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Who wrote that? The fb page had several good responsible breeders commenting on certain posts like that and they weren't doing anything other than stating the reasons why breeding should be taken responsibly and with care! They weren't being condenscending or rude, just stating the facts that others don't want to hear. And those breeders aren't selling for outragious prices or boasting about selling to the LEO's/military. I'm sure the breeders are done with that group, too hard to constantly try to educate.

It is frustrating to the ones doing it right because the ooohh's and aaahs of all the ignorant posters on the page.
I agree with some points of that article, but whoever wrote it is biased against the breeders that are doing it right and leaning towards the ones that are doing it for other reason$ than being responsible. And there have been a couple posters, losing puppies because they have no idea how to whelp/raise a litter.
 

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Good article.

Unless the market for BYB dogs can be destroyed there will always be the demand for them. And that demand comes from ignorance and no money.

They say, "It's just a dog, I'm not paying that kind of money for an animal" And it's because they don't care about training or any sort of competition, or maintaining the breed standard.

Most probably don't even know there is a breed standard for purebred dogs.

I don't know of any way to break the cycle. There will always be a demand for BYB dogs no matter what breed they are. It's just too iffy doing that with GSD's because of health and temperament issues.
 

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I don't know of any way to break the cycle. There will always be a demand for BYB dogs no matter what breed they are.
Like the piece said, education is key.

I don't think we'll ever eliminate the demand, but surely we can reduce it. I think that's already happening across the country -- faster in some communities than others, to be sure, but I do think it's moving in the right direction.

What I'm seeing, in my own little corner of the world, is that the problem is hardest to tackle for dogs that don't really have a strong community of responsible breeders, chiefly the crossbred "designer dogs" like labradoodles. They aren't often found in rescue (and get adopted in a nanosecond when they do pop up), and they're not purebreds so they don't have a breed standard or a lot of breeders titling their dogs in any discipline.

I have a lot of friends who purchased labradoodles and they all went to BYBs, every single one, because they couldn't adopt and they couldn't buy from (what I would consider) a good breeder. They did their best to avoid outright puppy mills and they did as much research as they could, but that was the best option they could find.

That problem I don't know how to solve. (Having people not get labradoodles in the first place would be optimal, IMO, but that's not happening.) But with a breed that has a strong and devoted following like the GSD, it seems a lot easier to resolve.
 

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Well, some of the problem is also - there are people breeding to improve the breed overall and keep the standard but there are people breeding for skewed interpretations of the standard who may have all the tiles, show ratings, hip clearanges, etc.** and produce dogs potentially worse than the random outcome of BYB breedings.

I think that was one of the points of an earlier thread on this forum about the "value" of various titles/ratings etc. It has to go a lot deeper than that.

**while blowing off other significant genetic issues from long term inbreeding even if the particular puppy is not inbred for "x" generations but is "backmassed" etc etc
 

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It is an interesting article. But here is my question: What defines a back yard breeder?

I am in love with DDR dogs; I believe that these blood lines should be preserved. I intend to research them, and choose a breeding pair sometime in the next five years. If I have one male and one female, and breed one litter every couple of years, does that make me a back yard breeder? If my dogs are not titled, but come from good lines, with excellent hips, eyes, and elbows; are not protection trained, but are instead members of my family, does that by default make me a back yard breeder? I'm okay with it if it does, the reason I want to breed them is specific, to preserve these blood lines.

Or is a back yard breeder only those that put making money above the health and well being of the dogs? Because in my opinion, that makes them a puppy mill, even if they only produce a few litters a year.

A professional breeder, IMO, is someone who makes their living from dogs; training, showing, and breeding. These are the dogs that often cost thousands of dollars, and come with rudimentary training when you pick them up at 10 weeks.

Just below them (on the hierarchy in my mind :)) are hobby breeders; those that love the breed so much, that they have puppies every once in a while. These are educated owners, with trained dogs that may or may not show. This is the group I would like to join, but not until I have learned enough not to make a mess of it. I know that you will never make money breeding dogs; between shots, vet visits, and the risk to your bitch, you're lucky if you break even. You do this because you love the breed, and want to see it continued in the right way.

Below this, and in my mind, just as bad as puppy mills, are the well meaning souls that breed their dogs because 'she should have a litter before we spay her'. It's the worlds worst reason to breed a dog, and often the results will (again, my opinion) end up in animal shelters.

At the bottom of the list are those that breed for profit, and like I said before, whether they produce 1 litter or 20, they are puppy mills in my book. So lets call a spade a spade. If you're breeding in your back yard to preserve the blood line, or to improve the breed, then I say, more power to you, even if you don't charge $2000 a puppy. If you're charging $100 a puppy because you're dealing in bulk, then that's a different story.
 

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But here is my question: What defines a back yard breeder?
In my personal opinion? Good intentions + ignorance.

