Are Backyard Breeders Bad? (Expert Advice)

Backyard breeding is the practice of breeding animals in a backyard. While it may not seem like a big deal, backyard breeders can cause many problems for animals, people, and communities. 

This article will explain all about backyard breeders what they are and why they’re bad news for everyone involved.

What is a Backyard Breeder?
Advantages of Backyard Chickens
Are Backyard Breeders Bad for Dogs?
Signs of a Bad Breeder
The Dangers of Backyard Breeding
Ethics of Dog Breeding

What Is A Backyard Breeder?

A backyard breeder is someone who breeds animals in their own home, without any knowledge or training. They may be breeding dogs and cats, horses and other livestock animals, rabbits or even ferrets. 

The term “backyard breeder” is controversial because some people use it to describe anyone who has a pet dog or cat even if they’re responsible breeders who have taken the time to learn about the breed or its health issues while others reserve the term for irresponsible breeders who operate on the fringes of society with little regard for animal welfare.

If you’re considering getting a dog, avoid buying from puppy mills or backyard breeders that prioritize profits over the dog’s welfare. Instead, opt for rescuing dogs or purchasing from reputable breeders who prioritize the health and wellness of their dogs. Learn more about the negative impacts of backyard breeding on dogs in our article Are Backyard Dog Breeders Bad for Dogs?.

Are Backyard Breeders Bad?

Yes and no.

If you’re thinking about getting a puppy or kitten, it is important to be aware of the dangers that backyard breeding presents. While there are many reasons not to buy from a backyard breeder (or even use their services), some people are under the impression that they are doing good by spaying/neutering their pets. 

This can be dangerous because these dogs and cats were never meant to breed in the first place and they may have health problems as a result of poor breeding practices. 

For example, if an animal has an unhealthy immune system, it could pass those genes on to its offspring and cause more efficient disease transmission within the population at large.

Do Backyard Breeders Take Care Of Their Animals?

As you might expect, no.

Backyard breeders are not required to have any type of licensing or certification, nor do they have to meet any kind of health standards for their animals. As a result, the general standard of care that these dogs receive is much lower than what professional breeders provide. 

This means that many backyard-bred dogs suffer from neglect and poor nutrition because their owners don’t have enough time or money to take care of them properly.

 If you’re curious about eating eggs from backyard chickens, it’s important to know if they are safe to consume. Our article Are Backyard Chicken Eggs Safe to Eat? explains the potential risks associated with consuming eggs from backyard chickens and offers tips for ensuring they are safe to eat.

Do Backyard Breeders Have Too Many Animals?

Here’s a question for you: do backyard breeders have too many animals?

The answer is yes. There’s no doubt about it, and here’s why:

Overcrowding can be a problem for any breeder, but because of their small size and the low cost of keeping them alive, most backyard breeders keep more animals than they can handle or care for properly.

For example, let’s say you find an adorable new puppy in your neighborhood who has just been abandoned by his owner. 

The first thing you should do is call animal control right away so he doesn’t get hit by a car or attacked by another animal while his owner is out looking for him (and hopefully getting help). 

But if this happens more than once in your neighborhood, and chances are good that it will then you might want to consider reporting these irresponsible people as well!

Are Backyard Breeders Irresponsible?

As a responsible pet owner, you want your dog to come from a reputable source. Dogs should be bred with the health and temperament of their puppies and kittens in mind. A backyard breeder is not likely to be concerned about this. 

They may breed dogs that are unsuitable for breeding, or they might breed dogs that have severe genetic defects that could cause problems down the road. 

They often don’t have any kind of contract or pedigree for their animals, which makes it hard to know if they truly do care about them or if they just want to make a quick buck off of selling puppies without taking responsibility for what happens after they leave their property.

If you see someone who doesn’t appear to be taking proper care of their animals while they are at home, then it is best not to go near them and notify Animal Control as soon as possible so that law enforcement can investigate further into what goes on within these people’s homes (and check out our page about reporting violations!).

 If you’re considering breeding dogs as a hobby or for profit, it’s important to understand the potential consequences of backyard breeding. Our article Are Backyard Breeders Good? provides expert answers and insights on the benefits and drawbacks of backyard breeding.

Do Backyard Breeders Sell Their Animals To Pet Shops?

