We have a Rhodesian Ridgeback we are pretty sure is from a backyard puppy mill. Our area is notorious for puppy mills, it's really sad. We got her from the SPCA, who said she was turned in as a stray... however they suspected that the person who brought her in was really the breeder or a pet shop rep. Our shelter gets a lot of large puppies from pet stores that do not sell within the "cute" time frame. She is "imperfect", only has one distinct whorl, a narrow ridge, her ears do not lay quite right and she is small. When I took her back for her shots and talked some more with the vet, the lady said that she thinks Ruby was the runt and they could not sell her. She said usually these imperfect dogs are just killed, so Ruby lucked out by being brought in. The other two shelters in the area also each got one RR each within three months, which is really unusual. One dog was Ruby's age and one was old enough to have been bred. The other pup had the same imperfections as Ruby.
She was about 3 months old when we got her. She had obviously never been in a house before, or near people much. She didn't know what steps were, she was afraid of toys and balls, didn't like walking on anything but the wood floor, and freaked out anytime she saw her reflection. She is still skittish and shy, but is MUCH improved. It took forever to housebreak her (although I understand this is not unusual for the breed), and she was a terrible counter surfer, but she is a bright dog who caught on to basic obedience quickly. We love her, and she fits right in with our imperfect family