Answering your questions and more…………………………………
There are so many places to get a dog. Is it possible to make the right choice?
Choosing the right dog can be both a complex and emotional experience. With so many avenues available, such as the internet, breeders, rescue centres and classifieds, knowing where to get a dog can seem like an impossible task. We hope to help you make the right informed choices with this guide.
I would like to rescue a dog but I’m concerned rescue dogs have issues and problems?
Dogs find themselves in rescue centres for a variety of reasons and rescue centres assess all dogs to establish if any questions or problems exist. They will then work to address these issues before finding the dog a new home. The majority of dogs in rescue centres find themselves there through no fault of their own. They are often already housetrained, ready to be part of a family and full of love. They are just waiting for somewhere new to call home.
I would like to rescue a dog but I want a puppy and aren’t all rescue dogs fully grown?
Although a lot of dogs in rescue centres are fully developed, they also often have puppies that have been brought in because they are unwanted or have been born in rescue centres. A lot of people don’t realise that a dog isn’t considered fully grown until around 18-24 months old. So even if you’re considering a puppy, you might fall in love with a rescue dog that is already grown. It’s best to keep an open mind and an open heart when visiting a reputable rescue centre.
I would like to rescue a dog but what if I don’t meet the rescue centre’s criteria?
Rescue centres work very hard to ensure all dogs are placed in an appropriate forever home. However, on the rare occasion a dog and family aren’t the perfect matches, the rescue centre will be very supportive and ask that the dog is returned to them so they can find their right forever home. Although rescue centres often conduct home visits and ask that new owners meet certain basic criteria such as having a secure garden, most, if not all rescue centres, are more concerned with finding a loving home for their dogs than with ‘ticking boxes’. So, please take the time to discuss your concerns about their checks and criteria and explain that you will give a dog a loving forever home. Also, remember that all rescue centres are different, so don’t discount them all if one discounts you.
I’ve heard the term ‘puppy farms’ but what does it mean?
Puppy farms are the dog equivalent of battery chicken farms. The mothers and puppies are locked in sheds, barns, caravans and any number of inappropriate buildings. These sentient companion animals are treated like livestock but are often afforded less respect than sheep, cattle or pigs. They experience little human contact and spend their lives in cramped pens or cages with no natural light. Battery farmed dogs and puppies often sleep on cold concrete floors covered in a little sawdust and can be forced to lie in their own urine and excrement. Sometimes they can be left for long periods without food and clean water. The mothers are used as breeding machines, giving birth in squalor and then having their pups taken from them too soon. Unlike the puppies who leave this hellish existence, their mothers will often endure eight years like this until their bodies can no longer produce at which point they are disposed of.
I’ve heard about puppy farms. Are there many and should I be concerned?
Wales has been dubbed the puppy farming capital of the UK. Tens of thousands of puppies are trafficked out of Wales every year, destined for sale in the UK in pet shops, through newspaper ads and on the internet. Breeding establishments can house hundreds of dogs, which are often kept penned inside for 24 hours a day. Dogs that are battery farmed will frequently suffer painfully matted coats, eye and teeth infections and poor health. Their puppies may carry hereditary diseases and often experience behavioural and psychological problems because they are not brought up in a loving, socialised environment. So, yes, you should be concerned.
If I buy a puppy that is Kennel Club (KC) registered does this mean my puppy is not from a puppy farm?
Please don’t assume that because a seller claims their litter is KC registered that this is a reflection of they way the mother, father and puppies are cared for. It is purely a registration document. Puppy farmers and backyard breeders use this tool to mislead the public. KC registration is no guarantee and should not be relied upon.
How can I be sure my puppy does not come from a puppy farm?
There are no guarantees because puppy farming is rife, but our best advice is NEVER to buy from:
- Pet shops. Online ads, newspaper classifieds
- A particular ad on public notice boards
- Where only a mobile number is given
- Where someone offers to deliver a puppy
Always see the puppy in the environment where it has been raised and ensure you see the parents.
I want to buy a puppy from a breeder. How can I be sure the breeder is reputable?
If you do decide to buy a puppy from a breeder, ensure the puppy has been raised and socialised in a caring home environment. Most reputable breeders do not sell more than three breeds of dog. Make sure you see the mother with here puppies. Check that she appears well and has a good temperament and that her puppies are fit and healthy. Never let the puppies and mother be brought to you. Always ask to go to the puppies and mother so you can see where they ‘live’. If possible, see the pup’s father as well.
Never buy a puppy less than eight weeks old. Ask to see proof of health testing for the breed you have chosen to ensure the chances of genetic diseases, which are common in pure breed dogs, have been minimised. A good breeder will support you and your puppy long after you’ve taken your pup home.
REMEMBER, A DOG IS FOR LIFE, NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS