I think I know the answer already but do Pets4Homes use puppy farms?

(55 Posts)
AllergicToNutters Thu 22-Mar-12 22:27:59

My friend has pointed me in the direction of pups available on Pets4Homes several times now. I have told her that I am sure they are farmed pups but she is convinced they aren't (she got a Bichon Frise through them). Her pup has had no health issues and seems gorgeous and well socialised which is why she is convinced I am being overcautious and a bit 'precious' about the origins of any dog I will bring into our family. Out of curiosity I rang a 'breeder' this evening who is selling a litter of yellow lab retrievers for £195 each!!!!!!!! I asked a few pointed questions and he was clearly a twat and only in it for the money. Well, that's the impression I got anyway. But I don;t have any real facts. Another friend has bought a labradoodle from them about a year ago and she seems fine too. Anyone got any real information on them?

Buttholelane Thu 15-Jan-15 09:55:53

** edited to add that I don't know if you advise new buyers to make it clearthat herding behaviour towards people early on is unacceptable, it's just that the comment about the 3 year olds reads to me as if you are basically saying 'collies will nip the heels abit because they are herders and teeny kids will be scared so if your kids are over 3 then it's fine to buy one' and it isn't.

I am not saying that kids and collies are incompatible, although a lot of breeders and rescues think they are.
I have a baby and a 6 year old living with my collie.
I am just saying that the number one rule of collie ownership, in my opinion, should be do not allow herding of any form towards people because it has the potential to get very dangerous, especially when children a involved.

Buttholelane Thu 15-Jan-15 09:40:52

So disappointed bordercolliesrbonkers.
Really, I am.
I read your comment on the other thread and felt sorry for you, then read what was posted here.
Just so disappointed.

If you can give away free crates, 15kg bags of food, if you have contracts etc, I don't understand why you can't test your breeding dogs.
A simple one off cheek swab to check no dogs are carriers of PRA and therefore guaranteed not to produce affected pups.
I am not sure if the other tests for tns and cea and MDR1 gene are DNA or blood but they would be one offs for adult breeding dogs aswell.

You mentioned puppies being eye tested, is that by a canine opthamologist?
Or a vet simply shining a light and acting yep, looks good!

Your comment about them being herders and therefore unsuitable for kids (but only under 3) concerns me aswell.
The emphasis should be on NEVER tolerating herding behaviour towards people EVER, not the age of the child.
It is never cute, it is never 'protective'
It is disrespectful and dangerous.

It isn't just nipping that is a concern, a Collie that has been allowed to practise herding on people is a dangerous animal.
They will give chase when they see running children or cyclists or people playing football, typically, they will start giving eye and crouching sometimes.
If you have ever experienced true collie eye, words cannot describe how horrible it is.
It makes most adults extremely nervous, can you imagine what a child would feel like?
Child or adult runs, collie will try and cut them off in front, typically, child or adults screams, shouts and runs faster.
Dog starts either nipping or grabbing - both can cause injury including bleeding and wounds that need stitching.
Remember that a collie will keep upping pressure until the target does what they want, usually stop moving.

Remember also that herding is predatory behaviour.
Collies are a high prey drive breed, right at the top for cat killing and sheep worrying/maiming.
You can only really herd animals that group together naturally, like sheep.
Do you really want to be allowing predatory behaviour around small children that move erratically and make high pitched, squeaky noises.....

tabulahrasa Thu 15-Jan-15 00:50:39

How can you claim to be an ethical breeder and not know that health tests are done on the adult parents before deciding to breed them, not on the puppies?

The whole point of health testing is to remove any inheritable conditions from your breeding programme before passing them on, if a dog carries the gene for PRA you know you can only breed it with a dog who has tested clear, if a dog has a high hip score you can have it neutered and so on.

LoathsomeDrab Wed 14-Jan-15 22:46:20

It is not cost thatbdeters me from health testing it is the stress a puppy undergoes to have all the tests done.

