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Old 11-25-2012, 01:19 PM
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Basic Breeder Definitions

There have been numerous threads about breeders and/or finding a breeder on this site. The one thing that becomes abundantly clear is people generally do not have a clue as to what the term “Hobby Breeder” means or other types of breeders as well.

A “Hobby Breeder” is someone who actively participates in the sport of purebred dogs (and also breeds). They might be active in Conformation, but that is only one facet in the Sport of Purebred Dogs. For Retrievers, there are also many other venues to choose such as Field, Obedience, Agility, Tracking, etc. Hobby Breeders breed, raise, train and actively participate in their chosen venue with their dogs. They may only have one breeding animal or they may have several spaced a few years apart in age. “Hobby Breeders” will generally strive to produce the best dogs possible, and treat people as fairly as possible because they have a reputation to maintain within the Purebred Dog community.

“Commercial Breeders” are just what they sound like. They are farms, producing puppies as a product for market on a large scale. They are licensed and inspected by the USDA as an Agricultural operation. Commercial Breeders exist because there is a demand in the marketplace for their product. This is a dollar driven business with the bottom line driving the decision making process.

Someone who puts two intact animals of the same breed together and makes puppies as their “Hobby” is NOT a “Hobby Breeder”. They are what is referred to as a BYB “Back Yard Breeder”. Their operations are usually very small with only a dog or two, but they can sometimes be larger. BYB’s generally don’t have much invested into a litter (time, or money), and haven’t spent a lot of time learning about the breed and its potential pitfalls. They’re really rolling the dice and hoping for the best. They really have no clue about what they could get, good or bad.


A word about "Puppymills". There is no clear set definition for what constitutes a “Puppymill” It is an often used disparaging term used to malign a breeder. As the saying goes “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and a similar logic applies to the term “puppymill”. It means whatever somebody wants it to mean. Its use is more often driven by personal politics than anything else. In the most conservative rescue and shelter circles, any person that intentionally breeds even ONE litter is considered to be running a “Puppymill”. So you really have to consider the source when you hear disparaging remarks.

Do your own research and ask lots of questions.
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Last edited by Swampcollie; 11-25-2012 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:06 PM
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A term I hear here in Missouri is "licensed breeder". I believe it falls under Commercial Breeder.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:48 PM
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As someone looking for a puppy, another deceptive term used often by backyard breeders is "akc breeder"

This is especially problematic as un or undereducated people looking for a quality puppy may be misled by the akc title. People know that having "papers" means getting a purebred puppy but have no idea that one can get AKC papers and not have all necessary health clearances. confusing to say the least.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampcollie View Post
There is no clear set definition for what constitutes a “Puppymill”
Oh, I don't know...to me and many others, these pictures depict what a puppy mill is:

http://www.saawinternational.org/puppy_mills_1.jpg

http://www.educatemymutt.com/puppy-mill4.jpg

http://helpanimalsnv.org/images/puppymill1.gif

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_NscWcVxkCC...aws+flufff.jpg
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:37 PM
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The breeder terms are all a little bit loaded, describing as much what the speaker thinks of the breeder as it does the breeder him/herself. I'm sometimes not sure of the difference between a commercial breeder and a puppy mill. They both churn out lots of dogs for profit. I gather the difference has more to do with conditions and the level of care taken, but I'm not sure.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaRuns View Post
The breeder terms are all a little bit loaded, describing as much what the speaker thinks of the breeder as it does the breeder him/herself. I'm sometimes not sure of the difference between a commercial breeder and a puppy mill. They both churn out lots of dogs for profit. I gather the difference has more to do with conditions and the level of care taken, but I'm not sure.
I think of it as all commercial breeders are puppy mills, but not all puppy mills are commercial breeders.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaRuns View Post
The breeder terms are all a little bit loaded, describing as much what the speaker thinks of the breeder as it does the breeder him/herself. I'm sometimes not sure of the difference between a commercial breeder and a puppy mill. They both churn out lots of dogs for profit. I gather the difference has more to do with conditions and the level of care taken, but I'm not sure.

There are very large commercial kennels-the Hunte corporations operation is probably the most well known facility of this magnitude. They absolutely mass produce puppies and supply the pet stores with the puppies that they mass produce. However, their kennels are very sanitary and have pretty good marks in reguard to animal husbandry practices. The kennel is state of the art, in a lot of ways. However, that is not the type of place that most people would like to get their puppy from.

You are absolutely correct in the fact that a "puppy mill" usually has a lot to do with the living conditions of the dogs. Dogs living in small, very cramped quarters in filth with minimal care and feeding and left to their own devices to even whelp and raise litters. It is truly a shame the type of lives that these type animals live.

The term "puppy mill" was actually started with HSUS(Humane Society of the United States) and as has already been stated, there are many animal rights groups and people out there who believe if you have ever bred one litter, you are a puppy mill. These groups are working very hard to take our rights to even own dogs away from us. So, I would also like to take this opportunity because a lot of people like to donate to animal shelters this time of the year, that if you are going to donate, donate to your local animal shelter or GR Rescue. They all do amazing work on shoe string budgets and can always use any help they can get and you know the money will be used to help the animals locally and not pay lobbyists in Washington or pay fancy CEO salaries.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:35 PM
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I don't know about Hunte. I'm thinking right now of Gold Rush as a good example of the difference between commercial and puppy mill. I'd call Gold Rush a commercial kennel, not a puppy mill. True, they have a steady stream of puppies and many dogs and many litters per year. But Ann Johnson is careful about clearances and good lines, shows her dogs, keeps them in a clean environment, doesn't sell to pet stores, and while not in a home environment I understand the dogs get exercise and good care. So, to me, while that might be a commercial kennel it is no way, no how a puppy mill. (As an aside, I am told that she made $500,000 in stud fees off one dog. Now, if true, that dog is a commercial operation by himself!)

I would say that anyone who mass produces puppies for pet stores is a puppy mill, even if the facilities are clean. As for smaller operations, I know of a "back yard breeder on steroids" kind of operation, where they sell Goldens and Weimaraners by website and ads in the paper, and keep the dogs and puppies in small confined areas, in poor conditions, and the dogs do not have any real kind of life, they are just puppy machines. That, to me, is also a puppy mill, even though it is much smaller than a big Hunte operation.

At least, that's how I think of it. Those who would characterize anyone who produces one litter as a puppy mill are just extremists with an extreme agenda, imho, and they do a disservice to everyone by diluting the term into meaninglessness.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:55 PM
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There are very large commercial kennels-the Hunte corporations operation is probably the most well known facility of this magnitude. They absolutely mass produce puppies and supply the pet stores with the puppies that they mass produce...

I was under the impression that the Hunte Corp. does not breed, but they broker puppies. They buy the puppies at 8 weeks, (supposedly 8 weeks, anyway), from mills and then sell them to pet stores.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:01 PM
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I believe Hunte does both. They do have their own kennels but they also buy pups from other commercial breeders.
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