What is a Backyard Breeder?


As you may have gathered by the name, the term backyard breeder is used to describe individuals who breed animals in a substandard or less than ideal fashion. This can imply anything from poor conditions and substandard food and medical treatment, to ill-conceived hybrid/mixes and overall ignorance of genetic diversity and biological knowledge by these amateur breeders. These untrained novices do not understand the breed standard or how to protect and preserve it.

Although most will primarily use and understand the term in the context of applying it to amateur pet owners who think they can breed their cute dogs and make money on their adorably cute puppies, backyard breeder is also used to describe more nefarious and sophisticated operations conducted by those who breed unethically for financial gain. These breeders may intentionally attempt to achieve the breed standard by using genetically incompatible dogs in a bid to extract profits despite increasing the probability of health risks to the puppies.

Those seeking a more detailed explanation of the term “backyard breeder” are encouraged to visit the Wikipedia page containing a more descriptive definition.

Backyard breeders are looked down upon by many people for a lot of reasons, including pet rescue operations.

In truth and in the interest of full disclosure, pet rescue operations look down upon Pomskies and the Pomsky designer breed. This is due to their belief that with so many pets being housed and euthanized in shelters that people looking to drop thousands of dollars on a designer breed should actually pay a fraction of that cost and save an innocent animal by adopting. While I have great respect and admiration for those involved in pet rescue activities, I do find it a little arrogant and self-righteous on their part to tell others what type of animal they should own and where they should get it. Imagine for a second if someone scolded you for wanting to have a child with your spouse instead of adopting a child.

I repeat. Their actions are commendable and worthy of praise. I just believe that some members of this community can go a little overboard.

Regardless, their complaints and the complaints by others about backyard breeders is valid and you would be advised to avoid these individuals. As suggested above, most backyard breeders lack the veterinarian training and knowledge needed to produce reliably healthy puppies. By purchasing from a backyard breeder, you the buyer are creating capitalistic forces that reward and encourage the production of a sub-standard product. And your dollars attract even more unscrupulous individuals to attempt to create their own little money-making puppy mill.

Besides the often unsatisfactory conditions that exist with backyard breeders, their ignorance with respect to the genetic traits and qualities of the breed or breeds they are breeding may result in genetically defective offspring. These genetic defects may be present at birth or may not reveal themselves until later on in adulthood. With a backyard breeder, what guarantees or assurances do you think you realistically have when it comes to purchasing a puppy?

Finding a puppy is exciting. But the euphoria and excitement of finding a new puppy should not override your concern and compassion for animals. Do your due diligence and make an educated decision by purchasing from a reliable and reputable professional who breeds ethically and responsibly – not solely for profit.

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