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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Regardless of if you want a pet, a dog for some working venue or a show dog the selection of the breeder will be the most important step in your puppy buying purchase

I will NOT address titles of the parent dogs, other than to say that the parents should hold a title in the venue YOU wish to participate in (ie if you want to show in conformation, at least 1 parent should be pointed or hold some show rating or title, if you want to compete in obedience at least 1 parent should be obedience titled, if you want a working ranch dog then at least 1 parent should either be one or hold herding titles etc...)

FIRST
the breeder themselves should seem trustworthy to you. They should be willing to answer your questions and no question should be deemed stupid. They should be a person that you will want a friendship with for the life of the dog AND they should be commited to remaining in contact with buyers for the life of the dog.

SECOND
they should be MORE than willing to give you email and/or phone contacts of previous purchasers as references

THIRD
If you go to their home, it should be fairly clean (though may be cluttered) and the dog areas should not be covered with feces (1 or 2 piles fine but not days worth). Dog crates should be clean. Dogs should not smell of urine or feces. Dogs and pups should not be afraid of their owner nor trying to kill visitors

FOURTH (and even if "all" you want is a pet this MUST still be done)
ALL dogs (Rottweilers) used for breeding (talking dogs LIVING in the US or Canada) should AT MINIMUM have OFA certified hips and a CARDIOLOGIST (or specialist) OFA cardiac clearance (NOT a practitioner one- look at the number C=cardiologist, S=specialist, P=practitioner) . Elbows should be OFA evaluated as well and should not have UAP, FCP or OCD. and DJD rating should not be higher than a 1.

Imported dogs that are LIVING and being bred in the US and Canada should have been redone using OFA (hips/elbows) and this is a REQUIREMENT if the breeder is an ARC member.

FIFTH
all pups should be no less then 7 weeks old when purchased, preferably 8+ weeks old (and in some states 8 weeks is the legal minimum) and should come with a veterinarian issued health certificate (even if this is not a State requirement)

SIXTH
DO NOT ever buy from a pet store or broker of any kind. Even if their pups do not come from a traditional "puppy mill" they will not have been produced by an ethical breeder because ethical breeders do not sell to brokers or pet stores (and they also do NOT sell them at flea markets etc)

SEVENTH
IF the breeder does not ask you a list of questions and seem to screen buyers, walk away. Screening buyers is just 1 indication of caring about their pups for life.
ALL purchase conditions and requirements (including what happens to the dog if you can no longer keep it)should be laid out in a purchase contract which you must READ before signing and if it contains anything you do not agree with do not sign it.

EIGHTH
websites are for browsing and information purposes only and should NOT be a PRIMARY factor into your decision process

NINTH
be aware that well bred pups in the US average $900 - 1500 and if the selling price is significantly above that for an 8-12 week old pup, you should probably walk away under MOST circumstances

TENTH
NON refundable deposits are also a warning flag. While keeping a portion of a deposit if you bail on a pup you committed to is fine, keeping an entire deposit is not (although keeping the deposit until that pup is resold is normal)
 

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Warlock's breeder and I still stay in touch. I send her pictures of him, and she's invited me back to her house to see the new litter. She introduced me to his parents and his grandfather. Her house (even with 12 puppies) was cleaner than my own, and my house is clean. She would not, under any circumstances allow a pup to go home before 8 weeks, and Warlock was almost 9 weeks before he came home.

Every point in the list was hit upon by this breeder, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to anyone. She had a complete questionaire I had to fill out prior to being approved for a pup. A house visit was supposed to happen, however she fell and broke her arm and leg. But she was willing to travel 2 hours to my home to be sure it was suitable for him. And she called my vet for a reference.

I've seen too many people willing to go to pet stores and fall for a puppy who is obviously the result of a puppy mill. They pay top dollar for a dog who is ill, alot of the time from distemper, parvo or other problems.

This is great advice to anyone who wants to purchase a dog.
 

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This is excellent, Diane. Thanks for putting it together in a very concise manner.
 

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Thank you Diane, I wish I had been armed with this knowledge before I went puppy hunting. I love Sadie dearly, and wouldnt trade her for ANYTHING. I just wish I had known the importance of health clearances, well, and working titles would have been great. After years of having adopted rotties with "issues" I was so focused on temperament, I didnt really consider anything else. But (smile) next time I will know better. I cant believe I just said "next time". Sadies breeder passed all but # 4 with flying colors.
 

