Connemara Jack Russell Terrier LogoConnemara Jack Russell Terriers

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Brokers & Backyard Breeders:

What you need to know and how to spot them. Every time someone buys a Jack Russell Terrier from a pet store another spot opens up for another puppy to take its place. Most dogs in rescues and shelters originally came from Pet Stores (obtained from Puppy Mills) or are dogs bred by Backyard Breeders. It’s very rare that a dog from a legitimate breeder will ever find its way to a rescue or shelter. This is because legitimate breeders ALWAYS take their dogs back - and they ALWAYS make sure that their families understand this. This page will bring you up-to-date on Jack Russell Terrier websites you are likely to find on the internet. Here we give the unsuspecting puppy family a little help in determining what type of place you might be looking at.
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This is one of our oldest Connemara Terriers. "Joy" is currently 18 and living in Maine.

Commercial Kennels:

Breeding for profit only with no regard to your best interests or your puppy.  Motivated by current fads and sales only... regardless of how warm and fuzzy the website.  Some may have 100 dogs or more, yet you won't see this mentioned on their websites. Typically, they breed several litters at a time and then hold their breath, hoping to find homes for the pups before they become a handful.  Others sell directly to pet shops or dealers/brokers.

The happiness of the dogs is pretty low as they live on an "assembly line".  The cleanliness can vary - I’ve seen one state-of-the-art, sanitary kennel pumping puppies out by the hundreds.  Most are bred in dark barns and live in wire cages stacked from the ground.  Many are USDA registered and their puppies are proudly advertised as "AKC registered".  

As for their guarantee, they will typically give you 24-72 hours to get your pup to the vet once it goes home, or you will void the second part of your guarantee: the standard one year guarantee and then consider their part to be over with. Something they will never admit to you is that most genetic issues will not surface until year two or three. A one year guarantee does you little good.  By the way: the 24-72 hour rule may not even be legal in their state. 

How to spot them: Large facility - USDA licensed - several employees - prices may be average - breed dogs w/ serious faults - 1 year guarantee - may sell to pet stores and/or brokers - may dual-register pups with AKC, APRI or other - set-up like a business with hours posted - Will sell to anyone - No pre-qualifying interview - Don't care if you want to breed your pet - inbreeding practiced and justified

Backyard Breeders:

For profit, fun or simply by accident? There are a few reasons it can and does happen. Newspaper ads, free internet postings, boasts of "champion lines" or “Purple Ribbon bred” (all this means is they have 7 generations registered... It is not advantageous) perhaps lower prices and often no guarantees... These are some of the warning signs you are dealing with a backyard breeder.  They have misguided thoughts on their responsibilities as a breeder and tend to view the problems they cause from a very different point of view.  Typically offering no guarantee or possibly a limited one year guarantee they are unable to make good on anyway, if/when the time comes.  Some believe that just because their dog came from "champion lines" or a particular well known line that their pet quality puppy immediately qualifies as a breeding quality dog. The truth is that most purebred dogs are not of breeding quality.  They don’t do any health testing either. While most backyard breeders may not be guilty of the sins of puppy mills, neither are they by definition, cognizant of the procedures and efforts a responsible breeder practices each and every day.  Backyard breeders are one of the biggest reasons why so many pets are euthanized each year.  

Many commercial kennels set-up (sell “breeding rights” to) backyard breeders without a second thought. As their motivation is nothing more than puppy sales. 

How to spot them: 1-3 dogs - not aware of their own state rules or guidelines - breed dogs with serious faults - no guarantees - low to average prices - will sell to anyone w/ cash or a Paypal account - place free ads online or newspaper ads - may brag their pups are "Purple Ribbon" bred or use words like "Champion lines" or "Champion stock" - charge more for registration papers or for females so you can breed them - don't even know what constitutes inbreeding

Puppy Brokers:

Brokers are importing lower quality pups from other countries by the dozens. Many countries have little to no restrictions when it comes to dogs.  Most are buying pups at wholesale prices ($75-150) and then selling them to you for much more ($750-1500).  Many are selling questionable breed pups and calling them purebred.  They are eve brazen enough to make claims of certain eye or coat colors as being "rare".  

