Why do I use the "No Pet Shop Puppies" logo?

As a responsible breeder, I know that puppies need proper handling and socialization in order to enable them to develop to their full potential.

Puppies that are sold in pet shops, must leave their mother and their littermates at an early age in order to be shipped to the pet shop while they are still in the 'cute' puppy stage - the stage at which a puppy is the most appealing and thus, the most easily sold.

As a breeder of purebred dogs since 1969, I know that a puppy should not be removed from it's dam and littermates prior to 8 weeks of age for many reasons, but one of the most obvious is that the puppy learns 'bite inhibition' there - if I bite my littermate, they are going to bite me back! Pups need this interaction with their siblings and with their dam to develop their social 'pack' skills and thus, also begin to learn how to interact with the human element of their pack - that's US. .

Most of my pups are not released to new homes until 10 to 12 weeks of age. This is so that I can make sure they have had at least a couple of their puppy shots and been checked a couple of times by my veterinarian. I also take this time to start teaching the pups to walk individually on a lead, learn how to stand on a table for examination, come when I call (because she has COOKIES!) and the proper way to interact with my grandchildren. They are started on their crate training, first in pairs, then as individuals. I eventually feed them in their individual crates several times a day. After eating, they are placed on the table and groomed (usually a very quick combing all over their body, plus picking up their feet) and "checked over" much as a veterinarian would do (looking at teeth, handling the body and feet, etc,) before they are returned to their siblings for more play time.

As the pups get to the point that they can be taken out into the world, I try to take them to places that will accept a visit by a pup to enhance their education. Care must be taken not to expose the pup to areas where they may pick up a communicable disease, such as Parvo. This may be my local breed club's handling classes (dogs must have had shots to attend), or a pet friendly shopping center where you are only likely to meet other dogs who have been vaccinated. They get to go on short car trips individually (on a rotating basis) so as to get used to being on their own as well as gauging how well they ride in a car. Like some people, some puppies have more of a tendency to car sickness than others.

As a responsible breeder, I do all or as many of the above with all of my puppies until they go to their new homes. Those that I keep for myself to show and continue on with the next generation of Jimanie dogs continue this education.

Do you think any of this happens at a pet store? Pups sold commercially via pet stores are usually shipped at 6 weeks of age (or younger) to the broker. Some brokers have their own fleet of trucks to canvas the countryside to pick up puppies and deliver them to the broker. They may stay at the broker for a few days or not, depending upon the policies of that broker The pups are then shipped out to pet stores for sale. Some brokers have found that by delivering the pups in their own trucks, they can bypass the age restriction placed on shipping pups by air (8 weeks). It is vitally important to get pups into the pet shops while they are at their cutest (and most saleable) stage.

Responsible breeders try to ascertain the lifestyle of the person or family who is seeking to buy one of their pups. All breeds of dog are not suitable for everyone, and the breeder makes sure that the puppy buyer is the right one for each individual pup in their litter. As people vary in personality, so do dogs. Not all pups in a litter react the same way to situations, so it is vital that the breeder know which pup should go into which home. This is usually accomplished via a list of questions asked initially by the breeder and from there goes into a "let's get to know each other" mode. Then, if the breeder thinks a particular pup would be a good match, the prospective buyer is invited to the breeder's home to meet the pup and the sire (if on the premises) and the dam. Rarely, when the buyer meets the breeder and the puppy, either they or the breeder realize this would not be a good match. It is much better to find out at this stage than to go ahead with the sale and make everyone miserable - especially the puppy! Pet stores do not follow this routine in that they mostly just take your money and give you a puppy. If you come to my home to meet and purchase one of my pups, you should plan to spend a minimum of 2-3 hours in what I call Corgi 101. This visit may be shorter for those who are returning for the second, third or fourth time to get a new Jimanie pup, as by now, I have had a very long track record with these folks and I already know what they know about the breed. I have had people coming back for over 25 years to get another pup as a companion for the first, or for those who have lost their first Jimanie Corgi and are ready to share their hearts and home with another.

Responsible breeders usually discourage people from buying pups at the peak season for puppy sales - Christmas! A responsible breeder knows that is the worst time to introduce a pup into a new household and often supply a picture of the puppy for the children to ooh and aah over on the big day. Later, when the household has returned to a more normal routine, the entire family comes to meet the breeder and the puppy.

A responsible breeder will not sell two puppies to one household at the same time. Why? Because they know that it is not fair to the pup for several reasons. Two pups placed in the same househould at the same time are already sharing a bond, being littermates. If you want two dogs (and Corgis do wonderfully in pairs) you should purchase the first and raise it, giving it all of the attention a pup needs, until they are completely bonded to the humans in the household. If another dog is still wanted, a second pup can be introduced into the household after the first dog has reached at least a year of age. A pet shop is delighted to sell multiple pups into the same household at one time because they are more interested in the sale than they are in the puppy. Responsible breeders have far more invested in the pups than do the sales clerks in a store. Many of us have given our lives over to developing our particluar bloodline of dogs. To us, it is more like producing living, breathing, interactive art than it is just making a sale. We are the ones who watched over the babies and nurtured them as they grew. We LOVE them and we get love in return from them. I don't much care how much you sell a puppy for -even if it is in the thousands - responsible breeders rarely every make a 'profit' on their dogs because they have so much invested in them. And, finally, responsible breeders know what the health concerns are in their breed and they breed away from them! They are sure to do all of the appropriate health testing on the dogs they plan on using to produce the next generation. Many of us have, after investing much in both money and time showing dogs and finishing their championships, decided not to breed a dog because they do not pass health clearances that cannot be done until after a certain age.

Please, buy from a responsible breeder. Do not condemn even more puppies to be commercially produced because you pass a pet shop and are taken in by and adorable looking puppy in the window. Research the breed, ask questions of the breeder and only buy the pup if, upon personal inspection of the breeder's premises, you are assured that the puppy is healthy and of good temperament. A breeder will be there for you no matter what the question and they want to know if there is a problem that they can help you overcome.

No Pet Shop Puppies. Buy from a responsible BREEDER!

Stephanie S. Hedgepath
Jimanie Pembroke Welsh Corgis