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Home      Pyr's     Responsible Breeders     Evaluating aBreeder

Why you should NEVER buy from a Pet Store

  Keep in mind that pet store puppies carry a much heftier price tag, then from a responsible breeder.

  Your walking in a mall, you pass the big window of the pet store; inside is adorable little puppies playing. You think to yourself  "AWWWW".

  I used to think the same way. Until I learned some disturbing FACTS.

  Now when I see those cute puppies faces, instead of awww, my heart drops in my chest, and my throat gets tight.

  Not only am I terrified for them and their rather shaky future, but thinking about where they come from......How's their mother?  I wonder if she is dirty, hungry....still alive? If she is, she is most definitely pregnant again!

  The FACT is that most puppies in pet stores are products of  commercial breeders (puppy mills).

  Puppy mills are in a sense dog farms. They mass-produce puppies for the pet store market. Some boast that they are "licensed" or "inspected". This by no means indicates  that their dogs are cared for in a proper humane fashion. Or that their stock is of good quality. In my opinion all it means is, because they are running a huge business, the government wants their fair share, and requires them to be licensed as a business....for a fee.

  They use poor quality dogs as their breeding stock, and do not care if they have inheritable genetic defects. Which they WILL pass on to their pups.

  These dogs are kept in over crowed, too small, often very filthy cages, and never have any meaningful human contact.

  They are bred as soon as possible when they themselves are still babies, and they never get any type of medical tests or veterinary care.

  The breeding dogs are destroyed and discarded when they out live their breeding usefulness. Or until their literally bred to death!

  Serious and careless inbreeding occurs at a disturbing rate.  As a result, these puppies are plagued with health problems, and many of them never adapt to life with humans.

  Something to think about, how many of that "puppy in the pet store's" siblings actually made it to selling age???? Not all, I assure you.

Don't believe the store clerk, who tells you, "We only get our puppies from good "private small breeders". That is a LIE, plain and simple! NO good breeder ever sells to pets stores or brokers.....NEVER! In fact it is against the bi-laws of ALL the breed club's Code of Ethics!!

  Alot of the pet stores do get their dogs from Brokers, who buy the dogs from puppy mills, and dog auctions; in turn sells to the pet sores. Some get their pups directly.

  And if the plight of the parents of these pups does not tug at your heartstrings, think of the many possible problems you will encounter owning one of these pups.

  The pet industry is a billion dollar industry these days. Even more than ever before, the dollar is the bottom line. Health, temperament, avoiding careless inbreeding are NOT considerations at all.

  Temperament problems:

  Puppy mill dogs are kept in overcrowded cages, and they are continually inbred. They are not properly socialized with humans, and because of this, are fearful or aggressive with humans, especially small children. Most are usually dog aggressive as well.

  They are usually taken from their dam way to early, between 4-6 weeks of age. In doing this, they are deprived of the essential time with their mother, who teaches them bite inhibition. What is acceptable behaviour and what is not.

  Most puppies from puppy mills are likely to have unsound temperaments and aggression is a common problem, as they mature.

  Do to missing the important lessons from their dam, improper socialization, and questionable genetics, puppy mill dogs require alot more work with their training. They are even harder to teach the basics, like housetraining.

 If you do encounter temperament problems, the behaviour training bills could break the bank......and there is no guarantee that anything can actually be done to improve the genetic predisposition of these pups.

Most wind up being euthinized before the age of three years old. Especially the males. 

  Health problems:

  Puppy mills, do to disgusting sanitation practices, are a breeding ground for many conditions seen in pet store puppies. According to the HSUS, "Half the puppies sold in pet stores are ill or incubating a disease."

Some of theses include:

Coccidia, giardia, upper respiratory infections , Parvo, Distemper and mange.

 Some of the symptoms will not be seen right away, till after you take your puppy home.

  Do to unsound breeding practices, pet store puppies are more likely to suffer from serious genetic defects as well.

  The more commonly seen of theses could include, Hip displasia, eye diseases (PRA) which causes blindness, liver and heart diseases, thyroid conditions, autoimmune disorders, etc.

(See the list of Health Problems on my "Pyr's" page for the definitions of the most common genetics disorders in Pyr's. ALSO see the (Guide to Hereditary and Congenital Diseases in Dogs)  on the Web, to find the conditions that can be perpetuated in your breed of choice, with bad breeding practices.)

  The puppy millers do not care if they breed two dogs with any of these debilitating, sometimes deadly disorders. Once that puppy is sold to the pet stores and then to you, they don't care what the future hold for them....or you.

Remember, alot of genetic disorders do not show up till after the second year of life.

So if you see that cute puppy in the store window, don't give in to impulse and buy it.

I know it hard not to think...."But I can "save" this one". But in doing so, you are only perpetuating the puppy mill industry, and condemning it's parents to a life of horrible misery.

You are also causing yourself a lifetime of incredible heartache and expense.

Keeping in mind, if you do "save" this puppy, you are only facilitating room for another puppy mill puppy to take it's place.

The only way to stop this horror is to wipe out the demand......then there will not be a need for the supply.

Please check out and   

OR Critter Haven: for more information about puppy mills and the horror they cause.

  Also, here is an EXCELLENT account from the GPCA Rescue Chair, about temperament problems seen in Pyr's bought from pet stores and backyard breeders.

Rescue Thought's by Janet Ingram, GPCA Rescue Chair  



Sariena Foley

Regalia Great Pyrenees


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The comments in this article are solely and completely the "opinion" of the author, based on her experiences and information she has gathered from other reputable sources over the years.

***Anyone thinking about buying a puppy of any breed, are more than welcome to print this article, for future reference.

Furthermore, this article in its entirety may be reproduced and used anywhere, for educational purposes. So long as proper credit is given to the author. I would appreciate an email notification***

{TM} and Copyright 2002  by {R&S Foley Farms}. All rights reserved.
Revised:  10 Apr 2002 11:43:29-0400












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