Pyrless Great Pyrenees
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Pyrless Seventh Bride and Audrey
Today with the information that is readily available on the internet, it is difficult for the prospective puppy buyer to determine whether or not the breeder advertising pups for sale is a responsible, ethical breeder. A breeder is defined by the AKC as the owner of a bitch that has had a litter. Anyone can put up a website that provides information, photos, etc. How can you distinguish between those breeders who have the best interest of the breed as their foremost objective, from the puppy miller, casual backyard breeder, or pet shop breeder pup?

The last is the easiest, No reputable breeder who belongs to a national breed organization and subscribes to a Code of Ethics, is allowed to sell pups to a pet shop. The casual backyard breeder is often the individual who has a dog of one sex, decides it would be wonderful to have pups, and looks for a dog of the opposite sex. Often these individuals are well-intentioned. However, they fail to perform the necessary health checks before conducting the breeding; know little of the health/temperament background in the pedigrees of their dogs; and know little of raising and socializing a litter. The puppy miller is breeding for commercial and financial reasons. There are true commercial businesses that raise pups of all breeds for sale to pet shops. Then there are the individuals who for financial gain, maintain anywhere from one to several breeds of dogs, breed them all, and sell them over the internet, and like the backyard breeder have the same deficiencies. However their websites describe an excellent standard for their pups.

How do you know the difference? What questions should you be asking? Reputable breeders invariably belong to a local and/or a national breed organization such as the Great Pyrenees Club of America. Reputable breeders show their dogs in conformation and/or obedience. But you don’t want a show dog! However, the reputable breeder by competing their dog, proves that the dog meets the standard for the breed structurally and temperamentally. Breeders of Livestock Guardian Dogs do not always compete, but they do belong to the appropriate clubs. Reputable breeders perform the necessary health checks and by following the Code of Ethics of GPCA, assume responsibility for that pup for it’s entire life. Responsible breeders will always take a dog back. Responsible breeder dogs are never in shelters. Reputable breeders usually have one or perhaps two breeds of dogs that they focus on, and normally have 2-3 litters/year

There isn’t any reason for you to purchase a puppy over the internet. The Great Pyrenees Club of America maintains a list of breeders throughout the country. Regional clubs affiliated with GPCA also have breeder’s lists. By contacting the American Kennel Club at you can link to the national club for any breed. You can link to the GPCA through


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