Mastiff breeders are becoming more and more concerned with the large number of poorly bred
puppies that are being sold to the unsuspecting puppy buyer. Many of these puppies end up having
numerous health problems and poor temperaments. We have been working together and have come
up with a list that we feel could be indications of an inferior bred puppy, and what you, the puppy
buyer, should be aware of when searching for your new addition. These red flags are listed below.
First and foremost, NEVER purchase a puppy from a pet store. These puppies are usually raised by
irresponsible backyard breeders or puppy mills and rarely have any pedigree or health information
available. You should also never buy from someone that sits in front of a store and has a box of
adorable little puppies for sale.
Listed below are some of the red flags you may want to watch for when searching for a
- Lack of health testing of parents before breeding - may mention they "know their lines" and
testing is unnecessary. Responsible breeders feel strongly that health testing is necessary to
limit the chance of producing an unhealthy puppy. If absolutely no health testing can be
verified, you should look for a puppy elsewhere.
- Pedigrees that display "convenience breeding" rather than selected breeding. A dedicated
breeder will have selected the two dogs they breed to produce puppies very carefully, and will
be familiar with all their parents. Some indications of "convenience breeding" or puppy mill
breedings are no champions, very young or old parents, and/or the breeder is unfamiliar with
any of the dogs in the pedigree. Ask for a 3 generation pedigree. Beware of a breeding that
may have been done from convenience or a puppy mill, rather than a thoughtful selection for
the best possible puppy.
- Someone that produces puppies in mass quantities and/or is breeding several different breeds
of dogs at one time. This can be a tricky one.... Some very responsible breeders produce
higher amounts of puppies than others breeders. They health test their dogs, take good care of
them, participate in AKC events, and produce some very nice puppies. Not all responsible
breeders are the same and this is where the pedigree research and a close relationship with
your breeder comes into play. The goal here is to AVOID puppy mills.
- Someone that can not answer breed specific questions. A responsible breeder should always
be able to give you specific information about the breed, such as known health issues that are
associated with that breed.
- Someone that does not register their dogs with AKC (American Kennel Club) or the CKC
(Canadian Kennel Club), but may use a different registry such as the Continental Kennel Club -
be careful...the last two clubs mentioned use the same initials). If a breeder does not offer AKC
registration, it is usually because the parents are not registered and very likely came from a
backyard breeder or puppy mill.)
- Someone that fails to ask you (the buyer) questions about your home, family, environment for
the puppy, etc. A responsible breeder cares deeply for the health and happiness of the
puppies they produce. Their goal is to make sure all their puppies go to a safe, secure, loving
home and if they fail to ask you questions, it's a good indication that they do NOT put the well
being of their puppies first. You should continue your search for a breeder that cares deeply
about their puppies.
- A low priced puppy is more than likely a poorly bred puppy. Responsible breeders spend large
amounts of money on reproduction, health, showing, etc. There are too many expenses to list at
this time, but if you see a puppy priced very low, chances are you would not be getting a quality
bred puppy. Another indication is a breeder that charges a low amount and/or a "click here to
pay for your puppy" on their website or allows their puppies to be purchased on credit. We feel
that if a puppy must be purchased on credit, the family may not be financially secure enough to
take care of unexpected medical expenses. Mastiffs are a giant breed and vet care can become
very expensive in no time. Back yard breeders and puppy mills can and do sometimes charge
higher amounts for their puppies to "mask' their poor breedings. They fool people into
believing that a higher priced puppy is a well bred puppy. This is not true and again, pedigree
research becomes very important.
Of course, there are exceptions to the above, but we feel that this is a good place to start. Our goal
is to help the puppy buyer find a responsible breeder who can provide them with a healthy, happy
puppy. If we can help you or answer any of your questions, please feel free to contact us.