I've noticed a few people on the board lately asking what a backyard breeder, or BYB, is. A backyard breeder is a person who does NOT breed in an attempt to better the breed. This can include those who breed for money, those who breed because Fluffy is "so cute," or those who simply do not follow ethical breeding practices, such as breeding within the breed standard or selling unhealthy dogs. Here are some of the signs of a backyard breeder: -They have multiple litters available, year-round A good breeder can only handle one litter at a time. Raising a litter of puppies properly is a full-time commitment. A breeder with multiple litters is probably not giving them the attention they deserve. Producing oodles of puppies is also a big sign of a profitmaking venture. -They are obviously set up as a business. Do they accept credit cards or Paypal? Can you buy an "extended" health guarantee? Is "satisfaction guaranteed or your money back"? Then RUN AWAY! -They give a puppy to the first person who pays for it. A good breeder wants to do an extensive interview of whoever gets one of his/her puppies. They genuinely care for their dogs and want them to go to good homes. A person in it for profit does not care where the puppies end up, as long as money changes hands. -They do not do health testing. By health testing, I do NOT mean a single trip to the vet to see if Momma dog is healthy. I'm talking about special test (like OFA or CERF) to be sure that a dog is free of hereditary health conditions, such as hip dysplasia and luxating patella. No good breeder would breed a dog that has a high probability of passing hip dysplasia on to its offspring. -They advertise their dogs as "teacup", "extra tiny", "super huge", "extra large", etc. First of all, there is no such thing as a "teacup" breed. Toy dogs bred to extremely tiny proportions can suffer health problems because of their delicacy. Same with large breeds. A rottweiler should not weigh 200 lbs, nor should a German Shepherd weigh 160 lbs. Breeders like this usually breed for size, not soundness, health or temperament. -They do not have titled dogs. Only dogs who have proved their outstanding qualities should be bred. This can be done by earning titles, like show championships or Shutzhund. Or, the dog can be an outstanding working dog, like an exceptional herder, sled dog or hunting retreiver. *Note: a breeder with a dog like this should be more than willing to offer a demonstration or other proof of his/her dog's skills.* -They belittle show titles, working titles, Schutzhund, etc. Since BYBs do not have titled dogs, they will often do their best to make titles seem insignificant and pointless. Look for such catch phrases as: -"I don't need a show ribbon to know my dog is amazing." -"All a show proves is that a dog can prance around a ring" -"Working titles don't prove anything," -"Schutzhund has no relevance to a dog actually working." -"I will not submit my dogs to the stress of showing and competing." Dog shows evaluate a dog's structure and movement, to judge exactly how well a dog embodies the breed standard. Working trials and Schutzhund were developed specifially to test the skills of working dogs. Don't be swayed. -They boast only about their dog's "lines", such as "show lines", "hunting lines", "working lines," etc. While a good lineage is a plus, it's not everything. Even a Westminster champion showdog will produce pet-quality puppies in every litter. Same with working dogs: not every puppy in a litter is born with the drive or ability to work. Their German shepherd bitch may be the daughter of "Shutzhund champion Sir Works-A-Lot", but she herself might have the working ability of a pekinese. Go by the actual sire and dam, not their grandparents, aunties, uncles or siblings. -They use catch phrases to market their dogs, such as "Available in time for Christmas", "As seen in the movie Air Bud", "Great Valentine's Day present" Once again, that's all a moneymaking ploy. Avoid these at all costs. There are many more signs out there, but these are the most common I've seen so far. Hope this helps!