21st century Puppy Buying

Everything you need to know about bringing a puppy into your life starts here. How to find that Schnauzer puppy, what to look for in a breeder, early care, training and feeding are all covered. We even cover Schnauzer crocodile teeth.
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zeta1454
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Re: 21st century Puppy Buying

Post by zeta1454 »

For anyone thinking of buying a puppy or who has already adopted a new canine member of the family, whether from a breeder or a rescue, do be aware that the early environment from the time the puppy was born, if not before, will have had a huge impact on health, temperament, trainability, how well or how badly the puppy interacts with other dogs / people etc. It is easy to imagine that getting a puppy at eight weeks of age would mean that very little of significance could possibly have happened to him or her at so young an age and that by offering love, care and a structured environment, that young pup would quickly mature into a well trained loveable dog. However, early environment is critically important and this is not only after birth but in the nine weeks while the foetus is developing too!

Not only is the health of the parent dogs an important issue especially where hereditary conditions are concerned but also whether the mother of the puppies has been neglected, abused, malnourished or even just denied the care and companionship of a loving family will have had an impact on the health, behaviour and temperament of her puppies. Without a doubt, a compassionate, devoted and patient adopter can do wonderful work in training, healing and modifying canine behaviour in damaged dogs but it is not only the worst case mature dogs who can be a challenge - even young puppies can present a new family with issues and costs they may not have expected if the puppy has not had a good start in life.

The mantra to “always see a puppy with its mother in the home environment” is a good one to bear in mind and so important in its own right but it is really not enough nowadays if a puppy seeker is looking for reassurance that the mother/home is not a fake set-up to con people into buying a pup from a puppy farm or even that it is a situation where an irresponsible breeder has decided to breed their bitch randomly. Too many people with little or no knowledge of heredity or how to care for a bitch in whelp have one or more litters of puppies without any idea of how to raise them to be self confident, healthy, resilient little canines who have at least had a start before leaving for their new homes towards coping with being alone, house training, interaction with a range of people, different dogs (and other animals if possible).

Of course, what happens after a puppy goes to his or her new home will have an impact and can destroy or build on the start that even the best breeder has provided. Individual personalities and unforeseen events also all play a part in shaping the character of a puppy but the early weeks up to four months of age are so important that it is vital that anyone looking to add a puppy to their family searches out a breeder (or a rescue) that understands this and can show the work they have done to try and ensure their puppies have had the best possible start in life they can provide. It really will make such a difference to how quickly the puppy settles, how responsive they are to training, how well they interact with other dogs and with people etc. and in all likelihood be more healthy, quicker to house train and far less of a challenge to settle into the new family routines than a puppy that has not had this kind of start in life.

Do read the article on this link which explains in more detail the significance of early experience in puppies:

https://positively.com/contributors/you ... ank-slate/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

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zeta1454
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Re: 21st century Puppy Buying

Post by zeta1454 »

From October 2018, new regulations are coming into effect (in England only) regarding the requirements for anyone breeding and selling dogs. The legislation replaces earlier Animal Welfare Acts and is an attempt to tighten up the laws around puppy sales and dog breeding generally. There are aspects which are excellent in this and others that may complicate and confuse particularly for novice dog owners looking for their first puppy.

The Act extends the requirement for a breeding licence downwards but does not restrict the numbers of dogs an establishment can be breeding from regularly. So breeders who breed three litters or more in a 12 month period and sell at least one puppy, as well as breeders who breed less than this but sell their puppies at a profit will now require a licence from their local authority. This was previously only required for breeders of five or more litters which could clearly be regarded as “commercial” breeders and who may therefore have been avoided in the past by those who were looking for a home bred puppy from a small scale breeder. Some of the latter will now be required to obtain a licence and may not immediately be distinguishable from those who breed fifty or more litters a year. There is still no upper limit on numbers of breeding dogs - establishments with up to 500 breeding bitches have been given local authority licences in the past.

The Act does however outlaw third party sales of puppies which means that puppies can no longer be legally sold in pet shops or via other dealers in England. Puppies must only be sold from the premises at which they were bred and must be seen with their mother by prospective purchasers. Puppies must also not be sold under eight weeks of age. There is a specific “loophole” currently in that puppies can still be sold through pet shops in Wales which is helpfully pointed out in the Act!

