Having recently observed a number of people reporting being ripped off buying puppies from Facebook groups, I asked the group admin to write a pinned post to give prospective buyers tips on what to expect from reputable breeders. The admin dismissed the suggestion stating that all breeders were expected to have the pups chipped but there was no way they could check that, pretty much condoning the puppy farmers using the group.
In light of this I thought I’d do a post for people and hope if they search google it might pop up and help prevent this happening so often.
So, you’re thinking of getting a puppy…
When looking at having a new furry family addition, there are some things you should be aware of before giving money over for a new puppy. I strongly advise you take notes, especially if thinking of viewing pups in the near future….
Have you researched the breed (other than cute pictures of the breed puppies)? Are you aware of the adult dog size and common behavioural traits? How much exercise do they need? How much food? Any common congenital problems? You need to know this!!
Personally, I make a point of asking all buyers what they know about huskamutes, if I think their knowledge and circumstances aren’t sufficient, I will advise them to research before they buy a suitable breed. My reason being – the increased amount of dogs abandoned due to petty reasons the buyer didn’t consider before taking the cute fluffy puppy chuffy home.
Parents of puppy…
Do they claim this dog is ‘pedigree’? Can you see both parents?
Its good to check the family line of puppies before buying so you can’t see any inbreeding, also advisable to check that the parents can be seen for temperament, health and confirmation of them being the breed you are being sold.
Condition of the puppy…
Are you able to view the pup before bringing it home? If so, I advise you do this as observing the pup with its siblings and mum can give you a good idea of the pup’s health and development. Pups should be viewable from 4/5 weeks.
At this age age puppies should be:
- Actively walking
Puppies not displaying these characteristics may either be younger than the breeder claims or not developing correctly.This could be due to a number of factors so it is best to ask the breeder questions about this.
Pup’s first jabs should be around 8 weeks, this is up to the breeder on whether they include this or not but should provide paperwork for the jabs if they claim to. No paperwork, highly unlikely the puppy has had the first shots.
Worming should also be documented, perhaps not in the same sense but the brand, amount and dates should be recorded by the breeder and a copy should be available if you need it. Same for any flea treatments.
In April 2016 is became compulsory for dogs to be microchipped. The Kennel Club states:
“The breeder may not record the new owner as the first keeper of a puppy instead of themselves and it will be an offence if they are not listed as the first keeper of their puppies on a microchipping database compliant with the regulations, such as Petlog.”
As with the vaccinations, the paperwork for this chip should be given with the puppy. No paperwork, no chip. Quite simple when you think about it.
Breeders are fully aware that pups should remain with their mothers until 8 weeks. They are normally weaned by 6 weeks by the 2 added weeks helps get the puppy used to being in groups with other dogs so is recommended.
There are a LOT of ‘teacup’ varieties being pushed online at the moment (will go in to an epic rant about this separately). Sadly this is often a puppy being sold before it is meant to leave its mother (in one case at 3 weeks!!!!!). There is a strong chance if sold before 5 weeks the pup will not survive so you will end up paying for a dead puppy. Not good for anyone but the money hungry breeder.
Now here comes the part about the term being thrown around by a number of breeders online lately.
‘Teacup’ means that a puppy is smaller than the recognised kennel club breed standard. The thing with smaller breeds is this, they may be light and cute but they also have legs, need to be walked like other dogs and socialised – with other dogs. So if this isn’t something you plan on doing, be kind and get a goldfish or rat (latter being prettier than a chihuahua and less vicious).
How ‘teacup’ puppies are made…
1) Its common for litters of puppies to have the odd smaller pup, generally known as the ‘runt’ of the litter. This can be due to various things including deficiencies in utero or overall developmental issues. This smaller pup with its reasons for being small is then bred with another small pup with similar issues, often inbred in a puppy farm. This results in the defects of the parents to be passed along to their litter. Basically breeding bad genetics to produce an animal that looks like a puppy for longer.
If you don’t want an adult dog, don’t buy a puppy.
2) As mentioned previously breeders sometimes lie and say the pup is older to sell it off as a ‘teacup’ variety. Meaning the pup leaves the mother before being properly weaned, thus resulting in health issues and possible death of the newly acquired pup (aka toy for those who can’t be bothered with adult dogs).
Sadly while people keep looking for puppy sized dogs, it will continue to weaken breed genetics, cause unnecessary vet bills and upset children who aren’t so materialistic about their new pet.
In conclusion as much as there is an expectation on breeders to provide support and information regarding the sale of puppies, buyers also need to ensure they are not being misled with what they are being sold. If more buyers took the time to learn these simple things, puppy farmers and money oriented breeders are less likely to thrive.