We all love puppies and it is always an exciting time when we are looking for one. But there are a few things to consider that are extremely important. From 26th August to the 1st September there is a week dedicating to the education of where is the best place to buy a puppy. Sadly, to this day, people are still seeking puppy farms and pet stores to buy their canine friends sometimes unknowingly.
What exactly is a puppy farm?
Puppy farms are places where people breed dogs, sometimes a whole range of different breeds repeatedly giving the dogs no breaks. This is extremely detrimental to their health as they don’t have enough time to recover between litters, given very little space to move around, and usually in very dirty and unhygienic conditions. The puppies are also taken from the mother too early and transported around with some being too weak to survive the travel. It is also very hard to figure out what the puppy’s future temperament will be like as either the mum will not be there or there will be a ‘fake’ mum just to fool the potential buyer. Pet stores and puppies brought online such as pets4homes should be discouraged as they are most likely could be fuelling the puppy farming trade. Saying all that, they will have a higher risk of showing not only physical problems but behavioural problems as well.
But how can we tell if it is a puppy farm?
Most important thing is to ask lots of questions, be vigilant and do your research!
Some points to consider:
If they are a little hesitant or don’t know how to answer any of your questions, then they might be hiding something.
Observe the puppies with the mum. That is a must! If the mum seems uninterested in them, she is probably a ‘fake’ mum.
Ask to see all the paperwork on the health tests for the parent dog and the healthcare record for the puppies while it is in their care. All good breeders will provide this!
A good breeder will ask you a lot of questions as well to see if their puppy will go to a good home and they will never allow you to bring home a puppy on your first visit.
If you are not entirely happy, don’t feel bad to walk out. You are not rescuing it. You are just making the bad breeding practice worse.
So, what can we do that would be better?
First, you can look on Champdogs, which is a website showing all the good practice breeders and also have a look on the Kennel Club website on their Assured Breeders Scheme. These breeders all have to be accredited to a high level with proper health tests and regular assessment on how they operate to make sure the dogs’ welfare are at their core. So, the puppies will come out as healthy and mentally strong as they can be ready to take on the real world!
With research, it is so important I can’t emphasise strongly enough! First, research what the right breed would be best for you according to your lifestyle. So many people I see choose the wrong breed for them and have trouble handling them leading to them with a higher likelihood of being rehomed or having behavioural problems. Then comes the research into the right breeder, which is as important. For me, when I was on the hunt for my second Golden Retriever, Cody, it took me six months of research into different breeders. I was looking into the breeders’ ethos and beliefs and I found a few which I interviewed. I like breeders that are as holistic and natural as possible (raw feeding, and homeopathic). I then whittled the list down to one, which I liked so much. But she was a bit too far for me, so she recommended me my current one. That was the best find ever and so worth all the effort as Cody turned out to be such a lovely dog with a fantastic temperament. With my first Golden Retriever, Skye, I didn’t do much research, but the breeder turned out to be so good as well! But going forward I will always do research. I have very good contact with both breeders still contacting them now, which is another thing you should look out for in good breeders. A ‘bad’ breeder will not care how the dog grows and turns out, just interested in the profit.
Another way of research is you can go to breed shows to talk to exhibitors. Also, go to shows like Discover Dogs or Crufts, where they have lots of people there you can talk to! Basically talking to lots of people will help a great deal and the right people!
So, what are we waiting for! We must educate everyone what is the best way of buying and stop this bad breeding practice once and for all.
If you have any more questions, just contact me!