AIBU to think that there's an elephant in the room with puppy sales?

(20 Posts)
AvocadosBeforeMortgages Thu 28-Mar-19 14:30:52

If the majority of puppies come from BYBs and puppy farmers, and good breeders have long (often multi year) waiting lists, then demand for well bred puppies clearly outstrips supply by a long way.

Most people aren't willing to wait many years for a puppy, and I can understand why. It's not necessarily about wanting a puppy tomorrow, but a waiting list with no solid timescale is too much for many (I'd be happy to wait 6 months for the next planned litter, but if there was a 2 year waiting list even I'd look elsewhere...). I also don't think that anyone consciously sets out looking for a puppy farm - but many fall into the trap.

Is the thing that no one is discussing the fact that there is essentially a shortage of properly bred puppies? They say that if you're doing it properly you're not making money, but that obviously limits how many good people are willing and able to breed - and leaves a gap for the unscrupulous.

Would things be better if it was made practical for someone to make a modest full time income from well bred puppies in a home environment? I feel like part of this is that people's expectations of how much a puppy costs would need to be changed, to a point where profits existed and more litters were produced without compromising welfare. This would need to be combined with tougher laws and enforcement for puppy farmers.

I'm not sure what I'm hoping to achieve with this post, but I do feel that puppy farms will always exist while demand for well bred dogs vastly outstrips supply.

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Thu 28-Mar-19 15:52:16

They are all fair points but I am suspicious that people don't always innocently fall into the trap. I think wilful ignorance comes into play more often than that. People don't want to wait and so 'convince' themselves that they have a found a good and quick supply. I think if we swapped shorter waiting time for higher upfront costs, to get a puppy from a good breeder who was making a modest living, then people would still convince themselves that the cheaper supplier was a good breeder. Because they want quick and cheap dogs.

Besides, we would still have the 'problem' that a decent breeder would not sell a puppy to an unsuitable home and too many people are in denial about what it takes to bring up a happy, well adjusted dog. Those people would still buy dogs off someone in a car park, because they couldn't get a puppy from a good breeder.

I would genuinely welcome a reliable accreditation that really did assure people that the breeder was working to a high standard of care - neither the councils nor the KC deliver this, imo. That could be of real benefit to those that genuinely want an ethical puppy but are unsure how to check that is what the breeder is supplying. I just would expect many, many people to ignore this in favour of getting something quickly, that is fashionable and in an odd colour.

Personally, banning accessory dogs on instagram might also help, even if it is unrealistic. It was chihuahuas, but then pugs and now frenchies - all used extensively in photos as accessories and not as dogs. It gives an impression of dogs as toys rather than individual living animals with their own needs #lovemydog #treatitlikeahandbag

adaline Thu 28-Mar-19 16:08:47

I don't think people innocently buy dogs from puppy farms either - people are just impatient and don't want to wait. I've seen threads on here where people decide to get a dog and go out the next day and get one. I commented on one once and got flamed to buggery by the OP who refused to see that it was a problem because she got what she wanted (a cocker spaniel puppy, I believe).

We spoke to breeders for a good three months before getting on a waiting list, then it was another nine months before we brought our pup home. I'm still in touch with my breeder and with the families who have other dogs from our litter and from their previous one. The mother has now been spayed and they won't be breeding again in the foreseeable future.

Dogs aren't easy pets - they're tying, expensive and a big commitment. Millions of young dogs end up in rescue each year because people can't cope with the teenage stage or with the demands of a young dog. Mine is currently snoring by my feet but he had a good 90+ minute walk across the fells this morning, to a new place with lots of sniffs - a quick walk around the block just wouldn't cut it for most young dogs - they need new smells, stimulation and experiences to tire them out.

We did all the research and I STILL found mine incredibly hard work at first. And honestly? He wasn't all that difficult. Slept through the night from day one, toilet trained within a month, never destroyed anything or bit me hard while he was teething. What did shock me was the effort involved - even now at 13 months I have an eye and ear out for him at all times because unless he's asleep or eating, silence is very suspicious!

People who decide to buy a dog on a whim probably have no idea what it actually takes to raise a well-adjusted dog. I don't think increasing the number of decent breeders will help that!

OverFedStanley Thu 28-Mar-19 17:18:12

It would be extremely rare to have to wait 2 years for a (excuse the expression) common well breed puppy eg labrador or golden retriever, working cocker or spaniels. Yes there would be a longer wait for a rarer breed puppy.

It is time consuming to research breeders but you would find several and put yourself on several waiting lists

I agree that people are impatient and often do not know how to put in the effort and what they are looking for when looking for a good breeder and that is why puppy farms and poor breeders are able to do so well.

A good breeder can grill you and be quite off putting to many innocent first time owners

Would things be better if it was made practical for someone to make a modest full time income from well bred puppies in a home environment? this happens

OverFedStanley Thu 28-Mar-19 17:20:02

I dont think there is a shortage of well breed puppies - public demand is fickle and fashionable eg dalmations, chocolate labs, working cockers, huskies, french pugs have all been fasinable dogs over the last few years and puppy farms jump on the opportunity to make a fast buck.

The good breeders are always there.

OverFedStanley Thu 28-Mar-19 17:20:30

fasinable = fashionable!

NoCauseRebel Thu 28-Mar-19 17:33:27

Actually I think that if you made it illegal to earn a living from breeding puppies you would shut down the puppy farming industry overnight, but for some reason whenever I’ve suggested that on here people don’t agree, and yet people do agree that puppy farming is a massive business.

The reality is that we need to move to a system where decent people do breed dogs but where there is middle ground between selling your puppies on gumtree and having people on a waiting list with a large list of serious demands for a dog which has probably inherited all manner of genetic conditions regardless of its breeding.

