Deciphering the marketing lingo of backyard breeders
If you're looking for a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy, don't get scammed by these common marketing phrases used by backyard breeders and puppy mills.
1. "AKC Corgis" / "AKC registered"
Did you know that even puppy mills can register their dogs with AKC? AKC registration is NOT a guarantee of health or quality – in fact, sometimes it's not even a guarantee that your dog is purebred, as backyard breeders can submit false information. AKC is literally just an online registry that you can be a part of as long as you fill out some paperwork and send in a payment.
Rather than asking your breeder if their dogs are AKC, ask your breeder what AKC titles their dogs have earned.
2. "Triple-clear" for vWD, DM and EIC
That’s nice, but what about their hips (OFA/PennHIP) and eyes (CERF)? Here are the reasons many shady breeders conveniently leave out OFA/PennHIP. First, it’s an expensive test because it involves x-raying the dog’s hips, elbows and knees, which will cost several hundred dollars per dog. Second, you cannot get an official OFA result until the dog is at least 24 months old. Many backyard breeders start breeding their females even younger than 12 months in order to maximize the number of litters.
So why are those x-rays so important? Conditions like hip dysplasia is extremely common in poorly bred corgis and can cause a lifetime of pain for the dog. It can lead to expensive surgeries, early arthritis, lameness, and loss of function in the hip joints.
If a breeder tells you that their dogs are OFA-tested, you can verify this yourself by searching for the dog’s name on the OFA website: https://www.ofa.org/
3. "2-year health guarantee"
Sorry, but this means nothing. Almost every backyard breeder will offer a “health guarantee” that actually doesn’t allow you to take any legal recourse. They also count on the new owners quickly bonding with their puppies – so that even when health issues do emerge, the owner wouldn’t be willing to return the pup. In an instance where you do contact the breeder regarding a health issue, they can simply deny fault and say that it’s never happened in their dogs before, or worse, just ghost you altogether.
4. "Champion bloodlines"
Unless your puppy’s immediate dam or sire (or both) are actual breed champions (again, you can verify this by searching for their AKC numbers and dog show results), the words “champion bloodlines” mean very little.
Here's a copy of Geordi's pedigree so you can see what I mean. If someone calls themselves a "champion breeder," you should be seeing a lot of "CH" on their pedigree, which stands for breed champion.
The reality is that the demand for Pembroke Welsh corgi puppies is way too high to be met by reputable show breeders alone. But just because a breeder is not reputable doesn’t mean they can’t be responsible. As a puppy buyer, it’s important to educate yourself and watch out for these red flags so that you can hold breeders accountable to maintain ethical breeding practices, and so that you don’t inadvertently support puppy mills and backyard breeders who cut corners in order to maximize profit.
In the meantime, check out these resources: