FREE to a good home, much loved puppy for sale, sad sale of puppy blah, blah, blah……… In the great day and age of Google and the internet, there really is no reason at all for people to be buying puppies from disreputable breeders. How can we stop puppy farming?
The fast answer: simply STOP buying from them and either rescue or research a reputable breeder like the ones in pictures of this blog.
With Christmas fast approaching I implore you PLEASE, PLEASE research thoroughly and don’t buy because you think it will be so cute on Christmas day. It really won’t. Its simply not fair on a puppy to be thrown into this environment, only to get on everyone’s nerves while it tears the tree and presents apart, only to find itself on pre-loved a week later.
There is so much help and advice out there, from google, to Kennel Club, Breed societies to some excellent Facebook groups. There is NO reason to get one from a puppy farm or bad breeder. So, where can you buy a puppy from?
When in Scotland, I remember one of my fellow students at college bought a puppy from a puppy farm. I remember how much their vet bills kept on rising as their vet tried to desperately save this tiny pups life. It died from parvo. It was just awful to see this chap and his family go through the trauma. A trauma that could have so easily been avoided.
20 years ago our knowledge of these places wasn’t so obtainable as it is now. Now there is no excuse people should not be falling for these scams. With a tiny bit of research the advice is there in seconds.
Before you start looking there are a few essential things you need to consider.
Answer the following:
• Can you afford to have a dog in your life? There will be vet and food bills. There is no glass ceiling with vets. They charge what they like and it can get really expensive.
• Insurance is advisable. Can you afford monthly payments? If not, could you afford a 10k vet bill if required?
• If they are a breed that does not moult, can you afford professional grooming every two months? Do you have time to brush them every day in between?
• Are you able, or do you want to walk them every day? Even small dogs need a good walk?
• Is your home big enough? Do you have access to outside space?
• Do you work from home or have someone home to look after them?
• Can you commit to your dog’s lifetime? Could be up to 14 years.
If you answered “NO” to any of the above then a dog is not for you. However, if you are confident you can say yes to the above, every day of your dog’s life, then you can start looking at your options.
There are things you need to consider before looking at breeds:
• What lifestyle do you have? Are you home people or do you love to ramble in the countryside for hours at a time?
• Do you work?
• How many hours a day would the pup be left for?
• Family? Kids? How many, how old?
• Any allergies?
Often from a young age, when we are introduced to a specific breed. It imprints on our brains as the breed for us. For me, it was Golden’s. My Uncle (at that time,) had a gorgeous boy called Romsey. They were so lucky with him. He was an ex puppy farmed dog. He didn’t really look the breed standard but had the wonderful nature we love. They were lucky also in that he didn’t suffer major health issues, unlike so many that don’t even make it to their 3-month birthdays! As I say incredibly lucky!
Romsey was the nicest dog and, seven-year-old me would take him for walks. Just me and him. I would show him off, proud as punch. (I should also mention the ex-Uncle was also a brilliant Dog Trainer, something I aspired to from an early age and achieved aged 28 at the same training school as my Uncle.) I remember meeting him after about 20 years to be able to tell him he was my influence for wanting Golden’s in my life and for my wanting to be a Trainer like him.
Whatever your influence and direction you feel drawn you must research it properly. You need to make sure the breeds you like fit your life style. Go to Discover Dogs in London. You can see and pet the breeds you love and its an opportunity to talk to people who know more about your breed than you can imagine. If you don’t work out which one is for you there, you never will.
After taking all the above into consideration, the question arises, “Where do I start to look for a puppy to buy?”
Where NOT to start:
Places like Pre-loved, Gumtree, Facebook (unless its a reputable group)
If you get a puppy, after doing no research whatsoever or not realising that actually pups can be quite hard work and you can’t be bothered anymore, as long as you bought them from a reputable breeder, they should take them back for you. All too often you see people selling puppies with some feeble excuse as to why, after having them for two weeks, and although they are much loved…….they need to go by midday tomorrow. Its infuriating for real dog lovers to witness.
On the other end of the scale is an older dog, say 7 years plus, “much loved family dog”…OK These poor dogs often end up in the wrong hands. There are people scouring the internet for victims that they can then use as bait dogs…… That is a whole post of its own.
Whenever anyone asks on my Golden Retriever group, we always guide them to the breed society, Champ Dogs and Kennel Club, in that order. These three sources are by far and away the best place to start.
Breed specific societies will only have on their list reputable breeders. If they don’t hold a list they will just know! I would start with them long before any other option. They will know who is a good breeder and who has litters due or planned.
The Kennel Club UK have provided a comprehensive list of what to look out for and how to spot a puppy farmer.
• Always go to a reliable and reputable Kennel Club Assured Breeder.
• Ask to see the puppy’s mother.
• See the puppy in its breeding environment and ask to look at the kennelling conditions if they were not raised within the breeder’s house. If you suspect the conditions are not right, then do not buy the puppy.
• Ask to see the relevant health test certificates for the puppy’s parents
• Be prepared to be put on a waiting list – a healthy puppy is well-worth waiting for.
• Ask if you can return the puppy if things don’t work out. Responsible and reputable breeders will always say yes.
• Be suspicious of a breeder selling several different breeds, unless you are sure of their credentials.
• Consider alternatives to buying a puppy like getting a rescue dog or pup. Click here to find a breed rescue puppy.
• Report your concerns to the relevant authority if you suspect the breeder is a puppy farmer
• Buy a puppy from a pet shop.
• Pick your puppy up from a ‘neutral location’ such as a car park or motorway service station.
• Buy a puppy because you feel like you’re rescuing it. You’ll only be making space available for another poorly pup to fill and condemning further puppies to a miserable life
More information on what to do if you suspect someone of being a puppy farmer can be found here.
What about rescue?
After research, you might realise that a puppy wouldn’t be right for you. You then have the option to adopt.
As a result of over breeding in puppy farms, there are so many dogs needing homes. If it’s a mutt your looking for there are many rescues with hundreds of dogs looking for homes. On the whole there are rarely pure breeds in the big rescues. It seems to be mostly terrier or staffie types. They are are not for everyone. With my breed there is Irish Retriever Rescue bringing dogs from Ireland and the UK or Sand Paws Rescue, rescuing dogs from Turkey. A post on buying v’s rescuing will soon be shared.
In conclusion, use the resources available to you, ask many, many questions research your possible breeds thoroughly and seek advice from experienced people.
Finally, whatever your final decision, make sure you enjoy every single moment. Remember they might only be part of your life, but to them you are their whole world. Make it a perfect one.
Our dogs ask so very little of us in return for their unconditional love.