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It is easy to be taken in by internet ads for perfect puppies, but would you buy a car from a sidewalk seller? Read, learn, beware and share!




Internet Puppy Buyer Beware

CinDee Byer, Journalist Award Winner and SAAB Member


The Internet has become a breeding ground for puppy mills and backyard bred dogs. Many of these puppy producers advertise poor quality dogs but sell them with impressive ads.


New puppy buyers are impressed by words like “rare”, “European” and “old-style”. With the use of the keyboard and clever catch phrases, internet scammers explain away visible structural anomalies but you can’t see the personality problems, poor health or temperament online.



These Internet ads gain a lot of attention from the novice who is interested in owning a purebred dog. Without accurate knowledge and information anyone can quickly become a victim of the “Internet puppy producers”. With a simple sales pitch the scammers will convince the novice buyer that he or she is an expert breeder. Instead of getting a healthy, well-bred companion the buyer ends up paying a high price for low-quality animal.


Buyer Beware - The Good, the Bad…

The good news is that some of these novices will refuse to be a victim. They will admit their mistake, become educated and move forward. They will commit themselves to love and work with the puppy they bought while learning about the breed. In the future, they will thoroughly check out or preferably, personally meet with reputable breeders and examine quality specimens. When they are ready to purchase another puppy, that puppy will be from a quality breeder not an Internet scammer. Then as their interest grows that owner may become the next generation of quality purebred dog breeders.


The bad news which stems from these poor quality puppy producers, is when the novice refuses to admit that they have been scammed. They become bitter. They hide from or deny the fact that they have been duped. These are the novices who blame the breed, the dog breeders and even dog shows for their poor choice. Many will never buy a purebred dog again.


And The Ugly! (internet puppy scams)

Sometimes the novice who was the victim of a scam actually becomes a puppy scammer themselves. This is when they convince themselves and others that their poor-quality puppy is actually a quality animal. They find that by breeding their dog they can recoup the money that they lost.


Sadly many of these victims will breed their poor quality animal to another sub-standard purebred dog, creating more poor quality puppies. They will place the same high price on their puppies that they paid to their Internet scammer. They will begin post impressive ad on the internet using colorful words like “rare”, “European” and “old-style.” With the use of the keyboard and catchphrases they will fictitiously explain away confirmation and temperament irregularities of their stock.


By scamming one novice into paying high prices for a poor-quality ‘pet with papers’ the buyer may also become a scammer. And the circle goes on and on.


If you are looking for a purebred dog, there are telltale signs of Internet puppy scams. Below is a list of red flags. If you already purchased a puppy from one of the Internet, love the dog and learn about the breed from real experts who have verifiable credentials. Read books about the breed and on the subject of breeding the purebred dog.


Watch out for these things…


  The breeder’s website shows beautiful photos of winning dogs that he or she does not own and or has not bred.


  The puppies and dogs are registered with an unknown registry.


  The breeder can’t provide “certified pedigree” of the litter or the puppy’s parents.


  If there is a pedigree, it contains no breed or performance titles in the first 3 generations. (Remember DNA numbers are not titles nor proof of health or breed quality.)


  The breeder has no verifiable credentials in breeding or training dogs.


  The breeder dismisses AKC Breed Standards with impressive sounding arguments.


  Lastly but most important, if you don’t feel comfortable with the person or their credentials, call AKC and your local dog show or Obedience Club and ask for referrals to credible breeders.

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