How Can You Tell a Good Breeder from a Puppy Mill? (Explained!)

Since responsible breeders choose to breed for love rather than profit, the care and health of their puppies is often far superior to that of puppies produced in puppy mills. If a breeder agrees to meet you to give over your new puppy without registration paperwork, a vet check, or the option to view their parents, you’re most likely dealing with a puppy mill.

Continue reading to learn more about how to tell the difference between a reputable dog breeder and a puppy mill, including why you should always seek out reputable breeders and how to avoid purchasing from a puppy mill.

What is a Puppy Mill?

Puppy mills are cruel high-volume dog breeding facilities that produce puppies for profit while disregarding the needs of both the pups and their mom. Puppy mill dogs are frequently unwell and unsocialized. Online classified advertisements, internet sales, pet stores and flea markets are frequent ways puppy mills sell their puppies. Puppy mills produce the bulk of pups sold in pet shops and online.

Are Puppy Mills Illegal?

Unfortunately, puppy mills are not all prohibited. Although there are laws protecting animals, there are several loopholes in the system regarding animal breeding. Puppy factories and unethical breeders exploit these gaps.

Puppies mills are not illegal as long as they are provided with adequate food, water, and shelter. A breeding kennel in several states may house hundreds of dogs in cages at any given time. They can live there for the rest of their lives, and the owners/breeders are not obligated to offer them medical treatment, exercise, interaction, or affection regularly.

Are Backyard Breeders Considered Puppy Mills?

Backyard breeders, puppy mills, and breeders that are registered but do not offer proper care for their dogs are examples of bad breeders.

The phrase “backyard breeder” is occasionally used to characterize dog breeders with little expertise or understanding, care for their dogs in inadequate conditions, and do not breed selectively. Backyard breeders usually don’t take the effort to create acceptable genetic matches or register their dogs with the relevant kennel club or breed group.

Unfortunately, not all dog breeders are trustworthy and ethical. Some people are more concerned with making money than with the well-being of their animals. Others think they are doing the right thing but lack the necessary knowledge and expertise to be successful breeders.

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Why Are Puppy Mills Considered Bad?

Puppy mills and backyard breeders do not breed healthy dogs and frequently reproduce sick or diseased pups that can be purchased for a low price. Their expenses are kept to a minimum, and their profits are maximized.

Conditions in puppy mills are typically filthy, dogs aren’t health-tested, and females are bred as many times as they can till they die. Dogs are frequently kept in cages to make room for more breeding hens, and puppies are rarely socialized or given good exposure to the outside world. Puppy mill puppies are known for having severe behavioural and health issues while appearing beautiful on the outside.

This, unfortunately, raises the likelihood of sick pups. The puppies, like the mother, receive little to no medical treatment once they are delivered. Puppy mills do not handle their puppies; this implies that there will be no handling, love, or care. Unfortunately, this hands-off approach to dog breeding can cause irreversible harm and behaviours in your new puppy.

What is a Reputable Breeder?

A reputable breeder is someone or a company that takes pleasure in producing quality dogs. The most outstanding breeders to work with are those who are simple to detect. The American Kennel Club or other regulating bodies will register their canines. They’ll also have professional websites and health certifications to show for it.

These responsible breeders aren’t interested in maximizing profits. Instead, they are focused on covering their costs and earning reasonable pay, but, more significantly, they are more concerned with the breed’s health and future. They will vet their dogs to ensure they are healthy enough to breed. This means that their puppies will be in the best possible health.

Why are Responsible Breeders Considered Better than Puppy Mills?

Responsible breeders are reputable breeders, often known as hobby breeders. Above all, they are concerned about their dogs’ well-being and long-term viability and breed. They have a precise goal in mind when it comes to breeding and carefully selecting mating partners. 

Responsible breeders have a thorough understanding of their breed’s history, health problems, genetic susceptibilities, and behavioural issues. These reputable breeders go to great lengths to breed away from any potential health and behavioural issues, spending astronomical sums on genetic screening and health clearances for silent diseases like hip dysplasia and von Willebrand’s disease.

Future, current, and previous puppy buyers may expect lifetime knowledge and assistance from reputable breeders. They provide contracts and warranties, as well as the option to return any puppies they’ve bred at any time.

How to Spot the Difference Between a Reputable Breeder and a Puppy Mill?

When it comes to finding a new family member, dog owners want to ensure their new puppy comes from the greatest possible breeding and surroundings. You are most likely dealing with a puppy mill if you come across an organization with frequent marketing for puppy sales or if the breeder wants to meet you off property for your puppy pick-up.

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A veterinarian should also certify the pups. It’s a significant red flag if someone can’t show confirmation that their animals have previously gotten standard veterinarian treatment. Puppies can begin receiving immunizations at six weeks of age and should be up to date when you bring them home.

How Much Will a Puppy from a Reputable Breeder Cost?

Aside from the elements that influence the breed you choose, the reputation of the breeder is crucial. You might expect to pay hundreds of dollars for a puppy if you want one from an award-winning breeder or a particular pedigree.

A well-bred puppy might cost anywhere from $1000 to $3000, depending on the breed and the costs of whelping and rearing them. Brokers and puppy mills know that in customers’ minds, price means quality, therefore expect them to demand high prices for their puppies as well.