Health tests are done on adult dogs prior to their being used for breeding, not on puppies (although there are various conditions in certain breeds which pups can and should be screened for). In fact hip and elbow scoring can only be done on dogs over 1 year old.

I'm also pretty sure ham doesn't cause epilepsy hmm

LoathsomeDrab Wed 14-Jan-15 22:40:14

BordercolliesRbonkers you have a very romanticised idea of dogs going blind.

My bitch losing her sight wasn't some wonderful, life-affirming, bonding experience for the two of us. She didn't cope, which is exactly why she had to go through major surgery and a long, often painful, recovery in order to restore at least some sight. You are presumptuous and just plain wrong to assume we're both somehow "better" thanks to a traumatic experience which has left her with lasting issues that she will have for the rest of her life.

if we are to health test for so many things it does not speak highly of a breeders capability to use their expertise

All the expertise in the world can't tell you if a dog is a carrier for PRA, CEA or the defective MDR1 gene. Especially if that dog comes from a long line of un-tested parents. Health tests are not intended to replace a breeder's skill at selecting breeding stock who are complimentary in terms of conformation, lines and temperament, they are there to be used in tandem with that expertise to avoid the perpetuation of heritable health problems. A recessive gene can pass down undetected through generations until a breeder is unlucky enough to mate two un-tested dogs who both (despite being healthy themselves and from apparently healthy parents) turn out to be carriers.

Health tests aren't a money making scam devised by the BVA, they're a vital tool which any even remotely ethical breeder should be using to improve the health of our pedigree breeds.

BordercolliesRbonkers Wed 14-Jan-15 22:19:13

It is not cost thatbdeters me from health testing it is the stress a puppy undergoes to have all the tests done. I have a promise on my contract that if any dog I have bred suffers a genetic defect within the first 3 years of its life I will without question (so long as the microchip numbers match) refund in full the price that was paid for that puppy, or offer a free puppy from a different litter with different parents and have the parents of the affected puppy neutrtrd forthwith. In 42 years of breeding that has only been called in 4 times. 1 blind dog that was bred by a reputable breeder and a judge at Crufts the dog had PRA and 3 dogs that had epilepsy one of whom had been fed ham and the brand of food I advise against.

BordercolliesRbonkers Wed 14-Jan-15 22:08:30

Yes I agree with this. It is worth remembering though that you get what you pay for. A cheap puppy is an expensive vet bill. You must ensure you look beyond the fluff and appeal of a puppy and examine it well, as you would when buying any secondhand item. Puppies are not brand new. They are secondhand. They are only as good as they have been reared. One must see the parents and if possible the grandparents (I have the grandparents). And it must be that those puppies are comfortable in the presence of the bitch said to be their mum. If in doubt walk away. Doing that actually will give you an answer. If you are sworn at or branded a time waster likely you are leaving behind a puppy farmer for they are callous people.

BordercolliesRbonkers Wed 14-Jan-15 21:57:59

Health testing might have revealed a potential of blindness but the only outcome change would have been you would not have bought her. It would not have changed her outcome. On other hand there are some well known dog food brands that cause epilepsy that in turn causes blindness. Let's say I eye test a puppy and it is clear then it is fed one of these brands (that my contract warns against by name) and it goes blind following a fit, whose fault is it then? Eyes from puppyhood have a certain look to them that would stop me buying them if it rouses my suspicion. Recently and only because people are making such a big thing about it I have started to have litters eye tested but when they all test clear my theory remains true but now I just have a certificate that proves it and reassures people. However for all the dogs out there that are blind have you noticed that sight is a bonus to them? Dogs sense of smell is so acute they can adapt without the use of sight and what little reliance they may place on people brings out compassion and such love in us that in a round about way the experience was not to be missed. Your blind dog and you were all the better for that experience and likely you wouldn,'t part with her for the world. I do get the points you raise but if we are to health test for so many things it does not speak highly of a breeders capability to use their expertise not to have bred with the parent dogs in the first instance.

