‘How to Buy a Dog Safely’ by Debbie Connolly

‘We’ve hopefully all seen “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” and the recent Bateson report on dog breeding, yet there is still no proper advice on dog buying.

For years there have been campaigns about puppy farming and yet there are more now than ever.

What gets missed is the fact that some people do it deliberately as it’s “no questions asked” and having been turned away by good breeders, they still get one and it ends up in rescue.

Bad breeding isn’t just about puppy farms, it’s about selfish people breeding pets and selling to anyone with the money.

It’s about greedy people putting any two dogs together to make more pedigrees and not health testing.

I’ve written about this before, this version is my funny one, but the point is the same, don’t fall for lies.

Here are the excuses you will hear on your search for the best puppy and the translation:

They’re not Kennel Club registered, they’re just pets, you’re not showing it are you?

I have stolen/found this dog and I’m not 100% certain that next doors dog isn’t a cross.


I bought this pedigree dog from a breeder who sensibly endorsed the paperwork to stop me registering the puppies until I did the health tests. I didn’t bother.

I don’t need health tests, look at the parents, don’t they look fine to you?

I am Superman and have x-ray vision. This enables me to know whether my dogs have any form of illness. Don’t tell anyone because I am retired.

It will cost you another £100, but I can KC register it if you want?

It really costs £15 a puppy, but I can see you are too stupid to know that. Also see first point above.

This registration is better than the KC one, that’s just for show dogs/snobs.

It isn’t and none of them are. My dog might be a cross, but this certificate enabled me to add £150 to the price.

I don’t have the mother because…

She got run over/belongs to my terminally ill relative/had to go stay at friends because she’s upset puppies are going. I really hope the terminally ill one gets you as I got these from a friend/puppy farm and that story usually embarrasses people into not asking questions.

There’s only one puppy because I sold the rest, this is the last one.

I steal puppies regularly and pass them on to idiots. Yes, he is big for 8 weeks isn’t he?

I have health tested, but haven’t got the certificates back yet, vet said the dogs hips were fine.

My relative is delusional and thinks he is Superman or a vet.

I have KC registered them, but the KC takes ages.

Just give me the money, and I will string you along for ages when you will not care any more because you will be attached to the dog. Don’t I look honest guv?

I’ve had to put Mum out there, she doesn’t like people taking the puppies.

Yes I know she is trying to smash the window to get to you, surely you know what hormones do?  Please ignore the bandage I am wearing, that’s a coincidence.

I will meet you at the services as I live up a mountain/am having work done/happen to be going your way.

I am amazed you are stupid enough to do this. When I roll my window down and put my hand out for the money, you give it to me!  You do make it so easy for us puppy farmers, I thank you.

It’s a new/rare colour so it costs more.

Basically I messed up the breeding as I used the first dog I found. You haven’t done your research either, so when I tell you this dog will win Crufts because it is a rare colour, you’ll believe me. Yes, stripes are normal on a Labrador.’

Debbie’s SafePets website


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  1. Thank you Debbie (and Marc) for that article. All potential puppy purchasers should read it.
    It made me smile.

    I don’t normally smile when I hear those words – and I have heard them all before – every one of them – from people who phone our rescue and ask us to take in their dog because they can’t cope with the problems their nice little puppy has developed as it has grown up.
    Health problems, behavioural issues – that is, if it has survived to develop.

    Where did you get it? What did they say? – I ask over the phone.
    So many times I hear the words (or a variation) that are written above.

    It’s not so funny under those circumstances and it doesn’t make me smile then.
    I just think of the misery caused by the greed of the breeders involved.
    I think – when will people ever learn? What is it that makes them fall under the spell of the breeders glib excuses – and believe them?
    I find myself asking – Why does the desire to have a new puppy cause so many to throw away common sense?
    can we put this on our website – please – with due credit of course.

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