Are the Amish Puppy Mill Breeders? (Solved & Explained!)

It would be more useful to ask ‘Are all Amish puppy mill breeders?” and if you did, then the answer would be no. That said, a number of Amish breeders are considered to be ‘puppy mills’ and this is believed to be because they view them as working animals, rather than pets.

Dogs can be quite useful for herding other animals, for instance, and be used for this purpose. Living outside, they partake in the daily work, rather than living in the home with the family. Not all dogs will be treated this way, of course, and some Amish definitely do have a closer bond with their animals.

So, are the Amish puppy mill breeders? Some are, some are not – they’re people just like you and I and that means you will have irresponsible breeders and responsible ones. Use your best judgement!

For the remainder of this article, we’ll answer some popular questions trending highly this week on the subject of Amish dog breeders. What percentage of puppy mills are Amish?

How can you tell an Amish puppy mill?

While all Amish puppy vendors aren’t going to fall into the ‘puppy mill’ category, there are some signs that you can look for to tell you if you are dealing with one Amish breeder who DOES look questionable. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • If the breeder will not let you see where the dogs are kept.
  • If the breeder does not know anything about the parents or won’t let you see them.
  • Offering a puppy at too young an age (below 8 weeks old)
  • No health paperwork
  • More than one breed is offered

If you see any of these signs, then you might well be dealing with a puppy mill and should consider taking your business elsewhere!

Are the Amish the biggest puppy mill breeders?

Statistically, it certainly looks that way, but you’ll want to evaluate information on your own. That said, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is considered the ‘puppy mill capital’ of the United States and this market is controlled mostly by the Amish. How do Amish view their dogs?

Read on for answers to these and other important questions to get the information you need before dealing with an Amish dog breeder.

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How are dogs treated in an Amish puppy mill?

In worse case scenarios, dogs are simply viewed the way that livestock is viewed by many farmers. They are keep for breeding, often in close quarters or even in cages, and bred until their usefulness is gone. That said, non-Amish puppy mills are often run the same way and not all Amish breeders are going to be puppy mills.

These are people, after all, and puppy mills are a people problem, not bound to a specific group.

How do Amish debark dogs?

This process is largely considered to be cruel and is banned in Pennsylvania, unless it is performed humanely by a vet and with proper sedation and anesthesia, but ‘debarking’, as it is called,  involves removing tissue from a dog’s vocal chords so that the volume of their bark is reduced.

Also known as ‘devocalization’, this is unnecessary and potentially dangerous– after all, you can train dogs to be quiet, and surgery is always a risky option to begin with.

How do Amish view their dogs?

People are people, so please keep in mind that not all Amish are going to view dogs a certain way. That said, many Amish view dogs simply as working animals, rather than pets, much like a non-Amish farmer might view a donkey or a carthorse.

As we’ve mentioned, this is not the view of all Amish – some certainly consider dogs to be companions, as well as work animals, and will treat their dogs as kindly as a non-Amish owner would. It all depends on the individual person, so don’t pre-judge an Amish dog breeder – just check out their business firsthand and use your best judgement.

Are dogs always treated badly by the Amish?

No, not at all. People are individuals, after all, and you will have some Amish that treat their dogs strictly like work animals, such as mules, while others will love their dog like a member of the family. It all boils down to the belief of the person that you are dealing with.

So, like you would with any dog breeder, investigate on your own. See where the dogs are kept and how they are kept. Ask to meet the puppy’s parents. A few quick questions will let you know exactly how a breeder feels about their dogs and that will tell you all that you need to know.

Are all Amish dog breeders bad?

Of course not. When it comes to any dog breeder, there is a potential for good or bad — the only way to know is to ask probing questions.

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When dealing with an Amish breeder, keep in mind that the dogs re intended to be obedient and hardworking, and focus your checking on seeing see how they are kept and how many dogs there are.

With a large number of dogs and few people to manage them, then you cannot expect them to be well-cared for, but seeing how they are housed and treated should tell you all that you need. You’ll quickly see that there are good breeders and bad breeders among the Amish, just like with anyone else.

What percentage of puppy mills are Amish?

According to sources such as PetPedia, approximately 98% of the puppy mills that have been identified in Ohio are Amish puppy mills. That said, without a lot of details on the study, it’s really hard to say if this may or may not be considered an accurate assessment.

Your best bet is to investigate ANY breeder that you are considering doing business with to make sure that they are not running a ‘puppy mill’ that is more concerned with quick profits rather than humanely raising healthy pups.

How do I find a reputable Amish breeder?

You do this the way that you would find any reputable breeder – you’ll need to meet and interview the breeder on your own. Ask to see where the dogs are housed. Meet the parents of the pup that you are considering. Note how the breeder talks about and treats their animals in-person.

All of these things are quite important, though if you see many, many pups and lots of different breeds, then that is one of the biggest red flags. Even then, check to make sure that multiple families aren’t involved.

What looks like a puppy mill might simply be a cooperative effort by more than one family and you won’t know if you don’t investigate.

Do Amish dog breeders care for their dogs?

Good breeders of any kind care highly about their dogs. Not only will they do their best to ensure that the dogs are in excellent health, but they will likely have a lot of questions for you before they will agree to sell you a pup.

Puppies will be raised in clean conditions with adequate space to play and you’ll be able to tell whether or not the owner cares for their animals. If this scenario seems to be true, then you are likely dealing with a reputable breeder who does indeed care for their dogs.

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