10 things we’d love to ask Back Yard Breeders.

1 Jul

Imagine it. Maury, the Dog Snobs edition. We, TDS, are allowed to question a variety of backyard breeders.Imagine the drama, imagine the ratings! It’d be the best episode of Maury not involving a paternity test. You see, we here at TDS are on a mission. With all the dumbassery kicking around it’s about time we get some things answered by the people who’ve annoyed us most these last several months; Backyard Breeders. Any BYBs out there willing to give us an answer? Should we just start emailing these to random breeders?


1) Why did you choose to breed your dog? Don’t give us that bull shit about how much you love the breed and how your kids learned so much. We want to know the real reason.


… and is traumatized forever.


2) What made you think it was a good idea to breed a dog without health testing/on pre-lims? Are you too cheap to do proper testing?  Too lazy? Or just too dumb? And for those of you that know what health testing is and choose not to do it, what makes you think you know more about PRA/Hip Dysplasia/ Patellas than any number of vets. We see that website page you’ve written based on pseudoscience, and we don’t believe you have magic x-ray eyes.

Go home Morpheus, you’re drunk.

3) Have you actually done any research (Google doesn’t count) on breeding, whelping, and raising puppies?  Or is this just something you plan on making up as you go along and pleading for help on yahoo answers at 3 am when something inevitably goes wrong?

Girl dog + boy dog= Puppppppies

4) No but seriously, why’s there so much Jesus involved in your dog breeding? Did god come to you at night and say “Here’s a get rich quick scheme, breed malti-poos”. We’re no experts on Jesus here at The Dog Snobs, but we’re pretty sure he frowns on being an idiot.

Even Jesus thinks you’re a douche.

5) Do you actually care who your puppies end up with, or is anyone with a PayPal account and a dream good enough?


The true path to romance.

6) Quick quiz and you’re not allowed to google… Do you know what a CHIC number is? OFA? The meaning of Clear, carrier, affected?

7) Do you even like dogs? Serious question.We know you like the MONEY you make from dogs but like… what about the actual dogs? If you do, why aren’t you out like… doing something with them?

8) Are you stuck in 1994? Seriously, the autoplay music and the butterfly cursor may appeal to your dumbass taste but it looks like a 12 year old girl built it on angel fire in 2003. You’re making bank, hire a web designer.


9) There are decent dogs a few generations back in your pedigrees, how the hell did you get them? What happened that rushed you so rapidly downhill? (Not always applicable)

We’re calling shitty breeders Frank now, it’s a thing.

10) We’re guessing you don’t refer to yourself as a backyard breeder, so what do you call yourself?

It’ll go just like this.

Alright minions, any questions to add? Want to start emailing this blog link you your favorite BYBs? (We’re joking about that. Sort of.)

37 Responses to “10 things we’d love to ask Back Yard Breeders.”

  1. Kath July 1, 2014 at 3:33 am #

    What unique value do you believe your dogs impart to the breed (or non-breed) or canines in general that is not already being offered (and done better) by other breeders, rescues, etc? No, really. Tell me why I should pick your “German Sheppards” of indistinct lineage over whatever existing lines interest me, or a dog from a reputable rescue or shelter?

    Similarly, please explain your pricing structure. When I’m asked to pay a premium for an appliance — let alone a living creature — I want to have an excellent idea of the characteristics I can expect and the (often pain-staking) process involved in achieving that desired result. My breeder invests a great deal of time, money, and other resources in costly health testing, high-quality diet, training, exhibition/trial, etc to ensure the dogs in her program are the best they can be. What on earth is your excuse for your $1200+ price tag?

  2. Mel July 1, 2014 at 4:04 am #

    Had to laugh at hour mockery of their websites. I actually outed a web designer who used such tactics (crappy music and butterfly cursors). It was is MO on all the websites he created for backyard breeders and puppy millers. Of course, he used an alias for promoting those sites. For the sites he promoted with the ASPCA he used his real name.

    Alas! I have gone off-topic!
    I would ask them what they did with the puppies that didn’t sell. Drop them off at a shelter so they could be someone else’s problem?

  3. maxwellthedog July 1, 2014 at 4:56 am #

    HolyMauryMotherof God. That pretty well covers it.

  4. Rosemary July 1, 2014 at 7:50 am #

    Where in your contract (you DO have a contract, don’t you?) do you state that you will take back any dog you produce that can no longer be kept by the owner. In fact, where do you say that no change in ownership can occur without your approval?

