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Sorry, but ...

(57 Posts)
Whitney168 Thu 19-Oct-17 09:31:53

The breeder recommendation on the other thread just gives so much opportunity for more ways to teach people how to spot puppy farmers! I don't want either the OP or the person who gave the recommendation to think I am personally attacking them, that is absolutely not my motivation.

We just need people to start recognising the cobblers these people tell prospective purchasers and some of the more accurate reasons behind it. So, from that particular breeder's website, some gems that would ring alarm bells for me.

We offer to keep all our puppies up until 12 weeks of age. We charge £10 per night to keep a puppy after 8 weeks of age

Good grief, what a nice little racket they have going here, dressed up as selflessness and helpfulness. Any decent breeder will have thoroughly vetted their buyers, and once they have agreed to let a puppy go they would certainly not charge to keep it if there were some extentuating circumstances that meant it needed to stay a little longer - let alone at £10 a day!

I’m afraid we will say no if you contact us asking this question.
Your appointment slot will be up to 45 minutes long and must not be exceeded.
Should you be early you must not pull up and wait on our premesis and must find somewhere local to stay e.g. a cafe.

Very controlled contact and appointments for this breeder, and restricting people seeing how many buyers are coming and going. A good breeder will not limit your time to ask questions and make sure you have all the info you need about them (and vice versa).

copies of dads KC reg and DNA PRA certificate (we do not give copies of mums paperwork out as we are not selling to breeding homes)
And also presumably because the poor mums are not of any discernible breed, not health tested despite their fine words - plus they don't want anyone to be able to track the number of bitches and how many litters they are having.

Deposits will be taken on a first come first serve basis

In fact, their whole T&Cs demonstrates that these are just business transactions.

Gah, I could go on ... and on ... and on. Suffice it to say that there is nothing wholesome and fluffy about this breeder, or any other like it, despite the lovely website. Their bitches are a factory line, kept in a dark barn in cages.

I say it regularly and will say it again - if you don't take steps to avoid this, you are supporting it!

Snooglepup Thu 19-Oct-17 12:11:01

That is so shocking.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Thu 19-Oct-17 12:13:39

What do you think should happen to the pups that have already been born?

isthismummy Thu 19-Oct-17 12:14:18

Who is this breeder? Your post makes shocking reading. No more than 45 minutes to pick an animal that will be part of your family for 15 yearssad

Whitney168 Thu 19-Oct-17 12:15:46

Well that's a good question Rebecca - unfortunately, the answer is that every one of them bought paves the way for another litter to be bred.

Perhaps the best we could hope for is that when these breeders find they cannot sell their 'stock' (and this is what it is to them), they will be passed to the long-suffering rescue folk to help , and the breeders will stop breeding.

There is no doubt that it is a supply and demand business. Keeping buying them because you feel sorry for them would certainly be flawed logic, as all it does is perpetuate the cycle.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Thu 19-Oct-17 12:20:12

It's so difficult isn't it? I totally agree with all you say but there is just so much ignorance (not wilful but people genuinely don't seem to know) about the puppy trade.

And what's more they will buy a pup that is totally unsuitable for them, never been socialised, more than likely with health issues and then find out they can't cope - so that pup then ends back up in rescue.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Thu 19-Oct-17 12:21:30

Sorry didn't finish ... so the pup that they bought ends up in rescue but the demand has already been established so more will be bred.

It's a fucking mess, there should be more legislation in this area definitely.

Whitney168 Thu 19-Oct-17 12:22:37

Another point from the particular breeder that prompted this post ...

As a small family business, time here is limited. We do not have staff as we aim to give you a personal experience and not a commercialised experience.

Rearing one litter well is a heck of a job. Rearing several litters throughout the year, often simultaneously, plus looking after a large number of of adult dogs is certainly a job that requires a fair few people if it is to be done with any level of competence.

What kind of care and socialisation does anyone think these dogs can get?

Make no mistake, this is not limited to this one breeder, although it didn't take long to delve a bit more in to them. This is happening all over the UK, particularly rife in Ireland and Wales (although this does NOT mean there are no good breeders there) - and as for the trade in puppies imported from Eastern Europe ... well, what the conditions are out there doesn't bear thinking about, plus the journeys the poor mites have to get to the UK and be passed over in service station car parks.

fourpawswhite Thu 19-Oct-17 12:24:00

That's absolutely sickening. I'm at a loss to see how that can be put on a website and be seen as anything other than a puppy farm.

