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duckbuster

Backyard Breeding definition?

32 posts in this topic

You hear it brought up so often I'm curious.

Lets hear from you guys your thoughts are on what you feel is a backyard breeding.

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A breeding that is done without the thought of improving the breed in some way. Breeding that are done without proper health checks first.

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It's one of those - "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it" - kind of things.

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I would agree with your 2nd sentence. Your first however no such luck.

There are very few people who breed their female to "improve" the breed. You would be looking for a litter a long, long time and even then how could you be certain the breeder is doing the breeding to "improve" the breed.

Thank you for your opinion.

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That is a cop out right there. If you know it when you see it then you must have a definition as to what it is when you see it.

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I would agree with your 2nd sentence. Your first however no such luck.

There are very few people who breed their female to "improve" the breed. You would be looking for a litter a long, long time and even then how could you be certain the breeder is doing the breeding to "improve" the breed.

I disagree. A quality breeder knows that each dog has it's faults and strives to improve the breed with each breeding. The goal of a breeding should be to strive for the breed standard.

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duckbuster, what is your own definition?

My definition is small-scale-puppy-mill. If parents wish to breed a litter for the experience their children take away from it, as long as health test are put in place, it is not backyard breeding in my mind. If folks are having litter after litter just for the money, and not looking out for the dogs and the breed, that is backyard breeding to me.

And of course "accidents" happen with dogs in heat. So as Bob Barker would say "please spay or neuter your pets." blush

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That is a cop out right there. If you know it when you see it then you must have a definition as to what it is when you see it.

There are too many factors and situations to give a cut and dried definition. Any definition you come up with will be so broad it'll include situations that aren't or so narrow it'll miss situations that are.

That quote was how U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart weighed in on pornography. I'd hardly call it a cop out. Some things are too nebulous (I used that word on purpose) to bottle up in a definition.

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My definition of a 'backyard breeding' would be a guy breeding his female lab to the neighbors male lab because there both 'good hunters' without regard to background and without doing health checks (hips and eyes), with the main intent to get a puppy for personal use.

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I agree with Blackjack. I would like to add someone who is breeding because they want to make a few bucks off the pups. Not really caring of the outcome. Just because you have a female in heat and your neighbor has a male that wants to get it on with her does not mean it should be done.

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Really, I did not know that.

Originally Posted By: duckbuster
That is a cop out right there. If you know it when you see it then you must have a definition as to what it is when you see it.

There are too many factors and situations to give a cut and dried definition. Any definition you come up with will be so broad it'll include situations that aren't or so narrow it'll miss situations that are.

That quote was how U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart weighed in on pornography. I'd hardly call it a cop out. Some things are too nebulous (I used that word on purpose) to bottle up in a definition.

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So duckbuster, lets hear your definition, you seem to take a problem with everyone elses anwsers (which seem spot on to me) and never offer your own obviously superior wisdom.

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Most of your backyard breeders are just breeding for money and have no intent on breeding for certain qualities that strain of dogs needs to improve on. I don't know much on how the lab breeders are but lots and lots of the hound breeders just are going on selling pups on just papers and not the quality of dogs and doubleing up on traits that you want to stay away from as far as that goes im shure some of your so called back yard breeders are doing the same thing with the bird dog breeds.

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Most of the people here have hit the nail on the head. I know that the breeder I'm getting my dog from will only breed master hunters to master hunters and then only if the eyes, teeth and hip are certified excellent. They are truely trying to improve the breed and the quality of their off spring shows.

"Ya, I got a XXX that's a pretty good hunter. Ya want to breed her with your XXX? It would be fun to have some pups and we could probably sell'em for 300 bucks a peice."

Not the best reason to breed a dog but probably works O.K. for some.

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No need to get testy here. I'll tell you what I think and you can break it down how you choose.

Based on some of the definitions given I would say that some consider Casey or Pike Bay (Matt) to be "backyard breeders". I don't see it that way but that is how I would interpret some responses.

"I'm doing my breeding to improve the breed" HOGWASH!!! We have no idea if we are going to "improve" the breed when we do a breeding. I bred my female who is very well bred herself. Her father is a producer of a National field champion, a National derby champion and several field and amateur field champions. She was bred to the best, most productive living producer in the field trial game. I didn't do it so that I could make 5 grand. I didn't do it to keep one. I did it for one reason and one reason only, to see what she would produce. All but one of the nine puppies have been washed out of the field trial game. Did I improve the breed? In my eyes NO I DID NOT from a field trial perspective. In some eyes maybe I did because there are 8 and soon to be 9 well bred gun dogs out there. My female has since been spayed. Am I a backyard breeder? In some eyes sure I am.

