What is a backyard breeder? You might be surprised to find that the AKC is riddled with backyard breeders.
WHAT IS A BACKYARD BREEDER AND WHAT IS THE AKC?
The AKC is one of the most recognizable acronyms in the dog world.
They document pedigrees by giving breeders a place register their purebred litters. They also offer a range of services from dog shows & conformation to sports, advocacy and training certifications.
You can learn more about the AKC here.
One International version is FCI, you can learn more about them here.
Others exist as well, some are good, others are a place for bad breeders to get ‘papers’ for their dogs with unknown or mixed-breed lineage.
The word ‘papers’ is now actually relatively meaningless because of this.
AKC registrations are a wonderful way to document and see the pedigree (lineage) of a dog. They are important, but they aren’t everything.
ONLY PUREBRED DOGS CAN BE REGISTERED WITH THE AKC
Mixed breed dogs and dogs with unknown lineage cannot be registered with the AKC.
If a breeder is trying to sell you a ‘Danoodle’ or ‘Labradane’ with ‘papers’, know that the papers are probably from a made-up or low quality dog registry.
The AKC does try to maintain standards and educate breeders and buyers. However, having AKC papers is NOT enough to prove the quality of a genetic line or dogs against the written standard.
Remember the game ‘telephone’?
You sit in a circle with your friends. The first person whispers a phrase to the next person, who then takes that phrase and whispers it to the person next to them. The phrase makes its way around the circle.
The phrase may have begun as ‘I like to eat cake’ , but always ends with something completely different and usually funny. ‘I think you are fake’ for example.
The practice of breeding a Great Dane simply because it has ‘AKC Papers’ can create entire lines of registered, purebred Great Danes that look very little like Great Danes. Just like the game of telephone that we played as children!
PUREBRED DOES NOT MEAN WELL BRED
Of course, we are major dog and breed snobs over here, but even as a not-snobby pet owner you should care deeply about this breed.
Poorly bred dogs are more likely to suffer from health problems, including painful, frustrating and expensive conditions such as allergies, hip dysplasia, cardiac disease, aggression, fear, blindness/deafness and autoimmune disorders.
SO, WHAT IS A BACKYARD BREEDER? AKC PAPERS ARE NOT THE ONLY KEY
In no way are we saying that imperfect Great Danes don’t deserve a home, or that your imperfect Dane isn’t good enough. (Truth! Ask me about my dainty three-legged Dane! I love the underdogs).
What we are saying, however, is that AKC papers can mean surprisingly little in the world of ethical breeding practices.
AKC Papers do not mean that a dog was bred with health and structure and temperament in mind.
They do not mean that a Great Dane exemplifies the appropriate health and structure of the breed.
The Great Dane in the photo above has recently had a litter.
She should not have been bred, not only because she would pass her poor genetics, structure, health and timid temperament onto the puppies, but because her structural issues would have made pregnancy exceptionally damaging and possibly even painful. Did this breeder fully OFA Health test her to rule our hip dysplasia, thyroid disease, cardiac disease and eye disorders?
NO, YOU DON’T NEED A SHOW DOG
It would be super snobby and misguided for us to say that everybody should have a perfect, beautiful show dog and expect nothing less.
We don’t believe that. We believe that there are breeders out there creating wonderful pet dogs.
Stop buying dogs from backyard breeders! Every time you support a breeder who doesn’t care about structure, health and temperament you support an industry that is creating thousands of dogs who eventually end up euthanized or in rescue.
FIND A GREAT DANE PUPPY
Look for and verify: