Backyard Breeder, or Accident?

Jeannie really loves that I'm part Great Dane and part Labrador Retriever.  She likes that I'm a bit smarter than most full-blooded Danes, but I also have a very low level of energy -- which matches her life just fine!  But, she often gets irritated when she hears people say certain things about me. Sometimes strangers will compliment her on my coat and beauty and as she's thanking them for the compliment, they sneak in something like "There's a lot of money in her!" At first, she had to really think hard about what that meant.  She was in disbelief about the cavalier way people seem to talk about "backyard breeding."

She has said before that she isn't sure where I came from.  But, she has strong suspicions that my birth was no accident.  Backyard breeding is so common and for so many reasons.  Some people (she's even heard this from immediate family members, sadly) believe all animals have the right to have at least one litter of puppies.  Jeannie is pretty sure this is another example of humans transferring human feelings and characteristics onto animals.  Other people are simply lax about sexually altering their animals, then shrug their shoulders when their dog is pregnant.  Of course, there are also those nefarious people who are really in it for the buck.  These are the people most of us think of when we hear the term "backyard breeders" -- bad guys doing bad things without apology.   But that's not a completely accurate description of backyard breeding.  Really, it's anyone who allows animals to breed without the knowledge and commitment necessary to responsibly breed animals.

While she loves having a Labradane, she would not seek one out from a backyard breeder in a million years! When Ben and Jeannie are ready for another doggy, they will go directly to a trusted source.  One who could never be called a "backyard breeder" - even during a semantics argument like she encountered via YouTube this weekend.

Now, she could have phrased her wording in a less confrontational way, but the issue really bothers her.  It bothered her so much that she ran out and adopted a dog -- something she never thought she'd do before Ben and Jeannie moved back to San Antonio and saw the city's terrible stray dog problem.  She posted the video that gave her cause for concern below.   But, first this is the back and forth that Jeannie shared with the uploader.  By the way, Jeannie's online identity is "inwhatway" -- a veiled reference to Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  She really wants to know what our blog friends think about this. Please share your thoughts on this post -- she is always open to changing her viewpoint and if she's wrong, she'd like to know why.

  • The mother is a Labradane -- she's definitely not full-blooded Dane. Black Great Danes with a trace of white are considered flawed by the AKC. And why is it that you felt compelled to seek out a backyard breeder? There are an awful lot of people who make money off breeding animals and end up perpetuating personality and medical flaws in the breed. I urge to you consider the true danger of backyard breeders and I hope that you decide not to breed this puppy you adopted.
  • @inwhatway 1. It is possible for a pure bred Great Dane to be black w/ white on their chest, however not desirable by AKC standards. 2. We didn't feel "compelled to seek out a back yard breeder" as you presume. This was an accidental litter due to the neighbor's lab getting loose & coming to their farm. 3. He has had no medical or personality flaws & both parents were healthy as well. 4. The dog was $100. They probably lost money on food & shots @ that price. 5. Try not to be so presumptuous.
  • Sorry if my comment upset you. Unfortunately, when you post material online for public consumption, it's also available for public scrutiny. I appreciate your taking the time to respond thoughtfully to my concern. But, I still have to disagree: an accidental litter (sic) is still a type of "backyard breeding." Call a local rescue group, or perform the following google search "Backyard breeder or accident" to educate yourself.


  1. I have chihuahuas. The first one I got as a puppy and shortly after I got him fixed, I had several offers to have him mate with various other chihuahuas. When I explained he couldn't make babies anymore, people were so disappointed!

    And then I got Chico. The woman I emailed for more information about him (I got him from Craigslist) said that he was rescued from a puppy mill and that if I was only interested in him for breeding purposes, they wouldn't let me have him. I made a promise to her that I wouldn't ever do that to him and I intend to keep that promise. Now I get people wanting to breed Chico and have been told I could make a lot of $ off him. Maybe but he's a pet first and foremost, I didn't get him to make money off him!

  2. How adorable!! It's nice to meet you here in "blogland." Mayli is such a handsome dog. Thanks for stopping by Dogs Rock!!

  3. I think your dog is absolutely adorable, no matter what the heritage. I did know a person years ago who had a "definitely accidental" breeding between her female Husky and her girlfriend's male Dalmatian and it made for some very interesting looking puppies. This was years before the whole designer dog thing was popular or even thought of. The puppies were very unusual looking and were found great homes (no fee charged). So accidental breeding does sometimes happen accidentally. This incident did not make her a backyard breeder in any way and it never happened again. Bottom have a beautiful dog, enjoy her:) Don't listen to what people say...they say thoughtless things.

