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Is this normal?

(21 Posts)
YoureAllABunchOfBastards Sun 24-Sep-17 19:15:52

Went to see some dogs today - we are hoping to get a puppy next year and trying to find the right breed. This guy breeds two of the types we are considering. We won't be able to take a rescue for a number of reasons, and know not to use Pets4Homes etc.

I have had dogs before - two rescues, and a puppy from the home of someone I knew. I just wasn't sure how 'right' this set up was.

It's an old farm. Seven dogs in a run/shed - lots of space for them, and they were mostly pets. In an outbuilding, three pups in a run. So far, so good.

Then, into an old barn. Seven different pens, each with three dogs. One lot - small breed - running free around barn which is open at one end but with a fence. Round to the side - row of kennels like at boarding kennels, each with two-three dogs. Then an open yard bit, with seven more runs.

He knew his dogs well - able to tell us all about them, all responded to names, described breeding histories. He knew about litters of one of the breeds all over the country, and was really knowledgeable about temperament.

Is this really what breeding set ups are like? The noise and the smell were pretty overwhelming. He isn't KC approved - will we see a difference with breeders who are?

Donning my hard hat now.

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Sun 24-Sep-17 19:17:01

So you visited a puppy farm then?

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Sun 24-Sep-17 19:19:12

That's what I'm afraid of, yes.

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Sun 24-Sep-17 19:21:35

Relevant authorities need to know. Felt quite sick and very sad reading your post. .
sad

SparklingRaspberry Sun 24-Sep-17 19:22:15

Definitely a puppy farm

Call police and rspca asap. Those poor pups

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Sun 24-Sep-17 19:25:40

He isn't making any money from it, though - most were older dogs: some nine or ten.

I'm not trying to be an apologist - it felt odd but not cruel, if that makes sense?

Onemoresliceofcakewonthurt Sun 24-Sep-17 19:28:08

Surely he was making money from the pups he was selling??

Popchyk Sun 24-Sep-17 19:29:34

So he's actually a sort of unofficial rescue then? Maybe for specific breeds? But breeding on the side as well? That sounds like a recipe for all sorts of disaster.

How many dogs were there?

And how many puppies?

What was he intending to do with the older dogs?

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Sun 24-Sep-17 19:35:39

The older dogs were pets - some still breeding, some not. He wasn't actually selling today - there was one dog who was a possible, and an older bitch who needs a home, but he was happy for us to look round and meet the two different breeds - we explained we were undecided. He said he was likely to have two litters ready in Spring.

I've just checked and his website shows he is registered with the council. His 'line' is KC reg too.

BiteyShark Sun 24-Sep-17 19:46:11

I am sure you only need to register with the council if you produce over a certain number of litters per year. This is not a ‘good thing’.

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Sun 24-Sep-17 19:50:46

Maybe the local paper would be interested to hear his side of things. .

Popchyk Sun 24-Sep-17 19:54:52

Oh, so they were all HIS dogs that belong to him? Ex-breeding bitches and studs that he has kept on in their 'retirement' because of course they have never had a proper home outside of the pens or runs. Their lives dedicated to churning out litter after litter. Of course he is looking for homes for them now that he no longer has a use for them.

I'm only guessing at the amount of dogs and bitches and pups that you saw (I stopped counting at 31 when you were still in the barn), but if they are 9 or 10 years old then they'll all have had a few litters behind them now. This guy has probably sold thousands of pups. No exaggeration.

You can either reward that kind or operation or not. I certainly would not.

Fluffysparks Sun 24-Sep-17 19:57:54

Were all pups with their mum? I don't think it sounds like a puppy farm really, just a bit of a harsh set up if that makes sense? I got my KC registered puppy from a run down old house with a dog every square half metre, but he's well socialised, affectionate with everybody but nothing separation anxiety-wise iyswim? The inside sounded very similar, and if the puppies were with their mum that is always an important sign.

ProfessorCat Sun 24-Sep-17 20:01:43

Before you call the police, RSPCA etc. Are you in Wales? Puppy farms are legal here.

It is a puppy farm. Puppy farmers KC reg their puppies. Were the parents health tested with paperwork to show? Were the puppies endorsed?

