Basics:

PuppySpot maintains it’s a no-cost way for breeders to advertise the sale of their dogs, but it’s a disaster

Expected pay: NA

Husl$core: $

Commissions & fees: none for breeders; copious for customers

Where: Nationwide (remote)

Requirements: 18 or older

What is PuppySpot?

PuppySpot maintains that the site is a vetted, no-cost service for breeders to sell their puppies. Only families buying puppies pay the site.

However, if you’re a responsible breeder you should not sell here. And, if you are a responsible pet-owner, you should also steer clear.

Why? The site’s set up makes it impossible for buyers to know where their dog is coming from. So even though the site swears it will not send you a puppy from a puppy mill, there is no way to check that.

Complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau indicate that this site is a disaster for anyone who loves animals.

How it works

Breeders fill out an application to list their dogs on the site. The application asks for contact information, as well as information about how many dogs you’re breeding, the breed, and whether you are USDA licensed.

You’ll also need to agree to a Breeder’s contract. The contract has some general requirements regarding vaccinations and animal health and requires the breeder to guarantee that if the dog is found to have a congenital disease in the first year — or is brought to a vet with a serious illness in the first 14 days — that the breeder will be financially responsible for taking the dog back, exchanging it or paying the vet bills.

This is the basis for its “no puppy mill” promise.

But realize that if you get a sick dog, the remedy you’re usually offered is to return it — knowing that it will probably die in the process. Given that puppies are living things, not defective handbags, few people do that.

Meanwhile….

The rest of the contract with the breeder deals with advertising. And it’s clear that the crux of this agreement is to make sure that a PuppySpot buyer can’t find your dog anywhere else. Specifically, you must advertise each puppy in a litter with a name — that cannot be used anywhere else. You also have to give the site photos of the dogs that you don’t publish anywhere else.

Naturally, breeders can and do sell their puppies elsewhere. But they have to use different names and different photos. This insures that buyers won’t find out that they could buy the same dog for a fraction of the price directly from the breeder.

Customer side

Customers shopping for dogs on competing sites like PuppyFind can search for local breeders. They can also get information about the breeder selling their dog and contact that breeder directly. None of that information is available at PuppySpot.

You will not be given the name of the breeder; the breeder’s contact information; any information about where your dog is located; nor have any chance to see your dog in person before you buy it.

That sets up the idea situation for irresponsible breeders to hide behind PuppySpot’s marketing machine.

Ludicrous costs

The PuppySpot is willing to advertise dogs for free is because the site is charging more for them than the breeder. Therefore, they make money on the mark-up.

The site also charges a host of fees to buyers. These include delivery fees — even if you pick up the puppy yourself. These fees add somewhere between $300 and $2,000 to the cost of the pet.

And, if you compare the prices of dogs on PuppySpot vs. PuppyFind, you’ll quickly see that PuppySpot is already charging about twice as much for the same breeds.

Sick animals

But what is most tragic about this site are the number of complaints about sick and dying dogs. (See what their buyer’s say below.) Animals sent with Parvo, Giardia, and parasites. Dogs with serious congenital diseases that are often the result of overbreeding.

Recommendations

Responsible breeders want to know who is buying their dogs and they have no problems answering questions about health and vaccinations and bloodlines. PuppySpot doesn’t allow that communication, which makes us believe that any responsible breeder would want to avoid this site like the plague.

It’s also a terrible site to buy a pet. It’s not only unnecessarily expensive, it is far more likely to deliver a sick or traumatized pet than when you buy the same dog directly from the breeder.

Better places to advertise (and buy) a purebred dog include PuppyFind and the AKC Marketplace.

What their buyers say (from the Better Business Bureau):

If I could give a zero I would. We have a two year old *******Recently diagnosed with trachea malformation and trachea collapse Terrible prognosis. The only alternative is stent placement which is about $6000 and no guarantee she will survive the surgery. If she doeslife expectancy would be only two years additional. Without the surgery Death is eminent. We are heartbroken. Our vet said this was congenital at birth. Do yourself a favor do not buy from this company under ANY circumstance.

Congenital ailments

My 16 month old puppy was diagnosed with bilateral elbow dysplasia and this company could care less. RJ’s breeder had another German Shepherd with bilateral elbow dysplasia in 2017, they did nothing! And when my dog arrived at the airport I had to jump through hoops to pick him up as PUPPY SPOT was going to leave him in a crate and travel another 8 hours to drop off other puppies. They don’t care about your dog or its health, they care about lining their pockets.

The day I got him I couldn’t even take him for a normal 10 minute walk at 9 weeks because he was already in pain. They said they didn’t know when he had obvious indications of hip dysplasia. The only option I had was sending him back and getting a refund just so he can be put down or keeping him and dealing with this by myself.

Delayed delivery

I bought a puppy one month ago. I was told the puppy will be delivered to the door. Then, they told me they couldn’t do it but to the airport. One day before the delivery date, they called me to tell me the delivery was canceled because of weather conditions. After that, they went radio silent: no emails no calls, no responses. My son is sad and frustrated and we have asked for a full refund. They are not responsible, they are not serious. I have my lawyer ready to call them because I am not going to tolerate this scam.

Communication with the customer NONEXISTENT once the **** has been paid. This isn’t an inanimate package we are waiting for- its a living breathing animal for which we paid top dollar.

Great until they get your money. Then they lie. Bought a puppy at 10weeks. Was told it was going to ship the 9th-13th. Another delay led to another to another. Then the puppy was supposed to be delivered on the 23rd.  Had to talk to 2 separate people before getting $100 off for shipping. Then they rescheduled delivery for the 29th because the dog now has Giardia.

Breeder vetting?

If you are drawn to PuppySpot because of their “breeder vetting” and “No Puppy Mill Promise” – that is a lie, no one at PuppySpot could tell me anything remotely specific to the breeder of my dog or even my dog. They ultimately cancelled on me after changing the travel twice, due to a congenital defect present from birth. The defect is indicative of poor breeding. 2. If you are drawn to PuppySpot because of the “concierge service” and “puppy manager” – this is also a lie. You are not “assigned” a puppy manager. You will talk to random people every time you call or use the app. These random people will likely be reading from a script somewhere overseas.

They will not let you contact the breeder directly so all questions and requests for updates, pictures, etc have to go through puppyspot. They only require breeders to update pictures every 2 weeks. So asking for pictures is pointless. They ask you to be patient and give them several days to get back to you with responses and most of the time the responses don’t answer the actual questions you had and then you have to start all over.

From Trust Pilot

“If you can figure out who the breeder is that your pup will come from – you can get it for about 50% of what they charge.”

“My husband bought a golden retriever puppy from purebredbreeders.com for our family shortly after we lost our 12 year old golden retriever to cancer. We took her to the vet the next day after she arrived and found out she had Giardia and worms. After six months of the puppy constantly vomiting, having extreme diarrhea and giving her constant medication, she is now fairly healthy but still undersized for 10 months old. Not only that, the puppy can’t be registered with any nationally accredited registration such as AKC, etc. I should have disputed the credit card charge but there is no way that I would send the puppy back (probably to be a lab test animal) if they demanded the return of the “property” so I did not. Stay far, far away from this company and do not believe the doctored photos and false promises.”

Updated 2/7/2023

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