I'll use the labradoodle breeders I'm familiar with as an example. All of these breeders claimed to "love the breed" (which isn't a breed, but that's a rant for another day) and viewed their pets as cherished family companions. All of them were completely ignorant of canine genetics, health screening, the importance of titling and trialing their dogs (not for the titles in themselves, but to learn how their dogs work), or even really basic puppy-raising stuff like early socialization. One of my friends bought a labradoodle who, at six months, had never been off the family farm -- not even to go inside the owners' house.

All of them were using a nice Lab plus a nice Standard Poodle, but that is all they knew about their dogs -- that they were "nice." None of the breeding dogs were showing in any venue whatsoever, although since mostly they were AKC dogs, some did have titles in their pedigrees a few generations back. The breeders would trot these out proudly (you know, the old "champion bloodlines" thing) but, in the same breath, say it wasn't important to do similar things with their own dogs. They would say it wasn't important to screen their dogs' hips, eyes, elbows, or get any genetic disease testing done, because "hybrid vigor" would ensure all the crossbred pups were just fine.

I believe they weren't breeding (just) for money, although they probably were making some profit. I believe they genuinely do love their dogs and think of themselves as being well above puppy mills. But, despite good intentions, these people did not have any idea what they were doing.

It's one thing to understand why a particular consideration might be important and make an educated decision to forgo it in light of other, competing considerations. It's another thing altogether to just have no idea why titles or health clearances or pedigrees matter. To me, that ignorance is what makes a BYB.
 

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Lady Jenna ....... I guess I would say in your case preserving to what end?

DDR lines will continue to be bred and a significant number of breeders are already using DDR stock so the lines will be preserved........so what would you be adding? How would you know your dogs are the cream of the crop and producing dogs that would be bred to by responsible folks down the line?

So many "black sable Czech DDR" dogs are already out there......with no rhyme or reason to the breeding other than Black Sable, Blocky head.......They are not rare or an oddity.
 

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I guess I like to see breeders move their lines "forward" and develop them towards a goal of some sort. Not just "preserve" and breed the same two dogs to each other in order to make puppies for other people. I guess your hope is that some of those people will then decide to breed their dog (and hopefully match it to a DDR) in order to preserve more of the line...or move it forward?

Meh...nothing will stop byb. Removing/educating the market/customers will but its too slow of a process. For every ONE person that comes on here and gets educated, there's 100s lining up to get dogs that cost $500...not even $100. And I do believe at $500 a puppy the breeder is making quite a bit of money without titling/health checking their breeding stock.

I got my boy for $500. I refused to pay someone $1000+ for a dog just because the parents were titled or champions. My view was...why pay you money for the fact that I can tell my friends that my dog came from X? Didn't make sense back then. Now all I really care about is temperament and the proven ability to work...so I do look for working titles. Won't even have to be Schutzhund though since I don't do Schutzhund. It could easily be a UDX, MACh, or anything else I'm interested in. My next dog will be coming from Schutzhund titles parents just because that's the way it worked out lol.

I think the best thing that happens is a person gets a dog from sub-par lines. Find this forum for whatever reason or their local breed club, and then gets educated. That's what happened to me, and I'm glad it did. But I'm also one in a million and I know most people won't care that much.

I got a dog from what would be called a byb...he's currently got titles on him, if I wanted to I could've done Schutzhund, he has good hips/normal elbows, and I don't have any issues. I know people that got dogs from "reputable breeders" that came from an AKC champion, a UD bitch, and there is a whole slew of issues with the puppies...ranging from pancreatic deficiencies to weak pasterns to missing teeth. That's the reason people don't care...I got lucky with a great dog, others paid twice and much and got crap.
 

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Martemchik, your post is very insightful and shows maturation on your part as you became more educated....a lot of posts and opinions come on the forum about breeding and training that come from folks with limited exposure but strongly held....some maturate like you have over time, other will fight tooth and nail to retain their position even in the light of overwhelming facts and experience. This is a complicated breed, whether you are BYB or best breeder money can buy, but there are certainly no shortcuts to gaining the insights you are gaining.
 

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I got a dog from what would be called a byb...he's currently got titles on him, if I wanted to I could've done Schutzhund, he has good hips/normal elbows, and I don't have any issues. I know people that got dogs from "reputable breeders" that came from an AKC champion, a UD bitch, and there is a whole slew of issues with the puppies...ranging from pancreatic deficiencies to weak pasterns to missing teeth. That's the reason people don't care...I got lucky with a great dog, others paid twice and much and got crap.
And I've gotten my last two GSD's from responsible breeders who title the dogs and do health certs and have gotten 1) a dog with great temperment but horrible health issues and bad hips 2) a dog that is fearful, reactive and has bad hips that is costing my a small fortune on professional trainers. My next dog is coming from one of those 'hobby' breeders who buys untitled dogs from titled parents and breeds them. I figure I can't do any worse than what I've gotten from reputable breeders who charge tons of money and don't honor their contracts. I can apply the $2000 I'm saving to offset any problems that may or may not arise.
 

