Are you thinking about getting a puppy? And you’ve firmly decided on a pure bred from a breeder as opposed to a mix breed from a rescue? If so here are some quick tips on how to pick a reputable breeder:
Never buy a puppy from a pet store! I don’t care what the store clerk or owner says. No reputable breeder would EVER sell their pups to a pet store. Good breeders will be adamant on screening you and matching a puppy to your lifestyle. Puppies for sale at pet stores are puppy mill puppies. And furthermore, selling puppies for profit is a horrible industry. The only way to stop it is to not support it. Pet stores rely on the cute, cuddly balls of fluffy love and your impulse buying. I know, all puppies are cute but puppy mill puppies almost always have extreme health issues or mental health issues due to lack of proper up-bring. About all you’d be buying a heart breaking vet bill.
A reputable breeder has nothing to hide. They’ll encourage you to make the trip out to their location. On the contrary, a puppy mill breeder will insist on meeting you somewhere other then where the puppies were born and raised. Yes, they will often be very kind and explain they live so far away. So ‘for your convenience‘ they’ll set up a mutual location for you to meet with the puppy. Don’t do it!
But what if they do allow you to come see the puppies? Here are 3 red flags to look for are:
- Do they have both parents? If so, run! Responsible breeders will stud in the male. So by the time the puppies are born the male (stud) will be long gone back to his owners. This is done for a variety of reasons. Most commonly to ensure there is no inbreeding and the lines are healthy and clean.
- Cleanliness. Are the puppies clean and well looked after? And if they are, what type of environment are they being raised in?
- Are there multiple breeds of dogs? A good breeder has a passion for one breed of dog and they breed them well. So if there are multiple breeds of dogs with puppies, it is a puppy mill.
They will screen you! You’ll likely feel like you’re on an intense job interview. But don’t be offended by this. If anything be happy! They’ve taken great care of their puppies and are trying to ensure they’re protecting their well being. They’ll want to know as much about you and your lifestyle as possible. They want to ensure you’ll take good care of the puppy they place with you. They’ll also want to make sure they match you with the right puppy. So be grateful that they are so cautious, it means they were just as cautious with the breeding of your new family member.
They’ll have all the proper papers. Any breeder who offers to sell you a puppy cheaper because it’s not papered is a puppy mill. The papers are proof that the pup has been seen and x-ray’d by a Veterinarian. The veterinarian has given the puppy a clean bill of health. And the x-ray’s prove there are no skeletal or hip issues. So never buy a puppy from a breeder without the proper documentation. It might be more expensive but it’ll be way cheaper in the long run!
Written by Brenda McBurnie, Certified Dog Trainer and Natural Nutrition
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