Where do I purchase my bichon ? Direct from a Breeder, big-box pet store or on the internet ?
If you buy a puppy from a big box store or worse, the internet, you most likely are perpetuating a puppy mill operation.
Good breeders breed small numbers of puppies and are dedicated and very knowledgeable in their breeds. They are proud to show you their dogs and take the time to vet their animals carefully. They will have medical paperwork to show you. Puppy mills raise dogs solely for PROFIT under conditions that would make most animal lovers cry.
Although large breeding farms are not allowed legally in Canada, they are allowed in the USA and many puppies are shipped here from there. Caution there are a number of puppy mill operations that are sadly flourishing due to buyers ignorance.
Puppy mills consist of large noisy barns, where crates are stacked up high and conditions are cold, filthy and deplorable. You are unable to see the environment into which your dog was conceived and raised in, for the first crucial eight weeks of its life. It certainly will not have been socialized and may suffer behavioural issues, such as shyness or aggression. Most, if not all of these dogs are not health tested and veterinary care, if any, will have been basic.
The buyer may get a pure bred dog certificate but these can easily be falsified when there are so many dogs under one roof.
Personally, I believe it is unethical to raise any dog under such conditions. This opinion is shared by all members of our breed club (B.F.C.C ) because we take a written oath, not to deal with any organization that condones, promotes or is associated with puppy mill operations.
Good breeders strive to educate the public on such horrific operations and breed for hobby, exhibiting excellence in the breeding and raising of their puppies. They do not breed solely for profit.
I have heard bichon rescue speak on rescuing our beloved breed from heart breaking situations, where bitches are forced to have litters back to back until they cannot be bred anymore. If they are lucky they eventually end up going to a pet home. Many of these breeding animals need to be euthanized because their bodies, used like machines, have broken down, and they are sick, stained and unappealing to the average person.