One thing that Houndsman mentioned about "doubling up on traits", that would be considered a "line breeeding" and in the field trial game that is quite common. You are looking to take the good to great traits from both parents and grandparents and create "monsters of the midway". Some times though with line breedings you get some pups with the bad traits. Would these people be considered "backyard breeders"?

Lets be honest, most people breed their female for 3 reasons. 1) to make money, 2) because they want a pup out of the stud they choose and 3) they want to keep a successful line going. To make a blanket statement saying "I'm doing this to improve the breed" is out of whack simply because most people have no idea on how to do it properly or correctly. I think for the most part to many people on this forum mention the term "backyard breeder" without defining what it is they consider that to be.

Put a gun to my head and tell me to give you my definition of a "backyard breeder" it would be this. A person who has no regard for owning a female and being aware of her cycles, have a litter take place with billy bobs dog down the road and say " hey we've got nice looking labs for sale, come on out and see them".

Now tear it down with your thoughts, good, bad or indifferent.

Thanks

So duckbuster, lets hear your definition, you seem to take a problem with everyone elses anwsers (which seem spot on to me) and never offer your own obviously superior wisdom.

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...because most people have no idea on how to do it properly or correctly.

And that, right there, is what makes a backyard breeder.

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Here is my take on backyard breeding. I personally look at breeders who sell their dogs with limited registration, to ensure that their line will be maintained or moved ahead if a dog is chosen to be bred. Im not saying that everyone that sells a dog and doesnt limit the registration is a backyard breeder but odds are that if they are selling with limited registration they are NOT a back yard breeder.

Successful breeding is a long and difficult task. It requires several years commitment to a particular line of dogs. Its not as simple as just pairing 2 dogs together and a sucessfull breeding doenst happen over night. Also a breeding should be well thought out, and most importantly done to improve the line or breed.

Not every dog is breeding quality. Maybe one superior pup out of every litter maybe considered good enough to breed. Thats not to say the rest are bad dogs, it's just one maybe far more superior in natural ability and conformation than the others. And a breeder that limits the registration will be the judge of that and to make sure to always breed the best to the best, and that doesn't mean titles, that means raw natural talent in the field.

I very well beleive the good breeders who have been doing this for a long time can and are improving the breed. Duckbuster you said it yourself, you got a litter a puppies that didnt meet your expectations. I am not saying this is what you did, but this is what I see happen way to much:

Far too many breedings have been done only on the basis of physical appearance with little if any regard to the sire's and dame's respective pedigrees or the interplay between the two. Novice Breeders don't realize that individual dogs may share desirable traits but inherit them differently and they also fail to understand that breeding dogs which have similar traits but genitically unrelated won't produce the desired traits in a litter but will actually reduce the chance of these traits being reproducible in the next generation.

Novice breeders regularly overlook a dog that has a great trait because it also has a minor fault in favor of a dog that has no faults but no great traits. Successful Breeders use specimens within their line that have at least one truly great trait and breed them with specimens that in turn are great where the other dog is weak. This is my opinion on good line breeding.

Too many times people try to buy their way in thinking that they can buy a dog from one line and breed to their great new stud dog (often their first dog). They think they can start a breeding program overnight because the dogs are so great. If only it were that simple..... and there is not much a breeder can do about it even if with limited registration. And whats even more unfortunate is many breeders do this to themselves.

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Nothing to tear apart, I can't argue with what you said.

? for you, For what purpose should people breed dogs? If not for making money or bettering the breed is it just a public serivice?

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Nothing to tear apart, I can't argue with what you said.

? for you, For what purpose should people breed dogs? If not for making money or bettering the breed is it just a public serivice?

dogs dont live forever, but I am sure people certainaly including myself wish they did smile

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If some want to call me a "backyard breeder" so be it. I am old enough now where name calling doesn't get to me... as much. The actual act of breeding did take place in the backyard (stud dog owner's back yard). We didn't feel the honeymoon suite at the Hilton was necessary.

I would invite anyone to critique the litter we produced. The pedigrees of the sire and dam are on the puppy page. This isn't a challenge to start a debate on what we have done but more so an opportunity for me to capitalize on any information anyone could share with me. I am in it to learn and produce quality dogs.

We bred dogs with field and show championships along with hunt titles in the pedigree. The show championships along with the relatively recent English ancestry demonstrate dogs being bred for conformation and temperment. The field championship and hunt titles are an example of dogs being bred to hunt. Considering the pedigrees alone I would ask what more would you want from a lab breeding?

Both dogs also had hip, elbow and eye certifications. IF we decide to breed again the dogs will also have additional health certifications (CNM, EIC, etc.)

