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for suggestions on basic care of your bully.

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Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders and Reputable Breeders



A large-scale commercial breeding facility with many different breeds of dogs. Sells primarily to retail pet shops (usually via a broker), but occasionally sells directly to individual consumers. Dogs are bred solely for profit, with no concern for their physical health or psychological well-being - most are disease-ridden; all are force-bred continuously. Often uses "Kennels" or "Farms" in its business

name. Dogs' and puppies' squalid living conditions are off-limits to the public. There are more than 4,000 puppy mills in the United States producing more than half a million puppies a year. See the literature for a detailed description.


A scaled-down version of commercial puppy mills, operating on residential property, with fewer (usually no more than three) different breeds of dogs. Living conditions are as squalid as puppy mills. Sells to pet shops and to individual consumers (from a "clean room" on the premises), relying on newspaper

advertising for the latter. May pass itself off as a benign little "mom & pop" home-based enterprise, but just like its puppy mill counterpart, breeds not for quality but strictly for the money. Note: Because of growing public awareness of the horrors of puppy mills, many pet shops now claim their puppies come from "loving & caring private breeders." These are the for-profit backyard breeders. Reputable breeders never use pet shops as a middleman. For the most part unlicensed, unregulated, and likely to be operating in secrecy (for-profit breeding on residential-zoned property is illegal in most localities), it can only be estimated that there are tens of thousands of backyard breeders in the U.S.


An individual or family who breeds the family pet from time to time, not necessarily or primarily for money but presumably for love of the breed or love of their particular dog. Puppies are given away or sold to friends and acquaintances, or to strangers via ads in local newspapers. When homes can't be found for the entire litter, the remaining puppies may end up at a pet shop, either taken on consignment or purchased outright from the hobby breeder. Once in possession of such "quality" home-bred animals, the pet shop (or the stranger) may in turn sell them to puppy mills or backyard breeders for use as future breeding stock (Some of the puppies may actually be mixed-breed.).


Just that. Failure to spay/neuter the family pet. Education and/or access to affordable spay/neuter services usually "fixes" the problem. The majority of mixed-breed dogs are the result of "accidental" breeding. [This category also includes "collectors," who, for pathological reasons, never spay/neuter or take proper care of their pets.]


Puppy mill operators and backyard breeders routinely purchase quantities of Pedigree Puppy Certificates from the AKC. In April 2000, it was revealed in a nationally televised exposť of the puppy mill/pet shop industry that the AKC unquestioningly registered (for its $20 fee) the birth of a non-existent litter of eight puppies ("born" to a spayed female and a long-dead male), and issued with no hesitation its highly prized Pedigree Puppy Certificates ($27 apiece) to two 13-year-old cats - proving once and for all, beyond any doubt, the absolute worthlessness of that "prized" piece of AKC paper.


An individual who breeds one or two specific breeds for "quality of the breed" ("quality" according to breeding-industry standards, which in the United States most often means AKC standards…these breeders typically also exhibit their dogs. Puppies are either (a) "show quality" (a relatively infrequent occurrence, with characteristics that generally aren't discernable to the breeder until the puppy is several months to a year old), or (b) "pet quality." The reputable breeder sells puppies directly to the individual consumer - never sells or consigns to pet shops. Buyers are invited - indeed required - to visit the breeder's premises, to see where the puppies were born and how they're being raised. Buyers are likely to see the mother dog, and sometimes the sire, living on the premises, where they're treated as beloved family pets. The reputable breeder demands of buyers that puppies not of "show quality" will be spayed/neutered and kept as house pets. Remember:



prepared by TheCaring Corps, Inc.  Copied and pasted from


(the following was revised by WMBC - 11/13)

  1. Keep in mind that NOT ALL PUPPIES SOLD ON THE INTERNET are from puppymills and backyard breeders.  
  2. How ever ALL puppymills and backyard breeders DO sell their pups on the internet.
  3. So how do you tell the difference, when looking to purchase a puppy or adult? 
  4. Its recommended to contact your local breed specialty club for a breeder referral. 

....For the betterment and love of the breed!