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Problems with Puppy Mills
A few months ago I posted a hub about my little La-Chon. This is a dog that is 50% Lhasa Apso and 50% Bichon Frise. In some circles it is considered a designer dog that is perfect for those with allergies.
Most of the comments I received where positive thanking me for the information I posted, however, I had a negative one chastising me for being a puppy mill.
A puppy mill? I had to ask myself. Why would someone think that I was raising puppies just for money?
Is it because I said that it is a rare breed? Or that these types of dogs are good for allergies and people are on a kick for rare designer breeds? These questions led me to writing this hub, to clear the air.
I am not a designer dog breeder. I do not promote breeding dogs for the sake of money alone. Dogs, in my book, are like little people with personalities. I have seen too many cases where the animal was nothing but a breeding ground and mistreated. This particular breed is about like having another child. Would you mistreat your child?
I took a year to research the type of dog that would be compatible for my family. When I finally found a compatible breed, I had to have my husband screen it, because he was the one with the most severe allergies to animals. (By screening it, I meant that he had to hold it, pet it, and play with it just as if it were part of the family.) Once the little guy passed this test, I watched the personality to see if it would fit in with our family. Some dogs are a one person pet. I was looking for one that interacted with the whole family and did well with young children. Our first dog was a Lhasa Apso named Harley.
When Harley was nearly two, I wanted to fix him, but, because he had such a terrific personality and many of our friends and neighbors loved him, we decided to breed him one time. I began the search again for the near perfect companion. I started locally with the same breeder that I got Harley from. Unfortunately after a fatal accident where the breeder lost her house to a fire, she resigned from breeding. She said she couldn’t handle the loss of losing so many of her pets. (She had lost a set of parents and a litter of six pups to the fire.) No one in the area sold Lhasa Apsos. I was back to square one. I refuse to buy a dog off the internet without knowing what I was getting into. I began to research different breeds that would be compatible with Harley, another breed that was also considered hyper-allergenic. Poodles were out since my husband wasn’t fond of their hyper attitudes and yapping. That is when I stumbled upon the Bichon Frise.
I was first drawn to their looks. Little puffs of cotton balls with beautiful eyes. Unfortunately they reminded my husband of a poodle. I had my work cut out for me. I had to then look up what a La-Chon would look like and act. Since this breed is still fairly new, there wasn’t much information on them. I finally found a website of a breeder of La-Chons and fell in love. Not only were they cute, but were claimed to be intelligent and easy to train. (Except for the potty training part, Bichon’s are hard to potty train.)
I took my new found information and started looking around our area for a Bichon. It took me six months to find one that was the same age as our dog, Harley, and was a female. I also wanted to make sure that she was registered so I could register the pups. After I purchased the female named Missy, I realized that the people I got her from weren’t totally honest with me. They claimed she was a year old, but she was two. She had been abused by the males in the household and loved by the females. She would bite or growl at any males that entered wearing a baseball cap. She was not potty trained. It was like having a little puppy that needed to be trained. I was glad in some ways to rescue her and in other ways; she was going to be my nightmare. With a lot of love and training, she became an enjoyable dog to have around.
By the time the puppies arrived, we had realized that Missy was not going to be compatible with my husband’s allergies. I had to search for a home for her. My daughter had a friend who fell in love with her but had the same problem with my family. Lucky for us though, her family members could be around her without an attack. She went to a loving home that still keep in touch with us to let us know how she is doing.
As the puppies grew and it became time for us to send them off to their new homes, I began to screen possible families. It wasn’t hard to find a happy, lovable home for them since so many of our friends and neighbors loved them. Each family to this day loves their pets and remarks how funny they are when playing or interacting with people and animals. So far, I haven’t had any complaints about them affecting anyone with allergies. That is why I recommended the La-Chon.
Our La-Chon is like a child.
There are easy steps to take when looking for your first puppy or one to join the family.
- Do the research it takes to find out what kind of dog you want to begin with. Are you interested in a small dog, medium dog, or large dog? What breed of dog are you looking for?
- Read up on the personalities of the breed of dog you are looking for. Ask yourself; is this dog easy to train? Will this dog require a lot of grooming? Will this dog play well with children? Is this a family dog or a one person dog?
