is a crossbred dog (most often poodle and something else) being sold as if it were something rare and special. In reality, these are crossbred dogs. A few of the designer dogs being sold are Labrador/Poodle, Golden/Poodle, Shih Tzu/Poodle, Chihuahua/Poodle, Pug/Beagle, Bichon/Poodle, etc. There are many misconceptions regarding crossbred dogs such as they are naturally healthier. A crossbred can inherit many health issues. These designer dogs are nothing special or rare; it is a crossbred intentionally bred for the pet/money making trade. Do not be fooled into thinking such. Why spend sometimes thousands of dollars for a crossbred when you can go to a rescue? How can you tell if a pup is a legitimate breed or not? If you are in the US, check the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, American Rare Breed Association, Canadian Kennel Club and Fιdιration Cynologique Internationale (FCI) websites. These entities will have the majority of recognized breeds worldwide listed amongst them.

"Cutesy" pictures/Costumed puppy pictures – On far too many sites you can see pictures of puppies barely five weeks old wearing hats, sitting in flower baskets, dressed in bows, etc. These pictures are to do nothing but try to get the viewer to impulse buy. Think of window dressings in department stores or end cap displays at your grocery. They are designed to help increase impulse buys.

We cater to the stars – The stars go for the newest fad or set that newest fad, often without proper research. They impulse buy, have a huge staff to care for their crew and when the fun wears off, the dog is swapped out for a new one. Catering to the stars is nothing to about. How many stars get their pups from pet shops? Quite a few when you start checking around.

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Old 03-26-2011, 08:49 AM   #12
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You found the breeder through a puppy sale/auction site – This may or may not be a red flag. There are people that troll the internet for breeder sites and link them without asking permission. There are sites that contact breeders after a link has been put up and then are slow in taking it down when requested (provided the breeder does not delete the email as spam). However, some breeders intentionally seek out these sites as ways to unload animals. You have to add up various factors. The breeder may not even know someone unethical has added his or her website.

No indication of what the breeder is doing with their dogs – Does the breeder have lists of titles their dogs have won? Remember, a good breeder is trying to better their dogs and the breed as a whole. You cannot do that without being able to prove your dogs are able to perform/work/show successfully. It is not hard to search to find out if a dog has actually won titles either. If in doubt a small internet search for the dog's registered name can help.

Registered exclusively with XYZ – In the United States, you want to look for dogs registered with the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club or American Rare Breed Association. Though no registry is perfect and even the lowest breeder can register if they make the minimum requirements, there have been a glut of less than ethical registries cropping up to cater to those who do not want to meet the requirements, who have lost privileges with other registries, puppy millers, etc. Make certain if you see just letters, that you verify the registry. Some less than ethical ones have used names with the same initials as other registries. Is that A in AKC for American or is it Arthur's Kennel Club?

It is easy to be blinded by flashy sites, claims, cute faces, etc. The internet has made it very easy for unscrupulous breeders to lure the unsuspecting buyer in. If you choose the breeder route over rescue, do all you can to ensure the breeder you choose is not in it for just the money.

Please remember; always consider the rescue option when looking for a companion. With too many owners willing to give up a dog as opposed to working through issues, there will always be dogs in need of new homes.



Source: What is in a website?
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:00 AM   #13
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Does “AKC” mean a quality dog?

A lot of puppy ads proudly proclaim that their puppies are "AKC" puppies. The initials "AKC" stand for American Kennel Club. The AKC is the leading breed registry in the United States of America. The assumption, often by both the seller and the buyer is that if the puppy is an "AKC" puppy it must be of high quality and healthy. It would be a wrong assumption, as the AKC explains on their web site at American Kennel Club - About Registration

A "purebred dog" is a dog that comes from parents of the same breed - that is all. In the USA if the sire is a German Shepherd registered with AKC and the dam is a German Shepherd registered with AKC then the puppies can be registered with the AKC. It has to do with lineage, not quality, not fitness, not health - just the pedigree, the ancestry, the parentage of the dog. If both parents are AKC registered and are of the same breed then the puppies are also eligible for registration. They can be high quality healthy puppies, or genetic nightmares - it doesn't matter just so long as the parents are registered and of the same breed. At least one state, California, requires breeders to disclose this to buyers. CALIFORNIA CODES HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTION 122300-122315

Well, why can't the AKC guarantee quality?

