So often I am called because someone is desperately looking for a puppy or they have already purchased a puppy, and unfortunately has bought a puppy with medical issues or sick with a contagious disease.
I have made this page to encourage people DO THEIR research and also help them not to rush when adding a member to the family. Puppies take commitment from everyone in the family and the BREEDER. These puppies are precious and it is the breeders responsibility to make sure each one finds a great home and is taken care of.
Many breeders advertise heath guarantees and information on how long they have been breeding but one must be aware that it doesn’t matter how long you have been breeding and selling puppies…do you have a goal for the breed….are they improving the temperament, looks, and genetics or are they just breeding and selling puppies with champion bloodlines or “papers?” Do they care about the breed or do they just like the look of the breed and are using them for profit?
Another scenario that I have seen is where the breeder uses the buyers and ask them if they would be interested in breeding or having a litter. If the family is interested, the breeder uses their male, has the family take care of the puppies (dewclaws, shots, and de-wormings) then splits the litter and sells there half for gain. Almost like a puppy hustler.
The best way to know what kind of breeder you are dealing with is to visit the breeder. See the set up. Spend a little extra and make a trip. It may save you in the long run. You can see for yourself. You can know if your puppy comes form a breeder you want to support.
Things to evaluate…are the dogs kept in cages, kennels, large groups, or in the house? Are the parents even present? Do they stay inside or outside? Are the dogs living in mud, wire, or gravel? Are they social or living like wild dogs in groups. Are they groomed and taken care of or do they live in dirt, mud, and are matted and mangy. How many dogs are on the property? Can a single family really care for 30 to 40 dogs properly?
Another thing to note is that even if the parents are some what social is doesn’t always mean the puppies are. If the breeder is raising many litters a year, then it is almost impossible to properly socialize each puppy.
Many contagious diseases are cause by the living conditions. Puppies get giardiaand coccidia from muddy water and dirty conditions. They also get parasites from fecal matter, muddy water, and the parents. Seeing the set up can give you a real picture on how the puppies were raised.
If travel is not an option, you can also check certain websites to see what other people have to say about the breeder you are considering by just typing kennel names in the search bar of these websites.
Now, many breeder brag that they are in compliance with the USDA and AKC. Lets take a moment and let me explain something to you. USDA and AKC are organizations that prosper and rely on the kennels and breeders. Don’t believe me? Let me explain.
Of the USDA
The USDA is a set of guidelines set forth to make sure the breeders and farmers are providing the animals the minimum guidelines…water, food, shelter. They also get paid to evaluate the kennel and licensed them “USDA” approved. Now think about it. Many Puppy Mill past this guideline no problem and those dogs live in suppressed conditions. But if a breeder offers more than the minimum (6 inches past a dogs nose, head, and tail) the USDA will consider them an exceptional breeder because they put there dogs in larger kennels and offer them better shelters. Granted the dogs could still be living in mud and/or gravel and never get socialized or exercise but by the USDA standards the dogs are well taken care of because they have more room then the minimum as well as water and food. So an exceptional breeder by the USDA standards is NOT always something to brag about. The variation from “meets guidelines” to “exceeds guidelines” can still be so minimal. So before you rely on these evaluations think about how minimal of an impact this can have on the condition of the kennel and the welfare of the dogs.
AKC is also in it for profit. They do contribute to a lot of organizations but they are called non-profit. In order to stay non-profit they have to stay below a line and donate certain amount of funds to other charitable causes. But they also encourage breeding and attend breeding convention to promote breeders. To be in compliance with AKC all you have to do is keep good records, identify each with some sort of ID and provide them with minimal care approved by the AKC or USDA. Many puppy mills accomplish this all the time. It is not that hard.
Don’t get me wrong about AKC. They do a lot of good things but they still associate with puppy mills and allow them to register the puppies AKC. If they really cared, they could exclude anyone who did not comply with reputable breeder code of ethic. But they don’t, they associate with many of the midwest breeders who have hundreds of dogs. Remember, “birds of a feather flock together”. They attend breeders conventions. Encourage them to register AKC and become apart of AKC’s goal. To have AKC dogs, breeding dogs.
In 2000, AKC saw a huge decline in there registration. Breeders where using other registries (APRI, CKC, UKC, ACA) and AKC was being hit hard since they were loosing all there litter and puppy register fees. At about $30 dollars a litter then $25 for each registered puppy, they were hurting bad. Due to this decline AKC made a High Volume Breeders Committee. This committee’s goal was to get more breeders involved and expand relationships in relation with commercial breeders and registries.
They now encourage breeding instead of responsible breeding and ave become friends with “Hunte Corporation“. Which is a organization whose sole purpose is to truck out hundreds of dogs from puppy mills to pet stores. AKC has allowed “Hunte Corporation” to advertise AKC’s endorsement on the front page of their website. AKC has even made Andrew Hunte (owner of the Hunte Corperation) a VIP member at Westminster. The thing that is ironic is that AKC use to promote people NOT to buy from pet stores and condemn commercial breeders also know as puppy mills. But they have now removed any saying on there website and brochures condemning puppy mills. They have become friends with the brokers and puppy mills. Yes, they have filled it with generic statements about breeding and caring of the purebred dog to save face but they don’t shine the light on the actual truth.
They also talk about your purebred dogs and the importance of registering it with AKC even if it not going to be bred. And how you can be involved in other things like agility and obedience when you register AKC. They don’t tell you that there are other clubs that have all the these dog sports available with out registering with AKC. I am constantly getting e-mails to encourage my buyers to register AKC and promotions to register each puppy myself.
Presently AKC is also against the very controversial “Proposition B” that took place in Missouri on the Nov, 2010 election. They were very much against limiting breeders to 50 dogs and making regulations that would provide dogs with annual medical care, solid living surface, and more space. Now if you ask me I believed it is because it would severely hurt there pocket books. Proposition B would make these slum puppy mills and backyard breeders who can past the minimum USDA and AKC standard not be in business anymore. It did past in the election but many organizations like Hunte and AKC are still fighting it.
Now that you have better understanding of breeders and these organizations. Beware before you buy!!! Google breeders and ask around. Google maps also allows you to see what the set up is. Don’t settle for a website or their spiel on how much they love the breed and how long they have been breeding. Let them prove it by visiting. Ask for vet receipts, pedigrees, OFA results, and Champion Certificates BEFORE YOU BUY. Use the technology available to get a better understanding of how they do business.
If you have any questions, looking for a puppy, or would like more information please feel free to e-mail SnoDen.
I can get you in contact with many breeders who I know are in it for the integrity of the breed and its potential family.