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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I will be starting threads here and there while we work on posting a set of updated rules and guidelines on SM for everyone to see. The first topic I would like to invite your feedback on is about the selling of pets. Let me throw some questions at you folks to consider as a starting point but at the same time, you're welcome to provide feedback related to the topic that doesn't cover my questions.

Personally, I think I provide a good viewpoint for this community because I am considered as an outsider. I don't own a Maltese though I do own a dog. Did I go through the "proper channels" like most of you did to obtain your dog? Probably not. Do I regret it? No. My wife and I have a lovely dog that has brought us endless joy and we make no apologies for that.

With all the experience and conversations I have had over the past 8 months with dog owners on all our dog sites, I come across the same sensitive topic of Breeders. The overall feeling I walk away with could be summed up by the following:

a) Not everyone can agree on who is considered a reputable breeder

b) Not everyone can agree with the standards of organizations that certify breeders

c) Any reputable breeder would not need to advertise their service

With that in mind, let me get the ball rolling on the feedback here:

1) Should we allow pets to be advertised on SM?

I'm a black and white sort of guy. I don't sugarcoat things and I try not to get into grey areas. So if your answer to the question is "yes", it potentially will open the door for all types of animals advertised. If your answer is "no", it potentially will seal the door on all types of animals being offered on SM.

I prefer not to get into a situation where we say, "this animal should be allowed but this animal shouldn't be allowed." I understand that this is first and foremost a community of Maltese lovers so of course, there is leeway for discussion about that.

Please note that whatever opinion you offer will not automatically make it to the final draft. This is an open discussion and ultimately, the Admin team will put together the rules taking into consideration your feedback.
 

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Does this include 'selling' of stud/bitch services, or specifically sales of dogs/puppies?

If we're talking about the latter, I feel like, at least in the time I've been here, almost every one of the threads posted as a 'heads-up' for puppies being available have been from reputable, show breeders. I have no doubt it would continue that way. I think it would be really unfortunate to ban all puppy threads. That's how I heard of some of the great, lesser-known breeders.

As for stud/bitch services, I think other members have said this has not happened often, so it may be a moot point, but I think people looking for stud should find another place to do so besides SM.

Just my opinion :) Thanks for opening this to discussion! Having the opportunity to contribute some input to the development of new rules makes it feel like we have some part in 'creating' the atmosphere we think is best.
 

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I think you need to clarify (in black & white) what you mean by 'advertise' ...

What I mean is, is it 'advertising' if a member starts a thread saying "XYZ Breeder Has Puppies Available"?

To many, that type of thread could be in that grey area.

Good on you for responding, and trying to act on a recent upset here, but I think its a very difficult task you have ahead of you .. hold on tight, and good luck!!!

(ps: being in Au, and using the English spelling 'rules', I'm loving your Canadian spelling of 'advertiSe' LOL)
 

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SM members posting links to breeder's sites who have available puppies: YES

Show Breeders/BYB's/Puppy Mills advertising/offering puppies for sale: NO
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input.

In terms of advertising, I mean posting something in the "BUY/SELL" area. Remember, we're looking at updating the rules so you can see from a standpoint that there are no sacred cows here. That doesn't mean we're looking to overhaul something but at the very least, we should address it.

Right now, make no mistake about it -- there IS advertising of pets or a service that breeds pets. Look at the thread in the breeders area called "Where Did Your Dog Come From." There are direct links to breeders who (and I apologize if I'm using the wrong terminology) provide a breeding service. No one has ever said anything about that so from my standpoint, where do we draw the line?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
SM members posting links to breeder's sites who have available puppies: YES

Show Breeders/BYB's/Puppy Mills advertising/offering puppies for sale: NO
How do I know that a SM member posting a link to a "breeder's" site isn't a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing if you get the analogy?
 

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How do I know that a SM member posting a link to a "breeder's" site isn't a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing if you get the analogy?
I get you.

I think that there is a difference between advertising a puppy for sale and providing a link to a breeder's website, but I may be wrong about that. Breeder's sites are public and many SM members browse them all the time looking for puppies, so it isn't a secret if puppies are available.

