How to spot a puppy farmer.
This Holidays4Dogs article will focus on points to be aware of when looking for a puppy, especially if this involves internet or newspaper classified adverts; because sometimes, puppy farmers are not easy to spot.
Puppy farmers are people who breed puppies in large numbers with the sole aim of making a profit from un-suspecting buyers. Many unscrupulous breeders employ all sorts of tactics to make themselves appear responsible and caring, when in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth. Breeders like this commonly use internet classified sites and move puppies from large farming type premises, into domestic homes which lull potential buyers into the false belief that the pups have been bred in a loving family home.
This process in theory should become more difficult when the law changes next year, meaning it will be illegal to pass puppies on to a third party. However, we believe that it still won’t be impossible for puppy farmers to sidestep the law and it is important for would be puppy buyers to be acutely aware of how puppy farmers currently operate in the UK. It is crucially important that puppy farmers are put out of business for good.
So, how can you differentiate between a good and a bad breeder? Holidays4Dogs offers some important things to look out for in order to avoid purchasing a puppy from a dishonest puppy seller.
Is the puppy being sold in a pet shop? No self respecting breeder who has the welfare of their puppies at the forefront will sell to pet shops. This is more than likely to be from a puppy farmer.
If there is a telephone number on the advertisement for the puppy, do an on-line search to see if this comes up as advertising other breeds of puppies.
Is the mother of the puppies available to view? Common excuses for why the mother of the puppies is unavailable are; illness, at the vets, at the groomers, doesn’t like strangers visiting, (in which case you would steer clear anyway).
Does the seller suggest they deliver the puppy, or meet you at a mutually agreed location? Never meet anyone selling puppies away from the place they were born and bred – you are basically buying a pup from a roadside dealer; in other words – puppy farmer. This is a classic way to avoid letting you know where the pups have really come from.
Do they provide the name and address of their vet? Did they change vets at the very same time you enquired about the puppy, but now suddenly can’t find the details of the new one? This very likely a puppy farmer.
Are they keen to sell? Are they insisting on a deposit before you even see the puppy? Do they say other people are really keen and you might miss out? This sounds very much like a puppy farmer.
If you do visit the puppies, where are they kept? Although there are large enterprises on farm like premises, there are just as many ‘back-yard’ breeders. Are the pups outside in make-shift sheds? Whether they are indoors or not, do they appear healthy or are they dirty and sickly looking? Do they appear confident or frightened? Do the puppies resemble the mother? Are they suckling from the mother? If it feels wrong, it probably is.
If you are looking for a puppy, always go to a reputable kennel club registered breeder (found on the Kennel Club website). Otherwise, consider a rescue dog – there are all sorts of breeds and ages of dog, including puppies, just desperate for new homes. See our other Holidays4Dogs articles on rescue dogs including ‘5 reasons to get a rescue dog’ (search ‘rescue dog’)
If you do go and see puppies and become suspicious DO NOT buy the puppy because you feel sorry for it; this is simply fuelling the market for puppies bred by unscrupulous people. Instead, report the person/address to the RSPCA and also your local authority who will have powers to enforce the law.