SELECTING YOUR PUPPY… WHAT TO LOOK FOR FROM A REPUTABLE BREEDER
Making a decision to bring a new puppy into your family is an important one that should be made by the entire family. It should never be an impulse decision. All puppies are cute, but they grow up quickly. You need to know what the puppy will be like as a grown dog. What will be his size, his personality, etc.? The responsibility for the care of your new puppy should not be only one person’s job. The whole family should share in the puppy’s care and training. The amount of time you devote to your puppy during the first few months he is home with you, will pay you back a thousand fold. It is recommended that you take your puppy to Puppy Socialization class and to Basic Obedience class. Besides making your puppy a biddable family member, these classes will make your puppy a good citizen in your community.
At times it may be necessary to be placed on a Quality Breeder’s Waiting List.
• Your breeder should belong to their local kennel club and to their National Breed Club. Ideally the breeder may belong to numerous clubs and organizations. Usually participation in dog clubs indicates depth of involvement.
• Your breeder should be involved in some form of sanctioned competition. This means your breeder is not breeding in a vacuum. The breeder who does not exhibit may have no idea of the dog’s qualities and is deprived of the opportunity to share information and ideas with peers. Exhibiting provides competition, which encourages breeders to produce better dogs. Even though you may not want a show dog, you deserve a pet that is the end result of a carefully planned litter.
• Your breeder should give you a reasonable period of time to have your puppy examined, by a veterinarian of your choice, to determine its state of health. Most breeders include a health guarantee in their contracts.
• The breeder should give you written instructions on feeding, training, care and grooming. You should also receive the puppy’s health and immunization records.
• A dedicated breeder wants to be consulted if any problems arise, to make sure that they are resolved quickly. A breeder that offers you their services, knowledge and experience will be a great asset. Their assistance does not stop when you leave with your puppy. Not only will they offer you their assistance for the life of the dog, but also should you be unable or unwilling to keep the dog, they will take it back.
• Be prepared to answer a battery of questions from the breeder who is looking for the best possible homes for their puppies. Do not be offended with any questions. Some breeders may have you fill out a puppy questionnaire. In turn you may ask the breeder whatever questions you would like. A reputable breeder will gladly answer with honesty and directness. Quality breeders are proud of their dogs and have nothing to hide.
• Breeders should be willing to have you visit their premises and should be able to exhibit a clean environment, well-socialized puppies and a dam with a good temperament. Puppies should be happy and self-assured. Often the sire of the litter is hundreds of miles away.
• Breeders should be willing to give you references…names of people with whom they have placed puppies and the name of their veterinarian.
• Reputable breeders will provide you with a written contract. You will also be given your puppy’s three-generation pedigree and the American Kennel Club registration papers.
• Breeders will often require that your pet be spayed or neutered when it reaches the proper age and may withhold registration papers until proof is provided. Spayed and neutered dogs are far less prone to many serious maladies. Serious breeders spend a lot of time and effort planning breeding programs designed to improve their breed. They carry out their programs with only the best quality available. Reputable breeders do not want their dogs used just to make puppies, or worse yet, end up in a “puppy mill” where they will be used to mass produce.