The ban on third party sales, however limited currently, is excellent and will hopefully be enforced as with the requirement that puppies only be sold from the premises where they were born and raised. Puppies and dogs can still be advertised for sale online or elsewhere but, quoting from the Act:

“ Any advertisement for the sale of a dog must—
(a) include the number of the licence holder’s licence,
(b) specify the local authority that issued the licence,
(c) include a recognisable photograph of the dog being advertised, and
(d) display the age of the dog being advertised.
(3) The licence holder and all staff must ensure that any equipment and accessories being sold with a dog are suitable for it.
(4) The licence holder and all staff must ensure that the purchaser is informed of the age, sex and veterinary record of the dog being sold.
(5) No puppy aged under 8 weeks may be sold or permanently separated from its biological mother.
(6) A puppy may only be shown to a prospective purchaser if it is together with its biological mother.”

So, for anyone now looking to buy a puppy, they are likely to see a sharp rise in the number of “licensed” breeders advertising their puppies and will need to be even more careful that the licensee is one of the higher quality breeders and not a large scale commercial breeder. The local authorities have been given guidance that they can use the "Animal Activities Star System” to grade breeding establishments with those regarded as high quality getting 4 or 5 stars and the poorest standard places getting one star. Personally, where a business is involved with the breeding and raising of living creatures (and those intended as family pets primarily) I would have thought that a high standard should be the only one that gained a licence and no establishment regarded as “one star” would even be considered for a licence but that is obviously a step too far for the powers that be.

The standards for breeding establishments are still very much, to my mind, written with the large scale commercial kennel breeder in mind rather than the family home “hobby” breeder and the requirements for a licence, although they pay lip service to the crucial enrichment activities etc. involved in raising a well balanced, confident puppy, still leave room for a poor quality breeder to ignore these aspects and others. The guide for local authorities uses a three colour system to identify standard requirements (black), those which would be needed to be awarded a higher “star” rating (blue) and those which are optional (red). Considering the huge increase in breeders requiring inspection from October due to the lower threshold of litters and the fact that even on the previous level inspections were half hearted, carried out by a range of assorted local authority employees from trading standards to gypsy liaison officers, the success of this Act in suppressing puppy farming may be uncertain. The complexity of the regulations will not help and puppy seekers are probably best not placing any faith in a licence as a guarantee of good standards, even at 4 stars, but researching what they personally would expect from a responsible breeder - experience of the breed, knowledge, health testing, etc. and their own intuition when they go to visit in expectation of getting a new puppy.

There are links to the full details of the changes and requirements below:

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/press- ... n-england/

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018 ... 486_en.pdf

http://www.cfsg.org.uk/The%20Animal%20W ... 202018.pdf
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


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Schnauzer Sam
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Re: 21st century Puppy Buying

Post by Schnauzer Sam »

Maybe not far enough but at least it's a step in the right direction.
Country Girl at Heart (Molly) 8 April 2003 - 22 December 2018

You're never alone when you own a schnauzer

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Rosie-and-E ... 872588622/

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zeta1454
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Joined: 19 May 2011, 16:58
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Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: North Yorkshire
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Re: 21st century Puppy Buying

Post by zeta1454 »

A year on and there is some more information to bear in mind when looking for a puppy or dog whether from a breeder or a 'rescue'. One good piece of news is the forthcoming introduction of a law to ban 3rd party puppy sales in England, Wales and Scotland. Lucy's Law which was campaigned for tirelessly by a number of dedicated animal welfare individuals and organisations will be introduced in April 2020 and will make it illegal to sell a puppy other than from the place in which it was born or from a legitimate rescue / rehoming centre. Pet shops and any other dealer in live animals will no longer be allowed to sell puppies or kittens under the age of six months.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ban- ... -confirmed

Although this law only applies to England, its adoption has been agreed in Wales and Scotland too:

https://www.cariadcampaign.co.uk/lucys- ... party-ban/

Hopefully this will be effectively applied and policed to ensure that no more puppies and kittens are sold in pet shops. However, enforcing the ban on dealers online and via other media outlets will be much more difficult and it is vital that puppy buyers are vigilant themselves when looking for a puppy to avoid those who try to evade the ban.

Already, dubious techniques are being used to evade the stated ban on puppy / dog sales on, Facebook, for example, where not only are photos of puppies posted in an obvious way to attract potential buyers but some use even more underhand tactics such as posting tear-jerking pleas for help to find their litter of very young puppies which have been stolen...only to suddenly have them returned ( after hundreds of 'shares' for their litter and no doubt more than enough enquiries to purchase them!).

