Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders vs. Responsible Breeders

Does it really make a difference where you get your puppy  provided you find the breed you want?  In a word, yes.  If you are not planning to breed or show your dog, it might seem unimportant to get that dog from a breeder.  But in fact, it is vitally important, and ignoring this concern can lead to sad times with your pet.

What is a Puppy Mill?

The term Puppy Mill is a label that every breeder denies applies to him or her.  Every pet shop denies their puppies come from a Puppy Mill.

 So what is a Puppy Mill?  Other names for this type of operation are puppy farms (remember Snoopy in the Peanuts comics?) and commercial breeders.  Wherever pets are produced for profit, the animals are at risk.

It is seldom possible to breed dogs humanely and responsibly and make a profit.  The profit comes when the dogs live their lives in cages rather than with a human companion.  The sole purpose of these dogs is to continually breed so the “breeders” can make money on the puppies.  Often these dogs have never seen the outside world, let alone a veterinarian.  These operations do the minimal amount for the dogs to keep them alive and able to breed.  Filth, loneliness, fear and pain constitute the life these dogs lead. Puppies produced in this situation do not have the right start in life.

 Experiences in the early weeks are critical to a dog’s development, and this includes behavior.  Problems you may encounter with a Puppy Mill dog include housetraining issues, as the puppy has never learned to keep its den area clean.  Leaving the mother too early can cause biting behaviors later in life, as these puppies were never taught bite inhibition.  This lesson needs to happen while still with the litter.


What is a Backyard Breeder?

This term is used to describe people who breed dogs without knowing what they are doing.  The motive may be profit, and occasionally someone will make a tidy little profit without having spent too much money to provide the dogs with proper care.  More likely, they will produce one litter, find out how expensive and exhausting it is to breed dogs, and have their female spayed.

The backyard-bred puppy may make a good companion dog, provided the parents are good companion dogs.  Genetic health and temperament problems may arise later.  Buying a dog from this type of environment is a big gamble.

What is Best for Your Pet?

We have established that it is best for the dogs to be bred only by people who will take excellent care of the parents and pups.  Great suffering in dogs is alleviated when breeders refrain from reproducing genetic problems.  Only breeders who put the health and welfare of their animals above profit make these difficult decisions.  To learn how to make these decisions, responsible breeders work with experienced mentors and do a great amount of study.

As well, we would have to include the inhumanity of keeping a dog caged for life; it’s only purpose being to produce puppies for human profit.  Every puppy purchased in this way is one more litter that the poor mother will have to endure.  Getting your puppy from a responsible breeder is not only the socially responsible thing to do, but also the best way to wind up with a healthy and happy puppy that grows up into a healthy and happy dog.

To take a behind the scenes look at a puppy mill, please click on the link below.



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