Puppies Online

Responsible Breeder Guidelines

Effective date: September 16, 2023

Introduction to Puppies Online

Puppies Online is a community of responsible dog breeders committed to providing healthy, happy, and well-socialised puppies to loving homes.

Our code of ethics is developed in developed in line with the standards of associations such as ANKC, PIAA and MDBA guidelines as well as state legislation, and sets forth the minimum standards that our members must adhere to in order to promote the well-being of dogs and maintain the highest level of integrity in the breeding community.

Breeding Facility & Environment

  • Dogs must be housed in an appropriate permanent facility. Dogs are to be housed in a room, run or house. Vehicles, caravans and portable crates are not appropriate for permanent housing.
  • Dogs must be housed in enclosures of an appropriate size. Full compliance with state regulations pertaining to minimum enclosure size is expected.
  • Dogs must be housed in a space with shelter from rain and wind, direct sunlight or other adverse weather.
  • Dogs’ sleeping areas must have clean, dry and hygienic bedding and be cleaned daily.
  • Dogs must be given sufficient daily exercise in line with their age, health and breeding status. Certain states maintain minimum lengths of time for exercise per day, which Puppies Online adheres to in our standards.
  • Dogs housed continuously indoors should be given daily access to an outdoor area for exercise, weather allowing.
  • Dogs exercising should be provided with supervised environmental enrichment such as walking on a lead, basic obedience training, retrieving and play with safe and hygienic toys.
  • Space away from other dogs should be made available to whelping females. These rooms, pens or boxes should be cleaned daily.
  • In order to prevent the spread of infectious disease, space should be maintained in which to isolate sick dogs.
  • Puppies Online may inspect facilities physically or virtually at our discretion to ensure standards are maintained.

Health & Welfare

  • Females must not be mated prior to 12 months of age
  • Prior to their first mating, females must pass a general health check by a veterinary practitioner and be issued a fit-to-breed certificate.
  • Females should only be mated for up to 7 years or up to four litters. Written permission from a veterinary practitioner should be sought if a breeder wishes to breed a female who has had more than four litters or who is over 6 years of age.
  • After 7 years or after a female ceases to be bred, mating dogs should be retired, de-sexed, and given any necessary training and socialisation in preparation for re-homing.
  • Females should not be bred more than twice in an 18-month period without written clearance by a veterinary practitioner. In addition, breeders must adhere to any additional limits imposed within their state.
  • In order to breed a female who has previously had a caesarean section, written permission should be sought from a veterinary practitioner.
  • All dogs should receive a general health check by a veterinary practitioner at least once per year.
  • Puppies under 12 weeks of age should be given their first vaccinations before 10 weeks of age. Appropriate records of vaccination should be maintained.
  • Worming treatment should be used for dogs of all ages
  • All dogs should be kept free of fleas and given necessary treatment if fleas are found.
  • Animals with infectious diseases should be kept separate from other dogs and puppies on the property.
  • Brachycephalic Breed Policy: breeders of brachycephalic breeds must test for, and produce records of testing for, the following health conditions in their breeding dogs:

Nutrition & Condition

  • All dogs should be groomed such that their coats are not left matted, dirty or tangled.
  • Clean, drinkable water should be made fully available to all dogs at all times.
  • Puppies from 3 weeks of age should be offered solid food to facilitate the weaning process and their transition to non-milk foods.
  • Fully weaned puppies less than 16 weeks of age must be fed a minimum of three times daily or have constant access to food. They must not be left without food for a period of more than 12 hours.
  • Pregnant and lactating females must be fed at least twice daily or have constant access to food.
  • The weight of pregnant and lactating females should be observed and monitored to ensure their health.
  • The weight of puppies should be observed and monitored to ensure their health.
  • It should be ensured that no puppies or dogs are severely underweight. If puppies do not gain weight, veterinary advice should be sought.

Temperament & Socialisation

  • Puppies should be bred from dogs of appropriate temperament. Guard dogs, working dogs, etc. are inappropriate for this platform and its focus on family dogs.
  • In order to facilitate their social development, puppies should remain housed with their mother and littermates until at least 6-7 weeks of age.
  • Puppies should not be placed prior to reaching 8 weeks of age.
  • Puppies should be given appropriate socialisation experiences in order to be prepared for life in a family home. Breeders raising puppies outside of a home environment must ensure puppies are still raised with appropriate levels of exposure to common stimuli and environments they will likely encounter later in life with a family.
  • Toilet training practices should be established prior to a puppy’s placement. While it is understood that progress varies between individual animals and breeds, it is expected that breeders have begun to acclimate pups to urinating and defecating away from their eating and sleeping area in order to prepare them for their home life. Puppies should be introduced to a variety of people and animals in order to facilitate their social development.

Policy & Documents

  • Breeders will maintain appropriate records, established at birth, pertaining to the health of each puppy. Microchip, parasite prevention and vaccination records are to be made available to new owners as well as records of any health issues experienced by the dog in question.
  • Breeders will maintain appropriate records pertaining to their adult breeding dogs. The vaccination records, microchip information and other health records of each dog should be available and verifiable.
  • Breeders will retain documentation for every litter bred, and be able to produce relevant documentation spanning the previous 3-5 years in accordance with the policy of their state. These records include parentage, gender and number of puppies, and documentation pertaining to the health of the litter and its members.
  • Breeders will abide by all relevant consumer rights pertaining to the sale of dogs in their state.
  • Breeders will clearly communicate their guarantee/return policy to purchasers, ensuring purchasers are made aware of any applicable consumer rights.
  • Breeders purchasing dogs for their breeding program will disclose this intent to the breeder the dog is acquired from. This will facilitate transparency between both parties with regards to the health and welfare of the animals involved.