What is a Puppy Mill?

September 18, 2023

On this page we will discuss what a puppy mill actually is and what MBD does differently to set the standard high for all breeders. Some people believe they know what a puppy mill is but what it really comes down to is how the parent dogs and puppies are treated. Not necessarily appearances only.

Some would say a puppy mill produces X number of puppies per year, however, that would mean the breeder has the supernatural ability to predict litter sizes. I wish! A puppy mill has everything to do with how the parent dogs are treated, the total number of litters (not puppies) each individual mom dog has and how the parents and puppies are cared for and socialized.

According to the AKC, the acceptable number of total litters by any one mom dog is 9. However, I wouldn’t want to have 9 pregnancies so we have set our limit to 5 pregnancies.

Some MBD mom’s have 5 litters, some have a couple and some have none.

It all depends on the mom, how they do with pregnancy and how they do postpartum. If they have problems during pregnancy or postpartum, they retire from breeding, early, with their guardian family. If they don’t pass their health testing, they are retired early, without having had any puppies.

Exclusive to MBD, we are the only breeder, nationwide, to offer 24/7 live streaming puppy cameras for all 8 weeks leading up to puppy pick day!

We are completely transparent in what we do and we WANT you to see all of the hard work that goes into raising puppies. It’s transparent, educational and…..yassss… your new healthy addiction! Yay!

Once your puppy is born, you’ll receive a birth announcement and access to our live streaming 24/7 puppy cams! The quality of care given to our dogs and puppies is yours to see once your puppy is born and all the way through to “Gotcha Day” at 8 weeks old.

There’s no guessing as to your puppy’s life experience between 0-8 weeks old. Nor whether or not they were adequately socialized during that time. There is no guessing about whether or not our mom dogs are treated well and loved.

Why? Because you get to see it all in real time, live, ANYtime of the day or night. We are proud of our work, here at MBD and we would love for you to be an active part of the journey to bringing your new fur baby home.

What is a Puppy Mill? Don’t judge a book… well, you know the rest!

A puppy mill is not a place you would ever want to visit or buy a puppy from, even if the price is right.


A puppy mill is a horrible place for dogs. Dogs are kept by the hundreds in crates, which are stacked crate upon crate upon crate, for the sole purpose of breeding. There is no socialization or enrichment for the parents dogs. They are kept in crates, except when breeding, causing damage to their physical health, bone structure and mental well-being. They are competently cut off from being socialized and extremely expensive to rehabilitate, if the opportunity arises. Essentially, they treat dogs just like some farmers treat chickens, when they are kept in over crowded cages. In these conditions, puppies are not socialized, often very sick and, under the surface, they have poor genetics with many health problems arising throughout their lives.

The mom dogs are over bred until they can no longer get pregnant, often more than 10-15 litters. The dad dogs aren’t given any attention, trapped in crates day and night, and only come out for breeding purposes. It’s very very sad and it should be illegal.

Over crowding, over breeding and stacking crates upon crates, such dogs are forced to poop and pee on each other, are all common themes.

At a puppy mill, once the mother or father dog can no longer breed, they are shot and killed.

Yes, sadly it’s actually legal to shoot and kill your own dog in many states. The puppies are not healthy and often arrive sick or are sick soon after you receive them. Also very very sad. Google “images of a puppy mill” and you’ll see. Just know that you can’t unsee it once you have seen it. However, it’s important to know the differences between an excellent breeder and a puppy mill.

Do not be deceived by photos with many children, supposedly socializing your puppy. The REAL facility is NOT at the house, as you’d be led to believe.

Just ask to see the Whelping area, through a window for safety, and you’ll know.

Here is a link that explains it pretty well https://www.dailypaws.com/dogs-puppies/dog-adoption/what-is-a-puppy-mill?fbclid=IwAR3SxcmuIJItw2IpxdgUne5YteNbsG3wrzfrZQ66Cqy8XL4R-lnmjuPM7BE

Our Promise..

At MBD, we would never ever mistreat our dogs or puppies. Not ever. How do you/would you know? You would know because, as a MBD customer, you have access to our 24/7 live streaming puppy cameras so you can see for yourself, anytime day or night. We are the only breeder to offer this transparency nationwide, from their birthday all the way up to puppy pick day at 8 weeks old. We do this because we WANT you to know what happens behind the scenes and all of the hard work that goes into raising healthy puppies. It all starts with healthy, happy parent dogs. It’s educational, transparent and entertaining!

How can you identify a Puppy Mill?

Identifying a puppy mill can be difficult. The following points outline how to identify a puppy mill and how to avoid purchasing a puppy form one.

Most puppies that come from mills are unhealthy shortly after you pick up your pup. The parents are confined to small spaces, their health is severely neglected, they are never rested in between heat cycles regardless of any complications from previous litters. Inbreeding, line breeding and back breeding are all common in puppy mills, leading to even more genetic health issues.

