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Purchasing puppy from newspaper ad/breeder UPDATE POST #1


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UPDATE: We have decided to keep looking. Thanks for your input. FYI-After a name change around 2010-2011, the AKC started recognizing the Mini American Shepherd.

We have spent the last two years looking for a puppy/dog for my daughter. I think we have found one, but I found him in a newspaper ad. The breeder is three hours away but is willing to meet us halfway. I have never purchased a dog from a breeder nor from a newspaper ad. They do not have a website. Their FB page was last updated in December 2018 with a litter of puppies. I cannot find any other information about them online.

What do I need to be asking before we purchase this puppy? What are red flags that I need to be aware of? Help!

Please no lectures about adopting from a no kill/humane society. As mentioned above, we have been looking for two years and have not found what we want at any of these types of shelters. And it is not from lack of trying. We have specific needs we are trying to meet. Thanks. 

 

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I’ll let people with more experience say more,  but the one thing I wanted to say is that I would not do the meeting halfway thing in this case. Meeting halfway means it really doesn’t matter what questions you ask, because the breeder could tell you anything.  Only by going in person can you see what the parents are like and what the living conditions the puppies were raised in are like. 

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I agree with go all the way and see conditions, mother and if available father (dam, sire) .  Before that I’d ask if there are other puppies from prior litters where you can talk to people who got them.  Possibly their vet.  

Is this the December litter?  If not that’s 2 litters very close together and to me could be red flag of puppy mill.

It is hard to know if you’re dealing with a puppy mill, backyard breeder or someone who would be doing a good job.

Is this a particular breed you’re looking for?  

 

If so, some should have certified hips, heart etc.  

Or why the distance to find what you think you are looking for?

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Definitely go to the breeder or have a friend who lives close do it.

what breed of dog? We got toy poodles from two different reputable breeders. Both breeders are highly regarded and does full testing. I found a message board that is targeted at poodles and asked a lot of questions (including about specific breeders). That helped me so much and made sure I made a good choice. It’s very easy to end up with a bad breeder or even worse a puppy mill dog. We ended up getting our dogs from out of state both times (once used a puppy nanny and once used points to pick up).

i couldn’t resist sharing a recent picture of my beautiful babies! 

E4ED59D1-848C-4C6E-86C6-6166BA01DE9C.jpeg

Edited by tammyw
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In addition to all of the advice that's been given here, I would also want to hear from people who have purchased puppies from the breeder. Are there any reviews on the Facebook page? 

We got our two labs from a breeder and her Facebook page is filled with excellent reviews, plus her customers are always coming back to post updates and pictures of their puppies and dogs. 

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Ugh. 

here is the thing, IF you do it, you must must must drive to her home and see the mother, conditions kept in , etc. 

Puppy brokers are the new pet store - they get puppies shipped to them from puppy mills and post ads on craigslist, newspaper, etc acting as if they bred the puppies themselves. They almost always come up with a reason to meet you somewhere, to avoid letting you see that they do not actually have either of the parents. OR, they say they are "taking care of the puppies for their sick aunt/grandmother/boyfriend/cousin" and that is why you can't come see the mother. 

Often the photos they share are actually stock photos or other fphotos they found on the internet. Definitely do a reverse google image search of any photos to see if they are anywhere else. For instance, on my local craigslist there are photos for bull dog puppies and the mother. But if you do an image search you find the same photos posted in other ads all over the country. Total scam. 

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Online selling is also often a scam - definitely saw some of that on my local facebook page - people who would ship the puppy to you for way too low of a fee. No doubt there is no puppy in the first place. https://www.bbb.org/globalassets/article-library/puppy-scam-study/puppy-scams-bbb-study-20170901.pdf

https://www.rover.com/blog/spot-puppy-mill-puppy-mill-ad/

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16 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Ugh. 

here is the thing, IF you do it, you must must must drive to her home and see the mother, conditions kept in , etc. 

Puppy brokers are the new pet store - they get puppies shipped to them from puppy mills and post ads on craigslist, newspaper, etc acting as if they bred the puppies themselves. They almost always come up with a reason to meet you somewhere, to avoid letting you see that they do not actually have either of the parents. OR, they say they are "taking care of the puppies for their sick aunt/grandmother/boyfriend/cousin" and that is why you can't come see the mother. 

Often the photos they share are actually stock photos or other fphotos they found on the internet. Definitely do a reverse google image search of any photos to see if they are anywhere else. For instance, on my local craigslist there are photos for bull dog puppies and the mother. But if you do an image search you find the same photos posted in other ads all over the country. Total scam. 