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I stay in contact with Nikki's breeder. We e-mail each other and talk on the phone. I am very pleased with Nikki's breeder.
 

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....... Sadies breeder passed all but # 4 with flying colors.
I guess this is both good and bad news for you. Does Sadie have any problems related to hips, elbows or heart? The xrays for hips and elbows, and the cardiac clearance are so important, as these are chronic problems with rottweilers, and when a breeder does these tests, eliminating from the breeding program dogs who do not 'pass', the buyer stands a much better chance of their new dog not having these problems. Of course, this is not a guarantee, but it does show that the breeder is doing all possible to prevent these problems in future generations.
 

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Sadie hasnt had any problems since the phantom limping at about 5-6 months old. It was inexplicable, and moved from limb to limb. It dissappeared after a couple of weeks, and at that time I put them both on joint supplements. Barring any kind of emergencies, I will have her hips and elbows xrayed when she is spayed which will be around 18- 24 months. Id like to cart with her.
 

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It sounds to me like Sadie may have had panosteitis (pano). Particularly because it switch between limbs and eventually disappeared.
 

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Fever? I didn't know that was a given with pano. I know it isn't anything Diane and I discussed regarding JJ's elusive limping, and Diane has been breeding rottweilers for over 20 years. She is extremely knowledgeable concerning health issues. If my vet and Diane had difference of opinion....well.....let's just say it has already happened, and Diane was right!
 

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Thank you so much for the list! I am not currently looking for a puppy right now but it's very good to know what to look for when we do go puppy searching. I am definately printing the list out and will use it as refrence in the future.
 

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Thank you Diane, I wish I had been armed with this knowledge before I went puppy hunting. I love Sadie dearly, and wouldnt trade her for ANYTHING. I just wish I had known the importance of health clearances, well, and working titles would have been great. After years of having adopted rotties with "issues" I was so focused on temperament, I didnt really consider anything else. But (smile) next time I will know better. I cant believe I just said "next time". Sadies breeder passed all but # 4 with flying colors.
Unfortunately, I was the complete opposite. I was so focused on clear bill of physical health that I did not even realize temperament was an issue. I never knew a pup could have dominant aggression from the beginning. My breeder just told us it's an aggressive breed, which I disagree with. How can you be sure you are going home with a safe dog?
 

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Unfortunately, I was the complete opposite. I was so focused on clear bill of physical health that I did not even realize temperament was an issue. I never knew a pup could have dominant aggression from the beginning. My breeder just told us it's an aggressive breed, which I disagree with. How can you be sure you are going home with a safe dog?
FWIW, your breeder is an IDIOT. They are NOT an aggressive breed unless the idiot owners make them aggressive - they are a WORKING breed.
 
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Unfortunately, I was the complete opposite. I was so focused on clear bill of physical health that I did not even realize temperament was an issue. I never knew a pup could have dominant aggression from the beginning. My breeder just told us it's an aggressive breed, which I disagree with. How can you be sure you are going home with a safe dog?
Aggressive? Did she actually use that word? I never heard any breeder refer to their dogs as aggressive, that is sad. They are a strong and dominant breed, something entirely different. This is just my opinion, but I think for the most part, many breeders are breeding for conformation ring today and temperament is going by the wayside for the most part, or not being paid attention to. This is why I personally prefer dogs out of german imports, from the more top kennels/bloodlines. I like a very spirited strong dog, but also a calm, stable/steady dog with an off switch, that isn't a nerve bag, that has a good recovery rate and that actually works with some mental fortitude to it. Very much a social dog, certainly not aggressive.

Social behavior BH Training. - YouTube
 

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My breeder just told us it's an aggressive breed, which I disagree with. How can you be sure you are going home with a safe dog?
Well, for one, DO NOT GET ANOTHER DOG FROM THIS BREEDER - that's a start to getting a 'safe dog' - avoid her/him like the plague. Chalk it up to a learning experience (albeit an expensive and heartbreaking one) and find another breeder - or look to adopt a family friendly rottweiler from rescue - they are out there - all over the place!
 
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