- Meet the dog and play with it for a few minutes. Dogs are perceptive to people’s personalities. Even though my husband is allergic to animals, they love him because he is a calm person with understanding.
- Make sure before purchasing or adopting the dog that it will get along with other animals in your home. Just because someone tells you that Fido gets along with their cat doesn’t mean he will get along with yours.
- If your future pet has papers, do a background check on the breeder and parents of the pup. You don’t want to get hammered for fraud or purchasing the wrong dog. It also helps to see if the breeder is abusing the animals and merely using them for money. (Hence the bad rep on puppy mills.)
- Ask questions! You can never ask too many questions about the breed you are looking into. Too many times, myself included, it is easy to take someone’s word for granted and realize you stepped into a problem till it was too late.
Once you have found your perfect pet, enjoy it, but remember; they are like little children. A lot of work but the results are priceless.
Our little crew
Tammy (author) on April 26, 2016:
Thanks tillsontitan, Lhasas are some amazing animals. I had never heard of either one before we started our search for a dog. Both have interesting traits, as a mixed breed, they are wonderful. Thanks again for your comment.
Mary Craig from New York on November 12, 2015:
Adorable. I've never known a Lhasa Apso, but my son had a Bichon for thirteen years. She was not only adorable, but very smart!
Tammy (author) on February 18, 2014:
They are an amazing dog. Mine is spoiled and loving it. I bet your grandchildren are having the time of their life with him. Thanks for stopping by.
dee on February 17, 2014:
Just adopted my LA chon 3 weeks ago. His name is Casper and he is 2 years old. He has adjusted well and is a joy to have around. My grandchildren love him!
Tammy (author) on October 02, 2012:
Thanks Mary for stopping by. That is terrific that you didn't have any problems training your puppy. Mine didn't like the training pads or the puppy patch. They liked to sleep on the patch instead. I could almost guarantee that if one of them was made at me, for whatever reason, I would find a spot on the floor, and in some cases in a bed. Mine were a rebelious but loveable lot. It is all in how you treat them and the amount of attention you showed them. I agree, maybe one needs to think like their puppy. Thanks again!
Mary on August 02, 2012:
One stereotype of La Chons is that they are hard to potty train. I found this to be entirely untrue. At first I put puppy training pads anywhere she went repeatedly. She soon figured out what they were for and I simply left one puppy pad by the door and another one in my walk-in shower. Soon the one by the door was unused, as I took her outside each time I found her getting ready to use it. The one in the shower stall was used for quite a long time--maybe 2 or 3 years, I think because I also use the bathroom and because she did not like to go out in bad weather. My husband thinks she uses the shower because she recognizes the drain in the floor, which was probably like one she saw in her breeders kennel. This makes sense. Now that she is accustom to getting a little wet in the rain, she always goes outdoors (she is four years old this September). I have no idea how others attempt to train their pups--no experience whatsoever, so there ya go, amature dumb luck maybe, but I suspect you must learn to think like your puppy.
Tammy (author) on February 01, 2011:
I wanted to write another hub on my little girl, but when I went to do research on them I kept coming across negative comments about people using them for puppy mills. Then one of the comments showed up on my hub. I usually allow comments but this one was pretty bad. It set me on a mission to show that not everyone abuses dogs for the benefit of money. I would have never bred our Lhasa if it wasn't for friends and family wanting one like him. I will have to get my daughter to make some more videos to post on here. Bella, (our La-Chon) is so funny. She was the only one out of her litter that hates snow.
Eiddwen from Wales on February 01, 2011:
Another great hub on my favourite ie dogs.
thanks for sharing
Tammy (author) on January 31, 2011:
Thank you, Dr. Amilia!
Dr. Amilia on January 31, 2011:
How very nice of you, tlpoague.
Tammy (author) on January 30, 2011:
It took me awhile to decided if it was even worth writing about, until I came across some articles bad mouthing designer dogs. For some reason people seem to associate designer dogs with the puppy mills. That could be because of the worth of the dog.
People on the net at one time were willing to pay $1500.00 for a female La-Chon. The cost has since gone down. I wanted to make sure that my puppies were going to a good home, so I made sure to keep in touch with the families that got them.
QudsiaP1 on January 30, 2011:
People often misconstrue, though in this case, I am glad they did because it led you to writing yet another article.