Ian Pike noon, Dec. 8
The Truth about the Dogs You See In Pet Stores
Sometimes people are determined to have a pure-bread dog and there is nothing wrong with this. However, please do not buy one at a pet shop. They will tell you what you want to hear but the truth is that the puppy is from a puppy mill. They will assure you that they are not but they are. Don't give any money to the large business of producing cute little puppies.
Dog rescue organizations, and humane societies across the county, have been trying to shut down puppy mills for years. Puppy mills are horrible places where female dogs are bred every time they come into heat. Puppies that come from puppy mills are most often low quality dogs that are prone to health problems and phycological problems as well.
If you buy a puppy from a pet store you are buying trouble, and heartbreak, for yourself. You will also be adding to the profits of the greedy puppy mill operators. Even if you buy one to help it out you will be contributing to the problem - just don't do it.
Don't be fooled, and don't let people you know be fooled. The pet stores and puppy mills put a beautiful face on an ugly problem. Dogs at puppy mills live in very small cages, sometimes many dogs to a cage. A cage, not a crate, because cages do not require as much effort to clean. The urine and feces falls through the cage and can be hosed up. These dogs have very little human contact and when they are no longer profitable they are killed.
Dogs (and all animals) deserve better than that. You know it, I know it, and frankly I think puppy mill operaters know it; They just don't care.
If you want a pure-breed dog find a responsible breeder. Go and visit the site where the dogs are kept (the mother, father, and all dogs of the litter) before you offer to buy one. Check to see that the conditions are sanitary and the breeding dogs are healthy. Look at the mother dog and the father dog to determine their general health and temperament before you consider purchasing a puppy. Traits from the mother and father are passed on to the litter. Ask if you might contact people who have purchased puppies from the breeder in the past. And don't forget that there are many rescues and shelters crammed to their maximums with dogs that need a home and someone to love them.
If you avoid puppy mills, and encourage people you know to do so, it will be good for the new parent of the puppy and for puppies everywhere.
Now let's get busy training.