The AKC is not a governmental agency. It has control over its registration policies, but that control has been limited by legal challenges. Do I think there ought to be more requirements before a dog is eligible for "papers"? Yes, absolutely. Do I think it will ever happen? Nope, not in my lifetime. Too much politics, plus greed, plus the American dislike/distrust of government control, plus too much variation in opinion as to what is "doing right" by dogs all equals bloody unlikely.

Some breed clubs have been able to achieve some improvements, with varying success depending upon the breed club. The differences are most notable among breeds that are not AKC recognized, but even there politics and disagreement significantly interferes with achieving the goals. So we are left with education about the system we have, and how to use it to best effect.

If the label AKC doesn't mean quality, then why bother?

A breed registry, such as AKC, provides a centralized location for maintaining records on pedigrees. A pedigree is the ancestry of a dog. For many dogs the pedigree is unknown. That makes it more difficult to predict the various qualities in that dog. Keeping good records of a dog's pedigree allows better understanding and tracking of both good and bad qualities that appear in dogs. In some cases the appearance of a genetic defect can be traced to a single dog. Often genetic defects do not appear until after the dog has matured and been bred. The ability to trace pedigrees with some accuracy allows a better basis for breeding decisions.

OK, So then what do I look for to get a quality dog?

Dog shows and performance events are the primary means of evaluating the qualities of the dog. Success at these shows is not a requirement before breeding, and it is not a requirement to make the puppies eligible for registration.

Conformation shows evaluate movement, size, coat, color, dentition etc. Conformation shows do not necessarily evaluate health, although there are plenty of health problems that will result in being ineligible for the show ring. Understanding what conformation shows can, and cannot, evaluate is important. They evaluate far more than their detractors presume, and they evaluate less than their proponents often believe.

Performance events help evaluate the abilities of the dog - depending upon the kind of event - its ability to use its nose to track a scent, to jump, to climb, to turn quickly, to swim, to run for long periods, to accept and respond to instruction, and more. Performance events likewise do not directly test for health, although again there are plenty of health problems that will either make the dog ineligible or will seriously interfere with performance.

Success in both the conformation ring and in performance events tends to reflect upon both good health and good temperament because both these qualities enhance success in those cases. Nevertheless neither health nor temperament can be presumed by success in competition. Participation in competition is merely one piece of evidence that dogs being bred are being bred with care and attention to health, temperament, and conformity with the expectations of a person looking for that particular breed.

It is critically important that people be able to select breeds that match their expectations. A person who is unwilling or unable to provide a Border Collie what it needs may nevertheless be a excellent companion to a Basenji. It is, therefore, important the qualities of the dog be predictable. A breeder who is involved in competition is more likely to know what are the expected qualities for the breed. And the competition itself helps both the breeder and the buyer evaluate those qualities on a less emotional basis.

Well they are from "Champion Bloodlines". That's pretty good, isn't it?

Not really. When someone uses the term "champion bloodlines" it normally means that the sire and dam of the puppies has never been shown at all. If the sire and dam had been successful in either the performance or conformation arena don't you think the breeder would be happy to mention it? Should this make a difference to you? Is there any reason you should care if the sire and dam were successful in competition? See above. Success in competition helps you evaluate the health and temperament of the puppies, but is no guarantee. The main advantage of looking to success in competition is that the qualities are evaluated by a more neutral party than the breeder. If there is no objective evaluation you will have to come up with another way of evaluating qualities that are important to you.

Someone who uses the term "champion bloodlines" is suggesting that you should be pleased about it. A knowledgeable breeder would know that it isn't very meaningful and would explain how they have evaluated the sire and dam in the absence of competition. Usually they will also explain why they have not been competing.

The "champion bloodlines" might be of some help in evaluating the puppies if most of the recent generations have such evidence of success. The thing to know is that nearly all litters have at least some puppies that make wonderful pets but can't be successful in competition. If you are looking for a pet what you want to know is if it makes a difference to the health, and temperament of your dog, or any other qualities that might be important to you. Some parts of the breed standard don't affect the health of the dog, others might. It isn't always obvious which is which. So if the breeder doesn't know this information and you want one of their puppies it will be up to you to know what is important and what is not.

Is there anything else?

Well yes, there are other things to think about. For example, as noted above soundness of temperament and health can't be determined by AKC registration nor success in competition. You, as the buyer, must become familiar enough with the breed to know what genetic health problems may occur, and what the breeder should be doing to try to avoid them. You may also wish to consider ethical issues, such as whether the breeder is taking steps to avoid contributing to the numbers of dogs killed every year because the owners are unable or unwilling to provide what the dog needs to remain a member of the family. For more information see the Breeder's Ethics page, Registries offer more than just papers and the AKC Responsible Breeder, Getting Started Series. Also this excellent article on Kennel Blindness.