In another forum I am on, we are allowed to talk about "products" that are available, and praise their qualities, but we are not allowed to provide a link to the site where they are sold. Would that be acceptable?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
In another forum I am on, we are allowed to talk about "products" that are available, and praise their qualities, but we are not allowed to provide a link to the site where they are sold. Would that be acceptable?
That's good feedback.
 

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Thanks for the input.

In terms of advertising, I mean posting something in the "BUY/SELL" area. Remember, we're looking at updating the rules so you can see from a standpoint that there are no sacred cows here. That doesn't mean we're looking to overhaul something but at the very least, we should address it.

Right now, make no mistake about it -- there IS advertising of pets or a service that breeds pets. Look at the thread in the breeders area called "Where Did Your Dog Come From." There are direct links to breeders who (and I apologize if I'm using the wrong terminology) provide a breeding service. No one has ever said anything about that so from my standpoint, where do we draw the line?
How do I know that a SM member posting a link to a "breeder's" site isn't a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing if you get the analogy?
I get you.

I think that there is a difference between advertising a puppy for sale and providing a link to a breeder's website, but I may be wrong about that. Breeder's sites are public and many SM members browse them all the time looking for puppies, so it isn't a secret if puppies are available.

In another forum I am on, we are allowed to talk about "products" that are available, and praise their qualities, but we are not allowed to provide a link to the site where they are sold. Would that be acceptable?
See, this is where I think it gets grey .... is there really a difference?

I guess the difference could be saying "Hey, I have a puppy I want to sell" versus ... "Hey, I was browsing and saw XYZ Breeder has puppies available" .... are they both 'advertising' on some level??????
 

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You bring up some excellent points about selling already taking place in SM. We would be all over a thread from someone saying their backyard breeder had puppies available, yet we ooh and aw over the same threads about puppies from show breeders.

Mary H said last night that she knew for a fact that certain posters have posted about available puppies at the direct request of the breeder who has the puppies available. She is absolutely right.

I can pull up specific threads saying "I just talked to my breeder last night and she wanted me to let everyone know she has a female puppy available, etc."

Joe explained his policy four years ago wonderfully, IMO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by joe
I dont know what I can do to clarify this, my brain is :smpullhair: casually mentioning a breeder who has pups, posting pics of pups or even linking in a signature to a breeder still leaves it up to the person interested in a pup to do some research, ask questions and explore their options before making a decision

a breeder, or someone close to that breeder "advertising" pups can encourage impulse buying because it a "familiar" name at SM, many of you have mentioned how hard it is to say "no" and that is not a healthy decision for you or your pup and if allowed i do believe the forum would be flooded with "pup for sale" threads and then it turns into a market place where problems could arise, ie: "i saw a breeder post a wonderful picture of a pup on SM and I bought it and I am having health issues now, i thought it would be ok because it was on SM"

bottom line is i want to encourage research before a purchase and not provide a place where someone can sign on and buy a Maltese just because they want one and there is one for sale, protecting SM itself is another consideration in this

I know there is a fine line with my "rules" but I dont think I can make them any better, I do want members to find pups but i want to make it harder than signing on and choosing one, I hope you see where I am coming from even though I may not be clear or more specific and as always if anyone is in doubt of a post or considering their own post and not sure, you can PM me

Of course, I realize that policy gets into just the gray area you want to avoid. While I enjoy seeing puppy pictures, I am totally against the sale of any live animals here on SM and soliciting or offering stud services. I belong to a Yorkie forum that allows puppy sales claiming it "helps" people find puppies and it's a nightmare. People are lulled into believing that the breeders who post ads there are some how screened or recommended by the forum and have gotten sick puppies, just the scenario Joe wanted to avoid. If it has to be black and white, I'd rather see no pet sales on SM, even "soft" sales, rather than allow puppy ads in the Buy, Sell & Trade section.
 

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If it has to be black and white, I'd rather see no pet sales on SM, even "soft" sales, rather than allow puppy ads in the Buy, Sell & Trade section.
Marj, what do you mean by "soft" sales? Do you mean, like in my previous post, people saying "Hey, I was browsing and saw that XYZ Breeder has available puppies" Is that what you mean? Or do you mean something else?
 

