Avoid Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders. There… we have said it quite clearly! Our Club recommends that you purchase your puppy only from a breeder who is affiliated with a national kennel club such as the Canadian Kennel Club in Canada or The American Kennel Club in the USA or a breed specific Club in your area. Of course almost every country has a National Kennel Club, so seek it out no matter where you live. This very important step eliminates Backyard Breeders and Puppy Mills from your list.
Reputable breeders spend a lot of time and effort in advancing their chosen breed. They genuinely care for their dogs and as such limit the number of litters each bitch produces in order to allow her to fully recover after each happy event. Reputable breeders are careful to ensure that, once detected, genetic faults or health issues are not propagated in the breed by removing those dogs from their breeding program. Reputable breeders care about their puppies from “cradle to grave” and will have a continuing interest in your dog’s well being. A reputable breeder is there for you whenever you are in need of help or advice regarding your dog.
So what is wrong with Puppy Mills? Simply stated… these mill operators do not care! It is all about profit so they breed for the sake of breeding and producing products. Yes… to them their puppies are just products. They just “churn” them out. That’s why they’re called mills. They are not concerned about the health and welfare of their animals, only the money. Often, this means that dogs live in horrible conditions and genetic problems are passed from one generation to the next or problems arise because not enough care has been taken right from the start.
In the case of Great Pyrs, dogs with physical disorders and poor temperament can be the result. We can tell you with certainty, there is no joy in owning a Great Pyr that is aggressive towards people or other animals.
And here is a final word on Mill operators. Where do they sell their puppies? You will be amazed to know that most Puppy Mill puppies are sold at your local Pet Store! Cute as they are, they are the products of Puppy Mills. As the buyer of one of these dogs, you will have no knowledge of the background of the puppy or any medical information. The risk is all yours.
What about Backyard breeders? Surely they care. They are not like puppy mills, are they? Well the truth is that Backyard breeders are quite often well intended and breed their dogs because they love them. There may be some money motivation, but this is nowhere near the scale of Puppy Mill greed. However, although they may be well intended, it is said that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. And so it is with Backyard breeders.
Typically, Backyard breeders do not know enough to prevent genetic and health problems from invading their litters. The selection and matching of breeding pairs is haphazard at best. The results can be, and often are unpredictable, leaving the new dog owner with mounting health problems and associated costs. Do Backyard breeders really know the difference between inline breeding and outcross breeding? Do they understand the risks associated with inbreeding? Chances are they don’t. Even if they do understand, do they follow good breeding practices? In the end it is you, the buyer, who pays the price for the breeder’s behaviour.
So where do Backyard Breeders sell their pups? Look for ads in your local newspaper or online Want Ads. You should be aware that reputable breeders do not advertise in this way.
When buying a dog, beware of the Total Cost of Ownership. The purchase price you pay for your puppy is extremely small compared to the ongoing cost of feeding and caring for your pet. We know, based on real first-hand experience, that well-bred dogs from reputable breeders have fewer health problems and behaviour issues, resulting in less ongoing cost to their owners. And that is the biggest surprise of all! It is less expensive to purchase from a breeder than it is to purchase from a pet store or Backyard breeder, and the additional peace of mind is priceless.
REMEMBER – BUYER BEWARE. If it seems like the deal is too good to be true, it probably is.
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