How do I do a reverse google image search?

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21 minutes ago, MercyA said:

Find out when you can visit the parent(s) and puppies. If she won't allow you to come to her, you won't have to worry about all the rest. 

What breed are you considering?

Mini Australian Shepherd

 

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14 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

You can save the photo, then upload it to google images instead of pasting the address

Ok. I have four images and they all came back "No other sizes of this image found." 

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dd bought her puppy from a reputable breeder who provided a lot of information.  three hours away is nothing - and I would want to see the facility - if they discourage it (its' too far for you to drive) consider it a red flag.

has a vet seen the puppy - you should have a certificate of that. it should tell you the puppy's health, and what health care it has received (should have had it's first deworming.)  and check it out.

is there any guarantee for health in the first year?  (if not - I would skip it. doesn't matter how "great" it looks.  had a friend who bought an expensive kitten - and he died at nine months from a congenital defect.  it happens.  the breeder was horrified and gave her first pick of her next litter.)

has the puppy been altered?  (reputable breeders charge more for unaltered dogs, as they have put a lot of time, effort and money into developing healthy and reputable breeding stock.  they don't want just anyone breeding their dogs. - you should also have the puppy's pedigree)

has the puppy been microchipped? or do they provide one?

are the puppys in a kennel in another building, or in the house with the owners?  where do the parents live when they're not being bred?  (dd's breeder has "foster" homes for her dogs between litters. so they're always living with a real family.)

how much human interaction have the puppies received on a daily basis?   

any genetic testing of the parents before they were bred?   - you should have a certificate stating your puppy is free of genetic health conditions (and there should be numbers you can look up to verify it's legit)

 

 a reputable breeder will take names for upcoming litters.  newspaper puppies scare me.  could just be someone who wants to make a few extra bucks (and doesn't understand the steps they should take), but it could be a lot worse.

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1 hour ago, Nemom said:

Mini Australian Shepherd

 

Already I am suspicious, as the AKC does not recognize a breed called a mini Australian shepherd. From the United States Australian Shepherd Association:

1. We’re interested in or have a “Miniature Australian Shepherd”. They’re the same as Aussies, just smaller, right?

No, the “mini” started from dogs that were completely unrelated to the dogs that were the foundation of the Australian Shepherd. However, “mini” breeders have bred Australian Shepherds into their bloodlines, so that today the “mini” is related to and resembles, but is not the same as the Australian Shepherd. The “mini” is currently being considered for eventual recognition as an AKC breed in its own right – separate and distinct from the Australian Shepherd.

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AnHonestly a three hour drive is nothing for the 15-20 years a dog can live.

An ethical breeder will ask you a lot of questions. They will make sure you are a good fit for their dog and that it will be in good, safe hands, that you know about the breed thoroughly, etc. I’ve not known of a good breeder to advertise through the newspaper.

I would go to the breed club’s site to find a good breeder. It’s not something you mess around with or you could be dealing with lifelong health and/or discipline issues.

Another thing to consider - you want to have a good relationship with the breeder as you will want to turn to them whenever you have questions or concerns. I text regularly with our breeders, send pictures, etc. it’s definitely an important relationship, IMO.

A cautionary tale. I knew someone who got a puppy from a craigslist ad. Got the dog and it was literally covered in ticks. And more like 5 weeks old vs the 8 weeks old they were told she was. There are lots of nasty and unethical people out there. Be cautious!

Edited by tammyw
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I don't have a problem with a non AKC recognized breed. I'm not personally a fan of the mini aussies, but some people love them. But absolutely, if I were paying good money for a dog, would insist on meeting the mother and seeing how she interacts with me, and seeing where the puppies were raised. Those first 8 weeks have a PROFOUND impact on the puppy, as do genetics. 

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If it’s a good breeder IME they will want to be helping their type of dogs and should normally be quite willing to discuss issues, reveal health records information, discuss what socialization they’re doing etc.  

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8 minutes ago, Pen said:

If it’s a good breeder IME they will want to be helping their type of dogs and should normally be quite willing to discuss issues, reveal health records information, discuss what socialization they’re doing etc.  

And even a mediocre backyard breeder will be willing to show you the mom, where the puppies lived, etc. 

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23 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

And even a mediocre backyard breeder will be willing to show you the mom, where the puppies lived, etc. 