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Sun 24-Sep-17 20:13:07

Not all older - a mixture, really. Some he had taken back from owners who found them difficult. Of the breed we looked at most, he had seven adults and three pups - one was twelve, another nine. The bitch we talked about is three but had just come back to him as she'd started going for male dogs. Two of the other bitches he is breeding this year. The other breed, possibly 14 - ranging from six months to ten years. About ten were pets.

fluffysparks - that kind of sums up how I felt. He was a lovely bloke but not all that bright. We did discuss dogs being in the house - ours used to be in a run during the day and then house in the evenings and at night - and he was very much of the living outside sort.

I suppose my main question has been answered - not a typical set up. Like I said, we've had rescues and a pup from a family home in the past so wasn't sure what to expect.

CornflakeHomunculus Sun 24-Sep-17 21:21:04

I am sure you only need to register with the council if you produce over a certain number of litters per year. This is not a ‘good thing’.

This. Councils only require breeders to be licensed if they're producing a certain number of litters a year (usually five or more) or if they're breeding specifically as a business. Neither is something anyone remotely reputable would do.

If he's breeding dogs intended to be family pets then they should be being reared in the homes, not outside in pens. If they're not in the house then they're not getting adequate exposure to every day household sights, sounds and smells. It's also unlikely someone is out there pretty much all day attending to their needs. Litters are hard work and need a lot of input to set them up as well as possible to go off to their new homes, I don't believe it's feasible to provide this with multiple litters on the ground at once who are kept in outbuildings.

Just to add a contrast, these are the sorts of lengths a really excellent breeder will go to in order to ensure their puppies are getting the best possible start in life.
This site gives a breakdown of the different developmental stages of puppies and also gives a list of the sorts of things the breeder should be doing during each. That's really the minimum a decent breeder will be doing with their litter.

What breeds are you considering? Dog shows can be excellent opportunities to meet different breeds, as well as chat to owners and breeders about their dogs and the breed as a whole. There's also Discover Dogs if you're anywhere near London. It's an event specifically set up so people can go along and meet representatives of almost every KC recognised breed. Some of the more rare breeds might not be there but the vast majority are. There'll be a few dogs as well as people, usually involved in the breed club, who will chat to you about the dogs as well as letting you meet them. There's also a Discover Dogs area at Crufts, which is on in Birmingham in March. Either are well worth visiting if you're struggling to settle on a breed. Meeting the dogs and talking to breed enthusiasts in person can be so much more useful than researching online or in books.

When you've settled on a breed I'd highly recommend going through the relevant breed club who will be able to put you in touch with breeders who are planning litters. The breed club generally require their members to abide by a code of ethics which is usually much more stringent than that of the KC. For the most part they're generally very interested in breed health and encourage their members to health test although there are a few breeds where this isn't the case and there's some distinct head in the sand type behaviour going on.

This is a good, concise guide to buying a puppy/finding a breeder. The accompanying list of questions to ask a breeder will also give you an idea of the sorts of questions any decent breeder will be able (and happy) to answer for you.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Sun 24-Sep-17 21:27:40

We're planning on going to Discover Dogs at Crufts next year.

We are currently torn about breeds - we did look at a very rare breed which was perfect, but we don't want to breed our dog and it isn't fair as they are trying to 'grow' the breed in this country.

So, we are back to an impasse - DH wants a bigger dog than I do is the crux of it!

Puppy farm, don't touch!

CornflakeHomunculus Sun 24-Sep-17 21:35:47

we did look at a very rare breed which was perfect, but we don't want to breed our dog and it isn't fair as they are trying to 'grow' the breed in this country.

I wouldn't rule out a breed that's perfect just because they're rare. Even when trying to gradually increase the breed population it's never going to be appropriate (for a number of reasons, not least genetic diversity) to breed from all dogs from all litters.

I've got my eye on a rare (fewer than 25 individuals registered annually even in a good year) breed for the future and I'd say the majority of puppies bred in this country probably don't go on to be used for breeding themselves.

ProfessorCat Mon 25-Sep-17 08:36:52

A rare breed is fine if you don't want to breed. Only the best proven at show dogs will be bred from anyway. If you aren't planning to breed or show what's the problem? If you go to a decent breeder, the puppies will be endorsed anyway so you won't be able to breed.

SparklingRaspberry Mon 25-Sep-17 14:34:50

Oh come on OP don't be so naive.

Do the right thing. Don't turn a blind eye and convince yourself what he's doing is okay

If you don't you're as bad as him

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