A BYB dog, or dogs bred by backyard breeders, are becoming an increasingly significant issue in the pet industry. Backyard breeders are amateur animal breeders who breed animals on a small scale, often at home with their own pets.
They may be motivated by things such as monetary profit, curiosity, or to show children “the miracle of birth.” However, the animals bred by these breeders often suffer from genetic disorders, undisclosed illnesses, and unsuitable living conditions.
The Animal Welfare community, the ASPCA, larger established breeders, and breed clubs consider backyard breeders to be substandard breeders who exhibit characteristics such as:
- Ignorance of selective breeding goals and techniques
- Lack of familiarity with the breed standard of the type of animal being bred
- Breeding of animals for illegitimate reasons
- Lack of screening of potential owners.
Despite these concerns, many BYB dogs are still sold to unsuspecting buyers every year.
Health Risks of BYB Dogs
Backyard breeders often do not provide proper veterinary care to their animals. They may seem healthy at first, but later show issues that could have been prevented with proper care.
BYB dogs are also more likely to suffer from genetic disorders than dogs bred by reputable breeders. Dogs bred by backyard breeders are often bred for appearance rather than health and function, which can result in serious health problems down the line.
Some common genetic disorders that BYB dogs may suffer from include hip dysplasia, which is a painful condition where the hip joint does not develop properly, and can lead to arthritis and lameness; heart conditions such as mitral valve disease or patent ductus arteriosus; and eye disorders such as cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy.
These conditions can be costly to treat, and in some cases, may require lifelong management.
In addition, backyard breeders often breed excessive numbers of puppies from individual females, to the detriment of their health. This can result in higher rates of complications during pregnancy and birth, as well as increased health risks for the puppies.
Alongside the health risks, BYB dogs can be unsuitable for buyers’ lifestyles. Backyard breeders often lack screening of potential owners, which can result in unsuitable matches.
For example, a high-energy breed like a Beagle may not be a good match for a buyer who lives in a small apartment and works long hours. BYB dogs may also have behavior problems due to lack of socialization, which can make them difficult to train and manage.
Responsible Breeding Practices
To avoid the dangers of BYB dogs, it is crucial to purchase from reputable breeders or to consider adoption from a local animal shelter. Reputable breeders follow responsible animal husbandry and animal breeding methodologies and practices, including:
- Breeding for health and function
- Screening for known heritable deficiencies
- Avoiding inbreeding
They also provide proper veterinary care and socialization for their puppies.
Reputable breeders should be able to provide evidence of health testing for their breeding dogs, as well as provide a written contract that outlines the terms of the sale and the responsibilities of the buyer.
Buyers should be able to visit the breeder’s facilities and meet the parent dogs and puppies in person. This helps ensure that the puppies are raised in a clean, safe environment, and have been socialized from a young age.
Adoption from an animal shelter is an excellent option because many shelter animals are already vaccinated and spayed/neutered, and the shelters often provide screening to ensure the adopter and the animal are a good match.
Also, adoption helps to reduce the number of animals in shelters and can save a life.
The Importance of Education
Another crucial aspect of addressing the issue of BYB dogs is education. Educating potential buyers about the dangers of BYB dogs can help prevent them from unknowingly supporting backyard breeders.
Many buyers may not realize the difference between a reputable breeder and a backyard breeder, and education can help raise awareness.
Education can also help backyard breeders understand the importance of responsible breeding practices. Providing resources and information about responsible breeding can encourage them to adopt better breeding practices or deter them from breeding altogether.
BYB dogs pose a significant threat to the health and well-being of animals and buyers. The health risks, unsuitable matches, and lack of responsible breeding practices make purchasing a BYB dog a risky decision.
Instead, it is crucial to purchase from reputable breeders or to consider adoption from a local animal shelter. Education and awareness about the dangers of backyard breeding can help prevent further harm to animals and buyers.
It is important to understand the risks associated with purchasing a BYB dog and to make informed decisions when it comes to adding a furry friend to your family.
By choosing reputable breeders or adopting from a shelter, you can ensure that your new pet is healthy and well-socialized, and that you are supporting responsible breeding practices.