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Marj, what do you mean by "soft" sales? Do you mean, like in my previous post, people saying "Hey, I was browsing and saw that XYZ Breeder has available puppies" Is that what you mean? Or do you mean something else?
i am wondering the same thing.
like was said before everyone has an idea of what a reputable breeder is, and some think the breeder is reputable when in fact they werent , so with that being said i think just posting a a link about available puppies is in some way promoting and advertising.. so again is it ok to do this or are we going to deter from doing this in the future?
 

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SM members posting links to breeder's sites who have available puppies: YES

Show Breeders/BYB's/Puppy Mills advertising/offering puppies for sale: NO

I agree. I really hope we don't end up prohibiting our members from giving us a "heads-up" to available puppies! Some of our newbies join SM just to find a good pup....I think it's wonderful that our members alert us to these little gems. And they're not selling anything, just giving a "heads-up".

Just seeing the posts within these threads will let you know they are from a good breeder. Otherwise there will be controversy, and that's not all bad either, then the newbie will know to beware...and to ask more questions. Really, it's all good.

Now selling a dog? I say absolutely not. Not a good idea.
 

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Marj, what do you mean by "soft" sales? Do you mean, like in my previous post, people saying "Hey, I was browsing and saw that XYZ Breeder has available puppies" Is that what you mean? Or do you mean something else?
By "soft" sales I mean the scenario Joe addressed in his post.....members with a connection to the breeder posting puppies on their behalf.
 

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I agree. I really hope we don't end up prohibiting our members from giving us a "heads-up" to available puppies! Some of our newbies join SM just to find a good pup....I think it's wonderful that our members alert us to these little gems. And they're not selling anything, just giving a "heads-up".

Just seeing the posts within these threads will let you know they are from a good breeder. Otherwise there will be controversy, and that's not all bad either, then the newbie will know to beware...and to ask more questions. Really, it's all good.

Now selling a dog? I say absolutely not. Not a good idea.
What's the difference between a head's up and an in-your-face sales thread? The end result will most likely be the same.
 

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By "soft" sales I mean the scenario Joe addressed in his post.....members with a connection to the breeder posting puppies on their behalf.
I dont disagree with you, but can you imagine how difficult that would be to 'police'?

How about another scenario ... what if there is an SM member, past, present, or future, who shows dogs, and breeds, ... should that person be discouraged from sharing the joy of a new litter? Would it be considered advertising if they posted pictures of the babies??

Would breeders be discouraged from sharing their knowledge & experience on this site?

I'm struggling to find 'the line' on "advertising"
 

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Yung, I have kept my mouth and its opinions out of the recent threads but, because you asked for it - here's my opinion (and I am NEVER BRIEf) and I apologize in advance if I hurt someone's feelings or loose a friend - but these are merely my thoughts as a member here on SM and nothing is directed at any specific member or in response to any specific post other than the question posed by Yung highlighted below.

1) Should we allow pets to be advertised on SM?
My answer to this is a very strong NO! I disagree with the posting of any animal for sale in ANY section (pictures, breeders, sale/buy). As you state Yung, there are strong opinions about what constitutes a BYB, a puppymill, and a reputable breeder. There are some breeders that many on here find to be reputable that I see as expensive puppymills with designer names.

I feel that links should be provided in PMs not in the open forum. By allowing people to post links to puppies avaliable on SM, avaliable in the public areas of the forum, any googler can pull them up and believe they are endorsed by SM. This places the owners of the forum in a precarious situation that I believe Joe has addressed before from the standpoint of legal liability (which Marj has already highlighted for us).

However, I will say this. Providing a link to a breeder's website when someone says, "where did you get your dog" I do NOT view as advertisement if that is all that is provided as this is a form of education as it is NOT always easy to find appropriate breeders online through google and sometimes people like the look of a certain dog here on the forum.

However, it's when there is gushing as to how great the puppies are and how great the breeders are and how wonderful the experience was coupled with the direct link to the puppies page is where I find advertisement to be taking place. And perhaps this is too much GRAY for you Yung, but that's my opinion.

