Shortly after purchasing a Yorkie from Dream puppy in VA, after having been assured my puppy was not coming from a puppy mill and would have AKC papers ( I had made it clear that all other registries were not acceptable. I realized I had been lied to when I received ACA papers. I then found out after speaking to the Yorkshire Terrier Club Of America that I could register rock in my drive way with the ACA and there was no way to get AKC registration. The ACA does not inspect breeders or require DNA like the AKC does.
The dog suffers from sever patella problems ( bad knees ) and also had coccidia ( intestine problem that requires antibiotics and can cause death if left untreated ).
As my puppy grew it looked less and less like a Yorkie and more like a mix breed so one day I received a catalog in the mail from In The Company Of Dogs and noticed they were offering a DNA kit to determine the breed or mix of breed that your dog is. I purchased this test which is simple and non invasive ( requiring a cheek swab ). When I received the test results my fears were confirmed. The dog was not a pure bred Yorkshire Terrier, but rather a mix of Pomeranian and Yorkshire!
Then I found out that Dreamy Puppy absolutely, positively was getting at least some of its puppies from LARGE, OUT-OF-STATE, Lancaster County Pennsylvania puppy mills in both 2007, 2008 and 2009, according to health certificates obtained from the State of Virginia through the Freedom of Information Act. This despite their written claims that they obtain puppies from "small breeders," that they pick the puppies up "within our local area" and that they have "No puppymills!" prominently featured on their website, www.dreamypuppy.com.
The store Dreamy Puppy in Chantilly, Virginia, has NO PUPPYMILLS! in big letters on their website, www.dreamypuppy.com. In small print, they say they get puppies from SMALL BREEDERS WHO VALUE AND DEMAND ONLY THE BEST HEALTH IN THESE PUPPIES. Please read their website for further assurances that they are different from the typical puppy mill store. How many dogs would you say a small breeder would have? 10? 20? 30? How about over 300? Because that's how many Dreamy Puppy's small breeders have. In fact, one of their breeders had over 750 dogs in 2008.
In furthering my research and after speaking to many reputable breeders I have learned that no reputable breeder will place dogs into a pet store, but that pet stores will tell you any thing to get you to buy a puppy! As for Dream Puppy's house breaking claim, this dog has been the hardest dog ever to house break I found out the reason for this is the pups are raised in filthy environments from birth by breeders with over 300 dogs, then go to Dream Puppy which appears clean but continues the process of keeping the puppy in a small environment with its food , bed and water where it also must go to the potty. There for the natural instinct not to soil where it eats or sleeps is lost as it has no choice but to soil near is bed food toys water.
I have also learned that the critical development period for a puppy is 8-12 weeks where it learns from its litter mates and mother how to interact with other dogs, how hard is too hard to bite and dogie body language. This is important because its makes it much easier to train your dog and have a dog that you can take places around other dogs. My dog has been very fearful of other dogs despite my efforts to train him. Has aggressive tendencies.
My hope in writing this is that thru my experience I can save someone from going thru what I have. Of course you love the puppy once you get it home and Dream Puppy is betting on that. They assume because of human emotion once you have it and are attached what ever paper work they promised that is incorrect or what ever problems you have will not matter as you will not bring it back.
I have also learned you get what you pay for. My puppy was 1/2 of what a reputable breeder I spoke to charges, however she gives a 5 year health guarantee because 1 year is not enough time to find out about most genetic problems, she feeds better food and her pups are raised in her home where she has only a few dogs so enough time to give proper attention. She shows her dogs in AKC shows and titles them to further prove the parents quality and because of this the pups will end up looking like Yorkies. Their weight and temperament are predictable unlike my Dream Puppy who is more like a night mare puppy.
Bottom line hind site being 20/20 even if you have to get on a waiting list for a puppy from a reputable breeder do it! If you can not afford what the good breeders want go to the breeds rescue and save a life! Search for reputable breeders through the AKC.org for the Parent club of your breed which will direct you to them. Make sure your breeder is a member of the breeds parent club. Parent clubs will not allow breeders to sell to pet stores! Buying from Dream Puppy just enables them to get more puppies it does not save any one! My vet bills in the long run totaled more that I would have paid for a good dog that was truly a pure bred Yorkie!
They also say WE PERSONALLY PICK UP THE PUPPIES WITHIN OUR LOCAL AREA Yes, that is trueinstead of dealing with large brokers, they deal with the Lancaster County puppy millers THEMSELVES.
The store calls itself upscale. So what if a store is clean and the owners appear to pamper the puppies? That just makes it more appealing to customers. What about the PARENTS of these puppies suffering, unseen, in cages for their entire lives?