When people want to buy a dog or buy a puppy from a breeder or pet store, more and more people are first searching their local animal shelter or purebred rescue group to see if there might be a purebred dog or puppy they might like to adopt. Even though there are far more dogs in shelters and rescues than forever homes available, some people still want to get their furry friend from a breeder.
Whether it’s the look or personality of a purebred, there are many people willing to shell out big bucks for the perfect dog. You might be surprised to learn some puppies are kept in filthy conditions, cramped with several other dogs in tiny crates, so the so-called breeder can turn a bigger profit.
Siberian Husky Too, pictured here, was rescued by parents Steve and Jenny O’Rourke. “You can’t trust the internet site,” California -based behaviorist and trainer Beverly Ulrich says.
“At no time should you adopt a puppy from anyone who wants to meet you at an offsite location,” Executive Director of the San Diego Animal Support Foundation Darlene White explains. “You’re taking a tiny, scared puppy away from its family, putting him in a box and shipping him on a loud plane,” Ulrich explains.
You might have heard the term “puppy mill,” and may even be vaguely familiar with what goes on at these sites that essentially manufacture dogs. In the worst scenarios, several dogs are stuffed into cramped quarters and rarely, if ever, let out to play, socialize, or even potty.
“It’s hard to find because they don’t allow visitors and just ship the dogs off.” Note: If you do stumble upon or suspect a puppy mill, contact your local animal control immediately and report it.
“Be willing to pay the very high fees that cover the costs of stud services, proper research, quality vet care, quality food, and sanitary kenneling that result in a well-bred dog.” “This is why it’s important to meet the parents and make sure you like the dog’s personalities, that they are not shy or aggressive,” Ulrich explains.
“One of my recent clients couldn’t meet the father of their puppy because he was so shy and aggressive. Be familiar with the breed traits and characteristics of the dog you’re choosing to make sure it’s the right fit for your family.
When Edward and Sophia Lehman bought their Villa (at right) from an online breeder, they were expecting a dog about double her size. We’ve already explained why you can’t trust a breeder’s internet advertising, but you should also be careful when browsing online classified ads.
“Good breeders don’t sell dogs in online ads,” White says. White has seen a number of these “breeders” use disposable cell phones and disappear once puppies become sick, or worse.
Thoroughly research the breed you’re interested in to learn behavioral traits and potential genetic diseases. Verify with the breeder’s veterinarian that all information provided on medical care to date is correct.
Knowing where to buy a dog is critical if you want your puppy to be happy and healthy. The way your puppy is bred and cared for when he is tiny will influence both his temperament and his future health.
Finding where to buy puppies can be an overwhelming process. So, once you have decided to purchase a puppy, you will need to know where to look in order to find a healthy and good-tempered family pet.
And that people in any of the above categories may advertise their puppies for sale online. Commercial breeders are those that make their living from the sale of puppies that they have bred.
Some will be involved in competing in dog related activities. Labrador breeders may be competing in Hunt Tests or Field Trials for example.
A hobby or enthusiast breeder’s kennel is a place where the primary purpose of the adult dogs used for breeding, is to compete or win awards that recognize their talents or beauty. Puppies in these establishments are bred mainly to further those aims and the surplus are sold as pets.
Obviously if a kennel is successful enough, and the dogs win high enough accolades, the breeder may be able to generate a significant income. Whereas a commercially successful breed enthusiast, may sometimes be a good choice.
You’ll find dog retailers in markets and malls, and some will have their own premises or sell puppies online through a website. Home dog breeders don’t usually make a profit on a regular basis.
These pet dog owners are often looked down on by breed enthusiasts, and referred to as ‘backyard breeders’. In some cases a litter of puppies in a loving and caring family, can have a great start in life.
And plenty of dog owners have purchased from a puppy farm inadvertently. Nor are puppy farms necessarily squalid, dirty places (though some are).
Puppy farm females are not necessarily ill-treated in any kind of obvious way. One indicator of a puppy farm is a variety or range of different dog breeds for no apparent reason.
It is normal for working gun dog breeders to have more than one breed of gun dog on the premises. And their dogs will probably be living much of the time in kennels, but this does not make their owners puppy farmers.
Bear in mind that the objective of the puppy farm is profit and both health tests and veterinary treatment are expensive. As a result, puppy farmed pups are more likely to be sickly.
Because the puppy farmer’s motives are primarily commercial, other aspects of the dogs lives may be neglected. Female dogs that are used for puppy farming lead rather sad lives.
They are not given proper opportunity to form loving relationships with human beings and often suffer mentally through lack of stimulation and exercise. Pedigree registration with a national Kennel Club is not a protection against puppy farming.
Many puppy farms do register their pups with the Kennel Club. So the answer to ‘where can I buy a dog’ does not include puppy mills.
Don’t be tempted to buy a puppy from a pet supermarket or any other kind of store, or from a market or at a show or fair. You wouldn’t want to take a pup home only to find that it is already microchipped, and you need to return it to its rightful owner.
Nice puppies can sometimes be found in advertisements, but there are risks. Or because they are looking for specialized homes (e.g. working gun dogs) for their puppies.
In which case their puppies will usually be advertised on specialist websites like ‘The Gun dog Club’. Nor on big national listing sites where you can advertise everything from a second hand sweater to your pet elephant.
Adverts on these sites are much more likely to be from people that have just bred a litter from their pet, or from puppy farmers. Many, if not most, well-bred puppies are booked in advance or sold by word of mouth.
Reputable breeders have a massive amount at stake when they sell you a puppy. Finding a good breeder does not necessarily mean that your search for a puppy is over.
A final route to consider when bringing a new dog or puppy into your home is turning to a rescue center. So, if you would like more information on rescue center dogs and the adoption process, take a look at this guide.
It can be harder to find puppies at rescue centers. But, it’s important to make sure the dog’s temperament and care needs match up closely with what you can offer.
Rescue dogs that haven’t been treated well early on in life may take a lot more work and time until they trust you and feel at home in your family. Remember, it isn’t the fact that the breeder makes a profit from their puppies that defines whether they are a good place to buy a puppy, but the purpose of the mother dog.
She should be loved as a pet, or busy working with her handler in competitions or fieldwork. But the key is that the mother dog has a good life and a significant relationship with a human being.
It’s packed with information on choosing the right puppy for your family, including reviews of the most popular dog breeds.