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Puppy mills are everywhere. Even puppy mills have nice websites. What is a puppy mill?
It is a "breeder" that houses many dogs in one location without the appropriate care
necessary for the physical and/or emotional well being of the dogs. These dogs may have appropriate food, water, and shelter to meet the local Animal Control requirements, but they are lacking in the attention and care required to maintain a temperamentally well

balanced, healthy dog. Temperament is only 35% inherited. About 65% of their
temperament is formed by the environment in which they are raised. Proper socialization is the only way puppies will develop into socially well balanced dogs. Puppy mills breed
continuously regardless of the demand. Many times they have puppies older than 8 weeks of age available but they won't advertise they are over 8 weeks of age, so you need to ask. Anxious families who aren't willing to wait for a quality bred puppy fall victim to puppy mills who have puppies readily available. These "over 8 week old" puppies may be labeled as "crate trained". This is not same as housebroken. This likely means the puppies have been kept in crates for extended periods of time, but do not actually live in the house and are not housebroken.

Puppy mills charge a fee for you to visit the facility.  If you live too far away to visit, at least ask if a fee is charged for you to visit.  If so, hang up and call a GANA member breeder (www.GoldendoodleAssociation.com).

Puppy mills require you to submit an application before they will allow you to visit if they allow you to visit at all.  Beware of giving this type of operation your personal information before they are willing to allow you to visit and access their breeding facility.

Puppy mill websites will show numerous litters of puppies at one time that are available.  They may state that "only one male and one female puppy are available" to disquise that none of them are really sold.  They need you to believe others are buying the puppies making it okay for you to buy a puppy. 

Photos of the parent dogs are often lying down so as to disguise poor conformation such as short legs and long backs.

They produce several breeds of dogs - most reputable breeders choose to concentrate on producing one breed. Most likely only one breed will be featured on a website, so you may have to search for other websites using a person's name, etc.

Statements and photos on their website are duplicates from other websites. Puppy mill
breeders generally don't have the knowledge nor ethics to promote appropriate practices, so they tend to copy information and photos off prominent websites as well as taking credit for accomplishments of other breeders. Look for the use of proper English as educated breeders are also educated people in general.

Established and reputable breeders typically have photo galleries of the puppies they have sold showing them as adult dogs. Satisfied customers keep in touch with their breeder and love to share new photos. Websites that only show puppies in photos taken by the breeder are a red flag. Testimomials can easily be made up, but photos cannot.

Statements about the length of time in business can easily be checked. Ask for names and numbers of customers from the first year of business. If none can be provided, the date is inaccurate.

The maximum breeding age of a female per reproductive and general practitioner vets is 6 years of age. Puppy mills and irresponsible breeders will continue breeding females
beyond the age of 6. If ages of parent dogs are not posted on the website, be sure to ask their age and insist on verification by seeing their registration papers.

If it takes more than 24 hours for a return call or email to your inquiry, this is a bad sign. If a breeder is not responsive to perspective customers, you can't expect them to be
responsive when you call/email about a problem with your new puppy!

If any of the above is suspected, do not place a deposit unless you can visit the breeder to check out the facilities. Things to look for during a visit:

Adult dogs have dull, matted, course coats. Be sure to pet and interact with several adult

dogs while visiting. A puppy mill may have one or two dogs they use to greet visitors while keeping all the others "off limits" to visitors. A conscientious breeder will have ALL their dogs clean, brushed, and periodically clipped/trimmed to maintain a healthy coat and properly socialized to meet visitors.

Puppies have dried feces stuck on their coats and rear end. This is a sign that the
puppies are not kept in clean conditions. Make sure you insist on viewing where puppies
are raised.

An overwhelming odor of dog feces when you enter the door - A kennel or home that
smells of feces is not a clean environment.

The property in general has an unkept look with unused items such as broken equipment, etc. in the yard.

Meet the stud if he is owned by the "breeder". If he is said to be off the premises because he is being bred elsewhere at the time, make arrangements to visit again when he is on the premises. Or better yet, ask to schedule your original visit only when the stud is available and on the premises.

Many buildings to house the adult dogs on one property - this is done so only one building has to be maintained to show appropriate accommodations. If you see more than one building/shed/kennel used to house dogs, make sure you insist on seeing the inside of each building. If the "breeder" uses excuses such as the fear of spreading germs, insist you will only peer in the door and not enter the building.

If any of the above rings a bell while communicating or visiting with a breeder, you may
wish to avoid this breeder. Most puppy mills survive on the premise that caring customers feel they are "rescuing" the puppy from a bad situation. What is actually being done by purchasing a puppy from a puppy mill is you are perpetuating this practice. The only way to stop puppy mills is to refuse to give them your business. Puppy mills come and go, so warranties implied with the sale of a puppy are not worth the paper on which they are written. HELP STOP PUPPY MILLS!!

How to spot a Puppy Mill or Poor Breeder