If you thought the only place to get a purebred puppy is at a pet store, you’re actually mistaken. Pet stores are the least popular place to buy puppies. According to statistics, less than 4% of puppies come from pet stores. Take a look: Buying the puppy from a pet store (4%) Adopting the puppy […]
If you thought the only place to get a purebred puppy is at a pet store, you’re actually mistaken. Pet stores are the least popular place to buy puppies. According to statistics, less than 4% of puppies come from pet stores. Take a look:
Are you surprised to see that 36% of puppies come from private sellers? You might be if you’ve never heard of a private seller before.
Private sellers are dog breeders that are operating on a small enough scale to differentiate their businesses from commercial breeding kennels. Generally, a private puppy seller will only breed one purebred or hybrid dog breed, not multiple breeds.
Private puppy sellers are typically licensed or certified, but this varies by state. The main definition of private sellers across the board is that they breed dogs and sell those dogs directly to the end-customer. Whereas a dog breeder or breeding kennel sells their puppies to pet stores, which then sell those puppies to the end-customer.
Conscientious pet parents who feel they don’t want to patronize commercial dog breeding kennels, which pet stores typically use, have been opting to go to private puppy sellers instead.
One of the benefits of getting a puppy from a private seller is that because private sellers operate on a smaller scale, they can put more time, love, and attention onto the puppy litters that they breed.
But it’s best not to assume that every private seller upholds high ethical standards. Better to be safe than sorry, and for this reason, Petland Florida recommends that you research and verify the private puppy seller that you’re considering buying a puppy from.
Here is a list of the questions you can ask a private seller, followed by a list of red flags to watch out for. Let’s get started.
According to the number of litters they manage, the breeder may or may not be licensed, but most reputable private sellers who produce 3 or more litters will obtain a license to substantiate their ethics.
Puppies from private sellers should always be seen with their mother at the place where they were born and are being weaned. If the breeder gives you a lot of excuses as to why you can’t see the puppies, be very skeptical of them.
Many purebred dog breeds are susceptible to specific genetic disorders. Reputable breeders know about the common disorders of the breed they specialize in and they involve vets in their breeding and weaning practices to test for disorders and monitor the health of their puppies. This is to say that reputable private sellers only use breeding dogs that are in excellent genetic health so as to massively reduce any chances of their puppies having health issues.
Veterinarians across the board, as well as the American Kennel Club, agree that a female dog should not have more than 4 litters in her lifetime.
Veterinarians across the board, as well as the American Kennel Club, agree that a female dog should not breed if she is younger than 1 year or older than 8 years.
Again, the private seller should expect and be accustomed to their potential customers seeing and visiting the puppies prior to purchasing one. This has to be within reason, of course, since puppies sleep most of the time and need to be with their mother. But if a private seller refuses to allow you to see the puppies at all until they’re on sale on the market, then that is a major red flag that their breeding standards are low.
The general industry standard is 8 weeks old. Commercial breeders who supply puppies to pet stores, as part of their regulation requirements, will not release puppies that are younger than 8 weeks. But unregulated and disreputable private sellers may opt to “move merchandise” and sell their puppies as soon as a buyer is interested.
There are many indicators that a private seller is responsible, ethical, and cares about the long term health and welfare of their puppies.
These reputable private sellers will have websites that present a transparent glimpse at their approach to breeding puppies. Their websites will typically show the parent dogs, breeding environment, puppy litters, and other aspects of their facility, even if all the breeding takes place in their home.
Most importantly, these breeders will have a process to “vet” the pet parents who buy their puppies. They could have a formal application process where the applicant must list references and explain why they would make a good puppy parent. They will also ask a lot of questions because they’ll want to make sure that their puppies are placed in loving homes where they’ll be happy for the rest of their lives.
Another hallmark of an ethical private seller is that they will be able to justify the cost of their puppies. Typically, privately sold puppies are even more expensive than pet store puppies, but this is because no corners are cut when it comes to providing the parent dogs and litters of puppies with excellent veterinary care and if need be around the clock on-site veterinarians. This is to say that if you come across a private seller who isn’t charging much for their puppies, it’s probably an indication that they didn’t spend any money on the health care of their puppies.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this article. We hope you found it informative and feel prepared to begin researching the right private puppy seller to work with!