October 2, 2009, Newsletter Issue #66: Breeder or Broker

Tip of the Week

As you ask some breeders a few questions, you may notice that a pattern is emerging. The breeder is vague about the whereabouts of the adult dogs. One is on an outing with family members, despite the fact that she has a litter of six week old puppies. Another is at the groomers. A third was actually a friend's dog and the friend took the animal back. What is going on here?

Some people who call themselves dog breeders are not actually breeders. In fact, despite the fact that they have puppies coming out their ears, they may not own a single adult dog. These people are actually brokers, or people who buy entire litters from hobby breeders, puppy mills, or accidental breeders and resell them. Many brokers will also buy puppies from Amish families that do not want the added hassle of dealing with customers. You can get a sweet pet from a broker, but the chance of it being a very healthy, beautiful example of the breed is on the slim side.

The problems with brokered puppies are:

You have no idea where the puppy was actually born and raised. The conditions could have been deplorable. Socialization was probably minimal before the puppy reached the broker, who was probably too busy caring for several dozen puppies to really work with your dog. There are probably no pictures of parent dogs and there is no way to know their temperament.

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