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Old 05-24-2008, 02:19 PM
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Default Are you a Backyard Breeder?

Originally written by: Sunny Arruda (South Bay Purebred Rescue)
Personalized by: C. Guss (Bastian's Place - Feline & Canine Rescue)



Over 10 million homeless animals are euthanised every year in the United States. The death could easily be stopped by spaying and neutering your pets.

Euthanasia is the single largest cause of death for dogs in the Untied States. Each year 27 million dogs are born. Five to ten million are classified as 'Surplus' and destroyed (killed). That's about one million a
month. These animals are those who 'must' be killed simply because they are unwanted. These numbers do not include the millions of dead dogs scraped off the streets, or the hundreds of thousands of abandoned, severely neglected or abused dogs who never make it to a shelter to be counted and killed.

Most of these animals are young and healthy; in fact, it is estimated that around 80% are less than one year of age. The problem is simple: we have too many dogs with too few homes available. The solution we have opted for is to kill the 'extras'. This solution has been considered acceptable by default, as though there were no other way to control the crisis and we spend over $1 billion every year destroying 'Man's Best Friend'.

Why is this happening in the United States today? The largest ontributors to this problem are Backyard Breeders and Puppy Mills.

The name 'Backyard Breeder' has become very unpopular. Nobody wants to admit they are a backyard breeder. Many people don't even know they are part of the problem. The only way to stop the needless killing
of dogs is to stop the needless breeding of them.

Every breed of dog recognized by the AKC, UKC, ADBA,or CKC has a written standard, a blueprint of what the dog should look and act like. These standards were written so that all would know what a quality example of
the breed is and strive to produce dogs that meet or exceed the standard in health, temperament and appearance. To be sure that you are breeding dogs that meet these standards, your dogs must be judged by people who have a lifetime of experience among the breed. Do you know the standard of your purebred dog?

Does your dog meet this standard according to an AKC judge? If not, your dog is pet quality. Your dog is to be loved, cherished, trained, cared for, spoiled and bragged about but it is NEVER to be bred. No matter how cute or sweet the dog may be, if it is not up to the standard, you have no business breeding it.

If you have a purebred dog, this does not give you the right to breed it. Most purebred dogs are not breeding quality. If you breed your pet quality dog, you are a backyard breeder. Whether you breed the dog in your backyard, garage, living room or an expensive hotel room, the term is still backyard breeder. If your pet quality dog has papers (AKC, UKC, ADBA, CKC), that's nice but it doesn't change anything. You still don't have the
right to breed it.

If your pet quality dog cost you $500 be glad you had the money to afford it. You still don't have the right to breed it.

Do you think that you can make your $500 back if you breed your pet quality dog or if your pet is a color or a size that isn't the breed standard but you just know everyone will want to buy a pup if you breed her? Shame on you! Now you are a backyard breeder with the purpose of peddling pups for bucks.

If the price for a tail dock or an ear crop may seem high to you, what are you going to do when your beloved pet needs an emergency C section? Will you even be there to know if she is in trouble? Would you even be able to recognize the signs before it was too late?

And if you still want to breed your pet quality dog but need to ask who is supposed to cut off the tails and ears, ask yourself "What in the hell am I thinking?"

Do you think genetic testing is something they used in the OJ trial but has nothing to do with your breeding career? You are a backyard breeder.

Backyard breeders sell pup's that aren't up to the standard of the breed. They do this for many reasons. None are good enough reasons to contribute to the killing of the dogs. Period.

Backyard breeders will swear all of their pups went to good homes. They believe this but it's not true. Some may have been luck enough to go to a good home but more than half will end up dead, in a shelter, alone on a cold table with a needle sticking out of their leg. Some of those good homes will get tired of the dog and will just give it away to the first person willing to take it. Some of your beloved dog's children will end
up living alone in a backyard, barking all night, cold and neglected until the owner gets complaints and then the pup will be dead. Some will be starved and beaten. Some will be bred until they die from it.

Some will end up in a rescue and I will have to find space for them. I will have to teach them that not all humans are bad. I will remove their fleas and get rid of their worms. I will have them vaccinated for the first time in their lives because the previous owners neglected to remember. I will spay or neuter the animal to ensure it is not snatched up by someone looking to make a quick buck. I will do all of these things that the previous owner should have done because they didn't want to.

