Reputable Dog Breeders
When you are searching for a pure bred puppy, how can you tell if the person on the other end of your phone or your keyboard is a responsible breeder?
The reality is if you donít meet the breeder in real life see her facility look at her dogs, how can you know? There are signs to look for both at the time of the first introduction, and during the entire process of the adoption procedure. These guidelines will not apply if you buy through a pet store. If you buy a puppy through a pet store, chances are strong you are supporting a puppy mill.
Finding a reputable breeder
Dog clubs, dog shows, dog magazines, all of these are good places to start. Talk to different people and find the breeders most highly recommended among them then contact the breeder(s) afterwards.
Arriving at the kennels
Meet both the parents of the puppies. Spend some time with both parents and observe the temperament and the appearance of the parents. Look at the claw length, are they longer than they should be, or are they trimmed short? Is there any discharge from the eyes or nose? How is the walk? If you can, with the breederís permission, toss a toy for the dog to fetch. During play time, hip dysplasia is often hard to miss. Look for limping, or favoring of the leg. If the dog is aggressive, or fearful get out of the kennel as soon as you can and continue looking.
Ask for a guided tour of the kennels, as well as the house. Make sure that you have viewed the entire home and kennel facility. Pay attention the grounds around the kennel. Do you see piles of dog waste lying around? One of the worst kennel tours I have ever participated in was while walking the grounds, not only were there piles of dog feces, but the piles were crawling with roundworms. We did buy a puppy from the woman though, at a discounted price, and only to rescue it from the abhorrent conditions it had been forced to live in.
Prior to purchasing your puppy, spend time with the entire litter. If the majority of the puppies are fearful or aggressive, you will want to continue looking for a better socialized animal.
Ask about the health guarantee Ė oftentimes illnesses and problems donít show up immediately. How long is the breeder willing to extend the warranty? Be aware of the genetic disorders of the breed you are selecting, and ask the breeder if she covers these as well for a reasonable amount of time. If the breeder tells you that there are no genetic problems or she doesnít have health issues, and you know that the breed is susceptible to them, you will need to leave and find another puppy somewhere else. Make sure the warranty includes one vet visit with a vet of your choosing, not the breederís. How does she handle genetic problems? Ask her!
How involved is this breeder going to be in the pupís life? Reputable and responsible breeders are willing too after the pup leaves, become a part of the pupís and your extended family. Being there to answer questions, field your concerns and help with the process constitutes a good breeding facility.
Is there a Puppy Package that comes with your puppy? Food, bowls, puppy training pads and tips? If you go to the door, knock on it, hand over money and walk out with a puppy you may be in trouble down the road. Most breeders will put together a packet that includes information and supplies about how to help the puppy adjust to the separation while providing you with answers to your questions.
Ask for contact numbers of at least four previous clients (all with older dogs) from this breeder. You want to find anyone who has bought a puppy from her three years ago. This is the best way to find out if the lines are clean and the breeder is a responsible breeder.
Ask for her vetís phone number and call the office. If the vet gives you a glowing report about the breeder, than you know you landed in the right spot. If the questions are furnished with hedged answers, you need to keep looking.
SLEEP ON IT! After you have done your research and your homework, give another 24 hours before making the final decision. Put down a deposit (find out if the deposit is refundable) then go home and sleep on it. Impulse decisions sometimes turn out to be the wrong ones. You want a loving, healthy companion to share your life. Be sure, no matter what price tag is on the puppy, that this is what you are getting.
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