All canine experts including vets, trainers and animal rescue organizations agree that people should not buy a puppy from a pet shop, or from a Backyard Breeder. Ads from unscrupulous breeders fill the classifieds on Kijiji and Craigslist. The Backyard breeders may appear to be the nice neighbor next door, but they are the single greatest cause of pet overpopulation. Back yard breeders usually do not have bad intentions, but the results of back yard breeding are devastating. The majority of homeless or abandoned dogs come from this category in many popular breeds and mixes and are often destroyed in pounds. Most are sold locally through newspaper ads.
Decide for yourself after reading the following comparison of characteristics of Backyard Breeders VS Responsible breeders of purebred German Shepard puppies
- typically breed just for profit and are attracted by the idea of “easy money” after seeing how much legitimate breeders charge for pups
- some backyard breeders may produce high volumes of litters or the pups may be kept in sub-standard living conditions and may not be properly socialized
- unsound breeding practices can predispose dogs to hereditary afflictions like hip dysplasia, eye problems, and aggression as well as genetic conditions such as liver and heart diseases
- backyard breeders usually do not and cannot provide full information on genetic disorders prevalent in certain breeds or documents proving their puppies are free of hip or eye problems
- animals from backyard breeders typically are not tested for genetic disease and are not adequately protected from parvo
- puppies can also be exposed to disease, infections and parasites at the pet shop/kennel.
- do not typically screen buyers and do not take back and rehome dogs from customers who later realize they cannot or do not want to keep the dog
- may allow puppies to leave mom and the litter before 8 weeks of age. Puppies learn vital social skills from their mom and littermates and without these lessons, puppies can develop social and behavior issues
- may not allow you to see the parents in order for you to learn key information from observing the parents, and may not allow you to visit to see where the puppies are being raised
- often breed several types of dogs and therefore cannot better the breed. if they are focusing on four or five different breeds
- do not provide a contract with a health guarantee, what the breeder expects from the purchaser, and what the purchaser should expect from the breeder.
- usually only knows the history of their own dog and will make assumptions based on what they know. Because they lack information regarding the traits of previous generations, puppies often have health problems that can cost new owners thousands of dollars
- backyard breeders are one of the leading causes of shelter overpopulation
- produce litters without any thought as to where the pups will be placed or whether there is even a demand for them, contributing to overpopulation and unwanted pets being euthanized
Responsible German Shepherd Breeders
- personally and individually screen and select appropriate homes by interview and usually visiting the homes of prospective puppy purchasers, placing pups only with people who demonstrate they can provide safe, responsible homes for their puppies and rejecting buyers whose lifestyle or home situation does not fit GSD puppies
- have years of experience with the breed and will provide advice and guidance to purchasers on characteristics of, and caring for the breed (history, traits, temperament, socialization and development)
- deworm and vaccinate their puppies
- continually test the health and temperament of their puppies using sound, standardized genetic and other testing recommended for the individual breed such as: OFA (hip x-ray certification), CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation), Penn-Hip (hip joint laxity), SAS (subaortic stenosis, a heart defect common to some popular breeds), thyroid etc. Genetic screening enables responsible breeders to minimize their chances of producing a health-compromised puppy.
- provide legal documentation of the GSD puppies’ lineage
- legitimate GSD breeders like Vom Issam Haus never produce a litter until potential buyers have been screened and a deposit has been paid to ensure that all of their puppies will go to appropriate homes. They may also restrict breeding rights, asking buyers to sign a contract to ensure that they will not breed their pups, thus contributing to overpopulation
- will always take back their dogs at any point in their life if the purchaser no longer wants or can care for the animal for any reason
- often show their GSD and therefore ensure that their dogs display the desired physical and behavioral traits desired for the particular breed
- also keep their own dogs as house pets, so they know that offspring will be good pets as well
- have a reputation as leading Ontario breeder of purebred German shepherds and breed only dogs that are good pets and fine representatives of their breed
- provide full, lifetime written guarantees covering genetic disease and temperament problems
- have the mother dog on premises and let prospective purchasers observe the dog and her health and behavior and do not separate a pup from the mother before 8 weeks of age
- breed only dogs over 2 years old, and only a limited number of times rather than every year
- can provide extensive references from happy puppy buyers
In conclusion, if you are considering getting a dog it doesn’t much matter whether you are looking for a pet, or looking for a performance or show dog. You can choose to avoid supporting breeders who are unethical and contribute to dog overpopulation, or carefully select an ethical breeder. If you really want a higher degree of predictability of temperament, health, working ability, size, coat and other factors you can increase that by seeking a well-bred dog from a responsible breeder.