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As most of you probably know, pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills. You never know how horrible the conditions are or how the dog are treated. The poor little guys and girls are often neglected and poorly socialized. It’s not their fault and we love them anyway but giving your hard earned dollars to a pet store just puts money in the wrong people’s pockets.
Most veterinarians feel that pet store puppies have more health and behavior problems but sometimes impressions aren’t always accurate.
Pet Store Puppies Problems?
As many have speculated, there appears to be another good reason not to buy a pet store puppy. That reason is behavior characteristics.
A recently published study in the journal of the AVMA compared dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores to those obtained from breeders.
“Pet store derived dogs received significantly less favorable scores than did breeder-obtained dogs on 12 of 14 behavioral variables measured. They had significantly greater aggression toward human family members, unfamiliar people, and other dogs; greater fear if other dogs; greater fear of other dogs and non-social stimuli; and greater separation-related problems and house soiling.” Source
This study shows us another reason that puppy mills are no good for dogs and pet stores are just the outlet for this tragic industry.
The stress that these puppies go through during the most important socialization period of their lives, puts them at a disadvantage. They are typically exposed to stress such as limited space, little social interaction with a variety of people, exposure to extreme temperatures and dirty living conditions.
At 8 weeks of age, puppies are thought to be particularly sensitive to distressing physical or psychological stimulation.
The researchers also considered the possible effect of the lack of or type of training the different sets of puppies received. There has been some research done that looked at the effects of training on the development of behavior problems.
The take home message here is that we should continue to tell everyone we know to stop buying puppies from pet stores. The only way to effectively stop the puppy mills is to stop giving them money. Legislation is not going to stop them. Look at the “war on drugs”.
Pet stores get most of their puppies from puppy mills.
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