2nd August 2005, 09:23 PM
UK puppy farm cavaliers and other dogs
When you get a puppy from a pet shop or from a broker (someone selling cavaliers for a third party -- typically they will go to meet you with the dog, rather than have you come to their home, usually they will pretend they are a breeder or else, will advertise several breeds) or from a backyard breeder (someone who casually breeds his or her dog without knowing anything about pedigrees, health issues and so on -- who probably in turn got their dog from a broker) -- this is where your puppy almost certainly came from. A commercial breeding operation -- often illegal, with dogs kept in squalid conditions... and these are the dogs who are your puppy's parents.
Please do your research before buying any puppy, especially if using the internet, especially 'breeders' listed on huge puppy advertising sites, though any breeder on the web needs careful checking out. Most breeders on the big listings sites are not breeders -- either they are brokers obtaining puppies from puppy farms/mills, OR they are the puppy farmers themselves selling directly at huge profit. Even when they say they only have one or two breeds on their website -- and no good breeder could possibly manage more than at a complete stretch, three breeds, usually only one or two -- you often, with a bit of Google-work, can trace many different supposed kennels and all sorts of breeds to their name (the hallmark of a puppy farmer). They set up fake websites to make it look like they are real breedersl, but search for their kennel name and it won't come up on any of the pedigree database sites:
That means no one shows using that kennel, or records that kennel name as good breeders always do for dogs of good background in pedigrees.
If you buy a puppy from such people you perpetuate this hideous regime of breeding. You might have your puppy for a fraction cheaper than it would cost from a good breeder, and almost certainly you'll get one right away rather than having to wait for a litter, but in the meantime the parents of your puppy are still living in tiny cages 24/7, sitting in their feces and urine, often left to suffer with a range of untreated ailments. Because your puppy was bred in total disregard for its family lines -- the bad as well as the good -- and because purebred dog lines are from narrower gene pools to start-- your puppy has a higher risk of ongoing health problems and a far higher risk of early onset heart murmurs -- the very deadly and painful major health issue in the breed which has lowered general life expectancy in poorly bred cavaliers to two-thirds the norm for other small breeds.
PICK YOUR BREEDER WITH CARE AND YOUR PUPPY WITH CARE. ASK TOUGH QUESTIONS. ASK TO SEE HEALTH CLEARANCES FROM APPROPRIATE SPECIALISTS (GENERALLY NOT FROM VETS!). AND NO MATTER HOW CUTE THE PUPPY, WALK AWAY IF THE BREEDER CAN'T GIVE THE RIGHT ANSWERS.