As Puppy Awareness Week (12-18 September) approaches, the Kennel Club is urging potential puppy buyers to carefully source their new puppies in order to avoid fuelling the puppy farming industry.

According to a Kennel Club research, one in ten people bought a ‘mail order pup’ from the internet online or from a newspaper advert – all without seeing the puppy or the mother first. This is a very strong sign that the pup has come from a puppy farm, as these breeders do their utmost  without seeing it first. This is a classic sign that the puppy has come from a puppy farm, as the breeders will do all they can to ensure the buyers don’t see the dreadful conditions the puppies are born into and the state their mothers are kept.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said, “Sadly it is all too easy for puppy buyers to be duped by irresponsible breeders, whose puppies end up with severe health and behavioural problems because of the terrible start they have had in life. It is absolutely shocking that people are still buying pups online and from newspaper adverts without seeing the pup they are buying first and meeting the breeder. There is nothing wrong with sourcing a puppy online, so long as adverts on the website comply with the Pet Advertising Advisory Group’s minimum standards for advertising pets, but you must then meet the breeder and the pup and ensure the breeder is doing the right things.

“Unless people insist on seeing mum and seeing the home environment, then unsuspecting puppy buyers will continue to buy puppies that will end up with health and behavioural problems that will cost them dearly, both financially and emotionally. It is quite likely that the pups they are buying will have been brought into the country illegally or raised on puppy farms in the UK.”


Many of the dogs smuggled into the UK are from breeds that are considered to be ‘trendy’ and fashionable, such as the French Bulldog and the Pug, but no breed is truly safe. Animal charities have been campaigning to end the puppy trade from abroad, as well as puppy farming within the UK’s borders. What puppy buyers can do is cutting this cruel industry’s income by following certain steps when buying a puppy, in order to ensure they come from a reputable breeder:

  • Buy the puppy from the breeder directly – no third parties such as pet shops or websites
  • Visit the breeding environment, to see where the pup is being raised and socialised
  • Ask to meet the puppy’s mother and to watch her interacting with the litter; if the breeder denies any of these requests, move away
  • Ensure that the pup’s parents have been health-checked and the pup vaccinated prior to coming home
  • Be ready to wait for the right puppy: it may take time, but a pup who’s healthy, properly socialised and who hasn’t been taken from his mother too soon, is worth the wait

Researching the breed prior to committing to a pup is also necessary. The Kennel Club research also shows that one in five buy a puppy because of the way it looks, while ensuring that the breed is the right fit for their lifestyle should be their main concern – next to making sure they buy from a reputable breeder.

Image by RSPCA.



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