What is a responsible breeder? You will find that term in several articles on this web site and may wonder. Also you may have seen a recent Oprah show that dealt with puppy mills and heard the term there. The American Kennel Club sent a response to the show about that program, which dealt with the horrendous conditions that are found at many - but not all - kennels that breed for profit and the wholesale production of puppies.
Our show breeders are breeding with the primary purpose of producing healthy puppies with good temperaments. They will often choose one or two of these pups, called best of the litter, to show and to continue their planned breeding program. Any less than top quality pups will be sold as pets. "Pet quality" indicates that these puppies have nice qualities but the breeder feels they have traits that would make them less suitable for breeding and show. These are not inferior puppies but they do not meet the standard of perfection that we strive to reach. There may be a problem with the bite, a less outgoing temperament, even that the body length and height is outside the measurements described in the standard. As responsible breeders, they will be sold with a contract that requires these particular puppies will never be bred and they will be carefully placed in homes that have been thoughtfully chosen.
If you want to buy these healthy, carefully bred pet quality puppies, you will pay a nice price - but this is money you can expect to save on veterinary care in the future because the majority of these puppies grow to be healthy adults with fewer than normal health issues. Will they be perfect? No, there has never yet been a perfect dog or one with no health problems. However your chances of a long and healthy life for your pet are greatly increased when you patiently wait for a puppy from a responsible breeder who has screened parents and grandparents for known genetic problems.
BFCA Health Committee