You are currently viewing The Meaning & Importance of a Reputable Breeder

If you have been searching for French Pointer breeders or English Cocker Spaniel puppies on the internet and social media, it is possible you have seen some of these terms used: reputable breeder, ethical breeder, good breeder, backyard breeder, responsible breeder, color breeder, fad breeder, and BYB. We will go over what these terms mean, and why these terms are important when choosing a Braque du Bourbonnais puppy or English Cocker Spaniel breeder.

A reputable breeder is more than just an individual who breeds purebred dogs. All reputable breeders are also good breeders and responsible breeders, so these three terms go hand-in-hand. A good breeder will perform genetic testing and health testing on any dog that is bred, before it is bred. They will not breed a dog who carries or has an illness or condition. This ensures that no diseases and conditions are genetically passed off to the puppies. While veterinarian visits are important for puppies, health & genetic testing is more than just a “vet check,” of health. These are lab tests that are conducted on cheek and/or blood swabs and x-rays of the parents, prior to any breeding plans. English Cocker Spaniels and Braque du Bourbonnais need to be cleared of all health issues & conditions before they produce a litter of puppies. It is important to understand that a dog can may not be inflicted with a disease or condition, but the dog can carry it. Genetic testing will rule out carriers of diseases, with the goal of removing these issues from the gene pool. This also gives the breeder confidence that they are not selling a puppy who will develop an issue later in life. And as a new English Cocker Spaniel puppy or Braque du Bourbonnais puppy owner, this means potentially less vet bills for you. For the puppy it means a longer, quality life as some of these diseases and conditions are not only painful and life altering, some cause debilitating health issues and are fatal. Treating these conditions can be a huge financial burden, one that a dog owner is not expecting. 

Good breeders also breed for betterment and preservation of the breed and its traits. They are ethical breeders. For example, if an adult French Pointer or ECS, even after training & testing, shows no interest in bird sport as its ancestors have for hundreds of years – this lack of interest is not a trait you would want to possibly introduce into a gene pool. This dog may be an excellent pet & companion, but a reputable breeder wouldn’t purposely try to reproduce a dog lacking these breed-specific traits. So, this means even though the breeder has raised this dog, performed all the costly health & genetic testing and committed so much time to this dog, the breeder will NOT breed this dog. A good breeder will not produce subpar puppies in an attempt to recuperate their losses. The same is also true if a dog possesses personality (temperament) traits that are not acceptable for the breed. Viciousness, fear, and mentally instabilities can be inherited traits, just like in humans. These traits create an unpredictable dog. Randomness when in relation to temperament is not a good quality, especially when you understand that how a dog behaves is just as much a part of their breed standard as how they look.

Speaking of looks, reputable breeders are also not going to purposely buy into the fad color craze. When breed standards were created, the acceptable and conceivable colors, coats types, and coat marking are a part of the breed standards. With most of these coat colors, types, and markings not being possible with the breed, this means somewhere down the line a different breed was introduced into the gene pool. For example, a merle English Cocker Spaniel is not a genetically possible for coat markings. In other words, the merle gene does not exist in the breed. This means somewhere in that dog’s lineage is a different breed of dog, who is merle or has hidden merle. So, what’s the big deal about this? Introducing a 2nd breed of dog into the gene pool means that genetic health issues that are not found in the ECS are also introduced into that dog’s genetics, and all of the other traits of that second breed as well (health, temperament, coat, & color). Since most fad color breeders are not good breeders, they do not perform the costly health and genetic testing – so getting a puppy from a fad breeder is extremely risky. Not only can the health and genetic issues from the English Cocker Spaniel breed be seen in this puppy, now you have all the  additional health risks of that 2nd breed as well. Additionally, some fad colors/markings are actually genetic mutations, which bring the risk of other health issues just by themselves when a breed exhibits a coat color that it is not genetically equipped to have. Additionally, dogs with fad colors are not considered purebreds with almost any reputable registry.

This is where the term BYB comes in. BYB is an abbreviation for backyard breeder. Fad color breeders, color breeders, and for-profit breeders are backyard breeders. This doesn’t mean that these breeders literally breed in their backyards. It is just a term to describe breeders who essentially produce puppies for maximum profits. Color breeders are considered irresponsible BYBs because they have introduced a second breed of dog into their breeding program (or breed fad color dogs and market these dogs are purebreds) in order to produce rare colors and charge insane prices for a unique looking puppy. This is just one element that makes a breeder a BYB, however all BYBs have the same modus operandi – to maximize profits. This means cutting costs by not performing health & genetic testing, no vet visits, no immunizations or inadequate immunizations, low quality foods, extreme environments (heat, cold, etc.), no health or genetic guarantees, no or little socialization, breeding vicious or unstable dogs to produce puppies, breeding dogs who have known medical or temperament issues, and so on. BYBs do not care about the puppy once it has been placed. They do not care of the puppy they market as a purebred doesn’t look or behave like the breed it is supposed to be. They do not care if the puppy grows into an unpredictable adult, a biter, or a dog with mental instability. They do not care of your puppy is sick or develops an illness or condition later in life. And they do not care if you breed that puppy with all of those issues, just to produce another generation of issues. They do not care if that dog ultimately lands in a shelter and is euthanized. Their goal is to profit with little to no cost of breeding & whelping the litter, with no ethical or financial accountability after that puppy has left their possession.

Additionally, all good breeders offer genetic and health guarantees. If you purchase from ethical breeders, and your life circumstances change and you can no longer keep your dog, a good breeder will take the dog back or help you place the dog into a loving, responsible home. A good breeder always gives the purchaser options and none of these options include shelters, rescues, or euthanasia. So please be wise and well educated when purchasing a o puppy from your Braque du Bourbonnais breeder or English Cocker Spaniel breeder.

Leave a Reply