When puppy farms and backyard breeders are a reality, how do you find the perfect puppy? – Westender

When puppy farms and backyard breeders are a reality, how do you find the perfect puppy?  - Westender
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In recent weeks, most of us have been shocked at the footage of Strawberry, the boxer who was left to rot with dead puppies inside her as her three surviving puppies were flown to Perth for be sold in a high-end pet store. It is the most recent case to shed light on the problems associated with purchasing puppies, particularly through pet stores and online. ‘

Since the onset of COVID and the shift to more people working from home, there has been a massive increase in puppy purchases. COVID has caused massive demand for puppies, with the prices of some breeds tripling, puppies being sent to their new homes too early, and people not doing enough research because they know they are in danger of running out. The story of Strawberry has reignited the conversation around responsible puppy purchasing. If that is even possible, I hope to be able to shed some light on the industry here in Queensland and how you can be a responsible consumer in an industry that lacks strong legislation and regulations.

Most of you will be surprised to know that puppy breeding is NOT illegal here in Queensland. The only state with some solid form of legislation surrounding this industry is Victoria. Puppy farms are not breed specific either. Investigations have shown that both purebred and mixed-breed dogs fall victim to the puppy breeding industry. Armed with just these two pieces of information, it can help you ask more questions. Focus on where you are looking for your puppy and research puppy breeds to find out why we as dog lovers shouldn’t be supporting the industry in any way.

So let’s do it! Let’s find our perfect puppy!

First of all, you need to understand that being a responsible pawrent takes planning and time. Don’t buy on impulse. A puppy is on average a 13 year commitment. As a West Enders, you can research which are the best apartment dogs! Some breeds that are very popular today also have a high chance of requiring surgery, so be sure as part of your research to discuss the costs of these procedures with veterinarians.

As locals, we also see the ‘oodle’ phenomenon (cavoodles, labradoodles, moodles, etc.), which are popular due to their shedding coats. These “piles” present themselves with more anxiety and nervous behaviors that are potentially related to where they are raised. As someone who works with furry children all day long, I am in the vantage point of knowing where people got their puppies from and unfortunately most of the time they are from puppy farms. No one did it on purpose, of course, so my role is to educate and inform, which means others educate and inform their circle.

Not sure what is right for you or if they are right for you?

Find out more from the professionals: trainers, dog day care centers, veterinarians, behaviorists, not your friends! Your companions may have an opinion on the beauty of the puppy, but they won’t be able to give you detailed information about why the breed was originally bred, common health issues, or behaviors you could see when they live. the city center.

You have now found a breed or two that interest you. Start contacting and following social media rescue groups and replicating specific rescues. Did you know there is a poodle rescue? Pug rescue? Dachshund rescue? Labrador Rescue? You see the picture. Every race will have a rescue party and most of those rescues are worth being your first point of call.

If you are unlucky with a rescue, you will look for the next place to start the search.

The following scenarios are the most common ways to buy puppies, so let’s explore what we should ask or do to make sure we’re not supporting a cruel industry.

Before I delve deeper, I want to clear up a common misconception: Just because your puppy is from a registered or purebred breeder doesn’t mean it isn’t a puppy farm. “Registered breeder” can simply mean that this is only a registered business and that legislation and oversight are inadequate to ensure proper treatment. “Purebred breeders” means they are members of the Australian National Kennel Council which includes a certain ethic they should follow, but with little enforcement it is not a foolproof system.

A good breeder will question you as much as you question him.

Below are the most common places to buy puppies along with some suggestions on what you should look for and ask for. Let’s start!

Questions to ask?

Pet Shop

  • Does the pet store return to the animal house in partnership with an organization?

Hint: if they say yes, that’s great!

  • Where do these puppies come from? Do you have any proof?
  • Can I visit the breeder to see where they were born and meet their parents?

Tip: if not, they are most likely from a puppy farm.

  • If the pet store says they are purebred, be sure to ask for proof of this and that they have been tested for any inherited disorder.

Hint: If they say no, they’re not purebred.

Newspaper

  • Will the seller give you details of the puppies’ birthplace?

Tip: if they say a different state, they are probably from a puppy farm.

Tip: If they say they’ll meet you somewhere, the puppy is probably from a puppy farm.

Online

(Gumtree, trading post, market place, etc.)

  • Does the seller want to “ship” the puppy to you without meeting you?

Tip: If so, the puppy is most likely from a puppy farm.

  • Can you visit and meet the parents?
  • Is the puppy free?

Tip: If a puppy is free, you should call for help to see if they can help the “ seller ” possibly resettle the puppies and deexter the mother.

  • Does the seller have multiple items on different breeds?

Hint: if so, it is probably a puppy farm.

Breeder

  • Can you go visit?
  • Can you meet the parents?
  • Can you see where they live and where they grew up?

Tip: this is important, you want proof that they weren’t just moved around the living room so you can see them.

  • What steps have they taken to prevent hereditary disorders and exaggerated traits?

Hint: Dogs with exaggerated features include Pugs, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Cavaliers, Dachshunds and more.

  • What socialization and enrichment have the puppies and their parents had?

Tip: you want to hear about walks, toys, playing outside, interacting with lots of humans.

  • Have they been to the vet for vaccinations, flea and worm treatment?

Tip: get the proof and the name of the vet.

  • Does the breeder offer you a “ free puppy ” in exchange for having breeding rights over them, i.e. a watchdog?

Tip: this is a very common practice. However, there are huge drawbacks. You don’t have any rights over the dog, which means you can’t de-excite when you want him to be de-energized. Socialization becomes difficult if they are not de-energized, including not being able to attend daycare after six months. Even if the puppy is not suited for breeding (anxiety, annoying behavior), you don’t have a say in the final decision. I would avoid this offer, especially if other aspects are not correct, it is quite possible that it is a puppy farm.

I know this can sound intimidating, and there is a lot of information; however, education is essential. ‘

Make sure you’re informed and use the tools at hand to find as much information as possible. Puppies grow into dogs, and where they come from can really have an impact on how they will be as adults. It’s important not only to fall in love with the cute face and fluffy ears, but to understand the consequences of supporting puppy farms and the life of your adorable puppy’s mom and dad.

Some useful resources :

Cover image used with permission from Animals Australia.

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