Breeders vs backyarders vs puppy mills

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by RiverOtter, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. RiverOtter

    RiverOtter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 4, 2009
    On another thread that had already drifted quite enough - certain people were accused of trying to "scare" people out of breeding their dogs with highly inflated cost and time analysis.
    So I thought that this could use it's own thread where these issues could be addressed. Here's a partial quote that brings up some misconceptions.
    " I think a person who has a family dog in good health who wants a litter for his children to see is NOT our nations problems. These are not the dogs found at shelters and rescues. And trying to scare him with huge vet bills and cost of raising a litter with absurd prices, come on.. The mother dog and her 3 pups I rescued from the shelter cost me about 200 bucks (probably not even that) to raise, vaccinate and to get the mother dog spayed afterwards. Not to mention all 3 pups were neutered before adoption too. Not all the vets rip you off. And if your cost of raising a litter is accurate how are these puppy mills making money??"

    I think a person who has a family dog in good health who wants a litter for his children to see is NOT our nations problems. These are not the dogs found at shelters and rescues.
    Actually, go volunteer or work at the shelter. Those are EXACTLY the dogs found in shelters and rescues. If you ask people who are giving up the dogs where they got them (and many shelters do) the most common answers are; from a friend, I called an ad in the paper, someone was giving them away/selling them (cheaply) at <fill in public place>
    So yes, people with a family dog in good health who just want a litter for the children are directly responsible for a good number of shelter dogs.

    That there are very few purebred dogs in shelters.
    Well, there is a world of difference between purebred and well bred. I once had an acquaintance - knowing I'm a dog person - show off to me his new dog. As I petted him I said "He's sweet. What is he? A coonhound mix?"
    The fellow's face fell and he said. "He's a purebred German Shepherd. With papers." No joke. And those huge, pendulous ears actually could prick with the right motivation... And have you ever seen an ungroomed coated or wirehaired anything? It looks like a mutt. So yes, there are very few pure Basengi or Borgoi in shelters, but there are plenty of very poorly bred "purebreds" of the common varieties. A brown Aussie is a "chocolate lab X"

    Ooooh, please lets not forget the "designer dogs" here. Those really ARE mutts and lots of people let Fluffy have a litter of them. Labradoodles get BIG. These are not all small fluffy things. Yes, they find their way to pounds.

    Cost. Lets do a case by case analysis here. Health testing-
    Breeder - Lots of health testing for every conceivable thing. X-rays, bloodtests, genetic screening, the works. This costs $$$
    Backyarder - During the yearly visit for shots, vet pats dog and says, "This is a beautiful dog. She's nice and healthy." The dog isn't lame and runs around the backyard with the children. That skin thing is just fleas.
    Puppy mill - It eats and breeds. It's healthy enough.

    Shots and vet costs.
    Breeder - Worms and shots are on a strict schedule. While, yes, they can give shots themselves, they take them to the vet anyway because it's an important part of socialization. Lots of them bring pups to the groomer for the experience too, even though they are also capable of doing it all themselves. Socialization. Again $$$
    Backyarder - May or may not remember to do it. May or may not bring them to the vet for shots or at all. May or may not cost money.
    Puppy mill - If pups are lucky, they will get one shot and a dose of horse wormer before being shipped. The wholesaler may employ a vet who will give the rabies jab and will fill out a health certificate for anything still breathing.

    Advertising and puppy sales
    Breeder - Spends $thousands$ going to shows and trials.
    Backyarder - Spends $20 on a newspaper ad, tells friends, prints out a couple of flyers and/or has a box and a sign in a parking lot somewhere.
    Puppy mill - This varies alot. I live in the Land of the Puppy Mill and there are lots of dog auctions here. Also ads in the newspaper (as you always get a better price from the end costumer then a middle man) And sometimes big, full color ads in magazines. Lots of very fancy websites that all shout "We are NOT a puppy mill, Our dogs are part of the family" (I assume anything that has to tell people it's not a puppy mill is a puppy mill - I don't walk up to people and say, "I am not a con artist" - As I'm not, the subject doesn't come up) And for leftovers there is always that reliable parking lot box or sometimes they'll dump on a rescue. One way or another it is Gone by 10 weeks.
    Oh, one thing they never do is show in any way. Always because of the politics and corruption of the show/trial circuit.

    These are just a few of the reasons that backyarders and puppy mills have low costs and make money, and breeders loose it. There are more. Discuss away.
  2. verity

    verity Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2008
    No 'discussion' from me --

    I'm with you all the way --- except to add that some excellent and responsible breeders elect not to 'show' -- but they remain active in their breed's club and aware of health/temperament issues in the breed -- also, no responsible breeder is going to 'absolutely guarantee' that there will be no problems with the puppies they have bred but will 'absolutely guarantee' that IF there are problems with a puppy, they will be there to try to 'make it right' --

    Responsible breeders also do not 'lose the papers' (how often have we hear that one?!)