  5. Rust Grizzy (@RustGrizzy) July 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    Awesome post, and awesome page. I first heard you on the K9 Sports Connection. There are too many people with the wrong ideas about dogs, in so many aspects. Whether it is breeding, or raising them, or training, or feeding, everyone has an opinion. And unfortunately most of those opinions are wrong. It is great to see you ladies call people on their bullsh*t and tell it how it is. Although I heard you on the radio show,this is the first time I read an article by you as it was shared by a friend. I will be reading more for sure. Thanks for keeping it real, because my number one question about backyard breeders is with so many dogs to rescue, why make more? Thanks for the early laugh this am..you ladies are too much!


  6. Kerrie July 1, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    Why do you impose heartache on your puppy buyers ? Meaning why do you feel it is ok to sell a family a dog who most likely will see the inside of a vets office more than a training class or will be on so many drugs it cant possibly live a normal pet life. Why is that OK?

    • The Profane Dog Trainer July 2, 2014 at 12:13 am #

      I don’t until the third lesson, then I give them the DumbAss Lesson and tell them I will be happy to help them find a well bred pet next time. And refuse to help them if they go down the DumbAss Road again.

  7. Disappointed by some of what I see from people who should be smarter... July 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    Do you have any idea how genetics work, or did you just think because you and your buddy are good friends that, naturally, you’d have equally good puppies.

    Why did you breed your OK bitch to a dog everyone can see has no movement and has shoulders straighter than a carpenter’s level (as well as known dysplastic relatives)?

    What convinced you that you could pawn off puppies as “performance prospects” when they were produced by a dog that can’t jump due to his horrendous front?

    Why did you end up killing most of your litter in the first 48 hours with your ignorance and neglect?

    Why did you call the experienced breeder who tried to help save your puppies a “puppy miller”?

    Why did you blame your vet for the post c-section problems caused by your neglect?

    What would you have done if the puppies lived and turned out to be a chip off of sad papa’s block?

  8. Mary July 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Oh, and the colors that are offered! Really, exactly who is out there lined up for a “flowered” shar-pei. Because, you know, there’s no serious health concerns in the breed that should come before colors…

    Oh, wait. And you want to charge MORE for the non-standard, badly bred, colorful, wrinkly, dead by 6 years old “flowered” version?

  9. ciscospice July 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Oh, and the colors that are offered! Really, exactly who is out there lined up for a “flowered” shar-pei. Because, you know, there’s no serious health concerns in the breed that should come before colors…

    Oh, wait. And you want to charge MORE for the non-standard, badly bred, colorful, wrinkly, dead by 6 years old “flowered” version?

  10. Nicole July 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    I found this quite enjoyable. Keep writing!

  11. Fran July 1, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    Why do you feel it’s necessary to breed more of this breed when thousands and thousands are being put down every day and besides that, this breed can be found in many breed specific rescue organizations waiting for loving homes because they were dumped. Oh and do you have titles on both ends of the parents? Do you have one title? Are all your dogs up to date on shots, flea and tick prevention and heart worm? Can I see the proof? And where to they sleep? (I think every dog deserves a nice bed IN the house with human companionship)

  12. Tern July 1, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    I agree, sort of. But every year I get more confused about what makes a “back yard breeder” vs. the kind of breeder that is supposedly better. Is it the breeding practices? Is it the knowledge of dogs? Is it whether you’re breeding cross breeds? One of my dogs is a morkie (yeah, I know). But I wanted a puppy that was going to be 8-10 pounds as an adult, and that’s pretty much impossible to find at a rescue. I also have a big soft spot for yorkie crosses, though I also looked at purebred yorkies.

    I spent a lot of time looking for someone I thought was an ethical breeder. And believe me, I saw a lot of people who were not. I instantly walked away from anyone who would not show me where the dogs were raised or who would not show me the pup’s parents (or at least one of them!) or who didn’t know anything about the health of the pups or their parents. I finally picked someone who was willing to show me where her dogs were kept, who introduced me to the pup’s parents, who knowledgeably discussed health back at least two generations, who talked about possible health and behavioral issues in the breed mix, who refused to breed “teacup” dogs, who asked me questions about my knowledge and about where the pup was going, and who asked me to keep in touch after I brought the pup home.

    This breeder, I suppose, qualifies as a “backyard breeder.” But I’m not sure what makes it terrible to breed dogs this way as long as you’re responsible. Is it just that so many people aren’t?

  13. Darcy July 1, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    Yes, “Tern” so many people aren’t… And those people aren’t if there is no contract. It is all well to talk about how much that backyard breeder cares, knows, has researched… Lots of people can talk a good game… Ted Bundy could talk a good game… But responsible breeders have contracts… Stating that will always and forever be responsible for the dog they brought into the world… No matter what… The dog will return to the kennel… No matter what. This needs to be in writing. Talk is one thing. Legally binding contracts are another. Responsible means forever!

