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Bad Breeder & Puppy Farm Red Flags To Look Out For

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The problem with bad breeders and puppy farms is that people often support them without realising. Some bad breeders will do whatever it takes to disguise the fact that they are mistreating their animals or breaking the law. You just have to be able to spot the warning signs.

Don’t try and save a puppy from a puppy farm. If you buy a puppy from them you are only making the problem worse and subjecting more dogs to a horrible life. Instead, leave and report them to the local authorities, RSPA or police. If you go to a breeder and get a bad feeling or sense something is wrong, follow your instincts and walk away. Here are some of the warning signs to be aware of when going to buy a puppy from a breeder.

Not letting you see the parents

The breeder should allow you to see both parents. If you cannot see the mother with the rest of the litter then do not buy a puppy. This is a sign that things are not being done properly as reputable breeders will always let you see the parents.

Regularly advertising litters online

If a breeder is regularly advertising litters online then they could be breaking the law. Bitches are only allowed to have four litters, any litters after that will not be registered by the kennel club. It is cruel to make a dog have lots of litters. If a breeder is advertising lots of litters online they are either breeding their bitch too much or a selling lots of different breeds of dogs. A big red flag is when breeders promise that they ‘always have puppies available’.

Poor living conditions

When you arrive to see the puppies pay attention to the living conditions. Check to see that everything is clean and the dogs are comfortable. They should have access to an outside area and not be cooped up in cages. The puppies and parents should have access to clean water and food. Use your instincts, you will know if they are being forced to live in poor conditions.

Puppies and parents in bad health

If the puppies and parents are clearly in bad health then this is a clear warning sign. If you can’t resist taking a puppy to save it you will probably end up with a very large vet bill and a broken heart as they may not survive.

Puppies leaving the mother too early before 8 weeks

Puppies being sold before they are at least 8 weeks of age is an immediate red flag. Pups should be with their mother and the rest of their litter for long enough so that they can socialise and learn from their mum. If a breeder offers you a pup before this turn them away.

Selling puppies in large numbers

Selling puppies in large numbers could be a result of bad breeding. Puppy farms will try to breed and sell as many puppies as possible in order to make more money.

Offering lots of different breeds

If a breeder advertises lots of different breeds then stay away. Most reputable breeders will only focus on one particular breed at a time.

Puppies have not been health checked

If they say that the vet said the dogs are healthy this does not give you any evidence. Puppies should be health checked by the breeder. When you take your new pup home take them to your vet right away for a health check. If they have an issues a reputable breeder should allow you to return them.

Not asking you questions

Any breeder that cares about the welfare of their puppies will ask you questions. They will want to know whether they are offering their puppy to a good home. If they don’t ask you anything then this is a clear warning sign.

No documents

If the breeder can’t produce any documents then walk away. Any puppies that don’t have the correct documentation could have been bred by a puppy farm or bad breeder.

Not letting you visit their facilities

You should be able to visit the facilities where the puppies are being looked after. If a breeder wants to meet you in a public place or is reluctant to let you see the rest of the litter then they clearly have something to hide.

Why You Shouldn’t Save A Dog From A Puppy Farm

You want to buy a puppy, and you unintentionally end up at a puppy farm or a dodgy breeder’s house. We’re all human, and as dog lovers, when we see pooches in distress it literally breaks our hearts.

But in these situations, you have to be strong and do the right thing, rather than buying the dog to save them. Why? Because saving one puppy won’t help all the other dogs, in fact, you’ll be contributing to the puppy farm business and subjecting more dogs to pain.

What we want to do is stop the puppy farm business altogether. And that can’t be done if people keep buying these puppies. That’s more money in the dodgy dealer’s pockets. When you scoop up that adorable puppy and hand them the cash, spare a moment to think about what you’re sentencing the mother to.

If business is booming then the female dog having the litters will only be forced to give birth to more puppies in horrible conditions.

So, what should you do?

If you go to buy a puppy and see dogs in poor conditions, then walk away. As soon as you’ve left the premises, report the puppy farm to your local authority, the Police or the RSPCA.

Alternative options

It’s always worth buying from a reputable breeder. Paying that bit more for your puppy will give you the confidence that they’ve been raised in the right way. Go to a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, or better still, consider a rescue dog.

