It may seem obvious, but with very clever wording a lot of conscientious people are caught out! This is an advert currently live on Pets4Homes:
There's nothing wrong with the site Pets4Homes, many breeders use it who are responsible and careful, but a closer look shows some warning signs! First, the price...you will not find a well bred, health tested Sheltie puppy that cheap...
Next is the wording "Pedigree"...this is not the same as KC registered. You cannot guarantee the ancestors of a dog if it is not registered with the Kennel Club. KC registration does not guarantee a healthy dog, it goes however guarantee you are getting a pedigree dog.
"Vet checked" is not the same as health tested. All a vets certificate means is that the puppy was visibly healthy when seen by the vets, nothing more. All Sheltie puppies should be screened for CEA, and parents health tested for CEA, PRA and if possible hip scored. If a puppy hasn't been eye checked, stay away - it's a basic requirement.
At the end of the advertisement, it says they are a Licenced Kennel...this is NOT a good thing! The government requires people who breed more than 5 litters a year to have a licence. A handful of responsible big breeders will need a licence,which is not a negative (you probably wouldn't even be aware of this unless you asked), but the majority of licenced "breeders" are in reality puppy farms. The very fact they think it's a positive thing to be licensed shows their ignorance.
Finally, and importantly, the pictures...whilst the surroundings are clean, just look at the expressions on their faces. They are scared, in particular the last tricolour looks terrified. These puppies obviously haven't been well handled or socialised, and this only means problems for you later on. It's very easy to buy a puppy out of pity, but resist! You are unwittingly financing the problem, and could be letting yourself in for a lot of heartache.
The same goes for any breed, do your research, know what tests you want to be looking for, and don't buy a puppy if you have any doubts!
Any comments welcome :)