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Lady Jenna ....... I guess I would say in your case preserving to what end?

DDR lines will continue to be bred and a significant number of breeders are already using DDR stock so the lines will be preserved........so what would you be adding? How would you know your dogs are the cream of the crop and producing dogs that would be bred to by responsible folks down the line?

So many "black sable Czech DDR" dogs are already out there......with no rhyme or reason to the breeding other than Black Sable, Blocky head.......They are not rare or an oddity.
That is my point exactly. And please understand, I don't presume to know much; I have A LOT to learn! but by diluting these lines, by crossing DDR lines with Czech lines, which are still in use in Europe, DDR lines will be lost. I want to preserve these lines as much as possible as they were when the Berlin Wall fell; I think that there is something worthy in these dogs, and there is more to them than a blocky head or a sable coloring.
 

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Cliff always sums things ups so succinctly!

It doesn't really matter if the dog is DDR, Czech, WGWL, etc... it has to do with the quality of the dogs being bred. It is about preserving the breed by trying to put the best female you can find with the best, complimentary male to produce superior dogs.

There are many considerations, and the more experience one has, the more factors one will consider. Each breeder has their own definition of what moving forward means. Most breeders have a pretty similar defninition, IMO. But even the good ones have different thoughts on how to achieve the goal of improving the breed.

It is an interesting article. But here is my question: What defines a back yard breeder?

... I believe that these blood lines should be preserved. I intend to research them, and choose a breeding pair sometime in the next five years. If I have one male and one female, and breed one litter every couple of years, does that make me a back yard breeder?...
It may not make you a backyard breeder, but I would never buy a dog from a person that has one male and one female and they breed them together every couple of years to produce pups.

They may be the best two GSD alive, and they may produce the best GSD puppies that ever lived. To me, however, this would be blatant evidence the "breeder" has no idea what they are doing, even though (through no fault of their own) they could be producing great pups.

I could go on, but I'll stop here.

I am not saying you can't be a good breeder. I am saying there is a whole lot more to it than buying two dogs from titled parents and breeding them.
 

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I am saying there is a whole lot more to it than buying two dogs from titled parents and breeding them.
I agree with this COMPLETELY. I don't know anywhere near enough. I am at a minimum, five years from purchasing a puppy with breeding in mind. I am on this site to get an education. And I'm even willing to say I'm wrong when it turns out I am.

I want to have a clear purpose. I have a lot of respect for the people on this site, otherwise I wouldn't be here. I've had other breeds before, I've been involved with breeding other dogs, but I've never been head over heels in love with a dog the way I am with my Abby, and she opened my eyes to GSD's.

She's a mix I got at the animal shelter. There is no way I could have afforded $1000 for a puppy, let alone $2000 - $3000 from a reputable breeder. I had to get an older dog (more than 2 years) to accommodate my lease agreement, but before I reviewed my lease agreement I had been looking at puppies. We do obedience training every day, but we'll never be able to compete at the higher levels because she isn't registered.

I understand that titles take money; I've been that route with my sister and her Samoyeds. I know that breeding should be to improve the breed, not just continue it; I've seen enough dogs in the shelter to understand the truth of that. I'm not trying to be belligerent, I really want to know, if I can, in truth, only work with and give the time they deserve to, two dogs, isn't that enough to produce the occasional quality litter? And still provide dogs to people who don't have thousands of dollars to spend? Or do we all have to come into the breed through cross breeds, or back yard bred genetic monstrosities with bad hips? Is there a middle ground,, where quality puppies can be produced without incurring the huge overhead of a professional breeder?
 

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We do obedience training every day, but we'll never be able to compete at the higher levels because she isn't registered.
Just a very very minor tangential point, but you can register a mixed-breed dog and compete in sports on equal footing with purebreds. Competition obedience is not closed off based on your dog's breed. :)
 

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@Lady Jenna - I hope as I respond to you, it does not come across condescending or rude. I have learned a great deal from this website, it is a great source of information (mixed with disinformation just to keep you on your toes).

If you read through the archives on breeding you will see a lot of opinions on this. Have you seen the sticky about whether or not you should breed your dog? I mention it because it has some great points to consider earlier rather than later. I have not bred a dog, but if I do, that flowchart only sums up the basic considerations I will have in my mind when making breeding decisions.

I write from the perspective of a GSD "user" and a student of the breed. The more I learn the more interested I am in the why. I have been studying the breed for probably over a decade now, and still have to ask simple questions of people I respect like Chris, Cliff, and Lisa.

