Of course, we're not saying that purebred dogs are any better than mixed breed dogs. But we recognize there are people who are true breed fanciers and want to preserve the ideal of their beloved breeds. However, we feel it important to let people know that we believe responsible breeders only breed dogs that meet the following criteria:
- Have obtained a working, obedience, or show title;
- Are structurally sound and mostly conform to the breed standard (recognizing no dog conforms 100% to the ideal breed standard);
- Have passed all relevant health tests (hips, elbows, thyroid, cardiac and any breed specific genetic tests); and
- Perhaps most importantly, have demonstrated the proper breed temperament
Responsible breeders breed limited litters. They do not churn out litter after litter after litter. Those that do are called "puppy mills."
Responsible breeders avoid inbreeding close relatives and only engage in line breeding or outcrossing after much research and consideration.
Every breeder should ask the question -- WHY am I breeding? The answer should be "To better the breed" not "I need extra cash." In fact, if you breed responsibly, you will never make a living off breeding. Most responsible breeders breed not only to better the breed, but because they also want to take a puppy themselves from the planned breeding. That's different than the pet owner that wants a reproduction of "fluffy." Responsible breeders know that breeding will never yield you an exact reproduction of either parent.
Remember that when you breed, you are deliberately bringing several lives into the world. Your duty to those lives continues until each of those lives end. That's a 10-17 year commitment, generally (times however many puppies you have produced).