There are so many poor pooches needing a new home, and rescue dogs can offer so much. You can also often get rescue puppies if you register with your local rescue centre and keep an eye out on rescue centre website.

Warming signs to look out for

There are some obvious red flags that suggest you might be dealing with a puppy farm or irresponsible breeder. One of the first being that they won’t let you see the mother or father, or any of the other litter mates. This should set off alarm bells right away.

Or there may be lots of puppies on one property or you might notice dogs being kept in sub par or questionable conditions. There might be regular visitors going into a house and constant barking. Some prospective owners also turn up thinking they are getting one breed of dog, and they end up getting a crossed breed or a completely different mix and are none the wiser.

But on the whole, if something just doesn’t feel right, go with your gut instinct. Sometimes we just know something’s up. If you’ve got even an ounce of doubt about the breeder’s credibility, don’t buy that puppy, and report them instead. By reporting them you just might help save countless more puppies who are being poorly treated and adult dogs who have led an extremely sad life.

Why People Fall For Puppy Farm Scams

Puppy farms put dogs through misery, yet for some reason, people still buy from them? Why is this? It’s mainly due to a lack of education and awareness, and also because people falsely feel they are helping.

People don’t understand what the process of buying a puppy should involve. Which means often they miss the warning signs, for example, not being allowed to see the mother. Responsible breeders will do certain things that show they are legitimate, and abide by the rules. Puppy farm breeders cut corners, trick buyers and do whatever they can to make as much money as possible.

Another reason why puppy farms are still being funded is because people often think they are helping to save a puppy by buying it. They go and view a puppy and hand over the money because they can’t stand to leave the dog in such poor conditions. We would all want to save a pup in need, but by buying the puppy sadly you are just fuelling the fire.

You are funding their operation by purchasing a dog, which subjects more dogs to misery. You might be saving one puppy, but you are essentially making the problem worse. The best thing to do is walk away and report the puppy farm. A lot of these purchases also end in heartbreak because puppy farm pups often die due to severe neglect and health issues.

There is no doubt about it, it can be extremely difficult to leave a puppy in need behind. We all want to save these dogs, but buying them is not going to solve this problem, it only makes it worse. You have to follow your head over your heart and do the right thing.

Spread the word to your friends and raise awareness about puppy farms, and try and encourage people to refrain from buying from them. The conditions some of these dogs have to live in are terrible, and the mothers are used purely and breeding machines. This is not a business anyone should invest their money in.

There should be more information and education surrounding buying puppies. This would help prospective dog owners find responsible dog breeders and avoid puppy farm scams.

If you are unsure what is involved with buying a puppy, then do some research before meeting with a breeder. This will help you to spot and find responsible dog breeders.

5 Ways You Can Help Stop Puppy Farming

Puppy farming is a big issue at the moment, and sadly a lot of people are unaware of the risks and suffering it causes. Puppies are mass produced and kept in appalling conditions, leaving them with lasting health and behavioural problems. Breeding bitches are made to have endless litters and are also kept in horrible conditions. Puppy farming needs to stop, and one of the main ways to stop it is to get people to stop buying puppies from these places.

1. Don’t buy a puppy from a puppy farm

Do not make the problem worse by buying a puppy from a puppy sign. Learn to recognise puppy farming red flags, so that you don’t buy a puppy farm dog without realising it. See our other article on to look out for.

2. Report anyone you suspect of running a puppy farm

If you visit a puppy farm or come into contact with anyone you suspect of running a puppy farm or participating in illegal breeding then report them. Explain your concerns to your local authority and get them to check the facilities out.

3. Help to educate people and spread the word

Tell your friends about how they can avoid buying dogs from puppy farms. If we can stop people buying from puppy farms in the first place then we can reduce the amount of money they make. Share this article on social media and also the guide from the Kennel Club.

4. Buy from a responsible breeder or get a rescue dog

Always buy from a from reputable Kennel Club Assured Breeder. Or better still, get a rescue dog from a rescue shelter and give an animal in need a home rather than buying a puppy. There are thousands of rescue dogs needing home all around the UK, as well as breed specific rescue organisations for those wanting one particular breed.