The situation with 'rescue' puppies and dogs is also becoming worrying and possibly may get worse after the new law comes into force as there are now more and more small scale rehoming organisations setting up with no real way of checking the credentials of those running them, where and how they are acquiring the dogs they are advertising for rehoming non-refundable "donations" being requested from those who purchase from them and online fundraising promoted for their 'cause'. This is particularly the case with specific breed rescues and Facebook groups show several Schnauzer 'rescues' which are not related to the official breed club rescues or to any registered animal rehoming charity. The potential is there for unscrupulous breeder/dealers to set up as "rescue / rehoming centres" to sell their backyard / puppy farm bred litters and unwanted breeding dogs or to use the unofficial rehoming groups to do the work for them.

Anyone wanting to rehome a dog should be just as careful about checking out a 'rescue' as they are with a breeder. Since 2016 every puppy over the age of 8 weeks ( which is the minimum age at which they can be sold in England & Wales) must legally be microchipped with the details of the breeder and anyone buying a puppy should be given the full details of the microchip number, company it is registered with etc. and this applies to puppies (and dogs) from rehoming / rescues too. The microchip is one way that stolen puppies or dogs can be identified and it is important to always check before committing to taking a puppy or dog that the microchip number and relevant paperwork are available. If not then walk away. Whether or not the "rescue" is knowingly passing on stolen or puppy farmed pups direct from the breeder / dealer, or they are just naive as to the tactics used by such people, you are far better going to a registered charity or official breed club rehoming service, if you are looking for a puppy/dog other than direct from a reputable breeder and always find out as much as possible about anywhere and anyone who has puppies or dogs available for adoption.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
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zeta1454
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Posts: 4303
Joined: 19 May 2011, 16:58
First Name: Leigh
Dog #1: Magic
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Born: 20 Apr 2010
Dog #2: Trilby
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: North Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: 21st century Puppy Buying

Post by zeta1454 »

As the Spring approaches and there will be new families looking for a puppy, it seemed worthwhile bringing back this thread with plenty of information for puppy seekers on how to avoid the worst breeding establishments and, hopefully, how to find the best!

I do understand that different people have different priorities when it comes to choosing the breeder of their future canine family member but do bear in mind that puppy farming is entirely funded by the public in that it would not exist if no-one bought from these places. So, when drawing up a list of what is important to you when sourcing a puppy, don't lower your expectations or requirements to the point that you are supporting the worst type of breeder.

Personally, I would still recommend not using online selling sites to find a puppy as there is so much unverifiable information provided in adverts by the sellers and it is easy to get drawn into a commitment to purchase without being able to fully check out the breeder. If you are using an online selling site, try to find as much information as possble about the named seller / breeder from the advert itself; from a general online search of their name/ business; see if they are breeding several different breeds regularly (this is an indication of a commercial breeder breeding to make a profit primarily and not necessarily with any specific interest in the breed / cross-breed other than how popular they are with the buying public). There may be those advertising their puppies online who do breed to an acceptable standard and who do carry out the relevant health checks etc. but it can often be harder to have confidence in their credibility and standards rather than if a search is made initially for a breeder (rather than a puppy) through the breed clubs or the Kennel Club Assured Breeder lists and then contacting them to find out more about them and getting on the waiting list for a puppy from one or more of those you feel you can trust.

I recently found a website online which although from a few years ago (2017) lists council licensed breeders in the UK and Ireland with the numbers and breeds of dog which each establishment was licensed for. Since licensing requirements as regards numbers of litters bred were recently lowered, this will not reflect current small scale breeding places and some on the list were not very large but at the other end of the scale it does show just how high the numbers of breeding dogs kept can be. This is not to discredit anyone who is listed but just to highlight the situation as regards licensed breeding establishments. It may not be possible for some puppy seekers visiting a home environment to judge just how many breeding dogs / litters are being kept out of sight elsewhere which is why many puppy seekers are probably advised to avoid or be extremely cautious about any breeder that is licensed for several breeds and who also advertises litters very regularly throughout the year especially if these are a variety of different popular breeds/ crossbreeds.

This is the link to the webpage which has a list of areas in the UK and Ireland - just click on any of the named areas in the list to see the breeders licensed in that area and the numbers and breeds of dog they were licensed for (bearing in mind that this list is not updated to the present day) :

https://commercialsaleofpuppies.wordpre ... bile-view/

As I have also posted elsewhere, a very useful resource generally for puppy seekers is MyKC which will give access to health information, results of health tests on dogs in a named individual's pedigree, numbers of litters bred / sired, in-breeding coefficient statistics and more. Wherever you are sourcing a puppy from, always ask for the parent dogs' full KC registered names as this will be needed to carry out the online checks:

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/mykc/
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


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