Source:
Getting a Dog Tips - Does "AKC" mean a quality dog?

Last edited by Wylie's Mom; 03-26-2011 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:03 AM   #14
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NOVICES INTERVIEWING BREEDERS
by Jill Swedlow



(First published in Great Dane Reporter Magazine)
Much has been written about the relationship between breeders and those who purchase their puppies. However, precious little has appeared that assists the puppy buyer in knowing when he’s found the right breeder. I’d hate to tell you how many times I’ve been approached by newcomers to our breed who have sad stories to tell. People who have purchased puppies from breeders whom they thought could be trusted and ended up with a puppy with serious health or temperament problems. Now these things can and do occur in the best of breedings. But the main complaint is that the breeder who was so helpful before they purchased the puppy, has either become unavailable or is blaming the owner for the problem now that the check has cleared!

So, for all of the novice people, hoping to buy a healthy puppy with a great temperament from a breeder who will guarantee their puppy and be there as a mentor, here are some of the things you must know and questions you must ask.

First of all, just because a breeder owns, breeds and heavily advertises winning dogs, don’t assume that these are necessarily good dogs. Don’t assume that these peoples dogs must have the best quality, health and temperament. On the other hand, don’t assume that they don’t either. The key will be in the questions you ask and the observations you make.
When you first meet a breeder as a prospective puppy buyer, you should expect the breeder to question you heavily about such matters as how you plan to house the puppy, if you have a fenced yard, if you can afford a bloat surgery etcetera. If he doesn’t, look elsewhere. But in turn, you are not out of line to question the breeder.

1. The first thing I’d want to know about is what, if any, health screening tests have been performed on the parents of the litter. If you are told, ‘Oh, I don’t need to health check, my dogs don’t have any problems’, RUN don’t walk to the nearest exit. I know this sounds ludicrous but trust me when I tell you that there are still a LOT of very well-known breeders out there who don’t even bother to do a hip x-ray on their breeding stock because they don’t have any problems! They use all kinds of excuses such as ‘I’d know by the movement if my dog had hip dysplasia’. This is simply not so! I’ve known 3 dogs personally who all were well known for their superior movement but could not pass their OFA evaluation. If you don’t x-ray, you don’t know, period! And what about the films that get sent to OFA and come back dysplastic the first time and normal the second? What about it? It happens. Mistakes can be made in all phases of endeavor. But hip x-ray is still the best defense we have and whether or not the films are actually sent to OFA, there should at least be a note verifying the evaluation by a board certified radiologist.

By now you’ve probably figured out that I consider hip evaluation a mandatory test to be done prior to breeding. If a breeder doesn’t do this, go far away. The other test I feel is mandatory is thyroid testing. Besides certifying hips, OFA now certifies thyroid and has a protocol in place for doing this procedure. At the very least a screening thyroid should be done. Thyroid is a difficult function to test for and results should be sent to the labs that are properly set up for this. I believe that OFA has only a couple labs from which they’ll accept results.

It is important to test for thyroid function because not only is it too often found abnormal in Great Danes, the hormones from this organ control all of the endocrine system, thus affecting everything from skin condition to reproduction to autoimmune problems.

At a minimum, a breeder should test for normal hips and thyroid. But there are other problems that are beginning to affect our breed too. von Willibrands disease (vWD) is a blood disorder that greatly increases clotting time. Doberman Pinchers have a lot of it. It has also been diagnosed in Great Danes. It’s a simple blood test and easy to screen. Many breeders are also testing for elbow dysplasia, cardiac soundness and juvenile cataracts. I personally test for all except for elbow dysplasia. (Guess I need to find out if you can ‘see’ it if they have it, huh?) Occasionally a Dane will be diagnosed with juvenile cataracts. Although in many breeds this is a serious health problem, often causing blindness, the question in Danes remains, ‘do they live long enough to ever be bothered by it even if they have cataracts?’ In any case, because it does occur in Danes, the only way we’ll control it is to screen for it. Forewarned is forearmed (to be trite).