Pet shops are not shelters. Shelters take in animals that are abused or neglected, while pet shops sell dogs and cats to the public.

By selling animals they breed to pet shops, backyard breeders make it possible for individuals who would never be able to afford a purebred dog or cat to purchase one at a reduced price. 

While this may seem like a great way for backyard breeders to make some extra money from their hobby, it’s actually hurting the dogs themselves because most of them do not receive proper care from their owners or from the pet shops that buy them from them. 

In fact, many stores even encourage this type of breeding by offering discounts when you buy two puppies together (one male and one female).

How Can You Tell If Someone Is A Backyard Breeder?

The person has a lot of dogs. A backyard breeder can have as many dogs as he or she wants, from one dog to hundreds of them.

The person doesn’t have any proof of ownership of the animals. This is not just about not having tags on their animals, but also about not having any record that shows where they got the animals or when they purchased them.

The person is not willing to show you the kennels where their dogs live or let you see the puppies that may be available for sale at that time. 

Backyard breeders generally keep their breeding facilities hidden from view, which means they don’t want anyone knowing what goes on inside those kennels or even being able to verify there are actually dogs in there!

Backyard breeding is a controversial topic, and it’s important to understand its legality in your area. Our article Are Backyard Breeders Illegal? offers expert answers and insights on the legalities surrounding backyard breeding and the potential consequences of operating an illegal breeding operation.

What Are The Effects Of Backyard Breeding On Puppies And Kittens?

The effects of backyard breeding are wide-ranging and can include everything from poor health to abandonment. But perhaps the most important effect is that there simply aren’t enough good homes for all the dogs in need of them. 

As a result, many healthy animals end up in shelters where they may not be adopted or given up by owners who no longer want them simply because they didn’t get what they wanted when they purchased their pet (i.e., a puppy with certain characteristics). 

And those that aren’t taken care of well enough by people who have more than one animal at home often end up abandoned outdoors where if they’re lucky, someone might find them and bring them inside before winter hits; but usually, this doesn’t happen until after frostbite has set in.

What’s The Difference Between A Backyard Breeder And A Puppy Mill?

So what’s the difference between a puppy mill and a backyard breeder?

A puppy mill is a large-scale breeding operation. Most often, they will keep their dogs in filthy conditions with poor sanitation, little or no veterinary care, and no socialization with humans or other animals. Puppy mills are associated with poor animal welfare due to these conditions.

A backyard breeder is an individual who breeds dogs for profit at home or on their property. They may have less than 25 dogs (or cats) in total at one time, but still, breed them in large numbers over many years. 

Though some backyard breeders do keep their animals well cared for physically, there’s no guarantee that all of them do so in fact, it’s likely that many don’t! Some may not even be familiar enough with canine health issues like genetic disorders to recognize when something isn’t right about one of their litter.

If you’re considering raising chickens in your backyard, it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of doing so. Chickens can be a valuable addition to your yard by controlling pests, producing fertilizer, and providing fresh eggs. Learn more about the advantages and downsides of raising chickens in our article Are Chickens Good for Your Yard?.

Are There Any Laws Against Backyard Breeding In My State?

The answer to this question depends on where you live. Laws vary from state to state, and while some states have specific laws against backyard breeding, others have laws against animal cruelty or even selling animals in pet stores. 

If you’re looking for information about the laws in your particular area, you’ll want to look up “animal control” or “shelters” in the phone book and ask them what the regulations are for breeding dogs in your town.

Are Backyard Breeders Bad For My Community?

Backyard breeders are bad for your community. They can be a threat to animal welfare, public health, the environment and even property values in your neighborhood.

Providing a source of locally-bred petsCreating an oversupply of unwanted pets
Driving down the cost of adopting a dogLowering the quality of the breed
Supporting local hobby breedersFailing to properly socialize and care for the animals
Stimulating the local economy by buying suppliesContributing to the overpopulation of dogs in shelters, potentially leading to euthanasia
Giving dogs without pedigrees a chance to find homesEncouraging backyard breeding operations, which can lead to illegal and unregulated breeding operations

Do Backyard Breeders Care About Their Animals?

It’s easy to assume that because backyard breeder cares about their animals, they must also care about the health of their animals. But in reality, this isn’t always true. Many backyard breeders care primarily about making money from breeding dogs they don’t always consider their dogs’ health when choosing which dogs to breed together. 

