Archived Message
CH Pet Store Pups?

by cathy brown

Today when I picked Lucy up from grooming at a "kennel" that in reality brings in dogs from breeders by specific orders for a particular breed as well as I guess what they think they can sell, a woman had just purchased a male maltese. Of course, I now am into this "never buy from pet store/ puppymill" thing from reading this board. So I was holding my tongue about buying a dog there when they pulled out this pup's pedigree to show the woman. It was COVERED in champions. This dog had more champions in its blood lines (and some from kennels I've heard about here) than the winner at Westminster (only a slight exaggeration). So, now I am curious. How is this? If all the "bad" dogs are found in the pet store; the ones from puppy mills that have no care in the breeding process, the one's with physical and emotional problems, how does this woman buy a maltese with 80 champions (more or less)in its bloodline? Inquiring minds want to know. Does anyone have the answer?


Cathy: I don't have the answer to your question, but KoKo was purchased at a Pet Store. I wanted a dog so badly and my husband said no until he was "that face". I thought I finally got him to see my way. We took KoKo home that night and in most areas she is a better dog that Shayna, who we purchased from a Breeder. Perhaps the 15 months age difference is the reason and Shayna will develop into a better dog, but I don't see how. Shayna is now 6 1/2 months old and yesterday and this morning she piddled on the rug while I was getting out of bed. KoKo hasn't had an accident since she was 5 months old. That is just one situation where KoKo is a better dog. I can give you many others. We would never had got a second dog if it weren't for KoKo being so great. She is an Agility dog and has passed the test to be trained as a Hearing Guide Dog. Unfortunately due to Shayna's arrival they would not train KoKo. Shayna is more to "Standard" according to the AKC rules. KoKo is curly and tall. But, neither dog was purchased to show, just to love. I realize I was lucky, but that may be your answer. You can get lucky.

Please stay away from pet store pups. I wouldn't beleive anything they tell you nor would I believe in this fantastic pedigree they claim is for the dog they are trying to peddle. Also, just because a dog has many, many champion ancestors, doesn't mean he/she has what it takes to carry on. There are Maltese with very good lines whose offspring are far from "show quality".

I have many opinions on this from many many many sources, and here is what I came up with. I visited some puppy mills and was sick to see the conditions these puppies were living in. The majority of these puppies are being sold in Pet Stores. The only way we can get a control on the puppy mills is to not purchase their puppies. There are some pet stores that I found that do purchase their stock from local breeders and those can be verified by asking to see the papers on the puppy before purchase, and then visiting the breeder. The pet store here will allow you to do this. Jay is also correct in the paperwork. I verified one puppy's papers a month ago and called the breeder of the most current champion and found that the puppy did not come from this Sire. This is not to say all breeders can be trusted as well. The best way to purchase a puppy that you will have a long, long time is research. Before I purchase a dog now, I call every breeder on the pedigree to verify that the papers are right, then I check the breeder through other breeders that have been in the business a long time (they will all answer your questions) and are mainly show breeders. I also check with the BBB in their town. I do not purchase a puppy less than 4 or 5 months of age (my husband does) so that I can tell more what that puppy will look like, and the personality traits. I bought one puppy, unknown to me, from a puppy mill. He is neutered as he had asthma. I was really upset to know that I had furthered their cause, and will never do that again.
-Marsha A.

Marsha, I agree whole heartily with all your comments. One problem although I do have is understanding a reason why a good responsible breeder who really cares about the welfare of his newborn pups would ever sell them to a pet store? We all know there is only 1 question the pet store salesperson asks of his potential buyer and that is of course "will that be cash or charge?". Or maybe 1 other question "need any other accessories? leash, color, food, etc". I have to interview the person or family myself before placing our pups to assure they will be going to a good, healthy environment. I'm sure you're the same way. I wouldn't trust some financially motivated commissioned salesperson making that decision for me. No breeder with any true love for the Maltese breed would.