    • Tern July 1, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

      So is the primary thing that makes a breeder a responsible (non “back-yard”) one that he or she will always take the dog back?

  14. Jerry July 1, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    It was not BYB that created the useless German Shepherds seen at your next AKC showing. It was not BYB that created those crazy boxers and that is only two of many breeds that professional breeders have all but destroyed.

    Why should any dog be in a conformation ring, that has not already proven itself in herding, hunting or other field event. I see the kettle calling the pot black here and I don;t like any of you.

    If you have a champion field trial retriever, a top contender herding dog, I’ll give you my money. Those idiots who think they have the prettiest dog because they can do circles in a ring disgust me.

    People who are breeding for the right reasons are breeding healthy dogs for pet temperament, for herding and hunting execution and they don’t necessarily care if the dogs are the same breed.

    I go to shows and wonder how in the hell are those little huskies going to pull a real sled? They won’t, sledders would laugh at what you so called confirmation breeders are producing.

    As a certified dog trainer I can’t tell you how often I have been pissed that some 80 year old couple have adopted a puppy from a professional doberman, boxer breeders or even in one case a 5 month old sheltie to an 86 year old woman who was mad because her dog was peeing in front of the door. Yea, love those professional breeders. Maybe you should do some self policing before attacking others.

    • Mountain Poodle July 2, 2014 at 3:43 am #

      As a “confirmation” breeder, I take exception to your comments. My dogs have been enriched by their Catholic faith. Each has her own dog-eared copy of the church catechism. Being Poodles, they can of course, read their Bibles in both Latin and the original Greek. I will admit that they struggle a bit with their Hebrew, but their Canaan Dog friends help them out there.

      Oh… I’m sorry, did you mean conformation?

      • Diane July 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm #


      • Fuzzy July 5, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

        Amazing, that you can only critique spelling. The content works.

      • broadwayislife18 July 28, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

        OH SNAP! Shade has been thrown! Mountain Poodle wins.

      • Cheri August 10, 2014 at 2:11 am #

        Poodles win….game over!

  15. Diane July 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    The primary thing(s) that make a responsible ethical breeder are (not necessarily in order of importance):
    1. Before the breeding, the sire and dam are tested for every medical condition for which there is a test;
    2. Be aware of the inbreeding coefficient;
    3. Have studied both pedigrees for compatibility re conformation to breed standard;
    4. Be aware of exactly what heritable health and/or temperament problems are in the lines;
    5. Question the hell out of any prospective puppy people;
    6. Have the success of your breeding program verified by (more or less) objective sources (conformation showing);
    7. Be a member of at least your local breed club;
    8. Be a contact, resource, or a friend even, to your puppy people for life – not just until the check clears.

    I realize that all the above relates to purebred dogs as that is what I’m involved with.

    • Betsy July 1, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

      I like your list, Diane, but mine varies slightly as follows:
      Some of the things that make a responsible ethical breeder are (not necessarily in order of importance):

      1. Before the breeding, the sire and dam should be tested for all major medical conditions in that breed, and be honest about if the dogs passed the test or not
      2. Can say off the top of your head how either parent deviates from the breed standard and how closely (or loosely) they are related;
      3. Be aware of exactly what heritable health and/or temperament problems are in the lines (and in the breed in general);
      4. Have the success of your breeding program verified by some type of testing….obedience, agility, conformation or even yak herding! What ever it is that your gig and breed are into, have demonstrated to independent judges that they are capable of doing it;
      5. Be a member of a breed or performance club; at a local, regional or national level;
      6. Be available as a contact, resource, or friend, to your puppy people for life – not just until the check clears.
      7. Be willing to turn away prospective puppy buyers who are simply not suited for your breed
      8. Raise the puppies in a clean, safe environment with regular socialization, stimulation and appropriate vet care
      9. Be willing to either take the dog back (or help in placement of the dog) at any time in their life, for any reason

      • CK July 9, 2014 at 1:59 am #

        If I was to breed my dog, which I am no longer considerng due to a chicken allergy, I would not be breeding him for the breed standards because I was not looking for him for that reason. He’s my service dog in training and though he has the steel nerves of the German Shepherd, he doesn’t have the high prey drive that one would want in a competition dog, but do want in a service dog. Whe/If I find a male who fits the bill and doesn’t have something ugly like an allergy to pass on to his offspring, I will be “proving” him as a working dog for the disabled, saving his sperm after health checks and whacking off his gonads once his sperm is saved. My current boy was perfect in every way until the allergy, but has since been pulled from the gene pool. Not all dogs are bred for their work for what the breed was originally designed for. I use GSDs for service dog work, this will not be using them for competition, herding or anything else – yet they will be proven for what the line I would like to develop will be intended for.