Most puppies do not have serious health complications although some obviously do. But this can and does happen regardless of breeding, and the kennel club has much to answer for in this regard.

Equally though there are IMO too many dogs in rescue for a number of reasons and some of those have to do with the rescue themselves. Many rescues promote this policy of never putting a “healthy” dog down, however IMO sometimes there are fates worse than being put down, and a dog who is so traumatised/has so many behavioural issues that they can never be rehomed is not a “healthy” dog and should IMO be put out of its misery rather than being used to bring in more money for the charities.

Also the rescues are far, far too rigid with their rehoming policies. Absolutely there have to be some stipulations, but truth is that it’s almost impossible to rehome a dog if you have a family, and this leads to the increase in dogs in rescue.

And I would ban rescuing from abroad outright. There are enough dogs over here if you’re able to rescue a dog with behavioural problems which pretty much every dog brought in from abroad does. So work with the UK rescues to be less rigid and more realistic and stop people from bringing in yet more problematic dogs which will likely end up in UK rescues as dogs unable to be put down.

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BiteyShark Thu 28-Mar-19 18:23:53

No one can agree though on what makes a good breeder let alone implement regulation.

I do agree though that there should be a minimum standard and that it should be enforced and easily checked and followed up.

I waited a long time for my puppy but I still didn't conform to the 'standard' on here. He wasn't an impulse buy and god forbid I did find my breeder on a website. There are breeders advertising on websites who are very strict about where their puppies are going (I was looking for working breeds) but it's an absolute no on here to ever go to a breeder that advertises. Yet the whole world is moving to online so it isn't unnatural for people to use the internet for everything.

I don't know what the answer is though because it would take a massive overhaul of the system of breeding and buying dogs.

Asdf12345 Thu 28-Mar-19 18:28:28

It certainly is possible to make a living from dogs kept and bred to decent standards. Not the sort of dogs most people want to keep as pets though as the market for dogs at the prices required is very small. That said my next dog will likely come from a professional breeder and trainer and cost £3-5k (for a lab).

adaline Thu 28-Mar-19 18:44:56

That said my next dog will likely come from a professional breeder and trainer and cost £3-5k (for a lab)

Why is there any need for a puppy to cost that much?

Poochnewbie Thu 28-Mar-19 18:55:39

I walked into buying a puppy as green as grass. I’ve never owned s dog or been around people who do. I genuinely thought I’d done my research and found a good breeder. Turns out i probably met stunt parents and saw forged paperwork.
It was genuinely unintentional. I only took about 6 weeks from deciding to get s puppy to bringing one home. I know now how different things should have been. That being said, I am in love with my puppy and the hard work has not put me off. She’s the best little addition to our family. I do, however, know if so things very differently in future.

Brokenbytoday Thu 28-Mar-19 18:56:52

If so = I’d do

Asdf12345 Thu 28-Mar-19 19:33:46

Adaline- it will be from strong field trialling lines and part trained.

Developing and proving the blood stock in competition takes time and money, training the basics takes yet more time and money.

MattMagnolia Thu 28-Mar-19 20:44:22

It’s professional breeders who have bred dogs with such exaggerated features that they can’t breathe or all have inherited diseases.
Health testing the parents gives no guarantees. The huge popularity of cross-breeds shows that owners want to avoid the well known problems of pedigree dogs.

Wolfiefan Thu 28-Mar-19 20:52:59

Unfortunately people don’t want to wait. They want a cute puppy (preferably with a stupid hybrid name) and they don’t consider if a certain breed or cross is right for their situation.
@MattMagnolia. Not necessarily. A cross can inherit awful problems from both parents.

Hoppinggreen Fri 29-Mar-19 14:43:43

Like pooch we bought from a front with a “stunt” bitch probably
I did my research and would have waited a few months for a puppy but the dog was nominally for a certain event (although planned for for a while). I asked all the right questions etc - the only thing was that the puppies were almost ready to go but everything else looked good
The set up when we went to collect was quite different and we probably should have walked away and lost the deposit at that point but we didn’t and I don’t regret it . It’s been hard work (as with all puppies) but Ddog is a lovely part of our family now

fivedogstofeed Fri 29-Mar-19 15:35:13

I actually think the elephant in the room is that we are overpopulated with dogs, and people are breeding to fill a demand for the latest fashion breed.

SeventhWave Fri 29-Mar-19 16:39:42

Whatever happened to your bog-standard mongrels? Why does everyone these days demand a specific breed or (sometimes ludicrously-named) cross?

missbattenburg Fri 29-Mar-19 16:50:33

Whatever happened to your bog-standard mongrels?

I had one when I was younger. A proper mix. I have loved all our dogs for their brilliant personalisites, but by a loooong way, he was the easiest dog to own and live with.

Just so sweet and gentle and kind.

Pleasedontdothat Fri 29-Mar-19 17:34:43

There were far more ‘bog standard’ mongrels around in the 60s/70s because fewer dogs were neutered and it was very common for dogs to be let out in the morning, entertain themselves all day and come home for tea. In those circumstances, nature took its course and lots of puppies were born and the owners of the mother wouldn’t have a clue what kind of dog the father was. In some ways, many dogs are much better cared for now, but it’s become socially unacceptable for dogs to be allowed to run around all day by themselves so they have much less freedom. People still want to have dogs though and breeders (both ethical and unscrupulous) are there to fill the gap. You can still get the ‘bog standard’ mongrels from my youth but they’re almost all brought in by foreign rescue organisations from places where dogs lead a life much like that of many British dogs of 40 years ago.
PS we didn’t let our dogs out by themselves, but we were quite unusual in the area where I grew up for taking our dogs out twice a day for ‘supervised’ walks

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