Difference between a BYB (back yard breeder)
and Hobby Breeder:
author: Clairyce Gaston, RDO Goldens, California
(permission granted to reprint)
Try to think of AKC papers like you would the
pink slip to a car. It
identifies who made the pup, when it was made, what kind of pup it is, and
who owns it now. Just as the pink slip to a car can not tell you whether it
is in showroom condition or a rusty pile of junk, likewise AKC papers can
not tell you whether the pup it goes to was the biggest handsomest "pick"
puppy in the litter or his scrawniest most sickly runt litttermate. Every
puppy in an AKC registered litter is just as eligible for registration as
the others. The power to separate second quality pups from those with the
potential to someday be worthy of reproduction lies solely in the breeder's
hands. They must have the knowledge, concern, and discipline to place
lesser quality pups in homes where they will be neutered and live happy
lives as pets, removed from the gene pool. This world does not need MORE
Golden Retreiver, it needs BETTER Golden Retrievers.
So now you have a nice puppy with "potential". What comes next is PATIENCE.
No large breed dog can be properly evaluated for reproduction until it is an
adult, which for Goldens is at two years of age. At this point, what sets a
dog worthy of reproduction apart from one that is not is the presence and
application of meaningful quality controls. In Golden Retrievers we have
two... health clearances and competition. Health clearances assure us that
the dogs being used for breeding are not affected with health disorders.
Competition assures us that our dog is a superior specimen of its breed by
pitting it against other specimens in controlled competitive environments.
Health clearance numbers such as OFA and CERF bear testimony to the dog's
medical soundness. Competiton titles bear testimony to the dog's
construction, looks, intelligence, instinct, temperament, and willingness to
please its human masters.
It is not a foolproof system but it is what we have and the lack of anything
better is not a good excuse for failing to use what we have. Breeding
Goldens without competitive titles means that less than ideal breed
specimens will be producing less than ideal offspring. Breeding Goldens
without health clearances means that dogs with disorders are not being
screened out of the reproduction population and are passing on those
disorders to their puppies. Even if you are purchasing a Golden as a pet
and not as a show or breeding prospect, somehow I am pretty sure you still
want a dog that LOOKS like a Golden, ACTS like a Golden, and does not need
thousands of dollars worth of surgery, years of medication, or a shortened
SO... when you are out looking at puppies and the breeder has nothing to
show you in the way of health clearances or titles on the parents... thank
them for their time and LEAVE. If they point to grandparents or
great-grandparents with titles and clearances but there are several
generations of nothing in between those dogs and the pups you are looking
at... LEAVE. If the parents of the pups are under age two... LEAVE. Do
your homework ahead of time and know what a well bred Golden should look and
act like. If the dogs you are visitiing do not look and act well bred...
too tall, too narrow, too small... too shy, timid, or skittish... too
growly, untrusting, or aggressive... LEAVE. Do NOT buy a pup anyway
thinking you are "rescuing" it from a bad situation. Every litter a bad
breeder is able to sell guarantees they will breed again, and just as badly.
Only when the public is so well educated that there is NO market for their
pups will they stop breeding. Be an informed consumer and help put bad
breeders out of business.