Where do Pugs come from?

Not everyone wants to adopt through a rescue.  The wait may be too long, the right fit may not come, or one may want a puppy.

That's OK !! Knowing how to look for a dog is the best thing!
Breeder • Puppy Mill • Pet Store

Prospective buyers should keep these definitions in mind when seeking a puppy to add to their lives.

There are so many different types of breeders, people & facilities where puppies and dogs can come from.

Pet Store Puppies come from Puppy Mills!!!

Responsible / Hobby breeder:

Responsible Breeders are breeders who care what genetics they are breeding down the line. They know exactly who the sire and dam are and their genetic make up for numerous previous generations.

The dogs they have bred have been tested and certified for their eyes and hips.  Not just looked at by a vet to say "he or she is healthy and looks good, go ahead and breed".  X-rays have been done for their hips and knees, testing has been done on their eyes to guarantee a healthy dog from genetic problems for the rest of it's life.

This type of breeder should be able to show you ALL medical records.

A puppy will be more expensive from a responsible breeder as they put more money into the puppies with the testing, lineage tracing etc. 

They follow a breeding plan intended to preserve each breed; produce a limited number of litters each year; breeds only when a litter will enhance the breed and the breeding program; raises the puppies with plenty of environmental stimulation and human contact; has a contract that protects breeder, puppy, and buyer; raises dog in the house or runs a small, clean kennel; screens breeding stock to eliminate hereditary defects; works with a breed club or kennel club to promote and protect the breed; and cares that each and every puppy is placed in the best home possible.

Learn how to read websites or ads that sell puppies or animals: What is in a website? by Karen Peak

Then there are these people..........

If you run into an irresponsible breeder, please take down as much information as you can and see our section below to report your findings and concerns.

Puppy Mill:

A breeder who produces puppies with no breeding program, little attention to puppy placement, and poor health and socialization practices.

Conditions in puppy mills are generally substandard and may be deplorable, and puppies and adult dogs used for breeding are malnourished, sickly, and of poor temperament.  And their lives are miserable.  When their breeding usefulness is over, they may be killed or dumped. 

Large-scale mills do not take their older dogs to shelters, as a rule, because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves.

Puppies in PET STORES & online pet stores are from PUPPY MILLS.

NO reputable breeder, ANYWHERE, would give their puppies to a PET STORE.

Kitchen Breeder

Tends to be
the average pet owner that breeds their dog(s).   The dog owner's pet either gets bred by accident or who breeds on purpose for a variety of reasons. 
This "breeder" may not know of
the breed standard, genetics, behavior, and good health practices.  Kitchen Breeders tend to think, 'Hey, why not breed my dogs? My dog is simply adorable! or 'There are so many people out there who want them.' or 'Maybe I can make a little money too?'  

These are well meaning
people who may not know any better. 

The dogs bred have NOT been tested and certified for their eyes and hips. They ARE just looked at by a vet to say "he or she is healthy and looks good, go ahead and breed".  X-rays have NOT been done for their hips and knees, testing has been done on their eyes to guarantee a healthy dog from genetic problems for the rest of it's life.

They may have gotten their first dog from a pet store/"breeder" or as a gift - hence a puppy mill.  They think they are perfect in every way but who knows what really may be wrong with him/her.  Genetic problems don't show up until the dog is at least a year old if not 2 years old....sometimes other issues arise later in life.  By this time, the kitchen breeder has already bred his or her dog most likely a few times and the problems continue.

You will see these "breeders" advertised in the paper, eBay Ads, craigslist or kijiji or social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace for approx $400 - $1200.

Backyard Breeder: 

Backyard Breeders are typically people who have more than one breed of dog whom they breed litter after litter, sell the puppies at 6 - 7 weeks or younger....and don't care who they sell to as long as they have the cash to pay for the dog. 

