A Look At Licensed Dog Breeders


Kim Campbell Thornton, a MSNBC contributor, recently wrote an article about licensed, legal breeders. Thornton says that even though a breeder is approved by the USDA, this does not necessarily mean a lot.

Thornton states:

USDA minimum standards for housing and exercise are bare bones. The agency requirement for cage size — the primary enclosure in which breeding dogs live their lives — is just six inches taller, wider and longer than the dog inside. That is, a miniature Dachshund measuring 20 inches from nose to base of tail and standing nine inches high might be housed in a cage only 26 inches wide by 26 inches deep by 15 inches high. The USDA waives the exercise requirement of 30 minutes per day for at least five days a week if the dog is housed in a cage with twice the floor space called for by the above formula.

In addition, USDA regulations don’t address socialization — the handling and exposure a puppy needs during its first weeks of life to develop properly — or the health, temperament and quality of the parents.

American Kennel Club (AKC) or other registration papers also may not mean much. All they certify is that both parents were of the same breed. No dog registry or government agency requires breeders to socialize puppies or health-test their parents for orthopedic, eye or heart problems, or even to be knowledgeable about the breed or dogs in general.

Thornton added that someone’s best bet is a breeder who belongs to national and local breed clubs and has signed the club’s code of ethics.

But James Dalton, a French Bulldog breeder, said that is not even a guarantee, “The French Bulldog Club of America does have a code of ethics that breeders are expected to abide by, but they do not always and the FBDCA has no way of enforcing that code of ethics.”

Here are some of Thornton’s signs of a good breeder: completely answers questions about the breed, raises puppies in the home and not in a pen or in filthy conditions, and has a sales contract that includes a minimum one-year health guarantee against life-threatening or crippling conditions caused by heritable defects.

Source: MSNBC

(Thanks peace2us)

13 Responses to “A Look At Licensed Dog Breeders”

  1. trucorgi says:

    “The French Bulldog Club of America does have a code of ethics that breeders are expected to abide by, but they do not always and the FBDCA has no way of enforcing that code of ethics.”

    Yes they do. They have a CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS posted on their website. See ARTICLE VI DISCIPLINE.

  2. Carol says:

    IMO we can have all the rules and regulations in place but it does no good without having the people to ensure enforcement and penalties and we all have learned self-regulation does not work! And this goes for just about everything now!

  3. Dr. Patty Khuly says:

    Not only do the regs for dog breeding not address what most of us would agree are the basic needs of animals living in these conditions, there’s zero need for compliance because there’s almost no enforcement. Just try telling a pet shop owner his dogs are out of water and see what kind of reaction you get. Still not satisfied? Try calling an animal control officer–three different phone numbers and an hour later and you’re nowhere nearer getting these animals what they need.

  4. Lis says:

    A one-year health guarantee against hereditary conditions is not enough, because many genetic problems just don’t show up that quickly–progressive retinal atrophy (leading to blindness), for instance. And the USDA requirements are actually harmful, compared to what really good breeders do for animals they care about. The USDA standards are livestock standards, based on what’s best for raising livestock for human consumption. Really good breeders don’t meet USDA standards, can’t meet USDA standards, and would be going downhill out of the ranks of really good breeders if they tried to meet USDA standards.

  5. Nora and Rufus says:

    I just pulled two pure bred dogs from a kill shelter in Southern Missourri, in the middle of puppy mill country (the shelter managers own words). These two Aussie’s, a 3 yr old intact male and a 22 month old intact female had been dumped there by their breeder because they just weren’t producing enough. This “Shelter” does not open on Saturdays or Sundays (a death sentence) and the town is run and more or less owned by “Mr. Hunt” who owns “PETLAND” (they keep the puppy mills in business, folks) . So many intact purebreds are dumped there each year it would make your head spin. Of course these two poor dogs were spade and neutered the day before I rescued them. I drove 5 hours to reach them, and then 5 hrs home. These dogs have been so abused and mistreated by their breeder, they were terrified of human contact…..who also dumped a 9yr old blind Shitzu intact male the same day, because he could not breed anymore. “Mr. Hunt” becomes upset with the shelter worker if she is not euthanizing the dogs “fast” enought. She does everything in her power to rehome these poor abused dogs. Found them on Pet Finder.Com. The shelter, next door to the City Hall, was an old garage converted to what was really a death dungeon………..so sad………

  6. mittens says:

    as nora and rufus relates- there are a lot of pure breed castoffs from all sorts of breeders that are dumped in shelters everywhere. they dont produce enough, they’ve produced too much. a puppy isnt up to the breed standard or has severe health issues or is physically deformed. there always seems to be a pure breed in nearly every shelter or rescue hereabouts that was taken from a breeder or rescued from a shelter. as anyone can see there are a myriad of breed specific rescues that save pure breeds - go to petfinder and there’s thousands for every type of dog or cat.

  7. Cate says:

    Nora, you are an angel for saving those poor dogs. I can only imagine what they have been through.

    Education is the key to shutting down puppy mills and pet stores that sell puppies. I tell everyone I know that when you buy a puppy from a pet store you are supporting puppy mills and ensuring that the breeding dogs live miserable lives.

    Buying a puppy from a pet store or online should be socially condemned. Puppy millers and pet stores that sell puppies should be shunned as animal abusers and criminals.

  8. smarty says:

    A friend of mine recently bought a local pet store that is somewhat notorious for selling puppy mill puppies. She has decided to do away with the puppy mill sales in favor of placing rescue dogs (and other animals) via the store. The problem is that those pedigreed puppies represented a significant revenue stream not easily replaced via rescues, even if one could work out a feasible business model.

  9. Klondike says:

    Good for your friend, Smarty! She is an individual making a sacrifice for the common good. It is true that can be a high dollar revenue stream to give up for a pet shop.

    This would be a great store for responsible breeders to support since it is a way to fight the puppy mills without legislation. I like to see the free market do the work when it can. Maybe she could set up the space that would have been devoted to the puppies by renting it a service business such as a pet massage,
    or a ‘pet intuitive’ or whatever it takes to keep her in business. I wish her well!

  10. kaefamily says:

    Again and again, what do AKC and USDA know? Especially the latter. If they knew and enforced the laws as much to protect animals we would never be in the pet food mess in the first place! Those agencies are a joke!

  11. The Lioness says:

    Smarty, your friend is an angel! I wish her luck with it. Tell her not to give up!

    Maybe she could use the free space for grooming or puppy training classes. Those would bring in some money.

    Good for her!

    ~The Lioness

  12. Hanah says:


    But James Dalton, a French Bulldog breeder, said that is not even a guarantee, “The French Bulldog Club of America does have a code of ethics that breeders are expected to abide by, but they do not always and the FBDCA has no way of enforcing that code of ethics.”


  13. Brachybreed mom says:

    Hanah, thanks for calling a spade a spade i.e. James Dalton. James Dalton has ripped of numerous people in the French Bulldog community and has several law suits against him for fraud, breach of contract and slander/libel. He knowingly breeds dogs with SERIOUS genetic issues just because they are famous champions. Ugh, that SOB makes me sick.

    However, do not let that discourage people from buying from a breeder that exhibit/shows dogs. 98% of them ARE honest and have the best interest of the breed in their heart. Do not EVER buy from a puppy store. And if a breeder/kennel is USDA certified RUN THE OTHER WAY. USDA certification is a BAD thing.

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