  4. Unfortunately, I think it's the "accidental litters" or unwanted leftovers from backyard breeders that get dumped along the sides of roads or that these ignorant people dump in garbage cans or otherwise try to dispose of. It seems like a catch 22 for those of us who want to stop this type of irresponsible behavior. If we don't "rescue" the pups, they get dumped. If we do take them, it just enables the irresponsible behavior to continue. I think the people I got my Nugget from were trying (unsuccessfully) to become backyard Golden retriever breeders deep in the rural parts of NC. I'd seen an ad in the paper for several weeks for him before I called (he wasn't old enough yet to be weaned yet). They said it was their first litter and the mom only whelped two pups - Nugget and a sister. The sister died shortly after birth (probably due to their own inexperience). For some reason, no one else had expressed interest about Nugget and they did not want to keep him. Would they have dumped him somewhere? Shot him? Who knows?...They were extreme country folk and I know what country folk in rural KY do w/ dogs they don't want. So I had to have him. And he is perfect in every way! Best dog I've ever had. I "rescued" Oscar, my labradoodle, from some neighbors who were in over their heads with him. I did not believe they had the knowledge to contact a rescue or no-kill shelter as they were ready to surrender him to animal control. So I took him. Did I indirectly support a backyard breeder of the designer breed? Probably... That doesn't change the fact that Oscar was already a product of that situation and needed to be saved now. It's sad. All of it is sad. I understand breeding sparingly to uphold strict AKC breed standards, but everyone else should be spayed/neutered. The problem just seems so widespread and out of control. Pet stores, puppy mills, backyard breeders... all of it just makes me sick. I just know I wouldn't trade my 2 angels for the world. They can't help how they got here... I just want to love 'em and give 'em the world! (Phew, sorry that was a long post!)

  5. It seems in the video that it is just an introduction to her new puppy and in no way promoting backyard breeders. As she says in her comment back to you it wasn't a planned breeding just two dogs who managed to find one another. My personal belief is that you should spay or neuter your dog unless you plan on showing, and then breeding. A dog shouldn't be bred unless it has proven itself. I have however owend a dog that my family didn't fix but watched carefully to be sure she wasn't around male dogs. She visited family and came back pregnant, most certainly not planned but there was also no prevention. That being said my families Golden Retriever is from a backyard breeder who was seeked out. We ourselves almost became backyard breeders with him. Koda is a great dog, he moves wonderfully, has great confirmation, and wonderful temperment. He also has no known health issues, we did choose to neuter him after plans to gain a female didn't work out. The backyard breeder that we bought him from appears to be more interested in breeding overall good dogs without the price tag and a better breeder than the official breeder that we bought my Portugese Water Dog from. Honestly this woman just had registered dogs that she bred and sold from without any regard to the puppies. All in all, my opinion on the matter is spay and neuter because accidents do happen if there is no prevention.

    Erika (Blair's Mom)

  6. Spay & neuter of course, but sometimes accidents happen and those dogs can be great pets. My problem is with 'puppy farms' where the mothers live in cages and are constantly pregnant etc. I don't think you can be too harsh on the person who adopts the results of these accidents. Really the owner of the mother and father dog is the one you should be holding responsible.

  7. @Katie
    Katie -- I see that double-edged sword you painted so well in your comment. This is a very complicated issue with repercussions that extend far beyond the scope of my little blog. I must say that I do like having these talks -- especially because it's not always "cut and dry." I think of how varied animal activists are -- from volunteering and adopting, to boycotting certain practices, labels and companies, to altering your diet and wardrobe. I think that having these conversations are so important to flushing out these very difficult (often emotional!) issues.

    I honestly wondered if the woman on the YouTube video realized she had transacted with a backyard breeder -- she didn't. Then, I questioned my own understanding of the label and brought that conversation here. I'm glad I did. And I'm glad that all of you took the time to weigh in. There is a lot to understand if we're going to positively affect this terrible phenomenon. Also, thank you for letting me get into such heavy subject matter. I think it's important to make this information available on a blog about a "designer" mutt. I certainly don't want anyone to think that I condone the practices that brought Mayli into being. Of course, I sure am glad to have her in my life now.

    - Jeannie @Mayli's blog

  8. Wanted ..a labradane dog.....620-212-6226

  9. Mayli is beautiful! I was looking up the mix of lab and great dane as my husband and I just recently found a 4-6 week old on the side of the road late night running for his life! After going from house to house and seeking owners on craigs list to no avail we decided to keep him. I just took him back to the vet and found out he is a Labradane! Of course to my surprise.. lol I thought he was just a fast growing puppy. He is so sweet and intelligent. Blessed to have found whom we call LUCKY. He is amazing and I fall inlove with him more everyday! What I thought to be a Marly and me turned out to be a Marmaduke! Hahaha but e are thrilled never the less.. Please keep us posted with Mayli as I think she is so cute! Kym

  10. I have a history of owning Labs and Goldens. Now, I have a 3 year old Labradane, Macbeth. His mother was the Great Dane, his father the Black Lab. We got him through a rescue organization from a shelter in Tennesee where the litter of seven would have been euthanized. His breeding was accidental, but from a reputable breeder and before the term "Labradane" was coined. He is 120 lbs, a boisterous, vocal, loveable ding dong who is admired by total strangers because he is handsome. He makes the Scooby Doo sounds and barks a lot. However he's afraid of everything unfamiliar. He tries to rule over our two cats but they are smarter and faster than him. Labradanes are a lot of dog. Lots of personality and lots of quirks. "Mac" is gentle but plays rough. Drooly, barky, humpy, gassy, steals stuff for attention and a panoply of other dog misbehaviors. When offered a Pupperoni, however, he becomes Rin Tin Tin. He's is crazy fun and worth the effort. Just know what you are getting.