Buy From a Reputable Dog Breeder, Not a Puppy Mill
Many dog breeders in Alabama and nationwide get a bad rap. When people think of dog kennels and puppies for sale they think of terrible conditions for the dogs whose only purpose in life is to provide puppies so that they can be sold or are bred for illegal activities like dog fighting. These puppy mills are notorious for a lack of veterinary care, poor diet and just unsanitary conditions in general. Fortunately, there has been a nationwide effort to try to put an end to these practices and was brought into national attention by the arrest and conviction of former NFL quarterback Michael Vick in 2007.
Of course taking down every puppy mill in the country is a tall order. They can be found in seemingly every community in every part of the nation. There's no doubt they're here in our state of Alabama, and the neighboring states around us like Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
One of the best ways to put those disreputable breeders out of business is to make sure that when you want to buy a dog you buy from a reputable breeder. So how do you know if you are dealing with a reputable breeder? Visit the breeder and take a look around, good breeders welcome a visit to their kennel. If that is not an option, then go to the Internet.
"Always personally visit a breeder's facility before buying a puppy. Find out where your puppy was born and raised. Take the time now to find the right breeder and you'll thank yourself for the rest of your dog's life."
Numerous animal activist and advocacy groups are trying to put an end to cruel breeding practices and the inhumane conditions that these animals have to endure. If you are considering buying from a dog breeder what comes up when you search their name? Do they have a social media account and if so what is on there? Are there any poor reviews? That is the easiest and quickest way to find out but it is not 100% surefire.
There are other warning signs as well, and we don't mean the one that reads "Lab Puppies for Sale".
Are the breeders selling the animal for less than it is worth? If they are that is a sign you are dealing with a disreputable breeder. Does the breeder vet you? If they are concerned for the animal that they are selling they will want it to go to a good home and you will need to show that you can properly care for it. They won't have puppies for sale on a first come first serve basis and you should not be allowed to take a puppy home until they are at least 7 weeks old to give them time to socialize and mature with their mother and the rest of their litter.
A reputable breeder will also provide all of the necessary paperwork like registration and vaccination information and a contract should be signed. If none of that is done you are dealing with a disreputable breeder. If the dog breeder offers to either meet you halfway to bring you your puppy or to ship you the puppy be wary. Shipping an animal, especially a puppy is not a good idea and the roadtrip home could be a great bonding experience for the new owner and their pup. Reputable breeders have no problem with you coming to see your new pup. Visiting the breeder will allow you to see if they are being raised in a clean environment and to observe other dogs to make sure no diseases or malnutrition is present. Reputable breeders have nothing to hide.
"The entire point of buying from a breeder is to know exactly what you’re getting. You should receive the standard documentation upon purchasing your furson: a puppy information package with care instructions, registration papers, vaccination records, as well as, the contract with a replacement guarantee."
There are definitely good dog breeders in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, and across the nation. Good dog breeders want quality over quantity and thus will not breed every time a female goes into heat. They will also wait until the female is fully mature to begin breeding. Good breeders will be knowledgeable about the breed, so make sure that you ask questions even if they seem stupid to you or even if you already know the answer.
If the breeder cannot answer a simple question about the breed find someone else. They should also offer references and allow you to meet the parents and see where the puppies are being raised. Whether lab puppies or any other breed, they should be well socialized too which means exposed to people, smells, and noises which make their training easier. Dogs who have not been socialized at an early age can develop behavioral issues which can cost thousands to treat.
If you are considering a British Labrador Retriever puppy we invite anyone to come and visit us at Ruffwood Labs. We want everyone who adopts our fury bundles of joy to know that they were raised in a nurturing and loving environment and that everything has been done to make sure that your Labrador Retriever is happy and healthy when they find their forever home.