Most will usually have a large choice of Jack Russell Terrier puppies on display yet there is little to no information available on the parents.  If you watch their websites, they don't show pictures of the pups at birth or at any other time before the pup is 8-12 weeks of age.  If you are knowingly using a broker/wholesaler, you have no clue what kind of breeding the puppy is from. They know little to nothing about the parents of the pups and in most cases have never even seen the parents to the pups they are peddling. In Ireland for example, it’s easy to buy litters of mixed breed terriers for $50-150 per pup.  It’s even easier to bring them over to the states and sell these same pups for $1000-1500. If you are on the hunt for an "Irish" Jack Russell Terrier - I am confident you have already come across one or two of them in your search.

How to spot them: little to no information on their website about puppy parents - little to no history behind lines they are selling - may or may not register puppies - puppies may be much older (4-10 months) - nothing on website about parents - no pictures of puppies when newborn or very young (under 2-4 weeks) - Play up “rare” to boost sales - don't know if the dogs brokered are inbred or not.

Puppy Mills / Farms:

We all have heard of puppy mills.  Most already know what this means. What many don't realize, is that the web affords a degree of anonymity.  They can set up a website, stage photos of happy, frolicking little puppies and say their pups live at a Bed & Breakfast.  The pups still live in crates or crate like structures, one on top of the other.  And they can still have squalid conditions. As of this writing, I have visited three specific Jack Russell Terrier breeders with fairly nice websites. What I read on the web and how they presented themselves on the phone was 180 degrees different from what I actually witnessed once I visited. Since then - I have had countless families stop in to see us and our dogs and comment about these same places. Their experiences were very similar to mine…they were disturbed as well and did not end up purchasing a puppy from any of them.

How to spot them: little to no information on their website about puppy parents - won’t let you see the parents - may not let you visit but instead will usually make excuses and offer to meet you somewhere else to show off the pups - may ask for you to pay in full for pup when pup is born, not closer to pick-up date - may even have history with their town, city or local animal control.

 and the rescue population will decrease drastically. If you have an issue, you can return the dog to be placed in another home, and not dump it in a shelter or burden a rescue. If you’re not part of the solution then you’re a part of the problem. Please do your part to find a responsible breeder and stop creating a reason for dishonest, greed driven breeders to continue to overburden rescues and shelters. According to the ASPCA, There are seven (7) states known as puppy mill states because they have the majority of the puppy mills in the country:
  • Arkansas
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Pennsylvania
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Iowa
Pet stores often tell customers their puppies come from local breeders or quality breeders. Don't believe them...ask to see the paperwork and find out where the puppies really come from.

A state funded survey found that nearly half of the puppies sold in pet stores were sick or diseased. 

...This doesn't count the ones suffering from genetic diseases.

ASPCA research established that 98% of the dogs in pet stores come from what we consider to be puppy mllls.

...You are not saving that puppy, you are sentencing it's parents to lives of misery.

A survey as recent as 2008 showed only 7% of all puppies purchased in the USA came from legitimate breeding Homes. This same survey showed that less than 12% of the Puppy Mills are still selling to Pet Stores. When surveyed, they said it was because with the internet available, they now have websites and can sell their puppies for more there.

Lessons to be learned from all of this? I KEEP SAYING IT; Don't be fooled.  
Are they an honorable breeder? Use your own judgement when evaluating each situation. Be alert and ask questions. You know when an environment is clean; when puppies and adults appear happy, cared for and well mannered.  Spend a little time talking to a breeder and get to know them and their breeding program.  

Don't try to fit "square pegs into round holes" - Listen to the answers you are given; look at the kennel conditions; Ask for references; insist on seeing the Dams/Sires of the litter; if you do not live in their area, ask them if they would mind if you sent a friend in their area to see the parents and facilities.  Know what the warning signs are and don't try to convince yourself otherwise. 

"If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck..." 

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"Olive" is no stranger to Water. She is a jack russell that loves the hose.

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"Posy", are you really going to jump or are you just posing for the photo? This sweet ol' jack russell lives in North Yarmouth, Maine and Colorado.

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Chibs was not sent in this box…I bet he gets a lot of packages in them though to his home in California.