The Breeder’s Point of View

It is difficult to tactfully say some things that breeders need to express to their customers.  Without being in the shoes of the breeder, one may not find it so easy to understand our world.  I offer this page to shed light on some of the issues that you may never have considered from “The Breeder’s Point of View”. 

Point #1: A health guarantee is not a guarantee that a puppy will never get sick. A health guarantee is a guarantee that the breeder will back up a puppy’s health if it is due to health issues that come as a result of a congenital or genetic defect. These two words are both loaded as well. Proving a “congenital or genetic defect” is the root cause of a health issue may be too costly for many owners to afford. The real truth about a health guarantee is that a good breeder will stand behind their puppy in health issues that can be reasonably proven to result from “congenital or genetic roots”. 

Point #2: The words “Bad Breeding” are often misplaced in usage.  As is true with all breeding; risks of defects exist in any breeder’s lines.  The occurrence of these issues can be minimalized through a careful breeding program, but may still occur from time to time.  This should not be subject to the term “Bad Breeding” unless the breeder has continued breeding a line of dogs proven to produce these “Bad Defects”.  Breeding is an art and learning to produce quality puppies takes years of consistent work as the breeder gains experience. 

Point #3: The terms “Puppy Mill” and “Backyard Breeder” are not synonymous and are often misunderstood.  

Wikipedia: A Puppy Mill,

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puppy_mill], also known as a puppy farm, is a type of commercial dog breeding facility. They are all around the world and have similar characteristics. Although no standardized legal definition for “puppy mill” exists, a definition was established in Avenson v. Zegart in 1984 as “a dog breeding operation in which the health of the dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits”.  

Wikipedia: Backyard Breeder:

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backyard_breeder] A backyard breeder is an amateur animal breeder whose breeding is considered substandard, with little or misguided effort towards ethical, selective breeding. Unlike puppy mills and other animal mill operations, backyard breeders breed on a small scale, usually at home with their own pets (hence the “backyard” description), and may be motivated by things such as monetary profit, curiosity, to gain new pets, or to show children “the miracle of birth”. 

Every breeder began with less knowledge than they will possess after years of experience.  Most breeders start out with a pet that steals their heart and they decide they want to be more involved with that breed.  What follows is years of learning.  For some, the satisfaction of earning a dollar overrides the need to educate themselves and breed better.  For others, as the knowledge of their breed begins to permeate their thinking they dedicate themselves to improving their breeding program every day and every way that they can. 

Point #4: You the Buyer, hold the key to eliminating the true “Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders” from society.  Educating yourself about your breed will help you to “know what you are looking at”.  You will not be able to detect everything, but if you know the Lhasa standard it will be more evident if a Lhasa is not measuring up to the standard.  You will never find a perfect Lhasa apso, but you should be able to see many positive breed standards when inspecting your puppy as well as a clean environment and no visible signs of health issues.