- The Backyard Breeders’ and Puppy Millers’ Big Book of Old Excuses
- Written by Denna Pace
- 1. When called on bad breeding practices, ALWAYS claim that you are merely an innocent posting as a favor to a friend or family member.
2. Point out that everybody you know breeds this way, therefore it must be okay.
3. Claim that “snobby show breeders” are only criticizing you because they want to corner the market on puppy profit.
4. Claim that a Champion in the pedigree is just as good as 56 Champions in the pedigree. Not that it matters, because you doubt that there is such a thing as a dog with 56 champions in the pedigree.
5. Claim that you are just trying to produce good pets, therefore good pets are all you need for breeding.
6. When asked about health testing, enthusiastically point out that your bitch had a health checkup before breeding.
7. Be sure to mention that you do not need to run such health tests as OFA, CERF, thyroid, cardiac, patellae, etc., because your dogs look healthy and had no visible problems at their last vet checkup.
8. Point out that these tests cost too much and would cut into your profit margin. Be sure to champion the right of poor people to breed dogs.
9. Confidently assure worried rescuers that no puppy you produce, or any of their puppies or grand puppies or great-grand-puppies will end up in shelters because you have a bunch of friends who have told you that they’d like a pup from your bitch.
10. Point out that you don’t need Championships or working titles on your dogs because you are breeding for temperament and your dog is really sweet.
11. Silence those annoying people who ask about your health guarantee by assuring them that buyers can return any sick puppies and you will replace it with another pup as long as it got sick within a certain amount of time of sale and as long as you don’t think the buyer did something to make the puppy sick.
12. If your breed or line is rare (or you have a “rare” color, or believe your breed or color is rare), be sure to remind everyone that you do not need to show, temperament test, or health test your breeding stock because you are doing the world a service by continuing this “rare” breed/color/line.
13. No matter what anyone else says, claim that you obviously know what you are doing because you’ve been breeding for a long time. Point to the hundreds of puppies you’ve pumped out over the years as proof.
14. If this is your first attempt at breeding, make sure to remind everyone that you HAVE to breed your dog because how else are you going to learn how to breed?
15. Assure everyone that your dog does not need to be shown because you were assured by someone at Petsmart/the park/the vet’s office/a friend that your dog is a perfect example of the breed.
16. Always remember that “rare” colors, oversized or undersized dogs, and mixes of popular breeds are great selling points. Anyone who doesn’t think so is obviously not in tune with their customers’ wishes.
17. Claim that your dogs are better because they are not inbred, as inbreeding obviously produces sick/stupid/deformed dogs. If breeding poo [as in “Cock-a-Poo,” “Peek-a-Poo,” etc.] dogs or other mutts, always point to “hybrid vigor” as proof of your dogs’ superiority.
18. Remind everyone that you do not need a waiting list because your puppies are cute.
19. Assure everyone that your puppies will not end up in shelters because they are cute.
20. Claim that YOUR breed never ends up in shelters in your area, therefore your puppies will never end up in shelters.
21. If asked why you think your dogs are breeding quality, point out that they “have papers.” Extra points awarded for using the phrase “AKC Certified.” Double points if those papers come from the Continental Kennel Club.
22. If you sell a sick puppy, always blame the owners for making it sick. If the owners are clearly not responsible, blame their vet. (see #11)
23. If presented with irrefutable evidence proving you wrong on any excuses you have used, pretend your server did not receive the post/e-mail.
24. Claim that none of the rules of ethical breeding apply to you because you only intend to have one litter and therefore aren’t a “real” breeder.
25. If all else fails, tell everyone who criticizes you to “get a life.”