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You have chosen to adopt a puppy. Very lovely, but how do you approach this? In your search for a breeder, you will come across several, but please note: not all breeders have the best intentions.

Puppy mills


Unfortunately, there are many puppy mills who try to sell their puppies. In most cases, the mother dogs are kept only to “produce” puppies and the dogs and puppies are kept in poor conditions. It will initially seem that you are bringing home a sweet and healthy puppy, but the opposite often turns out to be true.


To avoid purchasing a puppy from a puppy mill, ask questions and pay attention to the environment and the welfare of the animals. Here are some points that will set off alarm bells when it comes to breeders.


How do you recognize a puppy mill?

The mother dog is not present

The presence of the mother is of great importance in raising the puppies. It is possible that the mother died during childbirth. Although this chance is small, it is possible. The breeder and possibly the breeder's veterinarian can give you more information about this.

The mother dog appears anxious or unhealthy
You won't get any information about the father
of the puppies

Pay attention to the dog's well-being and behavior. Does the dog look healthy and is she calm around her puppies? Does she interact with her puppies and do they drink from her? An anxious dog also passes this on to the puppies, so keep this in mind. In puppy mills it sometimes happens that the bitch present is not the mother of the puppies.

In most cases the father is not present, but the breeder can give you more information about him. He/she can show you photos or videos and tell you about his health and character.

The breeder breeds more than two breeds
The breeder has more than two litters at a time or has continuous litters of puppies.

A good breeder does not breed more than two breeds. It takes time and experience to delve into a specific breed and everything that comes with it.

Breeding a litter of puppies takes a lot of time and energy. To give all puppies sufficient care and attention, a good breeder will not have more than two litters at a time.

The breeder does not answer your questions
The breeder doesn't ask you any questions

A good breeder takes the time for puppy buyers and is open and transparent. He/she wants to provide you with optimal guidance in purchasing a puppy. Ask all the questions you have, even if there are things you are unsure about.

A breeder raises his/her puppies with great care and attention. It is therefore not surprising that the breeder wants all the puppies to end up well. For this reason, a breeder asks you questions to find out whether the puppy suits you. If a breeder shows no interest in your situation, alarm bells should ring.

The puppies are younger than 8 weeks
The environment the puppies are in is not clean

In most countries the law states that puppies may not leave their mother before 7 weeks of age. The first 8 weeks are extremely important for the growth and socialization of the puppies. A puppy should therefore be with its mother for the first few weeks and you should not be given it earlier. If a puppy is moved abroad, other rules also apply. If applicable, inquire about this in a timely manner.

Young puppies are of course not yet toilet trained. Initially, the mother keeps the puppies and the environment clean, but a breeder must also do his/her very best to keep the environment as hygienic and comfortable as possible. Not only for the puppies, but also for the mother.

There are always exceptions

Please note: the above points are an indication to help you choose the right breeder. Not all of the above points directly point to puppy mills, there are also exceptions. In addition, there are also plenty of breeders who litter once and therefore have less knowledge and experience. In all cases, it is important that you ask questions and follow your gut feelings. If you have the feeling that it is not quite right, then it often is not.


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