I really don't know how anyone could market their puppies that way. I could not take one of my babies and put it in a cage to be left alone all night, and only see the world through a glass window. Plus the dangers of being handled by so many people when they are so young and do not have all of their shots yet. I worry so much about where mine go, I do a site visit before selling one. But I guess that is the difference in making a living selling puppies and breeding for other purposes and having a job to earn your living. Last week as I was passing the Mall, there were 6 cars and vans on the side of the road with puppies in cages. Signs said puppies for sale. These little guys were in the hot sun, no water and panting. I stopped, first got names and addresses of all, and then, made my comments. Thank goodness my husband is a sherrif and big, or I might not be typing this now. Anyway, I made animal control come out(it took alot of nagging) and remove them from that area. I am sure, however, they went down the road and set up again, but not in such a good spot.
-Marsha A.

Oh my! I feel like I rescued my pup from that pet store. We only bought her to love and if she turns out to be a dog "only a mother could love", that is fine [she is cute-- I think anyway] and it was on impulse [prompted by my 6 yr all know that story by now]. I just looked at her Cert. of Pedigree and she is just regular folk with no CHs., But the breeder names: Dale or Nina Harrell appear on the cert. Does anyone know of them? How can I find out if this a puppy-mill? The majority of her line states "wh blk pts". What does this mean? Both Sire and Dam have registration [?] numbers beside their names. I have to admit, now that I own a dog, it breaks my heart to see the animals behind those glass cages. They are usually in pairs. I want to take them all home with me. Did anyone read that article in GoodDog magazine about the life of a lost dog from a dog's point of view [the article was written as though the dog wrote it],..talked about him being out in the street.."my leg is pain, but nobody will help me",... made me cry [Jay, can I fax it to you, if you haven't got it?] I'm sorry I got emotional here..getting back to the breeder thing...I also have a paper that lists the following information: Breeder #43A926, Rocky Comfort, MO AKC#TN484552/04. It also lists all her immunizations: the type, mfg., lot #, expiration date, and date given. How can I find out if Pixie Bella came from a reputable breeder or puppy-mill? Pixie Bella has adjusted well to all of us, is healthy, and has a wonderful tempermant and docile disposition. [I HOPE THIS POST DOESN'T GET LOST !...I really believe it was "an outside job!]

I am sorry if I made you feel badly about buying your puppy at a pet store, I didn't intend to do that at all. I am sure she is a wonderful puppy that will give you many years of love. It really doesn't matter where she came from now that she is with you. Congratulations on your new puppy.
-Marsha A.

Good for you Marsha!!! I also had a situation in which I went to a house looking for a puppy and the lady told me to wait outside. She then brought out 3 puppies. When she went in the house for more I looked through the window and couldn't believe my eyes. There must of been 50 dogs in there, it smelled so terrible. I couldn't get the smell off my hands or clothes. I went home, called the humane society, and had her closed down. She was renting and was kicked out but I'm sure she is somewhere setting up shop again. I bought my Maltese from a home where the mother and grandmother were the family pets and it was a very good experience. I am a FIRM believer in not buying from a pet store. Thank g-d Vickie you were lucky..... you got a great dog and Pixie got a great mommy. One last point....if you see something you don't like at the pet stores.... say something....get involved. Talk to the manager... threaten to call the humane society. By the way, all those puppies were placed in good homes, it was even on the local news station!

Marsha, no apology necessary. I enjoy reading your posts. I want to be educated about situations such as this. I'm sure if I had known all the valuable information you folks know beforehand..I wouldn't have bought on impulse, but would have known more about what to look for. I feel sorry for those puppies.I want to know what is going on. Thank You. Marilyn, actually heard about the litter my baby came from? If it isn't too much trouble, could you post or email me with more details. I would love to know. Please write. Thanks!

Copyright 1996, 1997© Maltese Only All rights reserved