What Is A Puppy Mill?

In several of the articles about bringing a new puppy home, I’ve talked about breeder types you need to avoid. So I wanted to cover the question “What is a puppy mill?

My definition of a puppy mill is:

Any place, run by any single person, group of people or organisation, where dogs are kept and bred from purely for the money and income they generate, and for no other reason

Most people think a puppy mill has to be a big operation which has dogs in extremely poor conditions.  But it isn’t always that way.

A puppy mill is any breeding which is done purely for money and for no other reason.  A single person breeding their dogs can be a puppy mill just as much as a group of people who have warehouses and land full of hundreds of dogs.

A puppy mill usually has extremely poor (and often illegal) conditions for the dogs, and does not provide the dogs with medical care, decent food, warmth, adequate bedding or any form of decent socialisation and human contact.  However, someone who overbreeds their house dog for money is also a puppy mill, even if the dog is comfortably off.

There are three types of breeder you should avoid:

  1. The backyard or amateur breeder – a small breeder that still breeds for profit and no other reason.  Their bitches (females) might have a litter every time they come into season and be bred from well after the Kennel Club’s upper age limit if there is one.
  2. The ‘show winning only’ breeder – what matters to them is whether the dog looks right and impresses the judges during its show career.  They are less concerned about whether the dog will have long term health problems as it gets older because by that time it’s been retired from the show ring.
  3. The puppy mill – a commercial operation that breeds on a large scale and for profit. Condsitions are usually appalling and the definition is ‘profit before everything’.

Hopefully you now understand the answer to “what is a puppy mill?“.  It’s a place where profit always comes first, no matter what size the operation is.

I want you to get a dog from a proper breeder.  A person who raises them with so much loving care you wonder how the breeder can let the puppies go at the end.  Where the money for the puppies is less important than preserving the breed, and the home you provide.

That’s the path to happiness with your dog.

Make sure you avoid the backyard breeder, the puppy mill and the ‘show winning only’ breeder by claiming your free e-course here


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