Puppy buyer – beware

I was just at the corner store when I saw one of my neighbors with the cutest and tiniest pup ever. She was in line right in front of me and I asked her what kind of pup it was. She told me it was a Pomeranian and added that SHE was just over 7 weeks old.

We walked together outside and stopped by our cars in the parking lot to continue our conversation. What I found out is still giving me a headache and here is the story behind it:

My neighbor it seems will be losing her job come the end of September. She figures she has enough in savings and with unemployment will be set financially until the new year. The little female pup was bought as the beginnings of her “new business”, breeding dogs. It appears that the person who sold her the pup told her that she could make lots and lots of money by breeding small breed dogs. I personally know that there is almost no profit in breeding and selling pet quality dogs so I asked her a few questions. Here are my questions and her answers to them:

  • Is the pup registered with the AKC? No, the breeder lost the papers in a fire so the pups are not registered (that is a big red flag right there, the pup is probably not even a purebred Pom)
  • How old did the breeder tell you the pup had to be to breed it? She didn’t think to ask that question.

I then enlightened her to some facts about small dogs and dog breeding in general:

  • Dogs don’t mature until they are 1.5-2 years old. Yes the females can come into heat as early as 6 months old but it is not wise to breed a dog on it’s first heat. Their bodies are not mature enough to sustain a growing dog and support puppies too.
  • Female dogs only go into “heat” (the only time they can get pregnant) once every 6 months
  • Tiny dog breeds typically have small litters of pups. 2 is the average size litter and 4 would be considered a large litter.
  • Even if her dog had 2 litters a year that would be only 4-8 pups and at pet prices only bring her in about $800 to $1600 for the year if she was lucky.

Here comes the biggest bit of info that gave me the thumping of a headache. I asked her if she even knew of a stud dog in the area to breed her dog to. Her answer was that the person that sold her the dog would give her a great price on breeding the female back to her sire! The breeder had convinced my neighbor that this was normal to breed a daughter to her father and was done all the time in the dog world! My reply was a polite way of saying you were taken for a ride on that one.

Now I am off to get some painkillers for my head.

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