They may give a 24 hour health guarantee, which is a HUGE red flag.  They don't care if two weeks from now your dog has health problems - they have their money and you have your unhealthy dog.  They give no consideration which adults they are breeding or where they come from.  If one has a genetic problem, so be it, 'not all the puppies will have it'.  They are only in the dog business to make a quick buck.

You will see these "breeders" advertised in the paper, eBay Ads, craigslist or kijiji or social networking sites such as Facebook for approx $200 - $600.

Commercial breeder:

One who usually has several breeds of dogs with profit as the primary motive for existence.  Commercial breeders are supposed to be inspected by USDA, state agencies, or the American Kennel Club & have "adequate conditions". 

Commercial breeders that sell directly to the public often fall through the regulatory cracks unless they do business in a state that licenses commercial kennels.  

Dogs in these kennels may be healthy or not and their conditions may be acceptable or not. The dogs are probably not screened for genetic diseases, and the breeding stock may or may not be selected for resemblance to the breed standard or for good temperament.

These dogs come from PUPPY MILLS.  A responsible breeder would never hand over their puppies to an establishment like this...EVER.

Broker: One who buys puppies from commercial kennels and sells to retail outlets or other kennels.

Brokers ship puppies on airlines or by truckload throughout the country. Brokers must be licensed by USDA and must abide by the shipping regulations in the Animal Welfare Act.  You often see these puppies in silly costumes and baskets on various website with "Available for Immediate Shipment" and things like that.

One who collects dogs of unknown origin for sale to laboratories or other bunchers or brokers.

Bunchers are considered lower on the evolutionary scale than puppy mill operators, for there is much suspicion that they buy stolen pets, collect pets advertised as "Free to a good home," and adopt unwanted pets from animal shelters for sale to research laboratories.

The bottom line is that responsible breeders do not sell dogs through pet stores, because they want to personally meet and interview the person who will be caring for their puppy.

For more information on Puppy Mills:  Inside a Puppy Mill or What is a Puppy Mill?

  • There are literally thousands of puppy mills in existence all over the country, and most of them are not required to register with any one agency.  There are so many unregulated puppy mills that to publish a list of the known or "problem" mills may give the public a false impression that any establishment that is not on the list is "safe."  Nothing could be farther from the truth, however.  
  • In fact, some problematic puppy mills have been known to change their names and locations frequently to evade their reputations.
  • Legislation is key to ensuring lasting change for animals. But just passing a law to ban puppy mills—an idea that's often proposed—isn't that easy. Anyone who has worked on legislation—even on something as basic as stopping abuse—can tell you that bringing a bill from an idea into a law is a long and difficult process.
  • The commercial pet industry has a lobbying force with significant financial resources at its command and it consistently fights against measures that would improve animal care standards.

What you can do if you suspect that there is a puppy mill in your area or a breeding facility with unacceptable conditions:

  • These forms are used to track problem pet sellers and target the worst offenders for possible further actionPet Seller Complaint Form
  • If you have seen specific evidence of cruelty or neglect, such as animals without food and water, sick dogs who are not being treated, or dogs without adequate shelter from the elements, the first agency to contact is a local agency with law enforcement powers, such as the breeder's local humane society, animal control agency or police or sheriff's department.
  • Prepare specific details of your complaint in advance, and get a case number or contact information related to your case.
  • If you do not hear back from the local authorities within a week, please call them back to ask for an update.
  • If you can't get local help (for the situation or are not sure who to call, please contact the HSUS at stoppuppymills@humanesociety.org

The Animal Welfare Act

The Animal Welfare Act is administered by the US Department of Agriculture. The act lists several categories of businesses that "handle" dogs:

  • Pet dealers who import, buy, sell, trade or transport pets in wholesale channels;
  • Pet breeders who breed for the wholesale trade, whether for selling animals to other breeders or selling to brokers or directly to pet stores or laboratories; and
  • Laboratory animal dealers, breeders, bunchers, auction operators and promoters of contests in which animals are given as prizes.
  • Hobby breeders who sell directly to pet stores are exempt from licensing if they gross less than $500 per year and if they own no more than three breeding females.