SMH; RACHEL BROWNE; June 6, 2010
DOGS produced on puppy farms can become aggressive later in life and attack humans.
Dogs NSW, which represents professional registered breeders, said puppy farming is
not just an animal welfare issue, but a public safety concern.
”If a consumer buys a dog from a puppy farm, they don’t know what they’re getting until the animal grows up,” said a spokesman,
Peter Higgins. ”That cute little puppy could grow up to be Cujo. It’s a case of buyer beware. You have no idea what you are getting in terms of size and temperament.”
Pups raised in cramped conditions miss the critical socialisation period – between three and 17 weeks of age.
”These places are overcrowded, they are unsanitary, the dogs are not socialised so they don’t know how to behave,” Dr Higgins said.
”The puppies have very little contact with humans and often the interaction they do have is negative. They are almost like wild dogs.”
Poorly socialised dogs often display aggression to other dogs and humans.
”When people talk about dog attacks you have to think about what has caused it,” Dr Higgins said.
”Often the first human contact these dogs have is when they are sold and they go home with a family. Then the dog goes out and attacks someone and more often than not is surrendered and put down.”
The NSW Dog Attack Register shows that 666 attacks occurred in the first quarter of 2010, up from 470 in the previous quarter.