I don't care if we were to be labled "backyard breeders." I don't comment on whether or not we have done it to better the breed. Whether or not someone has bred to "better the breed" as it has been discussed here is really a matter of opinion and not fact. Is "bettering the breed" perpuating good hunting lines? Is "bettering the breed" only allowing dogs with the appropriate confirmation to breed? We have been RESPONSIBLE breeders (see comments on pedigrees and health certifications).

The stud dog owner was interested in getting a puppy from the litter, that is some of the motovation. Like rundrave said, dogs don't live forever. The stud dog owner felt he had an excellent lab. We agreed.

We did it because we had what we believed was an excellent female that would produce pups that were what we felt labs should be. Yeah, we made some money. We are still driving the same car and truck we had before the litter. I still have the same boat. Point is, we didn't make a mint off the pups, didn't really make much money at all. We didn't buy our female to be a cash cow. We bought her because when we saw her at 7 weeks old we knew she was the best lab ever grin.

Like I said, I firmly believe we put out some good pups that by all signs from the parents would be healthy dogs that would make good hunters and great family members.

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I have to say that I will respectfully disagree with a lot of what you have said here.

As I mentioned my knowledge is coming from the field trial side of things so maybe things are looked at differently. If that is the case then I apologize up front.

Let me start with your 3rd paragraph. I disagree because if I am reading it correctly you are stating that only the best of a litter should be bred. Not true. A lot of times, in the field trial side now, the best dog does not equated to the best producer of talent going forward.

In your 5th paragraph you state that breeding dogs of similar traits will not produce good qualities but just the opposite. Again, not true. This is called a "line breeding". When line breedings are done more times than not you will in fact bring out the best from both sides. Is it full proof, NO it is not but neither is breeding the best to the best as you stated earlier.

As I mentioned in my previous message. I bred my female to the best producing, most productive living sire in America. My females pedigree is outstanding from her father all the way back 4 generations. As with any breeding it is "chance" and the hand of God that makes them great or not. Breeding the best to the best is not a sure fire answer to get great animals.

Am I a "backyard breeder"? I certainly do not think I am. Some however will say yes he is and that is fine with me. My reasoning for doing this topic is just to open a dialogue regarding the subject since so many seem to want to mention the ugly term, "Backyard Breeder".

Thanks

Here is my take on backyard breeding. I personally look at breeders who sell their dogs with limited registration, to ensure that their line will be maintained or moved ahead if a dog is chosen to be bred. Im not saying that everyone that sells a dog and doesnt limit the registration is a backyard breeder but odds are that if they are selling with limited registration they are NOT a back yard breeder.

Successful breeding is a long and difficult task. It requires several years commitment to a particular line of dogs. Its not as simple as just pairing 2 dogs together and a sucessfull breeding doenst happen over night. Also a breeding should be well thought out, and most importantly done to improve the line or breed.

Not every dog is breeding quality. Maybe one superior pup out of every litter maybe considered good enough to breed. Thats not to say the rest are bad dogs, it's just one maybe far more superior in natural ability and conformation than the others. And a breeder that limits the registration will be the judge of that and to make sure to always breed the best to the best, and that doesn't mean titles, that means raw natural talent in the field.

I very well beleive the good breeders who have been doing this for a long time can and are improving the breed. Duckbuster you said it yourself, you got a litter a puppies that didnt meet your expectations. I am not saying this is what you did, but this is what I see happen way to much:

Far too many breedings have been done only on the basis of physical appearance with little if any regard to the sire's and dame's respective pedigrees or the interplay between the two. Novice Breeders don't realize that individual dogs may share desirable traits but inherit them differently and they also fail to understand that breeding dogs which have similar traits but genitically unrelated won't produce the desired traits in a litter but will actually reduce the chance of these traits being reproducible in the next generation.

Novice breeders regularly overlook a dog that has a great trait because it also has a minor fault in favor of a dog that has no faults but no great traits. Successful Breeders use specimens within their line that have at least one truly great trait and breed them with specimens that in turn are great where the other dog is weak. This is my opinion on good line breeding.

Too many times people try to buy their way in thinking that they can buy a dog from one line and breed to their great new stud dog (often their first dog). They think they can start a breeding program overnight because the dogs are so great. If only it were that simple..... and there is not much a breeder can do about it even if with limited registration. And whats even more unfortunate is many breeders do this to themselves.

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Very nice duckbuster.

My definition of a backyard breeder would be anyone who breeds hunting dogs but doesn't hunt or doesn't hunt with at least one of the parent dogs (unless you own both dogs then you must hunt with both of them).

