WE BELIEVE THAT: A dog should be a fundamental part of your life,
not an accessory for evenings and weekends or a toy for your children
The way that dogs are bred and sold is at the heart of dog welfare. Potential owners can have a major affect on the quality of life of dogs by undertaking as much research as possible before buying a dog. Alas, too many people buy on looks alone, from dubious sources, and rely on sentiment to guide them.
There are a few general points to bear in mind when buying any dog.
- Never buy a dog without undertaking thorough research, even if you are not a first time owner
- Think about your current circumstances and your likely circumstances for the next 15 years
- Think about what you would do if your circumstances changed so drastically that you could not keep a dog and how this would affect the dog
- Think about what you can offer a dog and whether it will be sufficient
- Think about what type of dog will fit your lifestyle
- Think about who will look after your dog if you need to be away for a short time or a longer time such as an unpredictable stay in hospital
- Budget for preventative health care, legal requirements (collar, lead, tag), food, training, emergencies. Then add at least 10% to cover inflation and contingencies
- Think again about why you want a dog and whether those reasons are going to be sufficient to satisfy fully the needs of the dog
- Never buy a dog via a website or from a pet shop
- Never buy a young puppy without seeing it with its mother in a home setting
- Never buy a dog from a source that advertises several breeds or that calims to be selling on behalf of a breeder
- Never buy a dog if the seller arranges to meet you in a car park or similar location.
NEVER BUY A DOG FROM A PET SHOP OR A WEBSITE
The way that bitches are treated throughout their pregnancy and the way that whelps are handled has a fundamental affect on the rest of their life. If the bitch has not been fed properly, if she has not been wormed, if she has a poor temperament or is an inexperienced or unhappy mother, her puppies will be permanently affected.
Pet shop dogs are usually from puppy farms and are often in poor health. They may have been taken away from their mother when far too young and are unlikely to have been properly socialised. Their mothers are often in very poor condition, undernourished and badly handled and usually permanently caged.
Buying puppies via websites such as Gumtree or Pets4Homes encourages back street breeders who often have no idea how to breed and raise dogs responsibly, and who just want to make money. Buying an older dog means that you will have no reliable way of ensuring where the dog came from and you will undoubtedly be taking on a dog from owners who have not given it a good start in life.
Dogs brought from these sources are unlikely to have had prior health checks, may have been imported illegally or may be being sold via a seller who is a front for a puppy farm.
Never buy a dog because you feel sorry for it. You will just be leaving space for the next sickly specimen and you will have to deal with fundamental problems engendered by poor welfare.
Always see both parents when buying a puppy. Pay attention to the setting, atmosphere and demeanour of the parents. See the puppies with the bitch and, if you suspect that the sire is not genuine, ask for a DNA test before you buy. You can get a good idea of how your puppy will look by seeing the parents and, more importantly, you can assess the temperament. Poor tempered parents produce poor tempered puppies.
There was a fashion for undertaking so-called puppy temperament tests. These have been completely discredited. All they tell you is how the puppy is feeling at the time in those particular circumstances.
If you do not feel sure about what to look for, take an experienced person with you.
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