Useful Information

puppy farms in Ireland

Did you know Ireland is considered the Puppy Farm Capital of Europe?

What is a puppy farm? 

A puppy farm is a commercial dog breeding facility that is operated with an emphasis upon profits above animal welfare and is often in substandard conditions regarding the well-being of dogs in their care. Due to the frequently poor breeding conditions in puppy farms, puppies bred there often suffer from health and/or social problems. Puppies raised in a cramped environment shared by many other dogs become poorly socialized to other dogs and to humans. 


As the surviving dogs from puppy farms grow older, they are more prone to developing respiratory ailments and pneumonia, as well as hereditary defects such as hip dysplasia. In addition, they are more prone to have problems with their temperament. Puppies from such farms are usually sold as purebred dogs in an attempt to attract the higher prices associated with purebreds. However, due to the indiscriminate breeding practices of puppy farms, the dog may not actually be a purebred puppy. The vast majority of puppy farm animals are sold online through classifieds sites. They are sold by dealers masquerading as authentic breeders.


Things to watch out for when looking for a dog to buy


  1. The majority of reputable breeders do not advertise in classified ads on the internet and in newspapers. Check to see if the breeder has multiple breeds for sale.  If they are selling more than one breed, walk away! Check with the Irish Kennel Club for a reputable breeder.
  2. They create 'designer' breeds by mixing dogs and creating odd names like “cavachon" (Bichon Frise / Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix) or "puggle" (Pug / Beagle mix).
  3. 'Teacup' or miniatures of a breed for sale. Teacup dogs are often dogs that were born prematurely and carry greatly increased health risks. They are prone to heart failure, dental problems, behavioral/temperamental problems and various other complications, many of which are causes of their relatively short lifespans.
  4. Be wary of a breeder that doesn’t show you the area the mother and pups were kept. Ask to see the mother and if possible the father.
  5. If the breeder offers to deliver a pup to your home or meet you in a car park before you have seen it at their home walk away. This is a common way for breeders to prevent people from seeing the conditions the pups have been raised in.
  6. The pup should come with vaccination information signed by the vet. They should also give information on food, vaccinations, worming etc.
  7. It currently costs 13euro to 20euro register a pup with the Irish Kennel Club. If a breeder claims that both parents of the pup are IKC registered then the pups should also be registered. IKC will not register more than one litter a year from a dog. They will also not register pups if the mother isn't over one year of age or if the mother is over eight years of age. They can have no more than six litters in their lifetime. This is for the health and well-being of the breeding dog.
  8. Be suspicious if the breeder doesn’t ask questions of you. A responsible breeder will want to ensure that their dogs are going to good homes.
  9. If you suspect that the breeder is a puppy farmer, do not buy from them. Sometimes people will see dogs and pups in bad condition and feel sorry for them and buy them. This only gives the breeder more money and they will continue to breed dogs. Instead report what you have seen. Give as much information about the breeder to your local ISPCA.

The best way to avoid a puppy farm is to adopt from a rescue or pound. 


More stories in the news about puppy farms in Ireland



Puppy farm in North Cork
Puppy farm in North Cork

Small dog breeding establishment in an isolated, rural area of North West Cork

ISPCA Inspector recently came across a small dog breeding establishment in an isolated, rural area of North West Cork. In a barn she found 9 dogs that were used for breeding purposes contained in unsuitable conditions. Full story here.