If you're a Carolinian, you might have seen the news recently about the puppy mill/ hoarding bust of 80 dogs. This bust has caused the York County Shelter to shut down temporarily.
Let me start by saying if you can adopt or foster, please do so. All three of my dogs are rescues. There is nothing wrong with ethical breeding to help preserve certain breeds for certain tasks. The problem is backyard breeding, puppy mills, or people who want to breed their dog because it's "cute."
Breeders that health and temperament test and treat their dogs and puppies with love and respect are not the problem. Yes, there is a price tag for a reputable and ethical breeder. I look at it like this; you pay for a healthy puppy with fewer health and behavior issues or cheap out, go with an unethical breeder, and pay for veterinarian bills, professional training, and more than likely behavior problems for the next 10-15 years or more.
Adopting isn't always obtainable for every person. Some rescues have excruciating application processes and will deny you if specific qualifications aren't met. Because of this, it can lead owners to feel confused and frustrated and choose to buy a puppy instead of adopting.
Many people say not to buy a puppy, but there's a difference between ethical and unethical breeding. Education is critical, and knowing how to spot the signs of a bad breeder will prevent you from supporting the wrong person and help end backyard breeding.
Unethical breeding or backyard breeding is an unregulated field and causes many rotten eggs to come out of the woodwork and pretend they love dogs.
They see the puppy for $$$, not a living animal. Unethical breeding usually includes horrible living conditions, separating mother and puppies too early, and overbreeding, resulting in health and behavior problems.
8 Questions To Ask When Buying A Puppy
Where are the puppies sleeping at night? Is it temperature controlled?
Are the puppies using the bathroom on the grass or pee pads? (Hint: if they have started using grass patch will mean that potty training is going to be easier.)
How long have the pups been with the mother, and when can they come home? (Do not accept any Breeder willing to separate the mom from pups before 8 weeks of age.)
Are they health tested? Any cancer, allergies, aggression, a trauma in the family?
What's the parent's temperament like?
Have they started socializing or exposing the puppies to new dogs, people, or objects, or noises? (Remember new studies show the earlier the puppy starts training the better.)
How many litters has the mother had? (Hint: Shouldn't be more than 4 Litters)
Can you come to the breeder's place and meet the mom/dad and puppies? (Hint: pay attention to if they are inside/outside or if the breeder has started potty training.)
Remember to trust your gut. If you can't meet the mother or father and see the puppies, that's a huge red flag. You want to know the type of place they live in and make sure it's ethical breeding. The problem is not breeding dogs. The problem is unethical breeding and a lack of education for new dog owners.
Hopefully, this list helps weed out the bad eggs and choose an ethical breeder that is loving and humane with their puppies. Follow our blog for more dog parent tips and tricks.
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A-Z DOGS LLC was created to look at the whole dog for a successful and custom training program. Ruth has been in the dog professional career for eight-plus years and has experience with small and large breeds, behavioral, and reactivity. Ruth and her husband, Alan, love dogs and have three of their own. Oakley is a 5 yr old Akita and Cattle Dog Mix that they adopted. Zena is a Husky and Pitt mix that Ruth took in as an unruly puppy. Last but not least is the five-pound chihuahua that they rescued as well. We love empowering owners and their dogs to enjoy a stress-free life together.