How to spot a puppy farm when looking for a new pup

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A reader asks for tips on how to spot a puppy farm when looking for a pup following the lifting of any COVID-19 restrictions.

Puppy farms sell a high volume of puppies, placing the importance of profit over the welfare of the pups and their mothers. They are very good at disguising what they do. Here is a list of things to beware of:

● The establishment lets you take a puppy home on the day you meet him, with little or no questions asked.

● Responsible breeders will always agree to let you return the puppy if things don’t work out; puppy farms are unlikely to.

● They offer a delivery service.

● They have a selection of different breeds to choose from.

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● They aren’t able to provide, or offer false, health test certificates for the parents.

● The mother of the dog isn’t anywhere to be seen, although some will use dogs who look like mothers to pose with the pups.

● The person you are dealing with has a limited or superficial knowledge of the breed.

● The buying process is more like buying a pair of shoes — if you don’t like one breed, they will encourage you to look at others.

● The puppies haven’t been raised in a home environment — they can be seen in a cage or crate, but are often in clean, sawdust-covered pens.