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I don't understand how some puppy farms are licenced??

(23 Posts)
SinclairSpectrum Mon 12-Jan-15 17:17:04

I refer in particular to establishments like Hancocks Lurchers. Their dogs seem to hold kudos eg pups advertised elsewhere as having 'Hancock genes'. Having looked at their website they have loads of info on their stud dogs but none on the bitches.
The pups are all photographed in outdoor pens with no sign of mum.
I understand people buy dogs to work at lamping and the such - are there different rules about breeding working stock?
All looks seedy and the sort of practise breeders would hide but its advertised loud and proud on the site.
Am I missing something?

LoathsomeDrab Mon 12-Jan-15 17:26:59

As far as I'm aware the council licenses are only to do with how many litters are being bred. I believe in most areas it's 5+ litters a year requires a council license.

Unfortunately it has little to do with welfare which is why most places churning out puppies have a license which makes them appear reputable on the surface.

I'd run a mile from any breeder who was touting the fact they were licensed as a positive.

SinclairSpectrum Mon 12-Jan-15 17:39:57

I wouldn't in a million years get a dog from somewhere like that - just couldn't get over them advertising everything you should avoid as being their top standards.
Like a very strange opposite world.

LoathsomeDrab Mon 12-Jan-15 17:45:03

Unfortunately a huge chunk of the puppy buying public just don't care as long as they can hand over their money and walk away with a puppy.

There are a scary number of businesses with fancy websites (often offering the ability to buy a puppy online) who breed ridiculous numbers of litters every year, no mention of health testing, no careful selection of breeding stock and they obviously get more than enough custom to keep going.

It's really, really depressing.

toboldlygo Mon 12-Jan-15 20:00:59

On the flip side... working dogs are commonly reared outside. Looks like large looseboxes filled with clean bedding, they will likely have heat lamps, mum has probably been let out for ease of taking photos of pups.

On the pedigree and news pages there's some info on the bitches used, as well as a refreshing number of photos of the dogs winning lurcher races, coursing events, canicross etc.

I can't approve of the volume they are breeding or the apparent lack of health testing but I don't think they deserve to be pitched in with the really godawful Welsh puppy farms.

Buttholelane Mon 12-Jan-15 21:35:20

There is nothing that I can see to suggest that these are working lurchers for coursing or lamping.
Lots of emphasis on how they are excellent family pets and good for dog sports like agility instead.

There isn't any information about what they expect from an owner, health tests or anything, this, coupled with a council licence would make me wary of purchasing a pup there.

The other thing that concerns me are all the merles.
I don't like merles, any gene which has the potential to create the horrific problems this one does has no place in a breed.
The merle gene can be cryptic, especially in reds, which they advertise, making it easy to breed merle x merle accidently which typically has disastrous consequences for the pups.
Although it is common and some 'reputable' breeders do produce it, any kennel breeding merle dogs would not have my business.

PacificDogwood Mon 12-Jan-15 21:43:58

I had not heard of them before.

How do they get away with that many merles??
I genuinely don't understand - if the gene can cause such awful problems, are their merle puppies spayed/castrated to avoid them breeding 'accidentally' or whatever hmm down the line?

LoathsomeDrab Mon 12-Jan-15 21:48:49

Totally agree with everything Buttholelane says about merles. I can understand why people like it to look at but I'm not convinced merles should be bred at all, in any breed.

Their dogs also turn up in rescues fairly regularly so I don't think there's much in the way of support for owners once the puppies are sold.

PacificDogwood Mon 12-Jan-15 21:50:17

So, is the merle gene different from whatever gene gives a brindle coat? In greyhounds for instance?

LoathsomeDrab Mon 12-Jan-15 22:01:31


Double merle

There's some pretty concise information about merle and double merle on those links.

There was a huge controversy a few years ago after a merle rough collie won best of breed at the US equivalent of Crufts. It transpired that his sire was a double merle who had been intentionally bred (despite the risk of blindness and deafness, he had both) in order to guarantee merle puppies when he was put to any bitch.

The KC has really cracked down on the registration of merles, limiting it to breeds which historically have it and refusing to register puppies from merle to merle matings.

Buttholelane Mon 12-Jan-15 22:07:28

The brindle gene is not present, as far as I am aware, in my breed so I don't know much about it.

