Amish Dog Breeders

Amish Dog Breeders

Who Are Amish Dog Breeders?

Amish Dog Kennel“Amish Dog Breeders” is a phrase that irks some and entices others. Amish puppies are largely regarded as damaged goods due to the stigma created by Animal Rights Organizations, but what most people don’t realize is that Amish breeders must fall in line with strict regulations and requirements. 

There are several governing bodies to answer to as an Amish breeder. Failure to follow their laws usually result in harsh consequences for the breeders and pet stores alike. Let’s take a closer look at who Amish Breeders really are—and how to spot a bad breeder.

There Are Several Types of Breeders Out There

Amish Dog KennelThere are quite a few different types of breeders in the United States as well as the rest of the world. The requirements to become a breeder depend on certain factors such as location, the number of breeder dogs owned, the number of litters born, and how the breeder plans to supply their puppies to the public. These factors also dictate whether or not a license to breed is required. 

Truthfully, a breeder’s license—or lack thereof—isn’t necessarily an indicator of the quality of health or care of a puppy. Licensing requirements have more to do with the laws of individual towns, cities, counties, states, provinces, and of course, the federal government via the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA is a branch of government responsible for the development and execution of policies regarding farming, agriculture, forestry, natural resources, food, and so on. They’re in charge of the regulations and processes by which our food, materials, and resources make their way from A to Z while also carrying out inspections to ensure the quality of said food, materials, and resources.

Amish Dog Breeding KennelUnder the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the USDA regulates licensed home and kennel breeders to ensure the safety and humane treatment of their dogs and puppies. In the United States, most Amish Puppies come from USDA licensed Amish breeders. That means the Amish breeder is inspected and licensed by the USDA as well as their own State Agriculture Department. 

USDA Amish breeders must adhere to strict regulations by several governing bodies, and they hold a Class A license, a Class B license, or both. A Class A license means they may have more than four breeding female dogs and can legally sell their litters as pets. A Class B license allows for the distribution—purchase and/or resale—of puppies as a broker. 

There are several states that have laws prohibiting pet stores from selling puppies that come from an unlicensed breeder. However, that doesn’t stop unethical breeders from existing and doing business. Let’s take a closer look for a better understanding—

The Commercial Amish Breeder

“Commercial breeder” is the term referring to USDA licensed breeders. USDA breeders are permitted to have four or more breeding’s dogs that they may sell directly, through brokers, or through a pet store. These breeders also sometimes show/exhibit their dogs and may house them in a home or an onsite kennel.

Amish Dog Breeder KennelAs of 2020, there were about 1,700 licensed USDA breeders in the United States. That includes both Class A and Class B license holders, both of whom must adhere to strict regulations and requirements. Those regulations and requirements include (but are not limited to):

  • Complying with unannounced inspections
  • Providing exercise and enrichment programs (also referred to as a turn-out yard, which is a fenced-in yard providing ample room for the dogs and puppies to run around, play, and train.)
  • Keeping detailed records for each dog (i.e., pedigrees, health history, etc.)
  • Keeping up with regular veterinary care, including exams, vaccinations, dental care, and basic grooming

During unannounced inspections the USDA checks for everything from cleanliness to lawn care. That means that USDA breeders can receive a violation citation for anything small such as cobwebs, rust on fences, or even letting the grass growing too tall. 

Amish Dog Kennel Outdoor RunsMost commercial breeders have years of experience, knowledge, and dedication, maintaining state-of-the-art kennels in both design and technology. Each kennel is equipped with automatic feeders and water spigots to ensure 24/7 access to nourishment. Each dog and litter has access to their own safe and secure outdoor area for sun, exercise, and bathroom breaks.

Animal welfare is of the utmost importance, which is why when touring commercial breeder’s kennels, buyers can see the attention to detail and care that goes into each facility. 

The “Puppy Mill”

The term “puppy mill” has become somewhat of a misnomer in the puppy world as well as an all-encompassing phrase to describe Amish Breeders as a whole. When we say “puppy mill,” we’re largely referring to the unlicensed breeders that provide sub-standard care for their breeder dogs and puppies. 

Other Things You Should Know About USDA Amish Breeders

Providing the optimal environment for breeder dogs and their litters take great effort—not to mention great expenses. Once again, most commercial USDA breeders maintain state-of-the-art facilities for their dogs. They invest in things such as play yard equipment, toys, skylights, drains, artificial turf, quality dog food, and grooming rooms equipped with the latest technology and bathing stations.

Amish Dog Breeder KennelThey must also meet specific temperature requirements to ensure that the dogs are comfortable at all times. The USDA regulates both high and low temperatures of all indoor spaces, not allowing temperatures to drop below 45 degrees or exceed 85 degrees. 

Many licensed breeders utilize what is called “radiant heat” which is a costly heating system installed in the floor. Radiant heating systems are considered superior to conventional HVAC systems, yet due to the cost, they’re rarely found in the average person’s home. This system provides even heat throughout the entire kennel to ensure comfort for the dogs and puppies.

There are also very specific requirements for the size of each dog’s space and turn-out yard. All dogs must be housed in compatible groups with adequate shelter from rain and wind. Their feeding bowls and apparatuses must be kept clean, and each puppy must be inspected and assessed daily to ensure there are no health issues. You can read through the entire canine care checklist here to see for yourself. 

USDA breeders are continuously learning and creating better ways to care for their dogs and litters. As mentioned, most breeders are quite dedicated to their craft and the well-being of their animals. They provide them with the best care, and they attend educational seminars organized by national, state, and local breeder organizations to better their kennels, breeding practices, and the health of their dogs.

Not All Amish Breeders Are the Same

Unfortunately, there are some bad Amish breeders out there tarnishing the name for the rest. This may even include some USDA breeders. 

Amish Dog Breeder KennelHowever, it’s important to remember that the majority of USDA Amish breeders and pet stores genuinely care for the welfare of the puppies they’re breeding and selling. It’s also important to remember that it’s both the buyer and retailer’s responsibility to make sure that the breeder they’re buying from adheres to the strict regulations given by the USDA as well as local and state regulations.