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you misunderstood me. I said individual dogs may share desirable traits but inherit them differently. Dogs with the same pedigree do not inherit exactly the same genes and will not breed identically. Dogs in a litter are no more similar than brothers and sisters in a human family.

the best dog of the litter can be different based on what is desired. I may think a dog is better and you can think a different dog is better for another reason. doesnt mean either dog is a bad dog.

No amount of titles can overcome an animals inability to reproduce its own great traits.

this is a good conversation very interesting to hear others thoughts

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I think there is no clear concise definition of a 'backyard breeder'. Am I one? Guess that I have shrunk down to 1 breeding lab, d not do it as a profession and no longer have a kennel building I am a 'backyard breeder' in the purest of terms.

Duckbuster actually does hit the nail on the head in regards to us 'improving' the breed. I've never thought of it before but he is right. We have NO guarntees of improving the breed... but that should not be a cop out to open the flood gates to indiscriminate breedings. That to me is the definition of a backyard breeding... 'someone who breeds indisciminatley and WITHOUT regard to the breed'. We are not God and therefore cannot control the outcome of any breeding and their subsequent progeny. We can try to tip the odds in out favor, but the rest is out of our control. You should at the bare minimum in my eyes, set out to at least maintain the integrity of the breed (that includes all aspects I believe) and not just one desirable trait (ie: field ability or conformation), which is how a lot of breedings are done now. I really think breeders need to step back and look at their dogs as a whole and regain what we lost. We need to get back the proper structure, temperment, coat, tail, conformation, natural abilities, intelligence etc. of each and every breed that has been bastardized by each and every specialized group. I won't pick on any, but they are all equally culpable... especialy in the retriever world, but it is very common in Flushers and to some degree Pointers.

I have a female that many in the breeding world would breed... she is one of my offspring yet I will not breed her. She does not bring any qualities that I am looking for to the table. Nice pedigree? yes. Is she obedient? yes. Does she have natural ability? yes. good hips/elbows/ eyes? yes. good coat and conformation? no. Is she tractible? to some degree but not a stellar student. Has a good temperment? sweet and obedient... a little too ramped up, but not bad...

Is it guarnteed that she will not produce outstanding pups? No, she may, but I do not feel it warrants the possibility that they will not achieve what I am looking for in a total package. I am producing pets and gun dogs. But still want to give the client a 'lab'. A dog that made the breed the most popular dog for the past couple decades. The vision they have of waht a lab is suppose to be. I have left the competition (all competitions) world to their own demise. I personally think that 'full on' line breeding is the slow death of any breed. It takes years to 'perfect' a line, and then the impact it has on the breed as a whole is evident as it permeates through a huge preponderence of the pedigrees, with a all the good, the bad and the ugly. I have gone back to toatl outcrosses... It brings in Hybrid vigor and helps to infuse new blood into the breed. It is obviously out of my hands as to the final outcome. Line breeding and even inbreeding is easier to guess the outcome, but I do my best to choose the traits I am looking for in each of the parents and try to match them to compliment each others strengths and weaknesses and gauge the puppies as they grow. I have for the most part achieved what I set out to do. I do not have a particular standard of performance to achieve (ie: derby champs, show champs, seeing eye dogs etc) but rather a well bred gun dog and companion animal. Does that mean they cannot compete? Absolutely not, I just don't breed for that one desire. If the pups produced are not what I am looking for, they are not bred again. They do go home with a limited registration and if I keep one it is evaluated as to it's potential to be bred.

I think as a whole, each and every post on here has merit as to the definition as seen by the person whom is typing the opinion and there is no cut and dry definition, but as GSPMAN said... you'll know it when you see it!

Good Luck!

Ken

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I have been trying to stay out of this topic, but decided that I should add my thought because I have referred to backyard breeders on this sight.

1) I would consider Labs & Duckbuster as hobby breeders, a step above backyard breeders but not full time breeders, I also consider myself a hobby breeder. As hobby breeders we have alot of the same goals as full time breeders without the dependence on the income from the next litter.

2) What makes a backyard breeder a backyard breeder? I don't think it is always the quality of the dog. I think it has to do with the commitment to the pups produced. I feel most backyard breeders have a tail light guarantee. I am commited to the pups I sell for the life of the dog. I have breed & training knowledge that I am willing to offer all my pup owners even 5 or 10 yrs later. If someones situation changes, I am willing to keep a dog for the owner until a new owner has been found and sometimes I am able to help find the new home.

So to put it simply. If you buy a pup from a backyard breeder it is like buying a computer with out any technical support. You may not need any support, but if something comes up it nice to have the security of the support.

These are just my thoughts. Ben

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