What Constitutes a Puppy Mill?

I want to address this because of a new special forum troll buddy, who’s “friend” has a puppy from a breeder. When presented with mountains of evidence listed by other people about what constitutes a puppy mill, he refuses to recognize that this place shares many features of a dog farm (the word “farm” is even in the kennel name!) So, I present you readers with a list of commonly accepted features associated with puppy mills, and ask you to decide for yourselves. PS, google the name and “puppy mill” pops right up in the search results.

1) USDA license
2) Multiple breeds with multiple litters on the ground
3) Designer breeds and mixes
4) Brokering for larger operations with smaller satelite facilities in cooperation (can be called back yard breeders)
5) Sick and injured dogs lacking medical care
6) Money is the priority
7) Limited health guarantee if any (a 1 year health guarantee is LAUGHABLE!)
8) Seem nice enough, but remember, their job is to make you comfortable so you buy from them, they are salespeople more than anything
9) Will sell to who ever has funds
10) Dogs are not standard and not shown (this is a big deal in Shibas, they need to be within standard and they need to have been shown before being bred)
11) Contract covers sellers’ best interests, if there even is one
12) Lack of health testing (OFA, Penn Hip, Cerf) on breeding dogs but will almost always say “the Vet said it’s healthy” when asked
13) Almost always will NOT mandate spay/neuter or return of dog if new owner is unable to care for it
14) and the list goes on for miles

Just because a dog farm seems to care about and professes to love their dogs, does not negate the facts. Just because the dogs have AKC registration, champions in their history, live indoors and are raised with children, does not rule out shady dealings and questionable motives or ethics. At best, that indicates a backyard breeding operation, where at least more often than not the dogs are actually cared for and there aren’t that many of them, but still…when I read stories about this puggle puppy and this same puppy that almost died, I doubt very much that the intentions go beyond making money in a day and age when so, so many mix breed dogs and purebreds are in need of homes in shelters across the nation.

Don’t take my word, here are some more interpretations. If it looks like a duck….

6 thoughts on “What Constitutes a Puppy Mill?

  1. Yes so true! Thank you for posting this, the information is something that really needs to be communicated widely and I appreciate that you have openly provided the specifics.

  2. Thanks Taro!I wish people were more open about naming mills, but it often turns into a breeder war with one well known breeder throwing their weight around and saying some other breeder is a mill out of spite, when they really aren't, so the politics make it hard (but not impossible) to be o

  3. That should be, "to be open and honest".That said, it is frustrating how so many people new to the breed get sucked into a nice web site that is an obvious mill, and it's absolutely inexcusable how someone who professes to have decades of experience with and knowledge of the breed, makes statements in support of places like this and is unable to tell the difference. Not much of an authority I would say.

  4. The "you have never been there" defense often rings empty, too. All the information you need is publicly available, and it's hard to dispute the concrete facts offered by the breeders themselves.I also give no credence to examples of healthy dogs from mill situations who are less than, say, 5 years old. It would mean so much more to know what a breeder's dogs (and their relatives and offspring) died of, and what afflicted them in old age. It's a lot to hope for a dog that is "perfectly healthy" even as a senior, but there are plenty of genetic diseases that strike in the prime of a dog's life. And when you're talking about a *life commitment*, not something that's gonna help you get your puppy fix for the next year, the first couple years only offer a very limited perspective on a dog's overall health.

  5. @lindsayt while i can't comment on breeder wars (never heard of them before–perhaps because we don't use the shiba forums?), my pack completely agrees with the insights in the second comment.

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