 

Heck, we fostered a stray cat from our neighborhood and found homes for her kittens, and we were delighted to have potential adopters come in, meet mom, play with the kittens, etc. That should be the absolute bare minimum for someone who claims to be a breeder because they love the breed. And if the "breeder" refused, that would be a hard no from me on purchasing one of the puppies. 

I'm already getting the sense from the OP that this breeder is shady, though. I'd look elsewhere.

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4 hours ago, Nemom said:

We have spent the last two years looking for a puppy/dog for my daughter. I think we have found one, but I found him in a newspaper ad. The breeder is three hours away but is willing to meet us halfway. I have never purchased a dog from a breeder nor from a newspaper ad. They do not have a website. Their FB page was last updated in December 2018 with a litter of puppies. I cannot find any other information about them online.

What do I need to be asking before we purchase this puppy? What are red flags that I need to be aware of? Help!

Please no lectures about adopting from a no kill/humane society. As mentioned above, we have been looking for two years and have not found what we want at any of these types of shelters. And it is not from lack of trying. We have specific needs we are trying to meet. Thanks. 

Sorry if I missed this, but did the breeder even say that you couldn't come to his/her location? I'm confused because you say they are willing to meet you halfway, which makes it sound like you made that request, not the breeder.

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37 minutes ago, Selkie said:

Sorry if I missed this, but did the breeder even say that you couldn't come to his/her location? I'm confused because you say they are willing to meet you halfway, which makes it sound like you made that request, not the breeder.

Breeder never said we couldn't come to their home and I never asked them to meet us halfway. They offered. I am in no way put out by driving three hours.

 

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12 minutes ago, Nemom said:

Breeder never said we couldn't come to their home and I never asked them to meet us halfway. They offered. I am in no way put out by driving three hours.

 

 

 

Good. So just say you want to go all the way, meet the other dogs etc.  

a film could give some ideas too if they could do that...

for example, I was watching a film of Maine Coon Cats available for sale at a homeschooling family which gave an idea of the circumstances the kittens were raised in    Better than just a still of an available kitten.

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We got our puppy a few months ago.  We found him through a craigslist ad.  We ran across several that were fishy in the process of looking.  Eventually the one we found was about 3 hours from where we lived.  The guy asked DH a lot of questions about his knowledge about dogs because he wanted to find good homes for the puppies.  He was a former breeder with an unexpected litter of puppies.  Our puppy is not a pure breed, he is a Australian Shepherd/Alaskan Malamute mix.

When we got to the puppie's home we got to meet all the puppies and both parents.  We got to see where they lived and how they had been raised.  The guy we bought him from said they he had a lot of requests to meet people other places but he doesn't do that.  I was really glad that we were able to see the puppy in his former home and got to meet his mom and dad.  The only thing in hindsight I wish we had checked on were vaccinations.  The only thing that puppy had had was worming meds.

Puppy has been very healthy and happy.  I know it is not recommended to buy over craigslist and I understand the reasons, but we took a lot of time to look into it and I think we ended up with a great dog.

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3 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

I don't have a problem with a non AKC recognized breed. I'm not personally a fan of the mini aussies, but some people love them. But absolutely, if I were paying good money for a dog, would insist on meeting the mother and seeing how she interacts with me, and seeing where the puppies were raised. Those first 8 weeks have a PROFOUND impact on the puppy, as do genetics. 

In general, I don't have a problem with a non-AKC-recognized breed. 🙂 I just have a problem with people calling something a breed when it is not. This would cause *me* to walk away. 🙂

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4 hours ago, tammyw said:

An ethical breeder will ask you a lot of questions. They will make sure you are a good fit for their dog and that it will be in good, safe hands, that you know about the breed thoroughly, etc. I’ve not known of a good breeder to advertise through the newspaper.

YES. Our breeder drove several hours to our home so she could see where Puppy would be living and how she reacted to us. We had a LONG phone interview before that, asking each other questions on everything we each wanted/needed to know. She was an open book regarding health testing, pedigree, etc. 

If the breeder doesn't ask *you* a ton of questions, be suspicious. 

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I’m glad you trusted your instincts but sorry you have to keep looking! We had to walk away from a backyard breeder before we got our babies, when I was in the learning stage. 

What are you looking for in a dog? Maybe we can all help identify some breeds that you could look at? I love this stuff now that I’m a dog person, haha!!

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1 hour ago, tammyw said:

I’m glad you trusted your instincts but sorry you have to keep looking! We had to walk away from a backyard breeder before we got our babies, when I was in the learning stage. 

What are you looking for in a dog? Maybe we can all help identify some breeds that you could look at? I love this stuff now that I’m a dog person, haha!!