5. Explain to people that buying a puppy to rescue it only makes the problem worse…

A lot of people will say ‘but I want to save a puppy by buying it’. Explain to them that yes, this might help one puppy, but it will also condemn other dogs to more suffering. By buying a puppy from a puppy farm you are fuelling the fire.

Signs A Dog Has Come From A Puppy Farm

All UK dog lovers need to work together to prevent the growth of puppy farming. People often think they are helping a dog when they rescue it from a puppy farm. They might be helping that one dog, but by buying them they are making the problem a lot worse and condemning other dogs to more suffering. If you are concerned about a breeder then walk away. Here are some signs that the puppy you are looking at buying may have come from a puppy farm.

  • Puppies are sold in large numbers
  • Numerous litters are advertised by the same person online (under UK law any breeder that produces five or more litters a year is operating a breeding business that needs to be licensed and certified by their council)
  • The breeder is selling lots of different breeds
  • You can’t meet the parents
  • You can’t see where the puppy was raised
  • The seller wants to meet you in public instead of their premises
  • The puppy is in poor condition
  • They don’t have any papers for the puppy
  • The puppy hasn’t had the proper vaccinations
  • The breeder doesn’t answer your questions and pushes the sale
  • The breeder doesn’t check to see whether you can provide a suitable home for the puppy
  • The seller says they are selling puppies on behalf of a breeder
  • The puppy can be taken home before it’s 8 weeks old
  • The puppies are living in poor conditions, and the mother isn’t around

The Impact Of Puppy Farms And The Internet On Dog Breeding

Major animal organisations in the UK are warning we are facing huge problems when it comes to dog breeding. There has recently been a huge increase in irresponsible breeders and puppy farms with appalling conditions. More and more people are buying puppies from puppy farms without knowing it.

Buying Puppies Online

Unfortunately the internet is not helping the situation. It allows people to easily buy puppies without doing the proper research and checks. Puppies are being sold online everywhere, and the public are being tricked. There are hundreds of different websites that sell dogs online. According to the Kennel Club ‘One in five pups bought online or in pet shops need long-term veterinary care or die before six months old.’

The Kennel Club Research

The Kennel club recently conducted some research into how people buy puppies. Some of the results are very surprising. ‘One third of puppy buyers do not see their puppy with its mum and half do not see where their pup was born and raised.’ One of the most important rules to follow when buying a new puppy is to see the puppy with it’s mother.

People Unknowingly Buying Puppies From Farms

The Dogs Trust also did a survey asking dog owners if they would consider buying a dog from a puppy farm. ‘Although almost 95% said no, when asked where they had got their dog from 15.1% - potentially 900,000 dog owners – admitted they had got them from an advert in the newspaper, the internet, a pet shop or a pet superstore, all outlets often supplied by puppy farms!’ (Source: Dogs Trust Battery Farmed Dogs Campaign). This research shows that even though people have the best intentions, they are still unknowingly buying from puppy farms and irresponsible breeders online. The key point being that people need more information about how to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder and signs to look out for. Without realising it, a lot of people are putting money in irresponsible breeder’s pockets and fuelling the puppy farm fire. Also, some people think they are rescuing dogs when try and save them, but simply by buying them they are making the problem worse, because the puppy farms make more money.

Physically Deformed Puppies

No care at all goes into the breeding of these puppies and how they might turn out. They don’t do any health screening and the result is severely ill and deformed puppies.

Big Vet Bills

People who have bought puppies from irresponsible breeders advertising online or from pet shops or puppy farms are having to pay huge vet bills. The puppies often arrive in poor health or develop conditions later on in life.

Behavioural Issues

Many of these pups sadly have severe behavioural issues because they are often taken away from their mother at a very young age. They can also be very fearful and have lots of issues as a result of the poor conditions they have to endure for the first few weeks of their lives.

Bad Conditions

Some of the pictures and evidence from puppy farms show exactly what appalling conditions they live in. They bitches are kept in very small spaces, away from other dogs and people and often without sunlight. They are confined to the breeding area and suffer the cruelty of getting no exercise or social interaction. Males are often kept locked away in awful conditions until they are needed for mating.

Get A Healthy Pup

In order to get a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder you need to do the following things:

  • See the puppy with the mother.
  • Make sure the puppies have been given health checks.
  • Go and see where you puppy was bored and is being raised.
  • Get your puppy from a Kennel Club registered breeder.

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