Reading the Ads – How to Interpret Advertising Terms
After you’ve spent some time looking at Frenchie ads, you’ll start to notice the same terms popping up over and over again. ‘Champion’ lines, ‘rare’ colors, pedigree ‘papers’ – what does it all mean? This article should help you to decipher some of the commonly used sales terminology.
“Champion lines” — look instead for Champion sired or Champion parents. All Champion Lines means is that there is a dog somewhere in your puppy’s family that was a champion – it says nothing about the quality of the parents at all. Anyone can buy a puppy from a champion, but it does not mean that they have any other interest in the breed but to bank on the name and make money. The puppy may have been sold as a pet (since it had some problems that prevented it from being shown) and an unethical person did not have the dog desexed and is still breeding puppies.
“AKC Registration” or “AKC Papers” – So what? AKC registration does not guarantee quality. AKC papers are much like the title of a car – papers are issued on the junked chevy on blocks in your yard just as easily as they are on a brand new, shiny Jaguar. AKC does not control breeding, approve litters, or guarantee soundness. Unfortunately, in the hands of some unethical breeders, it doesn’t even guarantee that the dog is purebred.
AKC Registration is automatic if you buy from a reputable breeder – they will provide all necessary paperwork when you buy a puppy. It is not a selling point, and shouldn’t be treated as one.
Be wary of other “registrations”, as well. There are several groups that are registering dogs, occasionally even mixed breeds, for a fee. This registration means nothing, and is of no value to you. Not that AKC papers really mean much, either.
“extra-big”, “extra-small” “tiny” “Toy” “Giant” “King Sized”– breeders trying for extremes are rarely raising healthy dogs, and any ad that has to stress the size and weight of the dog to sell the puppies is suspect, in my opinion. Usually, these dogs are outside of the breed standard and are subject to their own medical problems due to excessive size or lack of it.
“rare” colors — what this usually means is disallowed colors – in other words, colors that are not allowed in the breed standard. To understand why this is unethical, we must first understand why the original standards decided some colors were disallowed. Dilutes, such as blue and mouse, have been genetically link in many breeds with corresponding health problems. Allergies, skin conditions, deafness – all of this and more has been shown to appear with alarming commoness in some of the ‘rare’ colors. Why would anyone intentionally breed for this?
While there is nothing wrong with a rare or unusual color per se, someone who touts this as the only exceptional aspect of their breeding program raises issues.
“rare” Frenchie crosses — oh dear. In the old days, we had a name for ‘rare’ crosses – they were called mutts. There’s nothing wrong with mutts, either, and from time to time anyone who keeps more than one breed of dog can have a ‘whoops’ litter. What is unethical is selling these ‘rare’ crosses with fancy names and inflated price tags, all with the goal of making a buck. Also, please do NOT buy into the myth that these crosses are some how miraculously ‘healthier’ – unless both parents were health tested, there is no way to determine that the offspring will be healthier than they were. Since such crosses usually come from poorly bred, puppy mill stock, their chances of being unhealthy are greatly increased.
“see both parents” — As noted in questions to ask a breeder , this is not usually a good thing. Rarely will a good breeder have the luck to own both dogs for the perfect litter. If you can see both parents, it often means that the person had two dogs in the back yard and didn’t supervise them carefully enough, resulting in puppies.
I probably get more mail on this one statement than anything else — people who legitimately have both parents are incensed that I would suggest that they are unethical and bad breeders. That is not what I am suggesting — there are some good and very reasonable reasons to have both parents on site. However, you need to ask the right questions and understand why this is true. If the breeder doesn’t have an answer, or the answer is something like “well, they were just such cute dogs…” or “we bought another dog so we could have puppies” you need to evaluate whether this breeder is doing the right thing. They might be, they might not. It’s up to you to ask.
“Must go now!” Why? Are they too big to be cute anymore? Need more money? Is there a problem? Be very wary of this one.