It’s not the breed – it’s where they’re bred!

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You know the poem that starts; ‘They f**k you up, your mum and dad….’? Well, the same can can be said for many of our dogs, just replace the words ‘mum and dad’ with breeder.

Which is why I don’t much care what kind of dog you own but I do care very much about where you got them from.

Whether you choose to buy pedigree with a family tree longer than the queen’s, a designer dog with a cutesy name or a genuine Heinz 57, if they haven’t had a decent upbringing in their first few weeks, you could be setting yourself and your family for a doggy lifetime of heartbreak and stress.

The environment where a puppy is born and brought up has a massive impact on it’s development. Both while it is young and as an adult.

puppies where they're bred

Where would you rather the newest member of your family started out?

Puppies reared in a family home, surrounded by the sights and smells of human life grow up to be much more balanced individuals than those born and bred in sheds. They also benefit from interacting with people of different ages – so if you want a dog who accepts your kids, then found one bred by a family with children.

All of which seems pretty obvious but when faced with a cute litter of puppies – whether online or in the real world – many (depressingly, probably most) people abandon all common sense and rush to hand over their cash.

Even if you do manage to hang on to your marbles – puppy farmers and traders know these facts as well as you do and are out to deceive about the origin of their wares. Many sell their dogs though third parties, who will swear blind the bundles of fluff in their living rooms were bred there, when in actual fact they spent those first impressionable weeks shut in a cage without any human contact at all.

It is also vital that puppies stay with the mothers until they are two months old. Although they will be very independent, they are still leaning crucial lessons about dog communication and socialising. Pups removed too early often struggle in later life to cope around other dogs and are those ones that bark hysterically in the park, have aggression issues or are super anxious.

So, once you have decided to buy a puppy; do your research, insist on visiting the breeders home, see the puppies interacting with the bitch and under no circumstances come home with a puppy on your first visit. Any litter advertised as ‘ready to go’ has almost certainly been bought in to sell on.

It’s easy to find a puppy for sale but to find one you should actually buy? That’s much harder.

You can follow me on Twitter; @cat_the_vet and find me on FaceBook;  Cat_The_Vet

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