I do have two KC dogs from a private breeder as well as two rescue dogs. I've known the breeder for years and was in a waiting list for two years before I got the first one. She is now one of my closest friends and I have learnt more from her than I ever imagined. She is passionate about her breed and each and every dog is part of her family. She shows to the highest standard and only takes a litter if the bitch is perfect and healthy and she herself is bringing on another dog. She does not sell to show homes, she sells to families. She regularly campaigns and exposes back street puppy farms. I've spent hours in her living room infront of the fire and know all her dogs and puppies by name. Whilst breeders can get a bad name she is a credit to the canine world and I am proud to be her friend.

She has spoken to me a lot about this sort of thing but I have never seen such a website myself. Had a look on the other thread and have seen it now. Just want to cry.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Thu 19-Oct-17 12:27:59

I certainly think the KC should take more care to recommend breeders, it would be a start. And more promotion of breed rescue societies. Even for people who want puppies rather than older dogs. One of mine (see his pic on other thread if you want smile) came to me as a proper puppy.

His mother had been rescued from an Irish puppy farm and was found to be pregnant on the way over here to her new home, so the breed rescue (in this case Cocker and English Springer Spaniel Rescue) had four puppies to find homes for.

So even for people who definitely want a puppy rather than an older rescue that is a good way to do.

Whitney168 Thu 19-Oct-17 12:28:17

there is just so much ignorance (not wilful but people genuinely don't seem to know) about the puppy trade

My increasingly bull in a china shop approach to this subject - for which I don't apologise - is because these days I think there is absolutely no excuse not to know, and I do believe that a lot of it is in fact head in the sand wilful ignorance.

The amount of posts you see just on here are just mind boggling, where all this is pointed out to people and they choose to ignore it - as long as they get the cute puppy they want at the time they want it, without travelling too far.

The biggest victims in all this are not the puppies that are sold - most of those will end up with families who will do their best by them, even in the face of serious health issues. The real sad story is the parents that produced them. Anyone who calls themselves an animal lover, but chooses to ignore that needs to look harder at themselves.

Unfortunately, a lot of this is passed off by others as snobbishness against mixed breeds. I could not care less what breed or mix of puppy people buy, if they demand and check the right standards of the breeders, rather than just taking expensive websites at face value - which in themselves should give a clue as to the commercial nature of this business.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Thu 19-Oct-17 12:30:14

Or even just google map the breeder's address - it's pretty clear that it's a puppy farm when the address is covered in barns and farm buildings.

MaitlandGirl Thu 19-Oct-17 12:45:28

We found a fantastic breeder with our youngest and she’s an absolute gem. 2 years later and we’re still in regular contact.

We offer to keep all our puppies up until 12 weeks of age. We charge £10 per night to keep a puppy after 8 weeks of age

On the odd occasion this happens our breeder asks that you have the puppy insured in your name and just that you cover the cost of their food (which is perfectly reasonable as you’d have to feed the puppy if it was living with you anyway. Also, you need to cover the cost of any vaccinations (again you’d have to do that if you had the puppy at home). If puppies are flying interstate to other show homes the extended stay costs are built into the purchase price as she won’t fly puppies under 12 weeks.


That wouldn’t be possible as she doesn’t give out her address until she’s grilled you over the phone and had an extensive email conversation. Also, she has a family and the dogs to contend with so drop in visits aren’t encouraged as it’s not always convenient.

*Your appointment slot will be up to 45 minutes long and must not be exceeded.
Should you be early you must not pull up and wait on our premesis and must find somewhere local to stay e.g. a cafe.*

Wow! Definitely never had this happen. She asks that you call from the bottom of the hill so she can be by the gate to let you in but have never, ever been rushed. When we went to pick up our latest edition we spent ages sitting around the kitchen table, cuddling a puppy that didn’t yet have a home (soooo tempting!), playing with her other dogs and chatting about her family and what we’d all been up to. I drink a lot of tea during the day but we were there for 3 rounds of tea and never felt rushed. The first time we met her she spent ages explaining the different breeding lines between our first dog and the puppy we were getting, which was fascinating.

copies of dads KC reg and DNA PRA certificate (we do not give copies of mums paperwork out as we are not selling to breeding homes)

ALL paperwork was provided when we collected the puppy, including full 5 generation pedigrees for the dam and sire (which was fully explained as the dam is an import so none of the names were familiar to me). We signed over all the transfer papers and were given documentation stating her breeder number so we could check out her kennel records online. Our boy is on the full register, with no restrictions so can (and will) be bred from (by his breeder, not us) but apart from a different colour registration document all the same paperwork was provided to the new owners of his sisters.

