Animal Advocacy

The 10 Most Telltale Signs of a Backyard Breeder

Don’t make the same mistake that many novice dog owners do!

Dr. Deb
Published in
4 min readAug 10, 2020
Photo by Sophia Kunkel on Unsplash

Puppies are some of the cutest things alive and the process of bringing a new puppy into your home can feel magical! However, many new puppy parents make the mistake of purchasing their puppies from ‘backyard breeders’. Backyard breeders are people who breed and sell puppies for a profit without any care for the health and lives of the puppies or their parents.

Here are 10 signs to tell if you’re dealing with a backyard breeder.

  1. They don’t screen potential buyers

Responsible breeders have their dogs’ best interests in mind, even if they plan on selling them. Any responsible breeder will want to know what kind of home their puppies are going to and whether they will be well taken care of or not. They will never want their puppies to receive neglect or abuse at the hands of their new owners.

2. They sell on Craigslist, eBay, or pet stores

As part of their screening of potential buyers, responsible breeders will not sell their puppies on craigslist or eBay. Craigslist and eBay tend to attract buyers who want to meet up and exchange cash for a puppy, end of the deal. Responsible breeders almost always have websites that educate potential buyers about their puppies, the puppies’ parents, health screenings, and all sorts of other educational information.

3. They offer minimal medical security

Health guarantees are contracts between the breeder and buyer that guarantee the health of their puppies for at least 1 year after the purchase date. Some responsible breeders even have lifetime health guarantees! For the breeder, this ensures that the puppy can be returned to be cared for in case any health conditions are caused by poor genetics and they know to stop breeding any parents who may have passed down the defective gene.

4. They don’t have proof of genetic testing

Genetic testing goes hand in hand with health guarantees. Responsible breeders test for most, if not all, of the most common genetic defects that are prevalent in the breed of dog that they are selling. These…



Dr. Deb

Dog and cat Veterinarian, avid traveler, and foodie.