Adding a new furry companion into your home involves a long decision-making process. It all starts with choosing where you can get one. The most popular source of dogs in the Philippines are the puppy millers or backyard breeders. If you're considering to get a puppy from these breeders, there are some things that you should know about them first.
What are puppy mills and backyard breeders?A puppy mill is a derogatory term for an establishment or place where backyard breeding takes place. Backyard breeding refers to the type of breeding with little regard to the health or condition of the animals used. These backyard breeders mass-produce puppies and offer them for sale in pet stores or online.
Many pet organizations advise against buying from them due to the fact that these establishments sacrifice the emotional and physical health and welfare of dogs just so they can minimize overhead costs and maximize their profits.
Puppy millers or backyard breeders often violate the recommended rules for responsible breeding by breeding the female dogs every chance they get with only little or no recovery time. They are usually being bred twice a year. At that rate, they can no longer be able to reproduce at the age of 5 to 7. Beyond that age, those who have completely lost their capability to reproduce are usually being disposed, resold, abandoned, or worse, killed to give space and cut costs.
Another problem is that the dogs that they produce are not always registered or have fake licenses from Philippine Canine Club, Inc (PCCI). Registering your dog with the premiere dog registration body in your country is important to ensure the preservation of your pet’s pedigree.
How to identify Backyard Breeders?If you want to ensure that you're not buying a dog from a puppy miller or backyard breeder, you must know how to identify them. That’s easy. You just have to look for the following signs:
- The establishment sells different types of purebred dogs (more than 3 types of breeds).
- The breeder sells puppies as young as six weeks old.
- The seller hesitates in showing you the breeding and living space of the dogs.
- They do not make a commitment to take the puppies back. Responsible breeders offer their clients lifetime guarantees.
- They do not ask too many questions from you. Responsible breeders are concerned about what kind of life the puppy will have when you adopt them.
- They advertise their business in newspapers and online more often than they should.
- The breeder offers new or rare hybrids. Responsible breeders do not experiment with breeding.
If the seller you are talking to exhibits any or all of the red flags mentioned above, it is best that you cancel the transaction immediately - or better yet, report them to Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
Why buying from backyard breeders is not recommendedIf you'll compare the price of the puppies from a puppy mill from those from a responsible breeder, the former is a lot more affordable. However, there are other things that are more important than the puppy's selling price - the much bigger price you'll have to pay eventually.
• Health conditionsSince these backyard breeders do not take the needed precautionary measures in breeding dogs (most of them are fans of inbreeding), genetic diseases may develop. The sad part is, symptoms of such diseases will only show up during the latter part of your furry friend’s life, which may lead to higher veterinary bills or even sudden death.
• Behavioral problemsOne of the things that this type of breeder overlooks is the process of temperament selection. Their puppies are being sold before they even turn 8 weeks old, which is too young for them to be separated from their mothers. This may lead to socialization difficulties and eventually to serious behavioral problems that will be too difficult to correct.
Negative implications of backyard breedersPatronizing this type of breeders have far bigger implications than you can ever think of. If people will continue buying from these breeders, we will have to face these consequences in the long run.
• There will no longer be quality dog breeds in the future.Since these breeders experiment with mixing breeds, the genetic superiority of purebred canines will become diluted and will be mixed with other traits that will weaken the overall integrity and quality of our existing breeds.
• Dogs will have more health problems.Since these breeders have no regard for safety, security and hygiene, the dogs that they are breeding and will breed will be prone to infections and may harbor harmful microorganisms which can be passed along to other dogs and pups among their pack.
• There will be a large population of unregistered dogs or dogs with fake registrations.Since most of the dogs that come from these breeders have no certifications, the regulation and registration of animals will be difficult and it would become impossible to trace their genetic origins in the long run. The use of fake papers will increase more, and as a result, we can no longer guarantee if the puppy we're buying is a quality and purebred pup. Who knows? That cute little dog you're in love to might be a result of inbreeding.
We, as responsible dog owners and pawrents, have the power to put a stop to this inhumane breeding process. We can do that by not patronizing these puppy mills and backyard breeders. If you're planning to buy a dog, only buy from reputable breeders. You can find most of them at PCCI shows (Philippine Circuit Shows, etc.).