Pet stores do not want people to know that at least 95% of their dogs are born in puppy mills. Purchasers of puppy-mill puppies often pay a very high price and later discover that their new pet comes to them with an illness or serious condition. Now, I want to state before I go on that this is not the case for ALL puppy mills.
My own Yorkshire Terrier, Tilly, (rest in peace, girl) was born at a puppy mill and started having seizures when she turned one.
As of April 2011, federal law still does not require any breeder that sells directly to the public or over the Internet to be inspected to ensure that the dogs are properly cared for. If you decide to buy a dog directly from a breeder, look for breeders within driving distance. This eliminates you spending a lot of time and money on a sickly pup. The only way to be certain that the parents of your puppy are healthy, socialized, and well cared for is to see the breeder’s home and dogs for yourself.
What To Do:
The best way to find a breeder is to be on the lookout for a wonderful dog, and then ask the owner where they got the dog. Other good strategies are to:
• Consult web sites and publications of national registries and parent clubs.
• Get advice from vets, groomers, and members of local training clubs and kennel clubs.
What to Know:
Do not deal with anyone who breeds more than two breeds or specializes in rare colors, sizes, etc. These are usually “designer dogs” and they usually come with health issues. Eliminate from your list any breeder who only accepts cash or credit cards. This is an obvious red flag. A breeder should encourage you to visit their mill and not ask to meet you anywhere else. That’s pretty sketchy for any business.
Cross a breeder off your list if you find horrible mill conditions. Nasty looking yard, messy kennels, no water or food in sight. These are huge red flags. Frightened, antisocial or unhealthy looking dogs are serious deal breakers. Never buy a dog from anyone who does not want you to visit their home and spend some time with their dogs. Make sure you meet at least one parent of the litter.
While you are with the breeder, take a look at available background documentation. For example, health records and litter registration. Ask for referrals from a vet. Question the breeder about their experience with breeding canines.
This article is running a bit long and there is a lot of more ground to cover. Such issues are pricing, you wouldn’t want to get swindled and other various things. We’ll cover more about breeders and puppy mills in a part 2 of this article.
Please remember that this article is not trying to persuade you from buying from mills, if that is your choice. I only offer this article as a means to help you on your way if you choose this option for purchasing a dog.
Picture taken from: http://www.twincities.com/