Backyard breeders are not responsible pet owners. They think they love the dogs but that isn't really true because they don't want to bother with all that it takes to breed ethically. They love feeling important when they
say "I breed purebred dogs." but breeding pet quality dogs is not something to be proud of. It is a shame on our society. It is the reason for the death that occurs in shelters. Why do you want to be part of that?

Do you want to be respected? Spay or neuter your pet dog. There is really no other way. The kinds of homes that you want for your pets puppies do not want to purchase a pup from you. They are looking for responsible, respected breeders who are doing something for the breed as a whole. Most of those who will come running to buy one of your pups are the kind of people I wouldn't give a nasty, aggressive dog to. They are people who will turn your sweet little puppy into a shelter once the novelty wears off. That is a fact.

Spay or neuter your pets now and tell everyone you know to do the same. Leave breeding to people who are doing something to better the breed. These people breed for quality, not quantity.

Want to be a respected breeder? Do your research and find an individual who is an educated and respected member of the dog breeding world. Ask this person to be your mentor. You need to know what you are doing before you are even ready to begin.

Have a savings account ready for any and all problems that you will encounter. Purchase only top quality bred dogs and plan on showing them. Do everything that your mentor tells you, he/she has the experience and is not just trying to push you around. Be sure that everything you do as a breeder meets the standards which have been set for responsible breeders.

Or, Don't Breed!

I hope your doing your part to stop the madness... Marty
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:28 PM
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:43 PM
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I personally do not believe that spaying and neutering should be pushed on people. I think people should make an educated choice about what to do with their own pet. However most people aren't willing to put the effort into making an educated choice about which way to go.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:00 PM
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Yes and no. Do I believe in Mandatory S&N? Not on your life, bucko. BUT...the majority of the pet-owning population should hear more about spaying and neutering than how to keep an intact dog, because as we all know, the majority of the pet-owning population are morons, whether through willful ignorance/defiance, apathy or just plain uneducated. The uneducated are the easiest to reach. The others...are the reason why I die a little inside each time I open up my email anymore. I get the pleasure each week of knowing that out of the average 40 dogs I get, 35 or so will end up with a needle in their leg, if not a bullet in the head. I tried my hardest to get these two absolutly STUNNING looking lab mixes into a foster or rescue, because the owners were moving and were going to shoot the dogs because they didn't want them anymore. We lost that battle.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:02 PM
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I know exactly what you mean Zoom! I wish more people were willing to do the research and make a choice for their pet based on solid facts and not just ignorance.
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Old 05-24-2008, 07:09 PM
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My dog can't be registered AKC, UKC, ADBA or CKC . . . does that mean that anyone that breeds an Alapaha is an automatic BYB simply because they will not push to be accepted by organizations like those?

Though I think that the idea behind this article is important, I think it misses A LOT in it's content.
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SisMorphine View Post
My dog can't be registered AKC, UKC, ADBA or CKC . . . does that mean that anyone that breeds an Alapaha is an automatic BYB simply because they will not push to be accepted by organizations like those?

Though I think that the idea behind this article is important, I think it misses A LOT in it's content.
I have to second this. The point is a very good one. The exact content is, perhaps, terribly unfair to many breeders, and for that matter, owners, since it strongly implies anyone who didn't get their dog from a vaunted "responsible breeder" is the sort of ignorant idiot who dumps their dogs at a shelter.

I've been recently thinking about how to make a post entitled "In Defense of Backyard Breeders," with the title partially chosen, I admit, to produce comments.

In my experience, breeders form a continuum, from the depths of puppy-mill hell to the heights of the quintessental "responsible breeder." Reading the various definitions of "responsible breeder" that I see on Chaz, I often feel the bar is being set a bit too high. Not that all of the practices of Chaz-defined "responsible breeders" are not the best way to do things, but that anyone who doesn't do all these things is by definition a BYB, and thus somewhere on the level of pond scum.

Some of the "responsible breeder standards" I've objected to previously include:

Responsible breeders don't breed without a waiting list

Responsible breeders never advertise

Responsible breeders don't advertise what colors they have

Responsible breeders have applications (I'll clarify this . . . I don't see why an interview is not a perfectly find substitute for an application. Obviously people need to be screened, but unless the world is beating down your door for your dogs, do you really need people to fill in an application?)

Responsible breeders have dogs with a mess of titles

Responsible breeders always do a mess of genetic testing, even if they have a breed with relatively few problems and have never had issues with their lines.

