Chapter 5
How To Know The Best Source For Your Dog

Commercial Breeders

Commercial breeders are people who produce a large volume of puppies purely for profit. Commercial breeders think of puppies as a commodity that they can sell to the public and breed accordingly. Commercial breeders are similar to puppy mills with the line between the two being blurred, depending on the person you talk with. For the sake of differentiating between commercial breeders and puppy mills, we'll assume that commercial breeders keep their dogs in acceptable conditions, and don't physically strain their health through excessive breeding. But a great deal of debate surrounds the topic of commercial breeders. Show-line and working-line breeders of AKC dogs generally have an adversarial relationship with commercial breeders. Many AKC breeders feel that breeding should be done only by those seeking to improve the breed, and commercial breeders typically care little about the breed standard. The goal of a commercial breeder is to make money breeding dogs and that can lead to questionable breeding practices. Advantages of Commercial Breeders. Commercial breeders have a negative reputation, but the fact is that there are advantages to buying a dog from a commercial breeder. Commercial breeders produce so many puppies that there is rarely a wait to get a puppy of a common breed. If you're eager to purchase a specific breed and can't find a responsible breeder with an available litter, a commercial breeder probably has a puppy for you. Also, because they're breeding so many dogs, and aren't selective about their breeding programs, commercial breeders many times charge less for their dogs than responsible breeders. If you're considering buying a dog from a commercial breeder, be aware that you can be virtually assured that there has been little if any genetic monitoring of any dog that makes up their breeding stock. As a result, their dogs are likely to have a higher risk for genetically-based diseases that can cost many times more over the life of the dog than the relatively small increase in cost that comes with buying a dog from a responsible breeder. Disadvantages of Commercial Breeders. Although commercial breeders typically aren't actively unpleasant to their dogs, because they are breeding dogs for profit, they tend not to focus on creating a good breeding program. For example, commercial breeders rarely if ever health-test their dogs. As a result, they could be breeding dogs with genetic health issues, who will pass those genetic health problems on to their puppies. Commercial breeders either don't realize the risks of genetic health problems or don't care; neither of which is good for the people who buy their puppies.