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Old 08-09-2007, 11:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Puppy Mills & BYB'S - Please read this before you buy

I'll be the first to admit, I love puppies as much as the next person, especially boxer puppies, those cute little coneheads and wrinkly faces steal my heart..Having said that, I have also learned that there are alarming number of puppy mills and backyard breeders out there that sadly sell puppies that could have some serious issues later on.. Both healthwise and in behavior...When you pay a good amount of money for a pup, it is in your best interest as well as that pup to make sure you are getting the best you possibly can!
All of us have at one time or another have walked past a pet store window and seen a window full of cute puppies, have you ever stopped and considered where these cuties come from? Puppy mills...So what is a puppy mill? Anytime you buy from a pet store, you can be almost guaranteed those pups have come from a mill...A puppy mill is in the business of making money, no thoughts what so ever about the health of either the pups or the mother...Typically a bitch will be bred over & over, no rest in between litters, no health testing done on either her or the stud..You will get maybe a week to have your pup tested when you bring it home, after that anything that happens, is all on you! No guarantee at all.. Typically a puppy mill deals with brokers to aquire pups from everywhere, no questions asked, again no guarantees...Puppy mills are also not specialized by breed. It is not that uncommon for them to be selling up to 2 dozen different breeds at the same time. These people do not know dogs, or the individual breeds, they are just looking at dollar signs.

A backyard breeder really isnt much better. Generally they will "specialize" meaning breed only one type of dog, but that isn't always the case. A backyard breeder may know some about the breed that they have, but if you quiz them enuf, you will find chinks...Health testing, "oh yes, the vet said she is fine"...Stud, "he's a gorgous dog, very nice temper". Well these are not the answers you want to hear....I did a sticky on looking for a reputable breeder, so please refer to that, but I will go over some very iomportant facts you should know....Both bitch & stud should have all the required ABC (am boxer club) health tests done with good results. Bitch should have had 2 seasons prior to whelping a litter...Ask for a pedigree! You want to see a minimum of 3 generations. Look for that CH next to a dogs name, that indicates that he has "finished" in the ring, I like to see it no further back than the grandparents...Ask to see the parents, you can judge a lot by watching them and how they interact....A reputable breeder almost always sells pups on a spay/neuter contract with limited registration, which means no breeding! They also guarantee their pups against certain illnesses, generally they will replace a pup if that happens...Here is an excellent link about the differences between a BYB and a reputable breeder. I encourage everyone that is considering a puppy to read this. http://www.jlhweb.net/Boxermap/reputablebreeder.html

I haven't even touched on the behavior issues you can encounter when you buy from a puppy mill or a Byb. They are numerous.. Bad breeding means bad behavior can very likely happen. You owe it to yourself, your family & your pup to do as much research as possible, ask questions, talk to people that know and please, don't just fall that cute face and make an impulse decision.

Here are some thought from Liz in regards to behavior and training.....
As Willow (samsonsmom) has already stated, these dogs can have major health issues, but I'm not going to talk about that. You know about that already. I'm going to talk to you about the training and behavioral issues likely to arise with a puppy bought from a BYB or Puppy Mill. A lot of these puppies leave their littermates and dam's WAY to early as well as being weaned to early. The effect of this is that they do not get t he opportunity to learn appropriate behaviors from their littermates and dam. Behaviors like bite inhibition, polite play, dog body language, etc...etc...etc...

These poor animals will generally require more training time and may even have behavioral issues (even as a very young pup). To add to the stress of this, your pup will likely become ill. That will compound training and behavioral issues. Why?, you ask...Would you want to learn something new when you are sick or in pain? Would you want someone to require you to not protect your food bowl or be overly protective of your mom when your hips hurt? When a dog is ill, training needs to take a back seat. You can train "light and easy", but nothing strenuous or that will require a lot of activity, thinking, or long term obedience (ie: meaning long stay or wait). This translates into training taking far longer and behavioral issues going unresolved for longer periods resulting in resolving the behavior taking longer as well (the longer an issue goes without being resolved the more "set" it becomes, in turn it takes longer to get rid of).

The moral of this story:
Do your research, check with AKC and ABC, check shelters and rescues, talk to people that have bought from that breeder, get referrals from quality breeders, go to AKC sanctioned events, talk to a vet and get referrals from them, etc...etc...etc...

And on a final note...
If you are set on getting a dog with no background (medical or otherwise, to include pedigree or knowledge of parents) then get a rescue. Rescues are great dogs!!! They get puppies in all the time and will even get dam's about to deliver. Even a young adult or adult dog is a great addition to your family!!! They have calmed down a bit, may have some training, and even if they don't have any training...they tend to be a bit easier to work with!!!

I hope that this, in conjunction with Willow's sticky and the BYB/Puppy Mill stories, will help you determine a better route to take to get your new Boxer puppy.

--WILLOW---Owned by *Angel 8/8/05 & Flick 3/8/08
Samson, waiting at the bridge 8/27/08

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