EasyToEatTiger Wed 14-Jan-15 20:46:13

Puppy farms use Pets4Homes. Here is a program about it. www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04xy12q I have seen some well dodgy ads on the website and spoken to some well dodgy people. Always a bit odd to get a dog then not to want it after less than a week.....

TeamSteady Wed 14-Jan-15 18:36:45

Tbh, i would far far rather that a breeder had made sure that their dogs were healthy via the recommended health test than give me a free puppy crate and some photoshmm

My girls breeder of course did the health tests, socialised the puppies, had them vet checked and microchipped and has kept in touch with me over the past 3.5 years, has been there through any problems or to offer advice and enjoyed hearing updates. She is happy to help mentor us when we have a litter with our girl. To me that is everything a breeder should be.

LoathsomeDrab Wed 14-Jan-15 16:12:03

I did not see the sense in some health checks, especially when my experience tells me if a dog was unsuitable for breeding.

I'm very impressed that your experience allows you to determine the genetic health of your dogs without appropriate testing.

I've got a rescue (a BC x incidentally) who came from a breeder who didn't feel the need to health test. She started losing her sight at around 6 months and was completely blind by 18 months. She needed major surgery and had a long and often uncomfortable recovery just to restore some sight. It's highly likely she'll have further problems with her eyes as she ages. Health testing could have prevented that but, hey, it's a money making scam right?

BordercolliesRbonkers Wed 14-Jan-15 14:56:37

Re my previous post (had to re register to reply) I am not a puppy farmer. If I were do you think I'd public ally post a comment? I was trying to make a point that after breeding border collies successfully for 42 years I did not see the sense in some health checks, especially when my experience tells me if a dog was unsuitable for breeding. Usually my puppies are reserved long before they are born or even before a mating takes place. Or take this week for example 7 puppies born on the 9th and six of them reserved before the 13th. Let me tell you why. Every puppy is fully vaccinated micro chipped and insured before leaving here. I give a free 15 kilo sack of CSJ K9 puppy food with every puppy OR a Scandinavian Interactive dog puzzle OR a puppy travel crate and the new owner decides which gift is practical for them. On top of this is a pack of puppy training mats a professionally produced photograph of the puopy with its mother and siblings a dam scented comfortbrug, a breeders contract with various promises and information sheet. Each puppy has 2 vet health checks and is wormed and treated for fleas. Frequent bonding visits are encouraged too and new owners can take their puppy out into the meadows to play. Let me ask you who branded me an irresponsible breeder how many KC reg breeders do all of this? I do my utmost to ensure my puppies are well bred and have everything they need for their start in life as per age old experience. The majority of dogs bred by me live 15 to 20 years. And far from resurrecting and old post to share a view this I was unaware of as it showed up on a search engine and I thought it looked interesting. One other thing I do not need to promote my business and I do not sell puppies to just anyone. Families with young children are told to wait until the children are at least 3 years old for border collies are herders and will nip ankles and this can frighten a child for life. Enough said. I just got upset to be branded irresponsible and a backyard breeder. Nothing can be further from the truth where I am concerned.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 12-Jan-15 11:39:24

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ender Mon 12-Jan-15 10:21:05

Scuttlebutter's suggestion to google phone numbers is good. When I was thinking about getting first dog didn't have a clue about what to look out for. I arranged to see a litter of lab pups advertised on an internet site.
Carried on browsing other sites and noticed there were also cockapoo puppies with same mobile number.
I arrived at address (small terraced house in town centre). 5 lab pups in hallway with their skinny mum, no toys or blankets. I wasn't asked into the house.
Woman there with a little girl, we were all squashed together and it was weird. I mentioned the ad for the cockapoo pups with her phone number and asked to see them as well.
Atmosphere suddenly became very strained as a man came into the room with unpleasant expression on his face saying it wasn't convenient, he must've been listening, I felt scared and left.

