8 Dog Breeder Red Flags

Puppy Mills, 8 Dog Breeder Red Flags, PawFax, PawFax

8 Dog Breeder Red Flags:

Note: If you know of or suspect an active puppy mill, you can report them to the Humane Society by calling 877-MILL-TIP (645-5847). Alternatively, check the listings for your local animal control phone number.

A ‘puppy mill’ is defined as any dog-breeding establishment that puts financial success over the well-being of the puppies they breed. These puppy mills can house a dozen dogs…or thousands. There are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the United States, breeding a total of over 2,000,000 puppies per year. Visit Source

At Pawfax, we’re on a mission to put an end to this practice. Even if you don’t choose to buy a puppy from our platform, we believe everyone should be educated on smart puppy-shopping. Today, we’ve put together a list of some red flags to look out for when speaking with breeders.  Here are some Dog Breeder Red Flags.

1.) Breeders that won’t allow you to see their breeding facility.

A good breeder has nothing to hide and will be happy to be entirely transparent. If a breeder attempts to meet up in some third-party location or refuses to allow visits at their breeding facility, they’re probably operating a puppy mill and should be reported to the proper authorities.

2.) Breeders who won’t show breed registration papers for the puppies and their parents.

Legitimate breeders work with breed registries and will be able to produce verifiable certificates for each animal. Be careful, though — some sophisticated puppy mills can produce counterfeit documentation. Genuine papers can be identified as containing the registered name and number of the specific animal, its date of birth, the name of an attesting organization, the name, and signature of the registrar, and a corporate stamp or seal. If any of this is missing, don’t assume the documents are legitimate — demand an explanation.

3.) Breeders can’t or won’t show vet records.

Any ethical breeder has a positive, strong relationship with a registered veterinary physician. All puppies and adult dogs should have some form of documentation from that vet. If a breeder refuses or is unable to produce this type of documentation — look elsewhere. Chances are, they aren’t a legitimate breeder. 

4.) The puppy comes with no kind of guarantee.

There are plenty of diseases that have little or no outward, physical symptoms. Your puppy should come with a good health guarantee, just in case. Puppy mills and unethical breeders will not be able to make this guarantee. 

5.) Breeders who won’t allow you to meet the puppy’s mother or father.

A legitimate breeder should encourage you to meet your puppy’s parents. It’s a perfectly reasonable request — one that any ethical breeder will be more than happy to accommodate. If the breeder tries to give you some kind of runaround, excuse, or reason why you can’t meet them — leave.

6.) The puppies don’t seem well-socialized.

Often, unethical breeders will try to excuse skittish or nervous puppies. Don’t accept this. A healthy, well-socialized puppy will be playful, curious, and interested in external stimuli. If the puppies available seem constantly nervous or scared of everything — they haven’t been raised properly, and you’re probably looking at a puppy mill. 

7.) They always have puppies for sale, sometimes two or three litters at a time.

If a breeder seems to literally always have puppies available, that’s a big red flag. There are no reputable breeders that can constantly have a litter of puppies, year-round. While it may seem enticing when a breeder says they always have newborns available…That’s simply not how dog breeding works unless you are running a full-fledged puppy mill. 

8.) Advertising ‘new’ or ‘rare’ breeds of dog.

Breeding is not an experiment. There should be no “new” breeds of dog at your breeder’s facility. If the breeder advertises “rare” colors, sizes, or other traits, stay away. These are almost certainly not in line with breed standards, and will likely lead to health complications down the line. 

Breeders that Aren’t on Pawfax.

Just kidding — kind of. On Pawfax, all of our breeders have been individually vetted and verified to ensure they are running responsible and ethical operations. By using a Pawfax verified breeder, you can skip the worry and find a puppy with absolute confidence.

Remember – Do Your Research.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but instead some of the most common red-flag-worthy issues that come up with puppy mills and unethical breeders. By avoiding these types of breeders, and instead choosing legitimate operations, you’re helping to end the puppy mill crisis, one doggo at a time. Remember — if there’s no market for illegitimate breeders, they’ve got no choice but to close shop. 


Do you have any other Dog Breeder Red Flags? Contact us here to add them to the list: Contact

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