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Puppy Farming Interview Part two

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Puppy Farming Interview Part two

Below is part two of two of an interview with Hannah Greeno about puppy farming, how to find puppies responsibly and what to avoid when looking. Conducted by Priya Bassi.

PB: How has your workload or business been affected by puppy farming?

HG: My workload increases with the number of people that fall into the puppy farming traps. Unfortunately clients with farmed puppies have a long road ahead of them. Pretty much all teacup puppies are farmed and don't live much more than 6-12 months in many cases. So it has happened before that a client has spent a huge amount of money on training only for the puppy to die before training has even finished. More than health problems though, I see a huge increase in behavior problems with farmed puppies. Many exhibit behaviors at 13 weeks that you wouldn't expect an average city dog to develop until at least 8 months, if at all. Again the safest way to avoid this risk is to rescue an adult dog whose personality and primary experiences are already formed so you know what you are getting.

 

PB: Do you think that current legislations on puppy farming are effective in battling the trade or should they be updated? Are the sanctions under these acts effective?

HG: Current laws and sanctions are ineffective when it comes to puppy farming in my opinion. If they were effective we would see a decline in the problem but it only increases. At least now, governing bodies have started to view the epidemic as an issue that requires attention. A very good suggestion that was brought to the house of commons for discussion by the group Pup Aid, was that puppies should not be bought or sold unless seen with their mother.

 

PB: How are the dogs affected by puppy farming?

HG: The dogs are affected by puppy farming in many different ways. Mainly related to health and behavior problems. From a health perspective, little thought or care is given to whether or not either sire or dam is healthy and unlikely to pass hereditary problems on to their puppies. Puppy farmers are likely to follow certain trends in the market such as teacup, brachycephalic or dogs that are unable to mate naturally, causing fatal problems such as organs being too small to function, snouts being too short to function correctly or puppies getting stuck due to their unnatural shape. From a behavior perspective, the first 12 weeks of a puppy’s life is crucial, many aspects of development need to be covered in this time to ensure a well rounded companion dog. The puppy farmers do not have the time/environment/skill/knowledge or inclination to be bothered with correct puppy socialization and development. The implications of failing at this task, affect the whole of society in a negative way. Puppy farmed dogs almost always suffer a poor quality of life in some way.

 

PB: How do you think the puppy farming issue could be resolved or prevented?

HG: The puppy farming issue could be resolved or prevented by a culmination of factors including but not limited to, educating the public on how to avoid these cruel practices and how important it is to do a lot of research prior to getting a dog, capping the price of puppies to make it less attractive for people to breed for money, licensing and certifying every breeder of puppies. Accidental litters are found homes through rescue centers. Promoting dog rescue instead of buying puppies.

 

PB: How can the public be made more aware and educated on this illegal trade?

HG: This trade is not illegal, in many cases poor breeding facilities actually have a license to produce the puppies and puppies are legally imported into the UK. More awareness and education can be facilitated by using the mass media to expose what actually goes on within this industry, documentaries and television shows can be scheduled for prime time viewing, the government can pass effective legislation, prospective owners can take a dog professional or vet with them to view puppies in their environment and carry out questioning and testing prior to purchasing any puppy.

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Puppy Farming interview part one

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Puppy Farming interview part one

Below is part one of two of an interview with Hannah Greeno about puppy farming,  how to find puppies responsibly and what to avoid when looking. Conducted by Priya Bassi.

 

PB: How would you define and describe puppy farms (also known as puppy mills)?

HG: I would describe puppy farms as commercial producers and suppliers of puppies with their sole interest being monetary gain. Purposefully disregarding the health and welfare requirements, both physical and mental, of the dogs and any puppies produced.

 

PB: What do you think the main cause of the increasing popularity of puppy farming in the United Kingdom is? And what other factors do you think encourages puppy farming?

