Don't Rely On The Internet
The Internet is a wonderful tool. It has enabled people from all around the world to share information, shop after midnight, and make amazing business deals with down-on-their-luck Nigerian tycoons.
It's also been a godsend for fly-by-night dog breeders.
In the old days, if you were churning out puppies for profit, you had to work pretty hard to market your dogs. Classified ads in newspapers had limited reach, and word-of-mouth in the Newf community helped spread warnings on breeders to avoid.
That's all changed with the advent of the Internet. Today it's simple for a backyard breeder or a small-time puppy mill to market their dogs on the Net. On-line directories with cutesie names along the lines of CyberPuppyMart and Pupz4U.com display one ad after another for bargain-priced Newfoundland puppies offered by quick-buck breeders.
As one observer noted
In the past, puppy mills had to sell their pets via brokers, or direct to pet stores. After all, no one who saw their facilities would ever want to bring one of those puppies home. No more worries about that, though, now that on-line puppy-for-sale sites are here! Puppy mills can hide their squalid, over crowded, filthy conditions easily, behind glibly written ad copy that touts 'family raised pups'... Purchasing from someone who claims to be a 'caring breeder' from an on-line classified ad type website, without doing your homework and visiting their facility, is no different from supporting puppy mills in any other way.
Make no mistake: a quality breeder would never list their puppies for sale on one of these sites.
Those on-line directories are one big problem. Another problem, that may be worse, is that it has become all-too-easy for substandard breeding outfits to post snazzy-looking websites of their own that effectively disguise the true character of their operations. Several years ago, a well-respected Newf breeder wrote an essay describing what you'd see on a good breeder's website, and what you'd find on a bad breeder's website. It's an excellent article, but sadly, it's outdated.
These days, in a cut-and-paste era, it's just too easy for any breeder, no matter how sleazy, to make themselves look sparkling clean on-line. Anybody can grab a sentence here and a paragraph there from honest breeders' web pages and make themselves look like the most concerned dog-lovers on the planet.
Remember: just because the web page talks the talk, that doesn't mean the breeder walks the walk.
Am I saying, "Don't use the Internet to search for a Newfie pup?"
Of course not. These days, everyone uses the Internet. You can use it as a tool, too. Say, for example, that you've found a kennel that looks promising: go ahead and Google the name!
See if anyone has written about good or bad
experiences with that breeder.
See if the breeder is advertising on one of
those on-line puppy directories. Quality breeders wouldn't be
caught dead listing on those sites, so if you see a kennel selling
puppies on one of these, you can draw your own conclusion.
Finally, let me say this one more time for emphasis:
a pretty web page filled with noble-sounding statements is the
best camouflage a puppy mill can have. Don't you be
Next: Watch Out For Mini-Mills