Are all these good practices? Yes, or at least, they aren't bad ideas. But the converse of "responsible breeders do this" is that everyone else is an "irresponsible breeder," a backyard breeder, an ignorant, scummy person adding to the pet overpopulation problem. I beg to differ.

I further beg to differ with the author's contention that anyone who buys from someone who isn't a "responsible breeder" is the sort of person who dumps their dogs at shelters when they don't want them any more.

The truth is the world is more complicated than that. Three of my mother's four poodles were found through the newspaper. She then went to visit the breeder, saw the parents (or at least the mother and a photo of the father since he was occasionally in another state), examined the puippies (or the return in one case), asked about the lines, looked at the pedigree, and brought home a poodle (or left because she liked neither the breeder nor their dogs). These breeders did show. As far as I know they didn't do genetic testing. They advertised in the paper (with colors!). They didn't have a waiting list a mile long. They didn't ask Mom for an application. I do not believe they were irresponsible. THey were perhaps not the stellar height of the absolute BEST way to do things, but "irresponsible" they were not.

I have honestly reached the point of being annoyed with some of the demands made by responsible breeders. Long waiting lists even for a pet. Must have a fenced yard. Must own rather than rent. Must have references from everyone from your veterarian to your grade-school English teacher. Must locate them through the breed club. Don't dare ask for a specific color. Someone must be home all day. No children. Must give them your social security number. Etc.

Is it any wonder people buy from puppy mills and sleezy BYBs? Half the population can't pass the test to get a dog from a responsible breeder. Heck, more and more shelters have the same requirement. Unless you can provide an ideal home, forget it. I've honestly been insulted by some conversations I've had about adopting dogs. . .not because they asked lots of questions (good!) but because the questions were asked in an aggressive, accusing fashion . . . PROVE YOURE A GOOD OWNER YOU SLEEZE BALL, PROVE IT, OR NO DOG FOR YOU.

Perhaps I'm old fashioned. I grew up with people who I believe strongly were responsible owners and breeders. But you only went through some elaborate ritual if you wanted a dog for a specific purpose from a top breeder who had a waiting list because the world WAS beating a path to their door.

In my world, you looked in the paper for the breed you want, called the person, talked to them to make sure the trip was worth it, went on a road trip, talked to the breeder, looked at the dogs, had some coffee, looked at the papers, and either came home with a puppy or not. It was relatively easy, relatively polite, unconfrontational, and worked pretty dang well.

Times have changed. But the constant pushing of standards for both owners and breeders higher and higher is not, to my mind, productive. In the end, you have a few "responsible breeders" selling a few "responsible owners" and all the irresponsible other people thrown on puppy mills, the sort of BYBs that do not take their dogs to the vet and dump extra puppies at the shelter, and the shelters (If they'll give you a dog). Dog ownership is becoming, frankly, elitist. Perhaps this is good . . . but I actually doubt it. In the end, the world will have fewer dogs, fewer people familiar with dogs, and more restrictions on dogs.

I wonder were the boundary is between demanding responsibility (a good thing) and making a bunch of quasi-arbitrary requirements to make sure that one is part of the club. I'm not sure where that boundary is. But I'm beginning to feel that the bar is being set too high for both owners and breeders, especially when anyone below that high bar is condemned as dog-mistreating scum, or at least hopelessly ignorant.
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paige View Post
I personally do not believe that spaying and neutering should be pushed on people. I think people should make an educated choice about what to do with their own pet. However most people aren't willing to put the effort into making an educated choice about which way to go.
I completely agree ^^
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:46 PM
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I see Marty's aim in the grand scheme of things . . . Sure, there are finer points to be put on it, and the breed clubs he listed aren't the only ones, nor are they the be-all and end-all (don't even get me started on keeping my beloved Filas out of the destructive mits of the AKC and their ilk), but people with dogs that are papered by those associations are the primary "offenders," for lack of a better word.

I can drive down any rural highway and pass at least a couple of hand lettered signs, painted on a board, set up on a relatively permanent basis, advertising "AKC Registered __________ Puppies For Sale!" in various states of butchered spelling. Or the ubiquitous "PIT BULL PUPPIES 4 SALE" sign on the truck parked on the side of the road.

Makes me want to load up a few needles . . . and stick 'em in the veins of the owners.
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:49 AM
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Lilavati, I really think your post there is worth a thread of its own.
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