Certain things in life are worth spending extra time on researching, buying a new puppy is most definitely high on the list. Unfortunately, there are people out there who see puppies only as a profit-making business and care more about the money than raising a healthy happy pup.
So how are you supposed to recognise these breeders? here are a few pointers on whether the possible breeder is legitimate or if they might even be a “puppy farm”
They don’t know, or not happy to share the puppy’s parents
A dedicated breeder will respond to every litter with enthusiasm and they will know and understand:
- The breed
- Have health checks
- Ask you to visit
- Put your in touch with previous puppy owners
- Have the pups for at least 8 weeks
- Tell you about socialisation and training
- Possible Kennel Club certificates/registration documents if the pup is a pure breed
Their brood bitch is their passion and the breeder will, without doubt, invest time in making sure they are comfortable and healthy. A responsible breeder is unlikely to breeding three or more litters and selling no more than one puppy litter in a 12-month period
A female shouldn’t be having two litters a year, and an indication of a good breeder is that they actually don’t have any puppies available. It is an unfortunate fact that without seeing the parents, not only could the pup be unhealthy it could be stolen or second-hand.
Today’s best dog breeders have a number of different things that they will consider when choosing dogs to use for breeding, such as:
- Breed type and characteristics
- Health test results
- Genetic diversity
- The general health of the sire and dam
Responsible breeders will consider the health of their puppies to be their priority, which raises the likelihood that the puppies will go on to live long and happy lives.
The breeders won’t let you see the kennel or where they have looked after the pups
The kennel or whelping area should be a breeder’s pride and joy, clean and smelling fresh, dog-friendly, and fun. If the breeder refuses to let you see the kennel or only offers to meet you in places like a car park, it’s an ‘early heads’ up that they don’t have the correct environment for raising pups.
Puppy farms are well known for housing dogs and puppies in very small areas this can lead to disease spreading through the area, or confined cages where puppies are trapped with their own faeces. When you get your puppy it should have a clean shiny coat and should smell good. If it’s dirty or smells bad, it could mean that it was in one of these small, enclosed kennels.
They focus on more than one breed
Buying a pup is not like going to a superstore where you find lots of different breeds or crossbreeds all under one roof. A reputable breeder will generally only focuses on one or maybe at a push two specific types of breeds, so if you encounter a breeder who has a ‘one-stop shop’ be wary.
They don’t ask you to sign paperwork
A good breeder doesn’t just care about their puppy whilst they are taking care of them, they care about it in your home too. Some breeders will ask you to sign contracts and other papers to ensure the puppy gets its vaccinations are spayed or neutered is taken to the vet, and even if your personal circumstances change it will be given back to them.
If your potential breeder seems more eager to collect your money and get the puppy out the door than they do to make sure the animal will have a safe and healthy home, it should be a warning sign that the dog may not be coming from a very loving breeder.
They offer the puppy when it’s too young
One way to cut costs for the puppy business is to let the pups go as early as possible. A competent person knowing all about puppies would know how bad an idea like this is. Leaving their mother too early can cause massive problems for puppies. A puppy shouldn’t be leaving its litter until it is at least eight weeks old.
The pup hasn’t had its vaccinations or being chipped
This is a good sign that the puppy you’re getting is either too young or that they simply don’t care about the dogs’ health oil welfare.
Finally, be aware that breeders also read and research just like you do so disreputable breeders also preparing themselves with fake paperwork, so be willing to ask further questions, ask for more proof, and dig deeper as deep as you can.