DanBar Ranch
in loving memory of Dan and Barbara Jessup
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Short muzzled dog breeders must health test to produce healthy pups!
How To Spot (And Avoid) Puppy Mills And Backyard Breeders
"PUPPY MILL" and "Backyard Breeder"
 are terms thrown around a great deal - but what do they really mean?

PUPPY MILL - believe it or not, it has nothing to do with numbers of puppies produced. A puppy mill can be a person with two or three bitches that simply breeds them continually to produce puppies for no other reason than resale.  In actuality, some of the better kennels of the past, those which made lasting contributions to their breed, were huge affairs, with hundreds of dogs and a staff to care for them. It is very hard to have a significant breeding program without access to many different dogs. 

The term "mill" represents the mindset of the person selling the puppies; the dictionary definition of "mill" is perfect: a business or institution that dispenses products or services in an impersonal or mechanical manner. 

​Most people have heard of the large, ugly puppy mills associated with the Amish in Pennsylvania, and "family farms" in Missouri. But Puppy mills can be just down the street in a suburban neighborhood. 

"BACKYARD BREEDER" is a confusing term. After all, where else would you breed your dogs? LOL! The term does not refer to where the breeding takes place, but rather where the dogs BEING bred come from.

Instead of being dogs from a "kennel" (meaning an established breeder whether they keep their dogs in kennels or not) they are simply pet dogs, living, so to speak, "in the backyard".  So the definition is, not an experienced or reputable breeder, but rather someone just putting two dogs together to produce puppies.  While BYBs may be motivated by money from puppy sales, there are other reasons such as "wanting one just like mamma", "letting the kids see the miracle of life" or "everyone wants one just like her".  Unfortunately, that reasoning is what keep animal shelters full and produces litters of puppies from parents who should never have been bred.

​The BYB will almost always tell anyone who will listen that they are "not a breeder" - and this is true.  They have done no health testing of the parents, have no knowledge of breeding principles and are not in a position to offer on-going help to either the puppy buyer or the puppy.  They don't microchip and feel no long term commitment to the puppies they produce. These are the folks advertising their litters on Craig's List.

 Here are the warning signs of both Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders:

  •  breeder does little or no health testing which safeguard the breeds
  •  breeder makes excuses about why health testing is not needed 
  •  breeder does no microchip, or only microchips at owner request 
  •  no long term commitment to pups; no chips, no take back policy
  •  advertises non-standard puppies as "rare" and "desirable"
  •  deliberately breeds non-standard colors or sizes