Puppy mills (known as puppy farms in the
dog breeding operations that are considered to be disreputable and
irresponsible. The term originated among critics of such operations.
Small-scale, irresponsible dog breeding operations are usually called
backyard breeding; the terms are akin but not synonymous.
Reputable breeders raise their animals in humane conditions, provide good
socialization and often formal training, and adhere to the
breed standard. They are knowledgeable about health problems associated with
their breed, and with the principles of genetics, frequently undertaking
specific matings to produce or refine particular desirable characteristics in
their dogs. They are also sensitive to the requirements of their breeding adults
-- who may also be breed or performance champions -- and the puppies they
produce. Reputable breeders frequently screen potential customers rigorously,
and usually provide a pedigree and health guarantee with their puppies.
Although many responsible breeding operations tend to be small, size alone is
not an indication that a particular operation is a puppy mill. Rather, puppy
mills are characterized by ignoring duties that are standard among responsible
dog breeders. They may keep their dogs in overcrowded, unclean or otherwise
inappropriate surroundings. The puppies they produce may be improperly
socialized or may suffer from health problems which are often not disclosed to
purchasers. Their breeding animals may also suffer, with females sometimes
forced to undergo repeated pregnancies.
Puppy mill operators may misrepresent the
breed of dog
being sold, and adult puppy mill dogs may exhibit characteristics uncommon to
their breed. Unlike the puppies produced by reputable breeders, the vast
majority of puppy mill animals are sold to
Puppy mill operators are frequently accused of being motivated only by profit
rather than a commitment to the
breed or any
the animals in their care.
Purchasing dogs, especially those claimed to be purebred, from a
is strongly discouraged by reputable breeders and
animal shelters. While many pet stores claim to purchase dogs from "local
breeders" instead of puppy mills, this is often untrue or is a difference in
name only, as reputable breeders generally do not sell animals to pet stores.
| Backyard Breeder
| Breed Club
| Breed Registry
| Breed Standard
| Dog Hybrids and Crossbreeds
| Puppy Mills
| Selective Breeding
| Stud Master
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