But the merle gene is very popular.
Breeders deliberately breed merle x non merle to produce merle pups because they sell quick.
A dog from a merle x non merle mating is unlikely to have issues.
The danger is
a) when you have 'cryptic' merles; dogs who LOOK solid but genetically are merle.
When bred to another merle you can expect stillborns, deaf pups, blind pups, pups with no eyes, neurological problems, pups who can't walk, the list goes on.
Sometimes, these puppies appear fine then as they mature succumb to crippling health issues and either die young or are pts.
B) idiot people breed merle x merle knowing nothing of how dangerous the gene is which results in the above.

PacificDogwood Mon 12-Jan-15 22:15:50

Thanks for the links smile

I found the 'merle' one, but the double merle one would not open from my search but works from your link. Ta!

So brindle does NOT equal merle, yes?

LoathsomeDrab Mon 12-Jan-15 22:19:37

So brindle does NOT equal merle, yes?

Yes, brindle has a completely different genetic basis.

PacificDogwood Mon 12-Jan-15 22:22:09

Found the brindle page - sorry for the derail btw, OP, but this was v useful for me.
Thank you, all.

BordercolliesRbonkers Wed 14-Jan-15 13:36:36

As far as I know inasmuch as border collies are concerned the Welsh government subsidise farmers by suggesting that they breed border collies. Now whether this is correct or not the fact remains that in Wales farmers will sell a puppy for £30 and be delighted with that sum. Sadly, he\she leaves the door wide open to dealers. Dealers buy the puppies that are very often unweaned onto solid food and the puppies enter a puppy circuit. They go from dealer to dealer catching parasites along the way until they are finally sold to unsuspecting loving people who pay around £300 each for them. I could tell you loads more on this for I have had the misfortune to be one of those unsuspecting people and having psid £300 for a dog she then cost me £2000+ to bring her back to health. I recently posted to this forum and got branded a puppy farmer. This was very upsetting to me. Nothing is further from the truth. I adore border collies and have a large enough home with meadows for them to be happy here and well cared for. Puppy farmers in comparison are barbaric and want shooting. More later, grandson has woken.

Buttholelane Wed 14-Jan-15 14:16:48

I have a border collie also and they are one of the most popular farmed breeds.
It's so sad.
I cringe whenever I see them for sale at riding schools, a certain one especially comes to mind but despite rspca involvement and council pestering alas, they still trade because they are licenced.
The pups are Welsh working dogs from working sheep farms, apparently the farmers can't sell them.
Can't sell working bred border collies in an area known for sheep farming!
Why were you branded a puppy farmer, you just bought one, not bred one right..?

LoathsomeDrab Wed 14-Jan-15 14:23:19

I recently posted to this forum and got branded a puppy farmer.

I don't suppose that was the Pets4Homes thread was it? A rather "interesting" breeder of BCs posted on that then had their post deleted when their very dubious breeding practices were challenged.

Buttholelane Wed 14-Jan-15 15:35:26

I never saw that, what was said!

Buttholelane Wed 14-Jan-15 15:36:11

** ?

Buttholelane Wed 14-Jan-15 15:56:44

I see the post was reposted.

Oh my.

You don't see the need for health tests?

Border collies are prone to CEA and PRA.
The two cause the dog to go totally blind.
But only in adulthood, so an unsuspecting puppy buyer would have no idea.
A simple DNA test will tell you if a breeding dog can produce affected puppies.
You can't tell these diseases by looking.
Sometimes a dog will show no sightloss at all. It if they 'carry' the gene for the disease, depending on the dog they are bred to they can produce affected puppies.

Border collies are prone also to TNS.
There is a DNA test for that too, TNS kills affected dogs before they reach 3.

Border collies are prone to hip dysplasia, you could hip score the dogs to reduce the risk of puppies getting it.

I can't believe that you won't health test your dogs.
Pathetic gifts and free food mean piss all if someone's new pet is going to go blind or lame!

LoathsomeDrab Wed 14-Jan-15 15:59:25

I never saw that, what was said!

Well the whole of the post has now gone but basically the poster was a proud breeder of unregistered and un-health tested BCs.

I did quote part of their post in a subsequent one of mine, this was their opinion on health testing:

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.

Buttholelane Wed 14-Jan-15 16:02:24

P.S. just because they are 'herders' doesn't mean they can't automatically live with children under 3.

I have a highly driven, working line collie and a baby and a 6 year old (4 when she came).
You teach them early on what is appropriate to herd and what is not.

A collie that has not been taught it is inappropriate to direct this behaviour at people is dangerous whatever the age of the child.

LoathsomeDrab Wed 14-Jan-15 16:02:37

Cross post, I see you've found it now.

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