Buying a new puppy – Part 3
Shopping for a new puppy, especially one that comes with a guarantee of health against poor temperament and inheritable diseases, can be very expensive if your budget cannot handle it. So where else can you go to get your puppy? Family breeders, pets shops, and puppy mills are three alternatives.
The family breeder is a well-intentioned person who likes cute, wiggly puppies, and thinks it might be a good experience for the kids, and a pleasure for the mother-dog. Unfortunately, all of the good intentions in the world cannot produce quality puppies. Dog breeding takes knowledge, experience, and a little artistry, with a good measure of luck thrown into the mix.
A female dog whose overriding qualification for breeding is her family’s affection can hardly be expected to reliably produce sound, healthy, attractive puppies. A family can easily overlook the shortcomings of their pregnant dog because they love her. When she is bred to a neighbor’s dog whose qualifications as a stud are no better, the resulting puppies can be just fine – or they may grow up to be total disappointments as family pets.
Why take a chance on epilepsy or shyness when you can pay a little more at a registered kennel and get a guaranteed puppy which has a better start in life?
At a pet store you can spend just as much, if not more, than you would at a registered kennel, but without receiving any of the benefits. Many puppies end up in a pet shop before they are even weaned properly. Disease control is difficult in a place where exposure to germs cannot be controlled. Some dogs may not even be vaccinated against distemper. There is no opportunity to see the sire or the dam either.
Perhaps the biggest drawback is the pet shop owner’s inability to give the puppies adequate socialization. Studies have shown that all puppies require plenty of love and attention from the time their eyes open until they reach three months of age. This is a critical time in a puppy’s life. Without enough affection the puppy’s entire personality can be warped or stunted, resulting in puppies that grow up to be cowardly, or indifferent to human companionship. Pet shop owners do not have the time necessary to spend with growing puppies.
The worst place to buy a puppy
Probably the worst place to buy a puppy is at a puppy mill. Puppy mills exist solely to make a profit from the sale of puppies. Dogs of breeds that are currently popular are purchased and bred ruthlessly until their popularity wanes. They are then replaced with a new trendy breed.
No attention is paid to bloodlines, genetics nor to any quality standards. There are no redeeming values in a puppy mill – except to the manager’s bank account!