What makes a good breeder ? Let's first look at what makes a good breeder as outlined by Will O'Wisp Shetland Sheepdogs: "Hollywood has given a warped reality to breeding. More often than not, Hollywood shows a happy mom with fat, wriggling puppies. All puppies find their ways to happy homes. What Hollywood does not who you is the responsibility of breeding and the potential for heartache." Please remember, in every litter bred for show or working, there will be puppies that do not meet the high standards a good breeder sets. These pups will go to pet homes. Rarely are all puppies in a litter "show pups." Since the rest will be available to pet homes, there is no need at all to go to someone "just breeding for pets." "A Responsible breeder will... Insist the dogs being bred are good breed representatives in body and mind and have proven it by competing is various competitions. They breed first for their own needs. Puppies not meeting the breeder's desires will be carefully placed in pet or performance homes with a spay/neuter agreement. They will test for hereditary issues as well as Brucellosis (which can be devastating). They will require the same standards of dogs they breed to. They will research pedigrees to try and improve upon their own dogs as well as add to the breed as a whole. Responsible breeders have a goal they breed towards, they do not breed just to see what will be produced. Has a working knowledge of the genetics behind the dogs (colors, health issues, etc.) They accept the financial risk and rarely make money off of litters when all the expenses from tests (some must be done annually), feeding, medical care, etc. are tallied up. Responsible breeding does not equal money. They accept the emotional risk: which include the possible death of a puppy, puppies and/or the mother. They accept long term responsibility. If for any reason at any time, a buyer cannot keep the dog bought, the breeder will want it back - even if the dog is twelve years old! If at any time a hereditary issue that was previously unknown to the breed shows up, the breeder will inform all puppy buyers as well as alter the breeding program to prevent the issue from being passed on to any other dogs. Makes sure all puppies go to carefully screened homes. If there is no home out there, the puppy is kept until one is found. NO puppy ever goes to a pet store or animal shelter. Responsible breeders do not add to the thousands of unwanted pets that are in shelters." Wow, this is a lot that a good breeder will do!!! Now what about a bad breeder? Again, let's go back to Will O'Wisp for this: "What an Irresponsible breeder does... Breeds just for the sake of having a litter. Overall quality of the dogs is secondary. The owner may not even know what a proper breed specimen should look or act like. Breeds so the kids can witness the miracle of birth. They forget that the children can also witness the miracle of death. What of the mom has trouble? Complications that make an already uncomfortable situation very painful or requiring medical intervention? Do you want you kids to see this? Breeds just because the have a registered purebred - regardless of whether or not the dog is a good representative. Does not realize the importance of a pedigree. Breeds because people have commented "I'd like a dog like that." More often than not, when the puppies are born, these people no longer want one. Does not look into the health and background of the dogs to be bred. Does not prove the dogs deserve to be bred. Will not take long term responsibility. Once the puppies are paid for, they feel the responsibility is out of their hands. Takes shortcuts and does not provide proper pre and post natal care. Does not screen homes and will place puppies through newspaper ads, sell to pet shops or dump at shelters if the work gets too much. Does not temperament test puppies or do any medical care on them (like puppy boosters at 6 weeks)."