We all want a cute puppy and some of us have certain preferences when it comes to dog breeds. That’s okay. It’s okay to have a preference as long as you know the price you have to pay for the breed – not just the money, but the price on animal welfare. Here’s the truth about dog breeding in India.
Now, we are not against breeds and breeding in general. There are a few breeders out there who care about their dogs and follow all the rules and regulations outlined by the government of India. But these numbers are few.
Laws Of Dog Breeding In India
There are quite a few laws that protect our dogs in India. To name a few:
- Both males and females chosen for mating should be at least 18 months old
- A licensed veterinarian must certify the dogs as healthy at least 10 days before breeding
- Female dogs can only have 5 litters in their lifetime
- Females cannot be artificially or forcefully impregnated
- Females should conceive naturally and willingly and should not have more than one litter a year
- Females cannot be bred after they become 8 years old
- Incest is not allowed, i.e, dogs cannot be bred with their parents, children, siblings or cousins. Instead, line breeding is acceptable, where the dogs can be marginally related to each other
- Crossbreeding to create ‘designer breeds’ is also forbidden
Apart from the dog chosen for breeding purposes, the breeder must also be licensed and above 18 years of age. All the puppies born, must be registered and microchipped before they are sold to pet parents.
When we look at these rules, it feels like India is an excellent place for our dogs and they are well taken care of by our breeders. Unfortunately, very few breeders follow these regulations on point.
The truth is most of the dog breeding in India goes unregistered, unregulated and does not consider the dog’s health and happiness.
The Truth Behind The Puppy Inside A Cage
We have talked about puppy mills in many of our articles but the truth is very few people get to see puppy mills. They are tucked, away from the buyer’s eyes, in the suburbs and villages. So, we never see the dark side of the puppy breeding business.
What we do see is a puppy inside a cage. There are many markets scattered across India that sell puppies (often groups of puppies) inside cages.
While the puppy you see is cute and cuddly the story behind each one of them is sad. When you buy a puppy out in the open they are usually sold without any papers and are often very cheap.
These puppies are cheap because they are illegal. Sellers don’t usually follow any of the regulations mentioned above. The puppies are usually separated from their mothers before they are even 2.5 months old.
They are not kept in a clean environment and are made to sit in cages all day. This is why they are often sold to you with Parvo and may not even live long.
Since they don’t get to spend time with their mothers and their littermates they are usually unsocialised and they tend to poop inside the cage. They may also develop aggressive tendencies from seeing their mother’s being aggressive.
What’s worse is that the puppies are usually drugged so that they can sit quietly inside a cage.
Their mothers are not treated well either. Females dogs in the puppy mill business are often raped and artificially impregnated to create more babies year after year. Male and female dogs are often abducted and used in the mating business.
Remember that every time you buy that puppy inside the cage, you inadvertently fund the animal trafficking industry, where they use this money to abduct and rape more animals to create exotic looks.
It is sad and we usually buy the puppies to help them. But remember that demand is the only thing that keeps this industry running. No demand, no supply. Stop buying them and you’ll never have to see a sad puppy inside a cage.
How To Identify A Licensed Breeder?
While you should never buy from an unlicensed breeder, we understand why you may have a preference for a particular breed. There is nothing wrong with buying a breed as long as they come from a loving environment – for a licensed breeder.
But how do you know if the breeder in question is certified? Here are some ways:
- A certified breeder should be able to show you their licenses at any given time
- Breeders should allow investigation at any given time. So, they should be willing to show you their breeding areas, the puppies and the parents
- Breeders must council interested buyers to make sure that their puppy is going to the right house.
- Breeders are not allowed to showcase their puppies in the market and sell it to anyone willing to buy
- Every puppy must be microchipped and registered before they are sold. Be prepared for a bunch of legal forms and registrations before bringing your favourite puppy home. Because bringing home a new puppy is like bringing home a child and it shouldn’t be as easy as paying money and taking them home.
Usually, the motive for many licensed breeders to get into the puppy breeding business is actually to create a superior puppy, that does not have as many genetic conditions as their breed is known to have, and can live longer.
This is why a passionate breeder will never breed puppies as young as 6-7 months old because genetic conditions often show in dogs after they become adults.
Many breeders are also passionate about certain breeds and dedicate their lives to perfect that one breed. We would suggest finding a breeder who should not specialise in more than 2-3 breeds because that ensures that they are experts in the limited breeds they provide.
Other Things To Do To Reduce Bad Breeding Practices
Of course, you can reduce bad breeding practices by not buying from unlicensed breeders. When you raise your standards, the practices around you will also raise their standards. Awareness is key.
Apart from not supporting unlicensed breeders, avoid purchasing puppies with rare characteristics. These puppies are almost always inbred and are very likely to have genetic conditions.
Avoid buying puppies online because more often than not, these puppies are also a product of puppy mills.
Lastly, one of the best ways to get a puppy and not support malpractices is to adopt from a shelter. There is no price tag on the amount of joy they give you, and this is true for all dogs – breeds or no breeds.
In fact, a mix breed dog that has been created because of natural selection is far more likely to be healthy and live longer than a purebred. So why not? Go to a nearby shelter and bring home a bundle of joy.