Deposits will be taken on a first come first serve basis

We specifically wanted a boy and as it turned out she had one boy and didn’t want to keep him so we were first in line for consideration as a suitable home for him. We had regular email/phone conversations and weekly photos for 6 weeks before we even met him. It was made very clear to us that neither party was committed to taking/selling him until we’d had a chance to meet and see what the fit was like. Luckily we made a great impression when we met and as she knew the temperament of our existing dog she felt the puppy would fit in well within our family.

While I’m happy for him to be used at stud I don’t have the time or energy to breed a litter at home as I would want to do things the way she does and quite frankly she’s wonder woman and I’m not! I’ve recommended her to a fair few people and not everyone has been successful in getting a puppy from her, a bit different to the woman who yesterday advertised 7 x King Charles Spaniels (no pedigree papers or health checks available) on FB for $1500 each, first come first served “ideal as Christmas presents” who only had 1x male left unsold by this morning.

trainedopossum Thu 19-Oct-17 13:03:53

I know this is an emotive subject on both sides (those who choose to rescue vs those who choose breeders) but some of us are cynical because of our experiences.
How many breeders are good breeders and how many just think and/or say they are? And how many prospective owners know how to tell the difference? And how many of those dogs end up in rescue anyway (answer: a lot)?
The difference between a dog from a breeder and a rescue dog may be as little as one owner with too little time/patience/money or a change of circumstances (divorce, pregnancy, forced move, death).

Spudlet Thu 19-Oct-17 13:13:32

That's terrible.

Our family dog, manu years ago, came from a proper old school breeder. You did not go to choose a puppy. You made several visits, with the whole family, so that she could decide which puppy you would be offered - if any. You got the full tour of the premises, which didn't take long as it was basically her house too. I don't doubt that she'd have sent saw as 'unsuitable' packing! She adored her dogs and the breed, and that was the main thing for her. I always remember her parting words as we took our boy home... '...and please - NO BABY TALK!' grin He was a wonderful dog who lived to a ripe old age in good health, bless him.

Our current dog is a rescue, but I think we will probably go for a puppy at some point in the future as I want to have one to train for a job from scratch. I have trained our rescue to do that job, but his start has always held him back a bit. I fully expect to be out on the spot - actually I want to be! I want someone who really cares about where those puppies go. No first come first served. No precise 45 minute slots. I want someone who likes dogs more than people, frankly.

Whitney168 Thu 19-Oct-17 13:23:42

I don't think it's a rescue v. breeders thing? I have never rescued a dog yet, and it's very unlikely I ever would (except possibly from breed rescue). I think with rescues you takes your chance though, and equally a lot of research needed there to make sure you are taking on the right dog.

Your questions around how do you tell are good ones, and it is getting harder year on year. However, a slightly less fabulous breeder is still not going to be keeping their dogs in puppy farm conditions - your odds are much better.

One of the primary differences between a good breeder and a commercial breeder is that probably at least 30% (plucking a number out of the air) of people asking to buy puppies might be told no by a good breeder who took the time to find out whether they were the right home - and I appreciate that then opens up a great market for commercial breeders. Good breeders can pick and choose their homes though, and good on them.

Also, good breeders will stand by their dogs for life and given the opportunity will never let a dog of their breeding go in to rescue. (Unfortunately, some buyers are embarrassed and don't come back to the breeder, but I regularly see people in my breed moving heaven and earth to help a dog of their breeding/by their stud dogs that has made its way in to rescue and been identified.)

The breeding of dogs is big business now. Take a look at the example discussed here - 'around 140 puppies a year' and let's give a conservative estimate of £800 for a pup of these mixes. Even allowing for them keeping a few to produce even more stock with, we'll say well over £100k a year, with most expenses tax deductible. You can certainly see why it's attractive.

A licence counts for little, as has been demonstrated by many establishments that have been proven to have extremely poor conditions but get licences renewed - there has been a high profile case this week that has been renewed, despite exposes of horrific conditions.

People seem to quote 'oh they have a licence' as a good thing - I would not touch ANY dog breeder that needed a licence with a bargepole, with the possible exception of someone proven and extremely well known in dog show or working circles and it was obvious that they had a purpose for their dogs and that the dogs were well kept.

