Rogue breeders fool puppy buyers in the Midlands

New research shows that thirty percent of Midlands dog owners say they are clueless about how to find a reputable breeder and the scams that should ring alarm bells.

Almost twenty seven percent didn’t see where their puppy was bred and one in ten spent less than an hour deciding on their pup - making them an easy target for rogue breeders and puppy farmers as they don’t recognise the red flags. 

The research, undertaken for the Kennel Club’s Puppy Awareness Week which runs from 26th August to 1st September, shows those who buy on a whim or purely for looks are left particularly vulnerable and unable to spot the signs of an unscrupulous breeder, with thousands ending up with a sick pup, suffering emotional hardship and paying high vet’s bills. 

Nationally, those who did less than an hours’ worth of research missed key red flags:

  • 90% weren’t asked any questions about their suitability for dog ownership.

  • 83% didn’t see the relevant health tests for the dogs parents.

  • 44% didn’t see the puppy interacting with its mother.

These hasty buying habits, which cause many to miss the warning signs or buy a pup simply because they think it’s ‘cute’, are resulting in serious health and welfare implications. 

One in five puppies bought on an impulse get sick or die before their first birthday, while one in three puppy buyers who bought impulsively spent more than they anticipated looking after their puppy’s health.

Following this damning research, the Kennel Club is warning puppy buyers about making quick or superficial decisions about both the dog they choose and the source they buy it from, and the increasing amount of irresponsible breeders profiting from this. Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said:

“Millions of puppies are suffering as a result of being irresponsibly bred and sold, and millions of consumers are completely unaware that their buying habits are actually fueling this cruel trade.

“The impact of this is truly devastating and brings with it suffering, heartache and financial problems, all for the profit of rogue breeders and puppy farmers.  

“A puppy is for life, it’s not something you should just search for online, see a cute photo and buy within an hour, having it delivered to your door. This is a dangerous trend which is growing with the likes of Instagram, but puppies are not a commodity.

“We are urging people to do proper, careful and extensive research – to ‘paws for thought’ and make sure the pup is right for you, and that you can spot the signs of a bad breeder.

“It is crucial for anyone thinking about getting a dog to go to a responsible breeder, such as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, or to a rescue organisation, and to have spent enough time researching to know what to look for.”

The Kennel Club has produced a video with Dragons Den entrepreneur and Assured Breeder, Jenny Campbell, which demonstrates to puppy buyers what a responsible breeder looks like.

The video and more information about Puppy Awareness Week, including the Kennel Club’s top tips to help puppy buyers #PAWs4thought, can be found at


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