HG: I think the main cause of the increasing popularity of puppy farming in the UK is the current culture of impulse buying and consumerism which is supported and encouraged by the mainstream media. The public are able to purchase a puppy online the same way they would a television or their weekly shop. Or walk into a pet shop and buy 'the puppy in the window' with little to no advice given or questions asked. On a larger scale, unhappy people sometimes buy dogs impulsively in an attempt to make themselves feel better.

 

PB: Some argue that the media/internet is responsible for the increase in demand for puppies from mills as people are able to advertise the dogs online so that the true wellbeing of the dogs is unknown. However there is a counter argument that the media is important as it can bring awareness to the issue in a positive way through things such as online petitions. What role do you think the media/internet plays in puppy farming; is it necessary or unnecessary, is it more positive or negative?

HG: As with many issues, the key to solving the problem of puppy farming is education. The media and internet can be useful in serving this purpose. It is necessary to use the media and internet to create and spread awareness about these issues. However, currently I would say this medium is more negative than positive due to the following examples:

Instagram/facebook

Celebrity dogs

Advertising campaigns

Memes

Youtube

Film, eg. 101 Dalmatians, Men in Black etc.

 

PB: Do you find yourself getting a lot of inquires about how to avoid buying a puppy from a puppy farm?

HG: Unfortunately I don't get many inquiries from people looking to avoid buying their puppy from a puppy farm, unless they have been referred to me by a previous client.

Roughly 1 in 4 puppies I see are from a puppy dealer. A puppy dealer is someone who buys in puppies from the puppy farm in order to sell them on for profit. It has been known that this type of person will purposefully keep the puppies in very poor conditions so as to tug on the heart strings of customers, leading them to buy them the whole litter in an attempt to 'rescue' them. This is quick money for the dealer, who then replaces the puppies with more to sell and so it goes on.

 

PB: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to buy a dog that could help them avoid buying from a puppy mill?

HG: I set up my business to help combat puppy farming so I provide a service called Canine Needs Puppy Match. This allows me to guide a client through the puppy buying process step by step right from the beginning to avoid many of the mistakes that people commonly make. It does so much more than prevent people buying from puppy farms, but elements included that combat this problem are:

Responsible breeder sourcing – going to the right websites to find BREEDERS not adverts.

Interviews – Conduct telephone interviews to ensure they are actually a responsible breeder, I usually do this on behalf of my clients as I know the right questions to ask. I then expect the breeder to want to interview my client.

Home testing – I conduct a series of tests at the breeders home. Do not even go and see the puppies before meeting the mother first, if the mother is not perfect, go home.

The best guarantee for preventing puppy farming is dog rescue.

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Introducing house training routine primary

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Introducing house training routine primary

Many of my clients will contact me for help with toilet training their new puppy. If you have purchased a puppy from a reputable breeder, your pup should already be house trained by the time you collect at around 8 weeks old. The breeder should then provide you with a routine so that you are able to maintain the house training schedule in your own home, minimising any accidents.

You can see details of an example primary puppy routine below, which is used from 4-6 weeks of age to implement house training and weaning. Please always supervise your puppies when in the garden. If you don't have a safe, enclosed, private garden, you shouldn't be breeding dogs.

7am out to toilet in garden with Mum for 15 minutes

715am food and play 15 mins

730am sleep in whelping box without Mum (Mum break)

9am out to toilet in garden with Mum for 15 mins

915am food and play 15mins

930am sleep in whelping box with Mum

11am out to toilet with Mum

1115am food and play

1130am sleep in whelping box (mum break)

 

1pm out to toilet with mum and dad (or similar)

115pm play and food

130pm Sleep in whelping box with mum

3pm out to toilet with mum and dad

315pm food and play

330pm sleep in whelping box (mum break)

5pm out to toilet with mum and dad

515pm food and play

530pm sleep in whelping box with mum

 

7pm out toilet with mum

715pm cuddles and food

730pm sleep in whelping box (mum break)

9pm out to toilet with mum

915pm playtime

930pm sleep on humans

11pm out to toilet

1115pm bedtime with mum

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