When there is a link posted to a retiree or a puppy and the words "someone needs to snatch her up" or "what a great price" that I feel advertisement IS taking place.

To be honest, all puppies are ADORABLE no matter who breeds them or what breed they are - so IMHO there is never a reason to post a picture of a puppy for sale just to say how cute they are - everyone is going to agree. Usually these posting generate questions about (1) who has purchased from this breeder (2) how the breeder was to deal with (3) champion lines (4) cost of puppy (5) etc... and this is most definatly advertising for that specific breeder whether the breeder asked for it or not.

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Now for clarification of my opinion:
If member X buys a puppy and posts pictures in the Picture Section and says - I wanted to introduce my new puppy Y! This is NOT advertising. If Member Q says "where did she come from" and Member X replies "Breeder T" this is NOT advertisement.

If member X buys a puppy and posts pictures in the Picture Secontion and says - I wanted to introduce my new puppy Y and her siblings are still avaliable. This IS soft advertisement and should not be permitted.

If member X posts pictures in the Picture Section and says "look at these cute puppies from Breeder X this is where I got my baby" this IS advertisement and should not be permitted.

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Of course, there are many other examples but these seem to be the gray areas that have been talked about in this thread so I thought I would give my opinion.

As far as stud/b*itch services. If you are a "reputable" breeder IMHO you should already have the proper channels to find these services and therefore I think there should be the following rule:

There are to be no solicitations or advertisements for Stud or B*itch services on this forum. Any post that contains such a solicitation or advertisement will be deleted and, if its the first offense, the poster will be warned. For second offense, poster will be banned.

SM members are encouraged to report such posts to the administration and to not reply to them in the thread or via PM.

Why the second part of the rule you ask? Why Yung, I would be happy to tell you:). Its because I really do feel that someone coming here for the wrong reasons can learn so much from this forum if they stick around. However, posting a request for such a service and then being bombarded in the thread or via PM about the situation might make them rethink sticking around and then a HUGE chance to education will be lost.

However, a polite response from admin that this type of post is not acceptable here on the forum and that further posts of this nature will result in their membership being deleted MAY leave the original offender feeling better about this forum and PERHAPS they will feel comfortable exploring and then the learning could take place. Reminding me, as a member, that my responsibility is to report this issue to you and not to be sucked into the post to drive up its popularity on the forum, places ownership on my behavior in these threads and reminds me to trust in my all powerful and exhaulting overseers :)forgive me:that's you Yung!)

Ok, that's it - I'm done now. Thank you for listening.
 

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I dont disagree with you, but can you imagine how difficult that would be to 'police'?

How about another scenario ... what if there is an SM member, past, present, or future, who shows dogs, and breeds, ... should that person be discouraged from sharing the joy of a new litter? Would it be considered advertising if they posted pictures of the babies??

Would breeders be discouraged from sharing their knowledge & experience on this site?

I'm struggling to find 'the line' on "advertising"
It is a gray area, a fine line, as Yung has pointed out. Impossible to police, as you say.

I think that's why Yung is trying to clarify the puppy sales policy.
 

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I would vote NO sales for everyone. This would include our wonderful Show/Breeders.
I see no problem with seeing and hearing about their show results and new show potential pup.
They do not offer "for sale puppies" on here anyway and don't need to.

If a new member likes the look of someones dog they can PM that person and ask about it.

To many "gray" areas if we say some can and some can't.

We have had BYB's and bad Breeders show off their pups. We have had Breeders sneak on here under different names saying "Check out so-and-so's puppies".
We do not need to promote these people or anyone else first hand. Lots of problems associated with doing this.

Newbies can PM for names.......NO direct selling on SM!

Yung, I am very happy that you got a great dog from where ever. The chances of problems coming from Pet Stores or BYB's is great, does not always happen but when it does is a heartbreaker.
Glad all went well for You and your Wife.
We just say don't support these Breed for Greeders...for new owners protection as well as new puppy's well being.

Thank you for helping to work this situation out. :thumbsup:
 
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