Although cardiomyopathy is a problem in the breed, it’s a difficult condition to evaluate. Obviously if they are actually suffering from it, the test will show it. However, when I had one of my bitches checked, I was told that although she was healthy at the moment, she could show cardiomyopathy when tested in 6 more months! What I find really odd is that OFA will certify the heart with a one time test! Oh, well, we do the best we can I suppose.
So assuming that the breeder has at least done hip and thyroid screening, the next question is to ask for documentation. Anyone can say that their dogs have been screened. I know this probably really sounds harsh, but if a breeder is honest, they should have no problem with showing you the documents. If they hem and haw, beware.

And this brings us to a really touchy question. They say they do the screening, they show you the documentation, can they prove that this documentation does, indeed reflect the results for that particular dog? In other words, does the dog have any kind of permanent identification? I must admit that I have only one dog that could fill all the above criteria. Until recently, it never occurred to me that someone might test a healthy ringer to substitute for the dog that had previously failed the testing. In talking to the veterinarians who have done these screening tests, I’ve asked them how they verify that this is the actual dog it is purported to be. They’ve all told me that there is no way they can unless the dog is identified with either a tattoo or a microchip. Due to a personal experience with this kind of fakery, I plan to microchip and tattoo every future puppy I produce at cropping time. Every test I’ve performed on Skylark shows here microchip number on the documentation. I make the vets check her chip before the test.
Hopefully the day will soon come when the AKC will require permanent identification PRIOR to registration. This will keep a whole lot of people a whole lot more honest! I’m certainly not trying to imply that those who fake test results are in the majority. Far from it, but it does happen and it’s important to know this.

This brings us up to temperament. Basically our breed truly deserves its nick name of ‘gentle giant’. Breeders have wrought miracles in temperament improvement from the first Danes imported from Germany into our country. Back then the breed was so vicious that they were banned from dog shows. But unfortunately the incidents of Danes biting children, their owners or handlers seem to be increasing. There are top show specimens with terrible temperaments continue to be bred. These are often dogs produced and used at stud by well known breeders. Why? I don’t know. I’ve given up trying to figure it out. I’ve always hoped that one of these dogs would take a really BIG bite out of the people who continue to breed him/her.
You need to ask if a breeder will guarantee the temperament. You need to see the dam (away from her puppies, please) and the sire. You need to see them under circumstances other than being strung up in the show ring or ring side. Believe me, the handlers know well how to hide temperament problems.
However, there’s a catch to this one. Temperament is not only a product of genetics, it is also heavily influenced by environment. An aggressive dog can be made more so by a timid owner who has no idea how to cope with his pushiness. A submissive dog could be turned into a fear biter by an abusive owner. Conversely the aggressive dog can become a reliable family companion and guard in the right hands as can the shy dog be brought to it’s best by a competent owner.

Because once the dog leaves the breeders, control is relinquished, I DO NOT guarantee temperament in writing. For instance, if I thought that the problem had been caused or aggravated by the way the dog was treated, there is no way I’d place another dog with that person. Instead I would refund half the money and send them on their way. In one circumstance when we had a temperament problem in a dog that I knew had been properly raised and nurtured, I replaced the dog from a puppy from another (unrelated) litter. I make it clear in my contract that I have the final say so in these cases. As a new buyer, you will need to go on your instinct here. If the breeder strikes you as being truly concerned with good temperament, then you’re probably safe with them. Just don’t fault them if they fail to unconditionally guarantee this trait.
A good breeder knows the potential temperament of her puppies. Rely on her to help you pick the best temperament for you situation. A family with small children will be best off with a puppy who is submissive enough to take direction willingly, but who is outgoing enough to romp and play happily with the kids. A dominant personality may best suit a single person or a family of adults only. A family that has the ability to properly train the dog and not the other way around!

Last edited by Wylie's Mom; 03-26-2011 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:14 AM   #15
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Reading your puppy guarantee

The purpose of this page is to help you compare the typical pet shop guarantee with what you can expect from a responsible breeder. Keep in mind that the goal of the responsible breeder and the pet shop are very different. The pet shop is in business. To stay in business it must make a profit.

The responsible breeder, in contrast, is trying to breed healthier dogs with sound temperaments and excellent working and companion qualities. A responsible breeder is really never breeding to produce puppies for sale. The responsible breeder is looking for that special pup, for themselves. You, the puppy buyer, are simply in luck that the responsible breeder can't keep all the puppies. Income from selling puppies helps offset the costs the responsible breeder incurs in trying to create that extra special pup. But the real test between a responsible breeder and a commercial breeder comes when there is a choice to be made between money and the best interest of the dog. The responsible breeder will always do their best for the dog, even if it costs them money. The commercial breeder, or pet shop, can't do that and remain in business. So let's look at a typical guarantee.