MehsMum Mon 12-Jan-15 09:55:46

I'd just like to point out that 'Kennel Club breeder' is no guarantee of quality. Plenty of people show and breed dogs with health issues.

Very few health tests are compulsory for KC breeders. Let's not forget that the KC is implicated in breeding practices that have resulted in very extreme types of dogs: dogs which cannot whelp naturally (many bulldogs, for example), which often cannot breathe properly (pugs, for example) or which are prone to inherited disorders as a direct result of inbreeding to fix a particular 'type'.

Nothing trumps doing your own research. I have crossbred dogs (yes, mongrels if you like) and while I would consider a pedigree, I would look very closely at the levels of inbreeding and the health of the lines in question.

LadyTurmoil Mon 12-Jan-15 09:22:20

As Scuttle said, try smaller rescues, which are often more flexible re. age of children etc. All the bigger, national charities seem to set a higher age limit for childen, not taking personal/family circumstances into account.

If you're in the South of UK, look at Pro Dogs Direct or try some here

mrslaughan Sun 11-Jan-15 21:44:28

Rover - have you looked at hounds first sight hound rescue I think......another mumsnetter took in a pregnant lurched...anyway it ended up with them. They would be worth a look.

Buttholelane Sun 11-Jan-15 21:20:36

Some excellent breeders advertise on pets4homes, you just have to be careful and know what to look out for.
As it is an advertising site, ANYONE can advertise puppies, good or bad.

Snugglepiggy Sun 11-Jan-15 06:57:17

Meant cockapoos obviously!

Snugglepiggy Sun 11-Jan-15 06:54:55

What a lot of people don't realise- my own daft DD amongst them despite us working with dogs for years- is that if you do your research,choose an established breed- not one of the new 'designer' dogs - and go to a Kennel Club registered breeder.The parents will have been health screened and you will actually pay no more,and probably even less.Our Springers cost £500 each and we have come across labradoodles,cavachons,cockatoos ( if. I see another - lovely as they may be- I might scream)especially when people have paid up to £ 800 pounds.Thats what's feeding the puppy farm industry even more.Or if you want a mongrel go to a rescue.I do think part of the problem is that rescues are shooting themselves in the foot and doing many lovely cross breeds a disservice.But with our increasing PC,risk averse litigious outlook on life they won't rehome if people work or have children in some cases.Both our previous 'rescues' turned up on the doorstep and despite trying to trace there owners we needed up keeping,for 15 and 14 years respectively.With our jobs and small children no doubt nowadays a rescue may well have deemed us unsuitable - I don't think our dogs would have voted so. They were loved,adored,walked for miles and gave us back more than we gave them.For me it would be rescue mongrel or kennel club breeder if. I wanted a specific breed every time.

Adarajames Sun 11-Jan-15 02:36:42

Resurrecting a very old thread to promote their very awful puppy business - evil!!

ravenAK Sun 11-Jan-15 02:28:59

...which is exactly why we're looking into adopting an older dog.

That post is really quite shocking. sad

LoathsomeDrab Sun 11-Jan-15 02:08:07

My feelings toward hip scoring are, that no matter how well a parent dog does on her test her puppies can still have their hips knocked out of shape by new owners making a puppy run after balls and with older dogs before it is a year old. And as to eye testing, my dogs can see far further than I can. When the cows and the horses got out some of our dogs could see them and herded them home even before we could see where they were using binoculars. I think some health tests are money makers, and unnecessary, and more and more seem to come on the market each year, DNA is the latest I believe. Mind you that is a good one, ensuring there is only the breed you are buying is inside that puppy.

Fucking hell. And there is everything said about the types of breeder you're most likely to find on P4H confirmed shock

batbstories Sun 11-Jan-15 01:58:06

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icubabe Sun 21-Sep-14 08:47:25

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