Here is a scam that is very common! If there is a disproportionate number of puppies to whelping mothers – huge red flag! larger breeds usually whelp between 8-12 puppies and smaller breeds usually between 2-7 puppies/litter. The scam occurs when, in addition to breeding some of their own mama’s on-site, unethical and greedy breeders are also getting more of “their” puppies from puppy mills and then selling them to you under false pretenses. This is not illegal, however, it’s dishonest and unethical. More and more breeders who claim to be “in-home breeders” are doing this as the awareness around puppy mills increases nation wide. They buy these puppies from the puppy mills for around $500-$600 and sell them to you for $5,000+

More Red flags…

An organization listed as a rescue is selling puppies in large numbers or always seems to have them readily available.

A breeder refuses to divulge the name of his or her veterinarian. (If you are given this information, we’re not suggesting you call and interrogate the vet. At least look up the vet’s name and location to ensure it’s legitimate and the vet is still in practice.)

Advertisements are constantly in the newspaper classifieds, on fliers passed out in public places or listed on the internet to buy puppies from the same person or organization.

A person holds a sign on the side of the road or camps out near a busy roadway trying to sell puppies.

***The same person always has puppies READILY available AND ready to go home now or advertises them at every occasion as gifts. BIG RED FLAG unless the breeder is new and just starting a waiting list

A breeder offers multiple different breeds for sale or “rare” or “new” breeds. Breeding is not an experiment and responsible breeders will always do health testing on their parent dogs.

The seller wants to meet you in a public place to complete the sale (pre Covid)

The person does not ask you any questions other than money and pickup arrangements. Any legitimate breeder should care who his or her puppies end up with and ensure they are going to suitable homes.

The person sells puppies at everyday events, such as garage sales or flea markets.

You are not allowed to meet the breeding parents or view the home or business facility (pre/post Covid). The more transparent the breeder is, the more you’ll learn about their program. If the breeder seems hesitant or unwilling to show you these areas or the parents of the litter, this is also a big red flag.

However, most breeders won’t allow you into the whelping area or nursery due to the puppies having no immunity, the risk of exposure to illness and the new mother’s protective nature. Her reaction to new people near her puppies is to jump up and bark but in the process of protecting her puppies from the “unknown” people taking a tour, she can accidentally step on a puppy. Additionally, puppies under 8 weeks old are vulnerable to everything ans people can track parasites, bacteria, viruses, etc into the nursery on their shoes.

A person claims he or she is selling the puppies as an “agent” for a breeder.

Puppies are offered in opposite-sex pairs to encourage breeding.

The breeder claims spaying or neutering is not required or unnecessary.

The puppies are offered for sale and delivery before they reach 8 weeks old.

The puppy is from a pet store

Site Inspections

If the breeder is willing to let you visit his home or breeding facility, this is an important step to ensure your puppy comes from a happy and safe environment.

Look for these warning signs when visiting the location:

There is a recognizable or overwhelming odor that is foul or unpleasant. Beware of an overuse of deodorizers or bleach as this may have been used to cover up an odor, which is usually a sign of a more serious problem.

The appearance and health of the parents can reveal the level of care they are given. Look for dirty or long coats, missing teeth, eye or nose discharge, overgrown nails, visible injuries or sores, patches of missing fur or excessive scratching.

If the cages or containment areas for the animals look more like a parking garage than comfortable accommodations, this is another concern. Animals should have enough room to turn around, stand on their hind legs and have a clean sleeping area away from food and water- at the bare minimum. At MBD, we have large playrooms, outdoor areas and a robust guardian home program. We are a kennel-free facility!

Puppy Mills Continued….

Animals are contained in an area with urine or feces (or both).

The animals are not properly protected from the weather. Outdoor facilities should be climate controlled in areas with extreme heat or cold, and adequate shelter for all animals should be available. Look for small structures in disrepair or animals chained to fences, trees or stakes.

No food or water is visibly available to every animal, or the water is dirty. It takes so little time to clean a bowl and provide fresh water, and this is a blatant sign of neglect that should have sirens going off as soon as you see it.

Animals are either too skinny or overweight. A healthy weight is a good sign of nutrition and exercise. Underweight puppies are not getting enough food or may be sick, while overweight puppies may be either fed too much or not allowed to exercise.

The numbers don’t add up. If there is only one or two people at the location but dozens of dogs, it would seem impossible to think each dog gets proper care, exercise and socialization. Unless they work in shifts or have a system for individualized care, ask them to explain their process or check for other signs listed here.

The breeding parents are not available for you to meet. So, basically, their location is where the puppies get dropped off every time the parents breed, and this can also be a sign that the parents are kept in horrible conditions or are being forced to breed with every heat cycle.

There is only one female breeding or there are too many to accommodate. Forcing one dog to constantly breed at every heat cycle is cruel and can cause health concerns. The dogs are also more likely to be destroyed once they are no longer able to produce litters. Overcrowding is a common theme at the puppy Mills.

The breeder has no idea how many litters the female has produced. This is scary: The dog was bred so many times or records were never kept of the offspring.

All of the animals appear to be sleeping or lethargic. This can be a sign of very poor health, or the animals may have been medicated to cover up a more serious problem.

This information and more can be found at Petful.com