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Types of Dog Breeders: What You Need to Know

Making the decision to bring a puppy into your life is a huge one, and it's one of the most exciting things you can do. Adopting is always a great choice, but sometimes, there just aren't any puppies available in your area, or there are no dogs available that suit your space and lifestyle needs. Sometimes, you just want the security of having some sort of breed standard to work from - after all, it helps to know what your dog's size, exercise needs and so on will be, and sometimes, when you adopt a puppy, you're signing up for surprises!

Whatever your reasons for looking for a dog breeder are, we're not here to judge you, but we do think that we should educate you about the different types of dog breeders out there.

Puppy Farmers

We'd never judge anyone for making the decision to purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder, but puppy farmers are NOT reputable breeders.

These types of 'breeder' typically have large numbers of dogs, kept in atrocious conditions, and forced to bear litter after litter without proper care, veterinary attention, food or grooming. It's a miserable existence for these dogs, and the people who use dogs like this to earn money should be in jail.

Puppy farmers usually sell puppies cheaper than you would find them elsewhere, often let them go to new homes well before they should be weaned, and won't take care of anything like deworming and vaccinations. Not to mention that in six months time, there will be another litter, and then another, until poor momma is too worn out to have any more puppies.

Just don't.

Backyard Breeders

Backyard breeders aren't the same thing as puppy farmers, and they usually only have one or two dogs that are generally quite well cared for. They do breed their dogs for profit, but they also take reasonable to good care of them.

Because designer mixed breeds like Goldendoodles and Cockapoos aren't recognised breeds (according to kennel clubs) and they are neither "pure breed" nor pedigreed, breeders of these types of dogs do fall into this category.

That doesn't necessarily mean they are bad people, that they don't love their dogs, or that you shouldn't consider them, but be sure to do your homework, ask to see the parents and other dogs they own, and remember that because they're not governed by organizations like kennel clubs, you don't have a lot of recourse if things go wrong.

Registered Breeders

Registered breeders are dog breeders who are members of organizations like kennel clubs and breed associations. They often breed their dogs for shows as well as to rehome, and they tend to be driven by a love of a particular breed.

Registered breeders will breed their dogs to produce purebred puppies with pedigrees, which means you will know their blood line, they will have a fancy kennel name, and, if they meet breed standards, you would be able to participate in breed shows.

There is often a very long waiting list for puppies from registered breeders, and they are usually a lot more expensive, but you will know their full genetic history, you will be getting a puppy with predictable personality, temperament, lifespan and potential health issues, and because registered breeders are governed by the rules of various organizations, there is potential recourse if something were to go wrong. Some registered breeders even sell puppies under contract, which states that if you ever want to rehome them, you need to return them to the breeder.


Of the many choices when it comes to buying a puppy, it's really up to you. If a pedigree is important to you, then a registered breeder is the way to go. If not, an "amateur" or backyard breeder might be an option. As long as you're not supporting puppy mills and the misery they breed, it's okay to choose to buy a puppy.

Do your research, choose someone who treats their dogs right, and remember that no matter where they come from, a puppy is a lifelong commitment.

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