There are standards that have been placed on dog breeding by the law and the general ethical conscience of the dog community. These standards demand the humane treatment of the dogs they wish to breed and any of the offspring they have. Sadly, there are certain types of breeders out there  who don’t follow these guidelines.

Organizations or individuals that dedicate their lives to learning the genetical science behind dog breeding are considered reputable breeders. These people acknowledge the difficult and complex science behind breeding two dogs, and understand that there are certain regulations one should follow in order to create healthy offspring.

And then there are amateur breeders who wish to focus on advancing specific traits (whether they be healthy for the dog or not)… they are known as backyard breeders. Some have taken up dog breeding as a way to make easy money while others are actually interested in learning about breeding. Unfortunately, it seems that this practice has led to vast overpopulation in dog shelters today. Most puppies who are purchased today come from backyard breeding; two thirds of dogs in the USA, to be exact. And since these individuals are unfamiliar with the science behind what they are doing, the litters have many birth defects, which then lead their owners to dropping them off at a shelter or a pound. It’s a sad truth, but irresponsible backyard breeding has contributed to the overproduction of dogs. These breeders treat dogs as if they were a product just for profit instead of a living creature.

There’s a negative reputation surrounding the label of backyard breeders due to their perceived unethical attitudes and practices. While it’s true that some backyard breeders do in fact practice responsible breeding, there is a science behind dog breeding that isn’t common knowledge. It is so complex that the consequences can be deadly for the offspring. These people are also believed to have a for-profit mentality that rivals that of puppy mills and dog fighting pits. Both of these activities are unethical due to the inhumane treatment of the dogs by their owners.

Here are some ways to differentiate these two kinds of breeders, and some information on why backyard breeding can be a bad idea. There are certainly people who feel strongly about the practice because of the possible negative consequences.

What do you think about backyard breeders? All the information we were able to find suggests that this breeding is an activity which produces the best results when highly regulated. Is the unregulated world of backyard breeding something that should be tolerated in our community?