Here are some of the dangers of ordering a puppy based on a picture. First and foremost, there is no way to know the puppy’s personality, it’s mental or physical health or temperament by looking at a picture. These are important things to know before adding a new dog to your family.
Ordering a puppy based on what it looks like in a photo is very risky because you are likely spending thousands but really don’t know what you are getting.
Most breeders selling online are not breeding to produce healthy puppies and the result is litter after litter of unhealthy puppies with mental, physical and hereditary defects that may not show up for weeks, months or years.
Any breeder can be a puppy mill and unless you visit in person meet the puppy and meet the mother dog you will never know where your puppy was born. Here are photos of USDA commercial dog breeders. They are licensed and legal and are breeders who are allowed to direct ship puppies or meet in parking lots.
Puppies are usually removed from their mothers and littermates around 6 weeks old which can affect their socialization with other dogs and humans. They can endure a lifetime of behavior problems, aggression, fear, anxiety and extreme shyness or submission.
Reading a dog’s body language in person is important. Make sure you see the puppy walk. Focus on how they hold their head and ears, eye contact, the position of their tails, their body posture, and their mouths. When meeting the puppy in person, you may notice he does not feel or look well.
Think about it, responsible breeders do not direct ship, meet you in a parking lot or send their precious puppies via nanny service to the first person that sends in a deposit.
Don’t believe photos or videos sent by the breeder. You must meet the puppy and meet the mother dog in person before you buy it.
Puppy for sale
What to look for when you meet the puppy.
Mental and Physical Health:
Coat: Is the puppy’s coat clean and well groomed? Does the puppy have any open sores or wounds? Does its skin look healthy? Does the puppy have stained fur around its feet and toes? Do you see discharge or stains around the puppy’s eyes?
Dirty coats and yellow/brown stains on paws or under eyes may indicate that the puppy is sick or has not been kept clean and/or has been living in a dirty environment.
Body condition: Is the puppy well fed, overweight or skinny? Can you see it’s ribs or back bone? What about their nails and feet? Are the puppy’s nails clipped, do you see any sores on its feet?
Personality: Is the puppy social? Does it run up to you or cower or stiffen when you get near. Is the puppy confident? Does it look you in the eyes or avoid eye contact?
Do it look and act overall happy and well adjusted? Does it have a sparkle in its eyes?
Is the puppy holding its head up, are his ears perky, is his posture upright or does he hang his head low and have his ears back?
Is the puppy shaking and putting it’s tail between its legs? Cowering and shaking dogs that are hunched downward are showing signs of stress, anxiety and or fear. The dog may be trying to get away from something it is afraid of, or it may be sick or not feeling well.
These are important clues about the overall health of the puppy. You should be paying for a healthy puppy.
Eye Contact: Does the puppy look you in the eye or does he look away and avoid eye contact?
Dogs that avoid eye contact can be afraid or stressed or sick. Avoiding eye contact is their way of hiding from you. It is possible the dog is anxious or overwhelmed, this could be a sign of submissiveness, or the puppy may be uncomfortable.
Health: Is the puppy overall healthy and happy? Are his eyes bright and clear? Do they have a runny nose? Are they alert or do they look and act sad?
Dull or distant eyes or eyes/noses with discharge may indicate health issues, anxiety, or depression.
Kennel and surroundings: The living conditions of dogs affect their overall temperament and health and stress level.
How are all of the dogs living? Would you keep your dogs in this kennel? Is the kennel clean? Are the food and water bowls clean do the dogs have fresh clean water? Do they have plenty of space inside and outside?
Do the dogs live on raised all wire kennels? Are the grounds surrounding the kennel dirty or cluttered?
These are the reasons why it is so important to visit the breeder to see where the puppy was born and the mental and physical condition of the mother dog. Your new puppy will be yours for up to 15 years. It is very important to see how your breeder treats all of his dogs before you purchase. You don’t want to support animal cruelty and get a puppy that might be unhealth and poorly bred.
Here are photos of legal USDA dog breeders, the ones selling online.
Listen to your gut. Don’t buy the puppy because you feel badly for it. That is not rescuing. That will only keep the breeder in business and the suffering of the breeding dogs will continue.
FAQ’s about buying puppies from photos online.
Before you spend likely thousands of dollars on a puppy, you want to make sure it was born in a loving clean environment. Always meet your new puppy and the mother dog in person before you buy it. The puppy should have an overall healthy look to him and should a happy well adjusted puppy.
Make sure his eyes are bright, he is clean and happy. Look at his body language make sure his tail is up and wagging. Is his posture good? Does he hold his head up or cower away, is he curious or submissive?
Does he run up to you or is he afraid to approach you? Is the kennel where he lives clean? Is the breeders house and property clean. Listen to your gut.
There are many many risks to buying a puppy online. Since your puppy will live for 10-15 years, it is important to see firsthand where it was born and that your puppy is happy and healthy. It is also important to make sure the breeder is not a puppy mill.
Pick your puppy up in person, meet the mother dog, see her mental and physical condition. She should be clean, happy and well adjusted.
If you don’t see the kennel in person and meet the mother dog you are taking a big risk and could get an unhealthy and poorly bred puppy that may have mental and physical or genetic health issues that may not show up for weeks, months or years after you purchase your puppy.
It is not safe to buy puppies online. It is not safe to have a puppy shipped to you by airplane, nanny service or even meeting the breeder halfway or in a parking lot. If you are not able to pick up the puppy in person, meet the mother dog and where she and all of the breeder’s dogs live, you might be supporting a puppy mill.
These deliver methods are tactics to keep you from seeing the property.
There is no way to tell the health and temperament of a puppy by looking at a picture.
Over 1 million puppy mill puppies are sold online each year and it is in your best interest to make sure your new puppy is not coming from one of these breeders. There is no excuse for a breeder that won’t let you see where the dogs live. Video chats, videos and photos are not acceptable or replace seeing firsthand.
It takes time to find a new puppy. Since you will likely be paying thousands of dollars for your puppy, and it will be a part of your family for 12-15 years, it’s important to find a healthy well-bred puppy. Do your research online but never take a breeder’s word for it. Don’t believe photos and videos. Know what red flags to look out for.
It’s important to go to the breeders home in person and see where the dogs live and how he treats them. Responsible breeders should have no problem with that.
Always meet the mother dog, see her mental and physical condition and where she lives before you buy a puppy. See where and how she and all of the breeding dogs live.
A puppy mill is a dog breeder that puts profit over the health and well-being of the breeding dogs and puppies produced. These breeders vary in size from small ten to twenty dogs to very large breeders that have hundreds of breeding dogs. Puppy mills are legal. Here are photos of legal USDA dog breeders, the ones allowed to ship puppies.
Unlike responsible breeders, who breed to produce the healthiest puppies possible, puppy mills produce puppies that have poor genetic and health quality. Many of these dogs have genetic and hereditary health issues.
Puppy mills keep the mother and father dogs pregnant and sell the puppies. The breeding dogs are forced to breed twice a year or at every heat cycle and they are usually kept in wire cages, many times stacked.
The breeding dogs are not groomed, they are not given opportunity to exercise nor do they know the touch of a loving hand. They are denied veterinary care and most are living and breeding with painful conditions such as urinary tract infections, ear infections, rotten teeth, infected eyes, tumors, infected mammary glands and sore feet from standing on wire cage floors.
It is important to know that any breeder can be a puppy mill. It’s hard to imagine the breeder you are talking or texting with could be a puppy mill. If the breeder has excuses why they won’t let you see where they keep the breeding dogs or you are not able to meet the mother dog in person, walk away.