Sick Bulldog puppy sold by an import broker.Â This couple purchased two puppies from the same broker – both of which died.
A puppy broker is someone who, rather than breed dogs themselves, purchases them in bulk lots from over seas puppy mills. There is NO DIFFERENCE between this and purchasing any other kind of puppy mill bred dog, except for the fact that import brokered puppies will have suffered through a twelve or more hour fllight to arrive at their warehouse location.
Just as puppy mills did in the eighties and nineties, import puppy brokers too have learned to market themselves in the guise of ‘loving, caring breeders’. Most brokers will go out of their way to avoid admitting that they do not breed the dogs themselves. Many will outright lie about this, claiming to have bred pups themselves when in fact the puppies were brought from Europe.
Import brokers have added another new twist to their claims of being ‘caring breeders’ – they’re touting the fact that their dogs come from ‘healthier, European lines’ than North American dogs do. Here’s where we should point out that there are numerous, reputable, conscientious breeders of French Bulldogs in Russia and other Eastern European countries – breeders who care deeply about this breed, and about the health of the dogs they produce.
We also need to point out that part of what makes them good European breeders is the fact that never in a million years would they sell their puppies in bulk lots to import puppy brokers. In fact, they themselves are horrified by this, and are being stigmatized by the horrific health problems and inferior quality of the dogs being brought over from their countries.
So, let’s get this out of the way immediately – simply having ‘European lines’ does NOT, in any way, make a dog healthier. What makes a dog healthier is consistent health screening for genetic defects of the dogs used in a breeding program. Ask someone you suspect of being an import broker for details on what health clearances have been performed on the dogs they are selling. Hear that baffled silence? That’s the sound of someone trying to think of what kind of cover story they can tell you to throw you off the trail.
Potential buyers also need to accpet what some authorities are now saying is a two for one ratio – for every one puppy that survives the long trip from Europe, two either die enroute or shortly after arrival. Are you willing to accept the death of two innocent puppies, simply because you just couldn’t wait for a litter, or because you ‘had to have’ that new fad color? Click here for images and stories of puppies who died enroute to North American brokers, or shortly after arrival (warning: extremely graphic images!).
How to identify an import broker
Import brokers thrive on two things: impatience, and lack of knowledge. Learn how to arm yourself against the two things which make it easiest for these slave traders of the dog world to prey on you.
Impatience Is NOT a Virtue!
An import broker will always have a puppy available, because if they don’t have one currently ‘in stock’, they are sure to have a contact overseas who can get them one almost immediately. Be prepared to wait for a quality puppy, whether from a North American or a European breeder. Be wary of anyone who claims they ‘always’ have dogs available.
Meet the Family
In most cases, Import brokers will not offer to introduce you to the dam of the puppies – because the dam is still in Europe. Ask to pick your puppy up in person, and ask to meet the dam (and the sire, if he is on premises). If they are hesitant or reluctant to allow you on their property, be suscpicious!
“Champion Sires and Dams!”
Import Puppy Brokers will often times use photographs of well known and top winning European dogs on their websites, claiming that this dog is the sire of the pup they are selling you. Nine times out of ten, this is a blatant lie, and the actual owner has no idea their dog is being used in this way. It’s even happened to us at Bullmarket, and to other breeders who we know of.
If the dog(s) being touted as your potential pup’s parents are ‘multiple champions’, ask for the contact details of the owner. You can find this yourself by simply googling the dog’s name. Check to see if their answer matches your results, and, when in doubt, contact them directly.
Remeber also that, while titles and ribbons are nice, they are NOT gaurantees against genetic defects. Again, ask what health clearances have been done on the parents.
References? What are those?
You’re spending a lot of money on your new puppy. It is reasonable, in this case, to ask for some sort of reassurance, such as references.
Ask the ‘breeder’ for references from their veterinarian, from a parent club, or from other purchasers. Any decent breeder should, at the very least, have a vet who’s willing to vouch for them.
‘Rare’ Colours Cost More
Brokers are always looking for the next ‘hot’ thing that will allow them to justify charging something outrageous for their puppies. Be wary of people who market their dogs based on their ‘rarity’ – disallowed colours, over or under sized dogs, and improper ear set are not an excuse to charge more for a dog.
Common Sense Isn’t Very Common
Above all, use your instinct when dealing with someone you suspect is a broker. Is what they’re saying setting off warning flags? Are they avoiding answering your questions? Do they seem more interested in whether your check will clear than are if you’re a good family? If you answer yes to any of these questions, listen to your instincts – don’t become one more victim of a puppy import broker, and help break the chain of abuse.
References & Links