    Now we wait for the backyard breeders to have their say -- everyone is entitled to their opinion and I hope we don't go into 'melt-down mode' on this thread --- :)
  3. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    Great job on the comparison!

    One thing I would like to ad is that if you are looking for a puppy on a popular puppy finder website, chances are the cute little puppy in the photo is actually a photo stolen off a forum such as this.

    Google Maps can help you to see where your puppy is coming from if you have an actual address, while there are good reasons for a PO box for payment, be forewarned.
  4. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I agree with you. Took me over a year to finally decide on a breeder when I was looking for a golden.
  5. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    VERY well put post!

    I also have an issue with the whole 'letting the kids experience puppies' What a pi** poor excuse to indulge in the parents own desire to see wriggly cute puppies. Any normal, rational adult w/children should be able to predict the reality of what having a litter of puppies is really going to be like- noisy, expensive, and very stinky (and tons of work). And they get sooo suprised when things go wrong. How great is it for kids to see their family dog DIE giving birth to puppies who also die? Yes, it happens, but no one talks about that.
    Not to mention, most kids are not enriched by the experience in any real way, and are often too young to even remember the experience. AND they have to deal with the sadness of seeing those puppies go to new homes.
    Yeah, sounds like great fun for the kiddos. [​IMG]

    Puppymills are hell on earth. Period. Anyone with a consience should know better than to buy from one and at the very least do a tiny bit of homework as to where their sweet, $1500 Fido is coming from. I think people prefer ignorance and dont want to feel like 'THEY' are really contributing to a real problem, but are instead 'rescuing' a puppy from a store, or have the 'Well, someone is gonna buy it, might as well be me" attitude. You can shout the realities from every rooftop, but people will still buy from those horror houses until they are all shut down.

    I have said it before and I'll say it again- I dont think ANY breeder should sell for a profit. If you are REALLY, TRULY, breeding to improve the breed, and you are sooo altruistic and heartfelt, why do you need to make money at it? As a breeder, you KNOW how many homeless dogs are out there- your breed is not the best or only dog on the planet, its just another dog. If you wanna make more dogs, have secure homes lined up BEFORE you breed. Be knowelegable about how many homes are really available in your area of sales.

    Yes, its super expensive to be a excellent breeder, but no one said it was a cheap hobby. I know we all like to make money, but to do it off the back (and reproductive organs) of another sentient being is atrocious in my opinion.
  6. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    Had to add- this whole thread reminds me of that age old joke-

    "How do you make a small fortune breeding dogs/horses/goats/sheep?"

    "Start with a large fortune!!!" [​IMG]
  7. wildeflowers

    wildeflowers I suspect fowl play!

    Jun 29, 2010

    I think that people who feel that it's just all fine and dandy to breed their dog for the "experience" just do not get the point of breeding to begin with. Bettering stock and understanding genetics is ridiculously difficult and complicated, and requires a lot of time, effort and money, but they don't care about that. They just want cute puppies they can make a few bucks with. Totally irresponsible, imo.
  8. Crazyland

    Crazyland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2009
    Sandhills NC
    Responsible breeders don't always show. Sometimes they WORK their dogs and title them in that instead of confirmation.
    I would rather have a working breed dog come from a working family than a show family. I want to know my retriever can retrieve or my hound can trail a scent.
    Eventually I want to get a Dachshund for my husband. But I am not looking at those long weak backed ones you see more often. The ones I want WORK at trailing and hunting. I won't ever find what I want in a show family because the standard for the two have separated over the years.
  9. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Our GR comes from show lines and she retrieves. [​IMG] I do think that a responsible breeder should do something with their dogs, such a show, work, etc.
  10. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    I dont see any problem with folks breeding their own dogs as pets if they want pups from the dog.
    As long as the owners are responsible for the puppies and dont bring them to a shelter.
    Really..its noones business if i let my dog breed. And thats the simple truth.
    Simple fact is: Yes, i feel bad for shelter dogs..(i'd have my dogs put down before i EVER let them step foot in a shelter)..
    I also would not adopt a dog from a shelter... I dont want to take a risk with a dog that i dont know how its been raised. (learned my lesson there with a Great Dane).. Its just too much risk for a lot of people..espically ones with children.
    And also most shelters are greedy money grubbers. If they really wanted to get dogs out of these shelters they wouldnt charge you $400 to adopt one. Period.

    OOh and as for show dogs and high quality looking pedigree dogs.. *snort*
    A dog is still dog even with some papers.
    I've had mutts and i've had pedigree dogs because i've liked the look of them. Never even bothered to registered their papers.,.. who cares.
    Just my opinion.

    OOh..and as for pure breeds being in shelters..
    Yes, its true they are there... but their ARE more mixed breeds in shelters...

    BUT.. google specific BREED rescues... You will see that your "pure bred" dogs are sitting in "breed rescues" that are FULL of pure bred dogs..
    So whats the difference of a mutt and a papered dog?? It goes to a "rescue" and not a shelter... whoopie... [​IMG]
    Having papers does NOT prevent a dog from being put up for adoption. period.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010

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