by the store and you see this cute little
puppy begging you to take him home. How can you
possibly resist that sweet face? Or maybe the puppy looks
so forlorn that you feel you need to rescue it. It
is important to remember, that by buying a puppy at any
price from a pet store, you are not rescuing it.
You are, instead, condemning it's parents to a lifetime
of producing puppy after puppy that they will never see
Either way, pet stores rely on
your emotions getting the better of your rational
The longer the puppy stays in the
store, the more it eats into the stores profits. Literally. The
staff are trained to get the puppy into your arms as soon as
possible and for as long as possible. They know that the longer
you hold that puppy, the less likely you are to leave without
it. Next thing you know, you're looking into your spouse or
partner's eyes, and out comes the credit card. You've found
yourself the owner of an Italian Greyhound puppy.
Your goal when you came into the
store was to buy tropical fish food. The store's goal was to
sell a puppy. Any puppy. To anybody. Regardless of whether or
not it is the right puppy for the buyer. Regardless of whether
the buyer knows anything about the breed. Regardless of whether
or not the buyer is financially, emotionally and physically
prepared for a puppy. They don't care... they got their money,
and that's what it's all about.
The pet store achieved their
goal. Did you achieve yours?
reality sets in. You bring this puppy home
and realize that no-one told you what to expect from an
Italian Greyhound puppy. No-one told you how hard they
are to house train. No-one told you they are very
demanding of your attention. No-one told you they need
their teeth brushed and that they are more prone than
many other breeds to breaking legs. No-one told you ANY
of the more difficult aspects of owning an Italian
Why would they? If they were
honest at the Pet Store, you might not have bought the
"Oh well" you think, "I'll go
research them on the internet". So what happens if you find out
you can't possibly live with this breed? Will the store take it
back? Of course not!
Many puppies sold through pet
stores end up neglected, abandoned, or surrendered to rescues.
Why? Because the pet store staff does not take the time to
ensure a proper suitability between the puppies they sell and
the people that buy them. The pet store staff does not educate
on the possible health issues the IG may experience (and
unfortunately, some of those are very expensive to treat!).
People buy a cute puppy with absolutely no forewarning of what
is to come. Perhaps they even bought on impulse, and later
discover they don't have the time for the puppy.
Maybe your puppy is the lucky
one... maybe you did your research on the breed and knew what
you were getting into. You take some comfort knowing that you
understand what to expect and are prepared. You even knew
enough that you asked if their puppies came from
With relief, you hear them say
they THEIR puppies come from local
be true, they may be local, but they are
NEVER reputable if they sell through a pet store. In all
cases, the puppies come from puppymills or Backyard
Breeders (BYBs). But surely this can't always the case,
you may ask. Yes, it is. Always.
The Canadian Kennel Club requires
of it's members that they agree to a Code of Ethics. That Code
strictly forbids selling puppies through brokers or pet stores.
Even though the American Kennel Club does not have such a
mandate, all breed clubs require that their members sign a
similar Code of Ethics.
Breeders who care about their
puppies want to interview the buyers, to ensure a good 'fit'
between buyer and puppy. They want to follow up and make sure
the puppy is fitting in and doing well. The store just wants to
sell puppies to make a profit, so little to no interviewing is
done and the breeder has no input into the placement of the
puppies. Therefore, even if the store gets the puppies from a
local breeder, they will not be a reputable breeder.
I have seen many IG puppies in
pet stores in Canada from breeders in the US as well as from
Canadian Backyard Breeders.
Remember, a breeder is there for
the life of the dog, to answer questions, to share their
knowledge. Pet stores only want to sell a puppy, they don't
want to be bothered with you if you have any problems with
You're going to have your puppy
for approximately 15 years. You might as well get it from
someone who will be there to support you, answer questions and
who actually cares. Ironically, you usually get the puppy
cheaper from a responsible breeder than a pet store. Go
Please do not buy anything from a
store that sells puppies or kittens. Not a leash, not pet food,
not a toy or a treat.
The dollar speaks... spend your
dollars where puppies and kittens aren't
Please click on the following links to learn
about puppymills and pet store puppies.