How to understand “breeder” or “puppy mill”

What Is a Puppy Mill? The term “puppy mill” is used to describe a large-scale commercial dog breeding enterprise. Sometimes called puppy farms, these businesses tend to house their dogs and puppies in terrible conditions and focus on profit over the health and well-being of the animals. Puppy mill proprietors mass-produce puppies by over-breeding dogs, often regardless of health or genetic defects. The breeding dogs spend their lives being bred repeatedly until no longer deemed useful, then destroyed.


  1. Communication

Your contact with the breeder / puppy mill will begin with a telephone conversation. It is important to pay attention to how he communicates. Does he answer the questions in detail, is he polite, does not try to “sell” the puppy to you by all means? The breeder will become almost a relative to you. You will ask him for advice, he will help you with the dog both in word and deed.

Breeder: will be willing to talk long and thoughtfully, asking you about family, housing, work and experience with dogs.

Puppy mill: agree to give the animal “over the phone”, does not ask questions.

  1. Price

If a person sells a thoroughbred animal well below market value, this should be alarming. A low price for a puppy means that the cost is either minimal or nonexistent. This means that his food is of poor quality, vaccinations may not be available, there are no vitamins, toys, veterinary services, or socialization, which takes time.

Breeder: appreciates his work and is confident in the qualities of his babies, the price is market price (an exception may be in the case of a grown-up, “overdue” animal).

Puppy mill: bargains willingly, the price is well below the market.

  1. Keeping dogs

Be sure to evaluate the place of residence of the Animals and the seller.

Breeder: lives in a private house or large apartment. Puppies have large, clean enclosures or rooms, lawns for walking. The bowls contain clean water. Fresh air is indoors, it does not smell of excrement or “chemistry”.

Puppy mill: will offer to meet somewhere. If invited to the apartment, he will show the puppy in a separate room, designed to show the “product by the face”. He will refuse to show the habitat of the puppies.

  1. Condition of dogs

Assess the animal’s appearance. Puppies should under no circumstances look sickly and lethargic. They should be active, strong, well-nourished, and with healthy mucous membranes, without secretions. They should not have wounds, ulcers, bald spots in the fur. Puppies should not smell like excrement or urine.

  1. Veterans or older dogs

Having older dogs can tell a lot about a breeder. Firstly, the presence of retirees suggests that dogs are evidently living up to retirement, they do not have fatal pathologies, due to which they live for 2-3 years, and there are no health problems. And, secondly, this says a lot about the kennel, which does not get rid of dogs of non reproductive age, from which there is no practical benefit. Therefore, older dogs in the kennel are definitely a plus.

Also a big plus is the willingness to show parents of puppy. And if the dog can be from another kennel, then the bitch must be at home and ready to meet you.

  1. Maintenance, reputation, consistency

– A good breeder does not part with the puppy’s family on the day of purchase. He never leaves her. I am ready to help, prompt, communicate – and inform you about this when we meet.

– A good breeder values ​​his reputation. He does not have the task of selling “by all means”. There are no “smelly” stories around him, but there are families happily living with his animals, which can be found on social networks or whose contacts the breeder is ready to provide.

– Finally, the Breeder does not come across as a starving person. His bread and butter should not depend on whether he sells a puppy today or not. He should be free in his decisions and also “weigh” you – are you good enough for his baby or not.

What Is a Puppy Mill? The term “puppy mill” is used to describe a large-scale commercial dog breeding...   Continue
Read more

Questions to the breeder

• How old is the mother and how many litters did she have?
Too many litters in a row could mean puppies are bred here only for the money. It is better that the bitch does not give birth more often than once a year, and her first mating was at least at age of two.

• What are the characters of the bitch and the male? Energetic? Active? Are they aggressive?
Aggression is often hereditary, so try not to acquire puppies from aggressive parents.

• Is the breeder the owner of the male?
Many breeders breed their bitches with males from another kennel and this is normal. Just try to find out more about the male, since you do not have the opportunity to see him live.

• What health tests done to parents?
Find out what health tests are needed in the breed you are planning to buy. Now, in almost all breeds, a check of the hip and elbow joints is needed. Find out what other tests must be done to your breed and be sure to ask the results of these tests for the parents of your future puppy.

• At what age did the puppies stop sucking milk?
If the puppies are breastfed, weaning after 4-5 weeks is considered normal.

• At what age does a breeder start giving out puppies?
A responsible breeder will not give away a puppy that is under 2 months old. Until that time, the puppy must be with the mother and littermates in order to properly socialize and grow into a harmonious dog.

• How does a breeder start to toilet train puppies?
A good breeder tries to lay the puppies’ basic hygiene skills: after sleep he takes the puppies out of the nest so that they do things not where they sleep. The grown-up puppies are taught to do things for diapers, and after vaccinations they are already on the street.

• In what environment do puppies grow?
Are the puppies getting new experiences? Do they have a lot of toys? Where do they sleep? Are they familiar with loud sounds, for example, from a vacuum cleaner, washing machine?

• What does the breeder feed their dogs with?
If dogs eat cheap food or table scraps, they are unlikely to be healthy. This means that the puppies, probably will not receive the necessary nutrients during active growth.

• Were the puppies treated for worms, what drug was used? Were they vaccinated?
The responsible breeder gives the puppies anthelmintic several times. And he vaccinates them according to their age with high-quality vaccines. Each puppy must have a veterinary passport, which must contain anthelmintic procedures and drugs info. If there are no vaccinations yet, then you must definitely find out at what age they must be held.

Additional important questions

Puppy Care Questions
• Features of hair care. How often to wash? How to dry?
• What cosmetics to use?
• What to use to treat a puppy from fleas and ticks? How often, what time of year?
• How often to give anthelmintic?
• How often to cut nails?
• Do I need to clean teeth / ears?
• Feeding. What to feed? How often? How much to give? What food is needed, what is allowed and what is strictly prohibited? Soaked or dry food?
• Vitamins and supplements
• Treats

Parenting / socialization questions
• Is he toilet trained?
• Where to put a puppy for the first time, where puppy should sleep and eat?
• How to walk? How long to walk?
• How to teach to a leash?
• What to do if puppy bites?
• Cage. When to use?

Dog shows / trainings
• What are dog shows? What are they needed for? How often you have to go to dog shows?
• What if you don’t want to attend dog shows?
• When to start other types of training and sports with a puppy?

Feel free to ask questions, even if you think they are silly, especially if you are buying a dog for the first time. Take this as seriously as possible, because the life of this little charming creature now depends on you.


I want to convey one thing to you. The breeder is your friend for years to come. Don’t disappear after buying a puppy. Call, ask. Perhaps some things can be solved by only call to the breeder. If your breeder never refuses to help you, be sure you are lucky.


We are interested in making your puppy happy. And we would like you to understand your dog, so that your life with your dog was as easy as possible.


Don’t forget your breeders. 

Hanna Dymytrova-Kaihila

Rhodesian Ridgeback Kennel from 2009

“Maanhaar Primo-Creatus”

• How old is the mother and how many litters did she have? Too many litters...   Continue
Read more