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Puppy Farming

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by JoanneF, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm posting this as part of a set of helpful 'easy reference' articles for common questions and problems. Feel free to add additional info on puppy farming in this thread, but please start a new thread for specific questions relating to your dog.

    Could you spot a puppy farm?

    So, you have decided what breed you want, and hope to welcome a lovely, happy, healthy puppy into your home. But sadly, there are horrible puppy farmers who are only interested in your money, not the welfare of your dog. They are happy to take your cash for a poorly puppy that will cost you yet more in vet bills and heartache, while they over-breed bitches with litter after litter in squalid conditions until the poor creature is discarded because she cannot breed any longer.

    Many puppy farmers are very clever at disguising what they do, to fool buyers into thinking they are reputable. They often set up what appears to be a lovely family home, with a couple of children and a happy looking bitch with puppies. It's easy to be taken in, and many people have been, only to find their puppy gets seriously ill or even doesn't survive. The puppies who do survive may have behavioural problems, as the parents are unlikely to have been chosen for good temperament, and the stress the mother has endured during pregnancy has also been found to influence the character of the puppies.

    How you can protect yourself

    How did the seller advertise? If it was on Gumtree or similar, it doesn't necessarily mean they are a bad breeder (it might have been an 'oops' litter) but if they have regular adverts, or they are advertising several breeds, especially fashionable ones or non-standard colours, that should raise red flags.

    Have the parents been health tested? This is different from a health check which basically says the dogs are capable of siring or carrying a litter. Proper health tests on the parents are to make sure they don't carry inheritable conditions that could be passed on to the puppies. Puppy farmers won't do tests, but a good breeder will be happy to discuss these with you and they should be verifiable by checking here -

    The Kennel Club

    If you are unsure which tests are needed for the breed of dog you are interested in, you can find details here -

    Breed Health Information Index | Dog Breed Health

    Another important safeguard is to always see the puppies with their mother. And make sure she looks like a dog who has recently given birth. Her teats should be enlarged, and she should be interacting with the puppies. If that isn't the case, she might be a healthy substitute while the real mother may be elsewhere. The real mother may look more like this. This dog was rescued.


    It would be unlikely for the father to be present, a good breeder will look for a male that complements the female and he may be owned by someone else.

    And never, ever buy from someone who asks to meet you in a car park or similar.

    Even if you think you are 'rescuing' the puppy, you are really only moving on pups so that the poor mother can be mated again and again.

    Lucy's Law

    Lucy's Law was named after a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was rescued from a Welsh puppy farm where she had been subjected to terrible conditions.

    Under Lucy's Law, from April 2020 all third-party sales of puppies six months or younger has been banned. This means that puppies have to be sold by the breeder, from the place they were born with their mum. Sadly, people may still be tricked into believing they have seen the mother when in fact they haven't. And there are loopholes, as some puppies have to be returned or relinquished to shelters if their new home doesn't work out; and while many of these are genuine, unscrupulous puppy farmers are taking advantage.

    Further reading

    More information on avoiding puppy farms and buying with confidence are here

    Animal Welfare Site

    If you need legal advice regarding anything to do with your dog, may be able to advise.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2020
    Linz1012, Emma Cooke, Flobo and 2 others like this.

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