Breeder Comparison Matrix
|Characteristic||Backyard Breeder||Puppy Mill||
|Hobby Breeder||Reputable Experienced Breeder|
|Has a specific breeding goal||To produce puppies||To make money||To supply the demand||To better the breed||To perfect a specific type to leave a legacy.|
|Belongs to and works with breed club||May masquerade as a member||Hardly ever||Has a network of business contacts||Extremely dedicated||Very active, generally an officer|
|Has at least one mentor||Works independently, lacks guidance||Not interested in breed improvement||Does not specialize in specific breed||Invites knowledge||Is a mentor, writes books/articles, conducts seminars|
|Understands and breeds to the standard||May not even know what it is.||Uses any available stock.||Focuses on general appearance||Strives towards the ideal||Often helps to define it.|
|Active in dog related activities (shows, trials, rescues)||Often rescues only to attain more stock. Rarely attends shows or trials||Does not need to promote establishment; sells to brokers--pet shops, etc.||Does not need to promote establishment, sells to brokers, pet shops etc.||Shows and trials to prove worth Shows & trials to objectively test breeding stock.||Often judges, provides seminars, writes articles, and willingly mentors serious Hobby Breeders.|
|Knows the true history of the breed||May share false/incomplete info||Often pretends to know some.||Claims that it's not important.||Studies continuously||Impacts the breed for many decades|
|Sells pets with spay/neuter contract and tries to stay in touch with new owners||
May charge more for "breeding" papers
|Often issues papers via generic "registries"||All pups sold have full breeding rights.||Yes, and diligently follows up on progeny||Always differentiates breed/pet quality and insists on frequent updates|
|Keeps up with health and temperament issues affecting the breeding and provides in depth guarantees||May refuse to acknowledge most problems. Considers shows and trials as too "political".||No need to, mostly supplies brokers and pet shops||Meets minimum standards as required by state law.||Goes above and beyond standard requirement||Maintains a solid support system --accepts full responsibility for every puppy produced|
|All breeding stock is tested for genetic diseases affecting the particular breed.||
Some occasionally may be to impress consumers.
|Only as demanded by consumers -- may give papers as proof of quality.||May provide undocumented paperwork for appearances sake.||Intensive testing always a priority||Often initiates club sponsored seminars and clinics.|
Maintains carrier records on all
gene pool including effected progeny.
|Focuses mostly on phenotype--unfamiliar with genotype.||Often supplies broker and pet shops, records unavailable.||Dogs and puppies are often auctioned off in lots, records unavailable||Attempts to continuously track every puppy produced||Bases entire breeding program on extensive gene pool data.|
|Clean, sterile environment always maintained||Conditions may vary greatly depending on available income.||Often tries to maintain minimum standards||Cleanest and best organized; state inspected||Usually "home raised with love" and well cared for.||
Often cluttered but
always healthy and
|Expected longevity with any particular breed||
Unrealistic expections-- easily disillusioned.
|Will continue as long as the sales are coming||Depends on popularity of specific breeds||On a mission--plans to stay for the long haul.||Involved with the breed/ breeding for decades--makes a lifetime commitment.|
| Puppy Producers: What Are They | Choosing a Breeder |
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|Last modified: Thursday March 25, 2004|