If you truly want to breed GSDs, come up with your reason for breeding. Think of what kind of dog you want to breed. Not "DDR-lines", but what would be the quinessential GSD you would like to produce, then find dogs that are similar (I wrote a puppy specification for my last dog, and I would do the same with more detail for dog I was going to breed). Find and approach a breeder throwing those kinds of dogs, and develop a relationship. Purchase one and use it for the purpose for which it has been bred, to test its true nature/temperament/quality. Prove to the breeder you know what your doing and you have the commitment to follow through. Get mentored by the breeder and discuss with them the possibility of breeding or co-owning a dog. Find a suitable breeding you think will produce a female pup of appropriate size, structure, drive, nerve, and health. Assuming there is a pup that meets your criteria, purchase/co-own the right pup out of the litter. Raise the pup properly from an early age (this will be your second purebred GSD). Follow the same steps as you did with the last dog by working the dog, this time you won't make so many mistakes ;) , to prove the dogs qualities are real and not imagined. Recognize the dogs shortcomings. Search for an find an appropriate, complimentary male that will strengthen those shortcomings without introducing unacceptable traits. Approach the owner of the male and convince them your female is worth breeding to his stud...

Thats as far as I've thought it out to be honest. Of course, I'm only about halfway through that process, which assumes no major setbacks in life, family, or dog.

From this point forward there are a whole new batch of problems ranging from your own foundation bitch showing unexpected health problems, breedings that don't take, puppies and mothers dying during birth, socialization program and early neuro stim to give the puppies every advantage, and temperament testing the pups and making sure they go to an appropriate home for their personality and drive.

A pup from a litter from an experienced, talented, honest breeder that health tests the dogs, puts multiple titles on his/her dogs, spends countless hours studying potential studs (also titled), communicates with annoying previous puppy owners (like me!) about trivial concerns, performs early neuro stim, socializes the pups, temperament tests the pups, and hand-picks the pup that best suits your needs/wants cost between $1500-$1800. And I thank God everyday it is such a bargain!

You made a comment about cost. As has happened to many GSD lovers, my first GSD-mix rescue had hip displaysia at less than 2yrs old. Surgery was $2000. I vowed I would NEVER blame cost for not purchasing a well bred dog again. I kept thinking of "Where the Red Fern Grows", if a country kid could save up the money to buy a well bred dog to perform the task it was meant for, then so can I... I know its a movie, but I still teared up at the end. :cool:

I didn't mean for this to turn into a book. I just wanted to convey how seriously I took the breeding of my pup. I also do not intend to be contentious or argumentative. If you want to breed, I sincerely hope you become a great breeder! We need more of them. There are lots of people out there breeding affordable GSDs. The world needs more good dogs, not more affordable ones.
 

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It is an interesting article. But here is my question: What defines a back yard breeder?

I am in love with DDR dogs; I believe that these blood lines should be preserved. I intend to research them, and choose a breeding pair sometime in the next five years. If I have one male and one female, and breed one litter every couple of years, does that make me a back yard breeder? If my dogs are not titled, but come from good lines, with excellent hips, eyes, and elbows; are not protection trained, but are instead members of my family, does that by default make me a back yard breeder? I'm okay with it if it does, the reason I want to breed them is specific, to preserve these blood lines.

Or is a back yard breeder only those that put making money above the health and well being of the dogs? Because in my opinion, that makes them a puppy mill, even if they only produce a few litters a year.

A professional breeder, IMO, is someone who makes their living from dogs; training, showing, and breeding. These are the dogs that often cost thousands of dollars, and come with rudimentary training when you pick them up at 10 weeks.

Just below them (on the hierarchy in my mind :)) are hobby breeders; those that love the breed so much, that they have puppies every once in a while. These are educated owners, with trained dogs that may or may not show. This is the group I would like to join, but not until I have learned enough not to make a mess of it. I know that you will never make money breeding dogs; between shots, vet visits, and the risk to your bitch, you're lucky if you break even. You do this because you love the breed, and want to see it continued in the right way.

Below this, and in my mind, just as bad as puppy mills, are the well meaning souls that breed their dogs because 'she should have a litter before we spay her'. It's the worlds worst reason to breed a dog, and often the results will (again, my opinion) end up in animal shelters.

At the bottom of the list are those that breed for profit, and like I said before, whether they produce 1 litter or 20, they are puppy mills in my book. So lets call a spade a spade. If you're breeding in your back yard to preserve the blood line, or to improve the breed, then I say, more power to you, even if you don't charge $2000 a puppy. If you're charging $100 a puppy because you're dealing in bulk, then that's a different story.
:thumbup:

i neither have the time, space nor money to breed dog. I do agree that there can be hobby or byb breeders that can put just as much effort, if not more, into having quality pups than some professionals who are just in it for the money and breed their dogs to death (I have seen it). There are alot of good professional breeders here and thats what gives me hope. I hate that a few bad eggs ruin the whole basket.
 
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