A lot of backyard breeders and puppy mills advertise online. They’re often easy to spot because they have “We accept Paypal!” ads scrolling across the top of every page, and assurances that they will indeed ship anywhere any time. And many times, breeders online will appear to be responsible and reliable, but in fact are far from it. Here’s my list of red flags and some absolute deal breakers: 1. Breeder states that they are willing to ship in large letters on their homepage 2. Prices are listed next to each puppy’s picture 3. They mention that they accept credit cards or Paypal on their site 4. They have no records of showing their dogs in conformation or any breed-related events 5. They boasts a “state of the art” kennel facility 6. The site has a 1-800 phone number 7. Breeder sells dog with a contract that does not cover genetic defects, or otherwise does not guarantee the puppy’s health in any way. Or even worse, there is no puppy contract at all 8. Breeder doesn’t require a spay/neuter contract for a non-show quality pup 9. Breeder doesn’t have detailed information about the parents (health records, show records, pedigrees, etc.) or even their pictures and names on the site 10. The puppies are extremely expensive. We’re not talking about $2,000 for a breed that often requires C-sections, but say $3,000 “Tea Cup” Chihuahuas or pups that are priced based on color, size and gender 11. They have multiple breeds and/or have several litters at a time- more than 2 litters per year is usually too many And also, if you don’t feel like you’ve been through a police interrogation, they’re not asking enough questions and they probably don’t care as much about the pup as they do about making money.
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