Wolfiefan Thu 19-Oct-17 13:34:42

I'm afraid I think far too many people don't actually want to spot puppy farmers. They just want they dog they want. They don't consider the plight of the parents or why they want that breed or mix. They are selfish. They aren't prepared to wait and give as much thought as buying something off Amazon.
We waited for a couple of years for our pup. Her breeder has bred three litters in 30 years. They offer real lifetime advice and support. We had to have references and a home check. Giant breed so may be different.

Queenofthedrivensnow Thu 19-Oct-17 13:41:39

Shudder. The more I read about puppy farms the more I'm sure my breeder isn't one. We visited about 5 times, for an hour or so, saw all the puppies and mum and dad and played with lots of animals on the farm which was like the larkins place. It was random and comical but not a puppy farm by any stretch. My dog is very healthy and I'm complimented all the time on him. He's thick as pigshit mind

trainedopossum Thu 19-Oct-17 14:08:48

Whitney168 for me it is a breeder vs rescue (incl breed rescue) thing because most people can't be bothered to really vet their breeder. I hear what you're saying re adopting and knowing what you're getting but the same goes for a bred dog and so many people have no idea what goes into buying and raising a puppy. (To someone who knows dogs that may sound ridiculous but if I had a penny for every time I heard someone say 'God, if i had known having a puppy is like having a baby!' Er, it is a lot of work, yes.)

In my experience a good rescue will go to a lot of trouble to match a dog to your circumstances. And like a good breeder they will take their dogs back rather than see them being advertised in Loot (if as you point out they can find their dogs before they end up on Loot because people are ashamed of what they do).

As much as we all like to think we can tell a good breeder from a bad one, most people will only know a bad breeder in retrospect. As you've pointed out people accept misinformation as fact and won't know a puppy farm from a hole in the head following the guidelines they think are correct.

Hoppinggreen Thu 19-Oct-17 14:11:39

We followed all the guidelines
Ddog turned out to probably have been a puppy farm dog

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Thu 19-Oct-17 14:22:34

I'm not sure I agree about having to wait for years, I certainly wouldn't.

I do have a preferred breed but she is from a breed rescue (6 months old when she came to me). It took about 3 weeks for us to be vetted - visit to home and grilling about our previous experience of the breed, and then we collected her from the foster home.

Same happened with my other rescue dog - home visit to check us out.

I'm not sure many breeders do that!

Wolfiefan Thu 19-Oct-17 14:33:15

Yes we have a pedigree dog from a breeder. Yes we had a home check.
And I do think people should be prepared to wait for a dog. Whether for a rescue that suits their situation or a pup from a reputable breeder. People do a quick internet search and that's their research.

serendipia1907 Thu 19-Oct-17 14:40:32

This must be a fucking joke. They can't possibly give puppies at 8 weeks, it's supposed to be so they can be with their mom & brothers. Ffs. Also "comercialised experience"? Experience? Is this just another business? Poor puppies hmm

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Thu 19-Oct-17 14:47:17

@Wolfiefan - people also buy their houses and cars from quick internet searches!

However, that's by the bye, I imagine we are both in agreement about puppy farms and that's what this thread is about not breeders vs breed rescue.

CornflakeHomunculus Thu 19-Oct-17 15:01:23

I'm with Whitney and Wolfiefan, I think so much of the reason people are still buying from the worst kind of breeders is wilful, rather than genuine, ignorance.

People don't want to expend the time and effort required to find a decent breeder. They don't want to compromise on when they get the puppy or how far they're willing to travel. They don't want to be subjected to the breeder questioning them about their suitability, or keep in touch once they've got the puppy. They want a breed that is completely unsuitable for them or they're not really in a position to have any kind of puppy but they want one anyway.

The council licensing scheme is a complete joke and, like Whitney, I wouldn't touch any breeder who has a licence with someone else's bargepole. I've literally just seen on FB that one of the biggest (and most notorious) puppy farms in the country has just had theirs renewed. They're licensed to keep two hundred breeding bitches and the owner herself described it as "like working in a factory" angry

There are thousands upon thousands of puppies produced by puppy farms of varying scales every year in the UK (it's estimated that puppy farms in just three Welsh counties produce nearly 30,000 puppies a year alone). Given the availability of information online I find it extremely hard to believe that every single person who buys one of those puppies has been genuinely duped, especially when we're talking about the industrial scale operations who sell puppies directly from their premises.

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