Many reputable breeders will not sell their dogs to pet shops. Why? Because breeders take pride in their work and absolutely care where the puppies are placed (homed). Breeders want to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into, they don’t want their dogs offspring to end up being abandoned or given to a shelter or worst? Many Pet shops only care if you have the money to pay for the over- inflated priced dogs. I’ve read up to 95% of Pet shops in the U.S. get their puppies from puppy mill type operations and big corporations are backing puppy mills. The sad fact is these operations care more about the money and not about the living conditions of the dogs. Big Corporations are getting into the action and making lots of money because people don’t think things through before buying a puppy and mostly buy on impulse. Some of the pet shops show what appears to be legitimate paper work from a reputable breeder but you can trace it back to a puppy mill operation. Many new regulations have made it more difficult for pet shops to buy puppies from puppy mills but like everything, they find a way around it. So unless you have time to do the research I would stay clear purchasing a puppy from a pet shop. Here’s some advice on what to do and what not to do if you want a puppy.
Don’t be spontaneous! I know that puppy in the window is cute, but all puppies are cute and you dont know without research where that puppy in the window came from.
Do your homework. Getting a dog is a big responsibility and you need the right breed to fit your lifestyle.
Take the family and go to a dog show. There you will learn about the breed you are interested in. Talk to the breeders who know the breed the best. They may even tell you about a litter of puppies that are due in a week or so.
Here are some more reasons to buy directly from a reputable breeder:
1. Puppies are in better living and health conditions.
2. Puppies stay with the mother and litter-mates through the crucial imprint period 6-8 weeks.
3. Most Breeders make sure the puppies are handled by adults and children. They also become familiar with household sounds.
4. Breeders introduce the puppy to the concept of housebreaking; they may have been introduced to a crate. This will make housebreaking much easier for you.
5. Breeders have a health history of the puppy’s parents. Good sound and healthy parents produce good sound healthy puppies!
Problems that could arise when buying from a pet shop:
1. Puppies may be taken too early from the mother and litter-mates, this can have an affect on their temperament latter in life.
2. In pet shops, puppies can be confined for sometimes weeks. Eating, playing and going to the bathroom all in the same small area, can make it extremely difficult to housebreak them.
3. If the pet shop is getting dogs from puppy mills, those dogs are not the best of that breed. Health risks are usually inherited by parents. The puppy may look healthy, but problems can arise later in the dog’s life. Sick, genetically defective or ill tempered dogs reproduce the same.
Another option instead of a breeder or pet shop, you can always adopt a dog from a shelter. When I trained animal actors we would rescue dogs from the shelter and make them working actors. Adopting a pure or mix breed from a shelter is a good thing. Mix breeds tend to be more intelligent and have less health issues than pure breeds.
My experiences about this subject is primarily directed to the U.S.A. I am not aware of other countries practices, although I’ve heard from one pet shop owner, that Australia has strict guidelines for pet shops who sell puppies. Let’s hope they all adhere to the rules. (oopps I guess they dont either, read comments below)
Here is a group that works very hard to get the word out about puppymills http://www.dogs-r-us.org/news.shtml