Commercial Dog Breeding
Puppy mills are commercial dog-breeding facilities that focus on increasing profit with little regard for the animals’ health and welfare. Puppy mills are legal in the United States, but the vast majority of them aren’t regulated.
The conditions and practices in most puppy mills are unethical and downright despicable. They often don’t give dogs enough food or water and neglect veterinary care. And they breed female dogs at the earliest opportunity and as frequently as possible.
Inbreeding is also common in puppy mills, resulting in dogs with poor health during their lifetime. This turns into hefty vet bills for those who adopt from a puppy mill.
One red flag of a puppy mill is that they won’t be able to share the dog’s personality with you. If you ask them about the dog’s activity level, how they are with children, what toys they like, etc., they often can’t share these specifics with you.
Puppy mills sell most of their dogs through pet stores or by placing ads on the internet or in the newspaper. Most reputable breeders don’t need to advertise on the internet to find homes for their dogs.
Responsible Dog Breeder
Dog breeders select dogs carefully to mate, intending to produce a specific breed with certain qualities and characteristics. Most breeders strive to produce dogs with excellent health histories by mating dogs that have good bloodlines.
A responsible dog breeder will have spent years researching pedigrees of the breed and is extremely knowledgeable about the breed as well as the line they breed. They’ll be able to tell you about the generations behind the dogs and are there for you and the dog at all life stages, from puppy to senior.
Did you know that 34% of dogs but only 3% of cats are obtained through a breeder? The best way to find a responsible dog breeder is to ask around. Consider asking the following people if they know of a reputable breeder in your area.
- Dog trainers
- Friends, family, and neighbors who own a healthy purebred dog
- Local breed clubs
- Attend a dog show and start up conversations with spectators and participants
Once you’re confident you’ve found a reputable breeder, they will discuss how to pay for the dog. Remember, never pay for a dog you haven’t met in person and spoken to the seller in person.
If the dog breed isn’t relevant to you, we highly encourage you to visit your local dog shelter and consider adopting a dog in need. We’re big advocates of adopting from dog shelters because we feel you’re saving a life. Most dogs who come from breeders have no trouble finding homes. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for shelter dogs, and sadly, due to overpopulation, too many of them end up euthanized.