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You have decided to get a puppy. You have done all the research into the many breeds on offer and finally you have made your decision. It doesn't matter what breed you have chosen because you are certain to find a puppy for sale in the local paper or on the internet. If you're lucky enough there will be a pet store nearby which can get you any breed you desire; you can't go wrong. Well unfortunately all too often it does go wrong - horribly wrong because unscrupulous dog breeders are out there in their thousands; after all you only have to put a dog and a bitch together and nature will take its course. Easy money. Puppies for sale twice a year on average for very little outlay; particularly if you own a puppy farm. Doesn't it sound nice, a farm full of puppies? Well nothing could be further from the truth. Picture a dark and dismal shed of vast proportions, sectioned into tiny 'kennels'. Hardly any light, no windows, no soft and cuddly bed - just straw (if the puppies are lucky) and a half starved mother to feed from. Add to that urine and faeces that are not cleared up and noisy, uncaring people that they see very little of. What a horrible start to life and it's even worse for the breeding bitch who is forced to have litter after litter until she is no longer productive. She won't get a nice retirement in a lovely home for all her hard work though - I will leave it to your imagination to think about her fate and meanwhile, up and down the country, her offspring are sold to unsuspecting customers. To ensure you do not become one of those unsuspecting customers ask around before buying. Consult your vet, a dog trainer, your local dog club or even a responsible dog owner who lives nearby, they will all be happy to help. All of them will tell you that you should never purchase a puppy if it is not viewed with its mother and obviously this means obtaining one from a shop is definitely out. However, even if you go to a private house or farm you may be told that you cannot see the mother with the pups. One excuse that may be used is that the 'mother' gets aggressive if strangers are near her litter. Well there are two things wrong with that statement. One is that if the mother is so aggressive should she be having pups and passing on her aggression/protection issues? The second is that even if the mother is naturally a bit protective you can always look at the pups, with their mother, from a short distance after which the breeder can remove mum form the scene whilst you get hands on with her offspring. The main reason for a bitch not being kept with the litter when you go to view them is because she is not their mother; the people dealing in the trade will try anything and tell any kind of lie just to get you to see a puppy after which your heart will probably rule your head. To assist with conquering your emotions consider the following. It is a well known fact that dogs from a Puppy Farm often have many problems. Because they live out their first few weeks without normal human contact and socialisation, farmed puppies can often be extremely nervous and timid. This quality may make you even more determined to buy the trembling bundle of fur as you feel it needs you to protect and nurture it, but you could be courting disaster. The nervousness can easily turn into aggression; timidity is not a good quality in a dog. Stuck in a dark shed with no experience of general household noises such as washing machines, hoovers, children, TV, radio and all the other things that happen every day is bad for the puppy. Once you get him home and he is suddenly exposed to what we consider normality he may become very anxious indeed. Add to that his lack of socialisation with people and other dogs and it's no wonder that farmed puppies often suffer form a gamut of psychological problems, some of which may turn out to be severe and damaging. Added to this are the physical defects which are often the result of interbreeding or infections which arise from being kept in unsanitary conditions. Unprincipled breeders are not a bit interested in blood lines and often siblings may be mated which of course is definitely not recommended. You may think you are buying a genuine pedigree as you are given what appears to be genuine paperwork but all too often on closer inspection the paperwork is worthless. Unfortunately Puppy Farming is widespread in the UK. The RSPCA estimate that there are around 2000 'breeding establishments' in Wales alone and that around 50,000 puppies are imported every year from Ireland. Lots of puppies; lots of easy money for those without a conscience whilst in the meantime animal shelters are desperately full and thousands of unwanted dogs are being euthanised every year. To avoid unwillingly participating in such a nasty business always ensure that the puppy you are thinking of buying has come from a caring and responsible breeder. That means checking everything very carefully; the house, the mother, her offspring, the people that are selling. If you are even slightly uncomfortable about anything at all don't do it. Trust your instincts. Your ill judged, emotion driven purchase can so easily lead to heartbreak and massive bills. Try to harden your heart and do not purchase a puppy that you feel sorry for - you are doing the right thing in the long run because if there are no customers the farming of puppies will cease. And remember - a responsible, genuine dog breeder will never supply puppies to pet shops, stores or garden centres.
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