  16. Diane July 1, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

    PS: TDS, this is one of your best yet!

  17. Julie July 2, 2014 at 12:11 am #

    Every medical condition for which there is a test? Really? Wouldn’t you at least limit that to the medical conditions that affect the breed in question? And I for one would choose a working standard to verify my breeding program, not the standards in the conformation ring that have created most of the messes out of what used to be useful dogs (lap dogs excepted). And most contracts aren’t enforceable, so go ahead and have one, nothing wrong with that as it at least provides some sort of proof of good intent. Just don’t think that piece of paper makes someone a better breeder.

    • Diane July 2, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

      Every *heritable* condition. Unfortunately, there are not all that many tests yet.

      It’s kinda hard to show conformation to a working standard when that would involve hunting wolves, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service frowns on, or pulling invading Romans off of horses, which just about everyone (especially the Romans) would frown on. Lure coursing is sort of useful, but still differs too much from the original purpose of my breed. So a form-follows-function principle is used as the breed standard, and conformation judges, from what I’ve seen, do use that standard when judging.

      Which is not say that I don’t find GSDs walking on their hocks or bulldogs snorting instead of breathing appalling.

  18. 25castleson25clouds July 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    People who breed animals with no care about the animals really gets my blood boiling.

  19. bgszap2 July 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

    One Sunday some very nicely dressed people pulled into the driveway and came to the door. We were not expecting anyone. They showed us a photo of their little female Basset BYB purchased and wanted to know would we like to breed our male (Ch.,TD, “Standing for approved bitches”) to Toodles.


    WHAT? Why ever not?? Look how cute she is!
    Do you have the pedigree with you?
    The what?

    And this is how it happens. These people keep looking until they find some dork who says why sure, Atlas would just LOVE to get married.
    And the people down the street who did this very thing, found out too late that the Village has a DOG LIMIT, and when those pups reach a certain age, they better be gone. So when they reached that aqe guess where they ended up? The shelter. Cute little “purebred”–and they were– puppies bred by nobody in particular for no reason in particular and who gets blamed? Those of us who say NO..

    • dirtartful July 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

      I have a lab mix that I have been asked to breed on three different occasions (because he is so cute, great for agility)… I had to explain that these puppies would have no value, would be hard to sell, and most likely wind up in the shelter… People still be clueless.

  20. Feralpudel July 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    How can I trust you to understand canine genetics when you can’t master basic English grammar, spelling, and punctuation? I’ll take sparkly cursors over contributing to the Apostrophe Crisis (although the two frequently go hand in hand).

  21. Nora July 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    My youngest dog (an Italian Greyhound) was someone’s backyard accident. A local shelter helped them get their dogs altered and took the puppies to place. One puppy was adopted out of the shelter–the other one was taken by Italian Greyhound rescue, and adopted by me.

    She has a great temperament, is super-biddable, and very fast. If I don’t mess her up, she is going to be an AWESOME agility dog (like blow the competition out of the water awesome). She’s also allergic to chicken and has a luxating patella–neither of which conditions are unusual in Italian Greyhounds, though I wish the shelter hadn’t had her spayed at 8 weeks–I think the muscle she would have developed if left intact would have helped the knee. Nonetheless, the patella is not a problem (lowest grade, rarely luxates) right now.

    Honestly? If I knew where she came from, and I could have gotten to the parents before they were altered, I’d take another of those “backyard accidents” in a HEARTBEAT. There are plenty of “responsibly” bred dogs out there with problems you can’t test for (or kennel-blind breeders, or breeders in denial) that make them less-than-optimal Agility dogs.

    Flame on.

    • Stacey July 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

      My retired agility dog is also a rescue. Years ago, he was pulled by rescue from a high-kill shelter in a bad part of town. This dog means the world to me, but I try not to think about what happened to the rest of his family. I would love to have another dog just like him, but that desire is less important than keeping a litter of puppies out of the shelter system.

  22. Delaine July 9, 2014 at 1:00 am #

    Please email this to every LABRADOR owner/backyard breeder in America!! Enough already! I see more labs in shelters than any other breed. Your dogs are not special, he’ll most are not even close to standard and I KNOW none are tested. Enough.

    • Ruby August 23, 2014 at 3:56 am #

      Maybe there are more labs LISTED then any other dog because the pound peoples make up the breeds as the dogs come in.

      ORRRR the call them boxer mixes…

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