FINDING A PUPPY
Finding a Puppy
You should do your research very carefully into where to buy a Pug puppy from if adopting or rescuing a pug is not an option for you. Here are some facts about puppy farming as well as some of the reasons you should never buy a Pug puppy from backyard /commercial breeders or puppy farmers.
A puppy farmer is by definition a high volume breeder who breeds puppies often with little or no regard for the health and welfare of the puppies or their parents. Usually they have more than one breed. They may even be commercially licensed by the local authority and if you want to ensure that you are buying a pup from a loving caring home and not a high volume puppy farm you can check to see how many breeding bitches the establishment is permitted to keep at the Commercial Sale of Puppies website.
A puppy farmer’s main interest is profit. As a result they usually separate puppies from their mothers too early (8 weeks is generally recommended), ignore guidelines about the maximum frequency of litters the mother should have and provide little or no socialisation of puppies. They frequently sell puppies through third parties on the internet or free ad papers. Puppies are often kept in poor unhygenic conditions and breeders fail to apply basic, routine health measures such as vaccinations and worming programs as it impacts on profit. As a result, the puppies bred by puppy farmers are more likely to suffer from common, preventable, infectious diseases, painful as well as chronic inherited conditions, behavioral issues and shorter life spans as a result of prioritising profit over care. The parents of these puppies usually go through life never cuddling up on a sofa, sleeping at someones feet or running free in a sunny garden. When they are no longer of use they are disposed of and the lucky ones will find themselves at a rescue such as Pug Dog Welfare and Rescue Association, at which time their health issues and neglect will be addressed and they will be adopted by families who will love and care for them for the rest of their lives.
The cost of buying a Pug puppy is anything from £1000 upwards, and often a reputable breeder will have waiting list. It is understandable that once a decision has been made to add a Pug to your family that you don’t really want to wait and it is then that an internet or free ad advert begins to look very tempting especially when the price is sometimes less than what was expected. Puppy farmers know this and adverts are appealing. Both the commercial breeder and the backyard breeder are cashing in on the fact that reputable breeders aren’t breeding large numbers of puppies. The ethos of a reputable breeder is quality not quantity. It must be remembered that reputable breeders are not involved with breeding Pugs to make substantial profits, therefore usually the high cost of a Pug puppy from a reputable breeder is because they invest a lot of money into caring for their Pugs including health testing. There are lots of hidden expenses that go with breeding, especially vet care for both the parents and the puppies. So when you find a Pug puppy advertised for sale that is considerably cheaper than a reputable breeder, the chances are high that the breeder is a backyard breeder or puppy farmer and only involved for the money. They will spend as little money and time as possible on the care of the parents and the puppies. By buying from these sources you are condemning these breeding bitches to a loveless life of misery.
You may also see Pugs that are advertised as “RARE or UNIQUE” colours. This is total nonsense and is just aimed at making you think you are buying something special. The truth is that these odd coloured dogs are in all cases not pure bred Pugs, although the other breed may have been generations back and are being bred solely for profit. Kennel Club registration is not a guarantee of purity. See What Colour Should my Puppy be for more information.
Be aware that many puppies are illegally imported into the UK. These pups often have fake passports and of course their mothers are not available to see. They are usually from large scale puppy farms abroad and invariably many weeks younger than stated.
How do you know someone is a reputable breeder you may ask?
A reputable breeder will often be found by recommendations from people who have previously bought a pup from them. So when starting to look for a puppy research breeders and ask for recommendations. Also look at the Kennel Clubs Assured Breeder Scheme for a list of breeders and available puppies. Research people on this scheme too. Never be in a hurry. Time spent at the beginning of your search is far preferable to time spent after your search in the vets with a sick or dying puppy!
A reputable breeder will know the bloodline of the Pug puppy you are buying, they will show you both parents in many cases but as a minimum the pups should ALWAYS be seen with their mother. They will be able to show you extended family members of the pup you are thinking of buying. They will be concerned about being notified if your puppy develops any health problems in the future. A good breeder should always be in a position to answer any questions you may have about any genetic conditions or diseases that Pugs are susceptible to and be able to explain the health tests available for the breed. They will have been taking part in the Pug Breed Councils Five Star Heath Scheme and be able to show you the health test results of their dogs. They will be members of a Breed Club and possibly a Kennel Club Assured Breeder. A reputable breeder will ask you as many questions about your lifestyle and how a puppy will fit in with your family as you will ask about the puppy. They should be able to provide you with a full five generation pedigree of the puppies they have for sale and you will be expected to sign a contract that includes clauses about rehoming ( a reputable breeder will always insist that a dog is rehomed back to them if rehoming becomes necessary), neutering, and breeding. They will provide you with comprehensive information on how they have been caring for the puppy including vaccination and worming dates etc and advice on how to care for the dog in the future.
If you are in ANYWAY unhappy about the pup, the environment, the breeder or what you are being told WALK AWAY!!!
Here are some shocking statistics from a recent Kennel Club Survey:
- One in five people admit that they spent no time researching where to buy their puppy at all, compared to less than one in ten (8 percent) who are prepared to spontaneously decide what shoes to buy.
- More than one third of people admit they are clueless about how to find a reputable breeder for their puppy and are therefore vulnerable to the scams that should ring alarm bells
- People are more likely to fall victim to scams and puppy farmers if they don’t do their research, with almost a quarter (22 percent) saying they think they went to a puppy farm, if they had chosen their pup in 20 minutes or less
- For pups purchased in twenty minutes or less by their owners, almost one in six (15 per cent) experience illness, ongoing veterinary treatment or death in the first six months – three times higher than those chosen in an hour or more
- More than one in five people (21 per cent) suffer financially and the same proportion suffer emotionally if they spent 20 minutes or less researching where to buy a puppy, compared to less than one in ten if they spent longer than an hour.
- More than one in three (34 percent) fail to see the puppy with its mum – a classic sign of a puppy farmer. More than 2 in 5 (41 per cent) of those who suspect that they did not see the puppy with its real mum say that their pup suffered from serious health problems in the first six months, including problems that resulted in ongoing veterinary treatment or death. And 43 per cent experience financial or emotional hardship if they don’t see the mum.