Puppy is warranted to be free of any known disease or defects, unless otherwise noted, at time of sale. Buyer has 72 hrs. to take puppy to a licensed vet of buyer's choice and at buyer's expense to validate this warranty. Documentation must be provided upon request as proof of this having been done.

The time schedule is a little short but not unreasonable in most cases. This one allows buyer's choice of veterinarian. Watch out for language requiring use of the seller's choice of veterinarian.


Should puppy be found to have a disease/genetic defect rendering it unfit as a pet, it shall be returned for a refund/exchange, seller's choice, at buyer's expense.

What does "unfit as a pet" mean? People keep and enjoy pets that are crippled or unhealthy all the time. Just because the buyer has a big enough heart to live with the problem is not a reason the seller should escape responsibility.

A key to a seller avoiding responsibility for unhealthy puppies is requiring return of the puppy. Most caring people will quickly form an emotional bond with the puppy. Sellers know this and use this to ensure that they end up with no responsibility whatever for unhealthy puppies.

The responsible breeder cares most that the puppy is in a good situation. So if the buyer is trying to return it then the responsible breeder is going to be inclined to make that possible. At least while the puppy is young the responsible breeder will typically accept the puppy back for any reason at all, even providing a refund if that is what it takes to protect the puppy from being rehomed without the input and guidance of the breeder. The most responsible breeders will provide full refund at any time for problems well established as having a genetic basis where it affects the dog's quality of life. For less serious problems the breeder might not be inclined to give a full refund but will still explore all possible alternatives to ensure that the dog is protected.


Every effort is made to insure the puppy's health and well being. Seller is not responsible for any stress/environmentally induced disorders such as, but not limited to, kennel cough, pneumonia, hypoglycemia, allergies, parasites, etc., anything that is beyond seller's control once puppy leaves seller's premises.

The seller is rejecting responsibility for kennel cough that is diagnosed within that five day period. Kennel cough is a frequent result of shipping young puppies, especially puppy mill puppies. This disclaimer alone should be enough to alert an educated buyer not to obtain a puppy from this source.

Puppies can be inoculated against kennel cough as young as two weeks old. This is not to say that a puppy that ends up with kennel cough is necessarily the result of breeder negligence. In unusual circumstances it can happen despite the best of care. Nevertheless when looking at all factors a seller has more control over the risks than the buyer and a responsible seller will accept the risk. Similar considerations attach to the disclaimer on responsibility for parasites, at least as far as internal parasites (worms).


It is strongly advised that the puppy series of shots be administered prior to public exposure.

Many veterinarians will support this view, yet many will not. Increasingly veterinarians are advising clients that delayed exposure to a variety of people, animals and environments results in behavior problems that kills more dogs than the risk of disease. Typical current advice is to "socialize" (expose) puppies with care. That means exposure to responsible people and dogs and environments that are typically attended by a limited number of dogs and which dogs are very likely to have been vaccinated against disease. In this case the wording does not directly invalidate the seller's responsible if the buyer chooses to socialize.


Buyer understands and agrees to provide proper nutrition, care, exercise, and medical attention appropriate for breed and age of puppy.

Fair enough, even subject to broad interpretation.


Seller warrants above puppy for one (1) year from date of birth, against genetic defects rendering it unfit as a pet. The defect must be of a true genetic nature and not environmentally induced in any way. Should genetically caused death occur within the first year, a necropsy is required and all supporting documentation must be provided upon request. Any and all documentation for all above stated reasons must be available upon request and subject to review by seller's vet.

This is a good one for escaping responsibility. First, many genetic problems do not become apparent in the first year. That short period alone is enough to identify the breeder as one you don't want to deal with. Also, in most cases of "genetically caused death" the buyer will have already expended considerable sums on veterinary care, usually exceeding the initial purchase price. Yet to recover the purchase price the buyer must undertake yet additional expense for a necropsy (usually unnecessary to the existence of the problem). Furthermore what does "genetically caused death" actually mean? Would it include clearly non-lethal conditions where the buyer elects to euthanize because there is no reasonable way of attaining quality of life, including where the costs are simply very high? The buyer also should be aware that the seller can find "support" to make claims that almost any genetic condition was environmentally caused. The buyer is in a very poor position to "prove" genetic origin.

Last edited by Wylie's Mom; 03-26-2011 at 01:52 PM.
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