May 29, 2009, Newsletter Issue #48: Dog Breeding Can Be a Big, Bad Business

Tip of the Week

You came across a kennel that had a litter of Cocker Spaniel puppies for sale near you. However, you weren't sure you wanted a Cocker, so you searched for puppies in a few other breeds before you made a final decision on a breed. To your surprise, that kennel had a litter of every single breed available at the same time. That is one big dog breeding operation and you're excited to be able to see puppies from all the breeds you are interested in at one place so close to home. It is great news, isn't it?

Actually, it is not great news. You've probably stumbled upon a puppy mill right in your back yard. There are plenty of bad things about puppy mills that counteract the convenience of seeing a lot of puppies in one place, such as the way parent dogs are housed in small kennels and have one litter after another until they are old and worn out well before their time. Buying a puppy from one of these money making operations helps it stay in business.

If you really want to see a lot of different dogs all at one time, head for the nearest all breed dog show. You'll get to see the best examples of each breed in your area and will know what to look for when you shop for your puppy. In fact, after you decide on the breed that is right for you, you may discover that one of the breeders at the show has a pet quality puppy available.

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Barbara Gibson