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Please don't flame me for this. I'm new to the whole 'dog world', and since I've joined this forum, I've read quite a few threads that mention the horribly practices of back yard breeders, and how you should never get a puppy from a BYB, etc. But I haven't been able to find a thread that tells me the difference between a BYB and a good breeder, or what it is that makes BYBs so bad. Could someone please explain this for me?
 

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Different folks will offer different opinions. I think the main points you won't find much disagreement about are a breeding program with clear goals, health/temperment testing, buyer screening and a contract with a health guarantee as well as a clause that the breeder will take the puppy back at any time for any reason. This is the stuff you should see at the very minimum to consider a breeder responsible--any of those things missing and it's a good bet you are looking at an irresponsible breeder (byb).

There are a number of other things as well, such as spay/neuter, titled dogs, the breeder's involvement in rescue, pricing issues, and a host of other things that really matter to some folks but others consider less of a priority.
 

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Most BYBs DO love their dogs. My definition is that BYBs are not:
1. Breeding to better the breed- they generally want to make more dogs 'just like sweet Sadie' or 'teach the kids the miracle of life' or 'a bit of extra pocket money'. They can't tell you why they did a specific breeding (to bring in X trait or fix trait Y, etc), they typically repeat breedings and tend to use whatever (usually registered, usually same breed) male is convienent as long as he's not related. They typically tout 'outbreeding' or 'no inbreeding' as a guarantee of health, rather than objective health screening, and frequently their only type of health 'testing' is a yearly vet visit rather than anything more detailed.
2. DOING naything with their dogs other than enjoying them as pets. This is okay as far as it goes, but a breeder should be objectively testing their dog's temperament (as in, therapy and temperament certifications or working trials), trainability (sports like agility and obedience), conformation to the breed standard (showing in 'breed'), or actually working their dogs (whether it's hunting over them, working stock with them- and you want to go out and SEE this, not just hear how great they are, if there's no titles to prove that it's not just hot air)- SOMETHING.
3. Typically don't care if you want to breed YOUR beloved pet too- it's all okay by then. (Frequently, you'll hear claims of how breeders with s/n contracts are just 'afraid of competition'.)
4. Does NOT require that the puppy come back to them if you can't keep it, EVER- even if it's 12 years down the road.
 

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Great post, DogStar. You have so many great points.

I just want to echo what DogStar said.

It's not that BYBs are evil people. They often love their pets very, very much. Many of them have good enviornments.

However, There's alot more that goes into breeding then what most BYBs do. For example- health testing. This is a pretty big deal. I mean, no one wants a puppy to go lame at 4 months with severe hip dysplasia. AND that's something that can be prevented, if only you health test the parents.

Good breeders also don't want more dogs to do into pounds and rescues. They fully understand the rescue/overpopulation problem, and don't want to add to it. THAT is why they have spay neuter contracts and will take the pup back for the whole of its life.

That's also why they will make you as a consumer sign a contract, and ask you many personal questions. They want to make sure that you're a good candidtaate for the dogs that they have put their blood, sweat and tears into bettering.

IMHO, I would only get from a breeder that had the following qualifications. Anything less is a back yard breeder, and not worth buying from:

*Showing/Working/Hunting with their dogs. Any type of competition that tests that dog against what it is supposed to look like, or what it is bred to do.
* Health testing. Hips, eyes, heart, knees, and whatever genetic tests that should be a requirment. You want a healthy dog.
* Contract. This contract should be very, very thorough. It should tell you whether you have a pet or a show prospect, that the breeder will guarentee the health for x years, that the breeder will take the dog back for any reason, and that the price that you all decided on is set in stone. It will also lay out your obligations to this breeder, whether you co own a dog, or not.

Now, here are things that all breeders SHOULD do:

*Let you visit the kennel
*Provide the health certificates of the parents for whatever health tests they do
* Provide pedigree of the dogs in question
* Raise the puppies in the kitchen, underfoot
* Expose the puppies to kids, loud noises, and other annoyances
* Answer any and all questions honestly and with fervor. They should LOVE talking about their dogs.
 

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Let's stick the the realities of what a BYB IS, not why they exist.

Sammgirl and Dogstaer have given pretty good examples of the difference between BYB and reputable ones.

Just a caution, I know show breeders and working breeders that I consider less than reputable, if you're looking at such breeders, be sure they have ALL their ducks in a row.
 

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What I consider to be a BYB is a breeder who doesn't health test their dogs, doesn't have a s/n contract for pet quality puppies, and doesn't take the dogs they breed back at any time if the owners don't want them anymore.
I also think that not showing or working their dogs is a sign of a BYB but not always. Personally I know someone that would be considered a BYB because they breed Old style GSDs with straight backs in all different colors but they health test their dogs and take ANY dogs back at any time. Even made someone drive from NJ to NC just to return a puppy to them. Their puppies are on a limited contract for the AKC and have s/n contracts. I don't consider them BYBs. They just want normal looking GSDs instead of the sloped back show dogs. This breeder is working towars breeding police dogs though. So I guess that would be under the working catigory. *shrugs*
 

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xoxluvablexox;494022]What I consider to be a BYB is a breeder who doesn't health test their dogs, doesn't have a s/n contract for pet quality puppies, and doesn't take the dogs they breed back at any time if the owners don't want them anymore.
I also think that not showing or working their dogs is a sign of a BYB but not always. Personally I know someone that would be considered a BYB because they breed Old style GSDs with straight backs in all different colors but they health test their dogs and take ANY dogs back at any time. Even made someone drive from NJ to NC just to return a puppy to them. Their puppies are on a limited contract for the AKC and have s/n contracts. I don't consider them BYBs. They just want normal looking GSDs instead of the sloped back show dogs. This breeder is working towars breeding police dogs though. So I guess that would be under the working catigory. *shrugs*[/QUOTE]

Luvable, the problem with this is that there ARE venues that would allow her dogs to compete as long as they are correct, just straight backed. Schutzhund doesn't care what the dog looks like, and other working-dog-sports are equally unbiased. If she wants to breed straight-backed dogs but is talking about police dogs? Prove it. Trials or dogs actually working as police or detection dogs, whatever. Obedience and agility! There is just no reason NOT to be proving dogs when you're breeding. Especially when you're talking about agility, showing is relatively inexpensive, and with a trainable (ideally!) dog like a GSD, there's just NO reason not to have at least a RA and an NA on each dog by the time they're breeding age.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow, thanks for all the great answers everyone. This really helped me out. I'm not looking into buying another dog right now, but I'd eventually like to get an English Springer Spaniel (my dream breed). I was actually planning on getting one about a year ago, but circumstances changed, I'm sure we all know how that can be. But I looked at quite a few breeders in the area, and I really wasn't sure if they were good breeders or not. Now I know what to look for! :D Thanks again everyone!
 
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