And since there are no regulations in place governing what kind of breeding goes on behind closed doors, some may even be able to get away with crossing two breeds that would never be allowed under professional standards.

Should I Report A Backyard Breeder To Animal Control?

If you think a neighbor is a backyard breeder, you should report them to animal control. Animal control will investigate and hopefully shut down the operation. 

This is especially important if there are any sick animals in the area or if too many animals are being bred in one location. You can also report them to the local police department and/or local animal shelter.

What Should I Do If I See A Backyard Breeder At Work In My Neighborhood?

  • Call the local animal control agency.
  • If it’s an emergency and you can’t get through to them, call 911.
  • If you’re just looking for help with a problem involving backyard breeders, the best thing to do is call the police department or sheriff’s office where these people live.

Does It Matter Where I Get My Dog From?

It depends.

The best way to find a good breeder for your companion dog is by word of mouth and asking around your community. If you have friends with pet dogs, ask them who they bought their dog from and if they would recommend that breeder. 

If you don’t know anyone with pets in the area, try asking at your local pet store or groomers they might know where some reputable breeders in the area are located.

If you are looking for a dog to work with, then it’s important that you find one who has been bred specifically for its working abilities by someone knowledgeable about such things. It may be harder to do this than to find an appropriate companion puppy (or kitten).

Pros and Cons of Getting a Dog from Different Sources

Shelter or rescue groupHelping save homeless petsMay not know the dog’s history or background, potentially unknown health or behavioral issues
Reputable breederEnsures the dog’s overall health and welfare, low risk of genetic issues, higher chance of a well-bred, well-socialized dogMore expensive than adopting from a shelter
Backyard breederCheaper option for buying a dog, may offer unique breeds, options for customizationRisk of purchasing an unhealthy dog or supporting backyard breeding operations with unsavory conditions
Pet store or commercial breederMay offer desired breeds or puppy mixes, may provide information on health and historyRisk of supporting puppy mills and unhealthy breeding practices, uncertain background and health of the dog
Classified ads, social media, or random sellersMay offer unique breeds or mixes, options for customizationThe dog’s history and health are unknown or may have an unethical source, no recourse if problems arise post-purchase


The bottom line is that backyard breeder are bad for dogs and the people who buy from them. They contribute to the overpopulation crisis, they don’t care about their animals’ well-being, and they’re often irresponsible when it comes to selling puppies or kittens to pet stores. 

If you want an ethical dog or cat, look for a reputable shelter where you can adopt one instead of supporting this cruel practice.

Further Reading

The Real Dangers of Backyard Breeding: This article explains the real dangers and risks associated with backyard breeding, such as health issues in dogs, illegal operations, and overpopulation.

Are Dog Breeders Bad?: This article from PETA discusses the ethical concerns surrounding dog breeding, including puppy mills, inbreeding, and the overpopulation of dogs in shelters.

Signs of a Bad Breeder: This article lists the warning signs of a bad breeder, including lack of care for dogs, unsanitary living conditions, and unhealthy puppies, to help you make a responsible decision when buying a dog.


What is backyard breeding?

Backyard breeding is an amateur breeding operation that operates outside the regulations and standards required by licensed breeders. These operations prioritize profit over the health and welfare of the animals they breed.

What are the dangers of backyard breeding?

The dangers of backyard breeding include overbreeding, genetic health problems, and the overpopulation of dogs in shelters that can lead to euthanasia. Additionally, backyard breeders may lack the experience or knowledge required to properly care for their animals.

How can I tell if a breeder is reputable?

Reputable breeders prioritize the health and welfare of their animals over profit. Look for breeders who provide their dogs with regular veterinarian check-ups, health tests, and socialization. Visit their facilities to ensure that they have clean and spacious living conditions for their dogs.

What is a puppy mill?

A puppy mill is a commercial breeding operation that prioritizes volume and profit over the health and welfare of the animals they breed. Puppy mills often have unsanitary and overcrowded living conditions, leading to health and behavioral issues in the dogs they produce.

Why should I avoid backyard breeders?

Backyard breeders contribute to the overpopulation of dogs in shelters, often producing unhealthy dogs from untested and unproven bloodlines. By avoiding backyard breeders and opting for reputable breeders or rescuing dogs, you can ensure a healthier and happier life for the dogs you bring into your family.