The CCTC is vehemently against Back Yard Breeders (BYB), Puppy Mills, and Puppy Brokers.  The best way to combat this animal abuse is through educating puppy buyers.  The information below is meant to draw your attention to the differences between ethical and unethical breeders.  This information is by no means exhaustive.  Your responsibility as a puppy buyer is to do your homework before buying your new family member.  Ask questions and investigate.  You owe it to yourselves and to the helpless animals.  If you need any help in finding a reputable breeder or need some advice as to whether the breeder that you are buying your puppy from is an ethical breeder, then you simply need to call our club and one of our members will be more than willing to help you.  Please don’t be fooled by the fancy website that some BYB, Puppy Mills and Puppy Brokers have.

Ethical Breeders:

• Personally screen potential puppy homes

• Specialize in one or two breeds of dogs

• Are involved in showing dogs (obedience, field trials, agility, conformation, etc)

• Raise their dogs/pups in their house

• Do not sell for profit as the main reason to breed

• Evaluate the health of their dogs on a regular basis

• Willing to take back the dog at any point of their life regardless of the reason if the buyer cannot keep the dog

• Follow the written guarantee for genetic diseases

• Are supportive and available during health crisis should they arise at any time during the life of their puppy/dog

• Puppies don’t go to their new homes until a minimum of 8 weeks of age

• Frequently have waiting lists for puppies

• Can provide references

• Can explain what traits the parents have that will carry into the offspring and why they chose the sire and dam combination

• Dogs and puppies are kept in a loving and sanitary environment

• Breeding dogs and puppies get one to one attention on a daily basis and get proper exercise.

• Puppies are on a program to allow their mental development ie.  touched, groomed, have individual attention and play time etc.

• Sells pet puppies with a spay/neuter contract

• Belong to national, regional, or local dog clubs

• Females are bred a limited number of times.

 Back Yard Breeders:

• Breeding animals are not tested for health issues or genetic problems

• Offers no health guarantee

• Prices are often below the local range

• May not ask for a spay/neuter contract

• Does not ask that dogs be returned to them if the buyer cannot keep them

• Will post “Puppies for Sale” on bulletin boards

• Often let puppies go to their new homes before 8 weeks in age.

• No references available

• Dogs are often kept in yards, barns, sheds, basements and are often dirty and unkempt

Puppy Mills:

• Frequently sell to brokers who in turn sell to pet stores

• Have unsound breeding practices with no health testing

• Dogs usually do not have full vaccinations (often not vaccinated against parvo or distemper)

• Females are bred on every heat cycle from first heat until they cannot breed anymore

• Animals are kept in substandard to deplorable conditions and may be deprived of shelter, food, water, and proper medical attention.

• Dogs often living in small pens, no grooming, poor health, infections, and rotten teeth

• Owners will not take you to see the squalor that the puppies are raised in

Warning Signs:

• Breeder does not let you into their home

• Won’t let you see where puppies are raised

• Won’t show you either parent

• Don’t ask you questions to determine if you will provide a good home.

Do your homework!  Research more about puppy mills, back yard breeders, and ask questions.  If something doesn’t seem right, it likely isn’t.  Keep searching for a breeder that “feels right” as you are going to be working with them for the life of your puppy.

Please know that some BYBs and puppy millers actually have a secondary house where they meet potential buyers to make it look better than it really is. 

Just because a dog is a purebred and is registered does not mean that it has come from a reputable breeder or that the puppy is healthy.