We are looking for a Mini Australian Shepherd. My daughter is wanting a dog that she can do agility training with. We are also considering having the dog trained to be a service dog for her. 

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9 hours ago, Nemom said:

We are looking for a Mini Australian Shepherd. My daughter is wanting a dog that she can do agility training with. We are also considering having the dog trained to be a service dog for her. 

I don't think there is anything wrong with going through a rescue versus going through a breeder.  However, if you are going through a breeder, you need to make sure you do your homework and make sure you are using a reputable one.  You have received loads of wonderful advice.

I just want to add that I have been researching breeders for our newest puppy for a few years since I knew my daughter's service dog would be retiring eventually.  I finally found the breeder I wanted to use and we 'interviewed' each other.  After deciding we wanted to move forward, she let me know when she had a puppy she felt would be a good fit for us.  This breeder isn't even in the same state.  I actually flew up, picked up the puppy and flew back home, all in one day.  And ultimately, total cost was likely much less than many pay for these 'designer' mixes (I don't call them breeds).  

 

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10 hours ago, Nemom said:

We are looking for a Mini Australian Shepherd. My daughter is wanting a dog that she can do agility training with. We are also considering having the dog trained to be a service dog for her. 

If you want a small dog have you considered a papillon? They are amazing at agility and also used for service dog work! We watched the national Agility finals and almost all the small dogs were Papilions and some fairly well known trainers have used them for service dogs. They are small, but unlike most toy breeds they retain their sporting dog personality - there other name is a continental toy spaniel and they have a spaniel personality. 

https://papillonclub.org/articles-papillons-in-service/

And if this video doesn't make you want a papillon, I don't know what will. Seriously, they are incredibly smart dogs, and there are more breeders with well established lines, etc. I'm not a little dog person, but these things are SMART. And adorable. 

 

Edited by Ktgrok
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On 3/23/2019 at 2:59 PM, Nemom said:

UPDATE: We have decided to keep looking. Thanks for your input. FYI-After a name change around 2010-2011, the AKC started recognizing the Mini American Shepherd

 

Excellent. 🙂

The AKC website says June 27, 2012. 🙂

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1 hour ago, ZiMom said:

I don't think there is anything wrong with going through a rescue versus going through a breeder.  However, if you are going through a breeder, you need to make sure you do your homework and make sure you are using a reputable one.  You have received loads of wonderful advice.

I just want to add that I have been researching breeders for our newest puppy for a few years since I knew my daughter's service dog would be retiring eventually.  I finally found the breeder I wanted to use and we 'interviewed' each other.  After deciding we wanted to move forward, she let me know when she had a puppy she felt would be a good fit for us.  This breeder isn't even in the same state.  I actually flew up, picked up the puppy and flew back home, all in one day.  And ultimately, total cost was likely much less than many pay for these 'designer' mixes (I don't call them breeds).  

 

frankly - considering there are "rescues" who shell for puppy mills (and other questionable sources), you need to beware on that front too.

when looking for a dog for dd, we started out with rescues. there were a few where the creep-o-meter just screamed.

and as for the humane society - around here, that's 90% a pitbull or a chihuahua.

she went to a reputable breeder, including genetic testing and warranties.

1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

If you want a small dog have you considered a papillon? They are amazing at agility and also used for service dog work! We watched the national Agility finals and almost all the small dogs were Papilions and some fairly well known trainers have used them for service dogs. They are small, but unlike most toy breeds they retain their sporting dog personality - there other name is a continental toy spaniel and they have a spaniel personality. 

https://papillonclub.org/articles-papillons-in-service/

And if this video doesn't make you want a papillon, I don't know what will. Seriously, they are incredibly smart dogs, and there are more breeders with well established lines, etc. I'm not a little dog person, but these things are SMART. And adorable. 

 

these are also one of the smaller breeds I could own. (I like GSDs.)

my mom had a Papillion purchased as an adult from a local breeder - she was a smart little thing. she was a former show dog -  well trained and great on a leash.  we think someone in her past may have kicked/stepped-on her - as she would never come to us a for a treat if we were standing. as soon as we sat down, she was there.

I helped mom pick an appropriate temperament (re: very calm), and she still watched everything going on around her.  she was great with dudeling even in the toddler stage when he was deathly afraid of dogs.  she helped him calm down around dogs, and learn to do "gentle" pets.  ( he tolerates 1dd's  med Australian labradoodle (recognized breed in Australia, with organizations in the US pushing for akc recognition)- he's very active.)

 

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