HereÂ’s another article that I previously wrote. ItÂ’s the second page to, Â“What To Do Before I BuyÂ”.
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<H1 style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" align=center>IÂ’m Ready To Buy My Puppy
1) Where do I look to buy my new puppy?
a.) I go to a pet store Â– right? WRONG!
Pet stores purchase puppies only from breeders that are from puppy mills, animal farms, brokers, etc. I really donÂ’t need to go any further into this, since IÂ’m sure youÂ’ve already heard the multitude of horror stories behind puppy mills. If you havenÂ’t, do a general search, and youÂ’ll find it!
b.) I look in the newspaper or Internet classifieds - right? WRONG!
One simple rule: If there is any statement of the amount of money the dog is to be purchased for, even on web sites, don't even bother calling, e-mailing, or looking at that litter. Reputable breeders very rarely list in the classifieds, and if they do, they DO NOT give a set price in the ad. ItÂ’s against club members and reputable breedersÂ’ code-of-ethics. If you e-mail or call a reputable breeder with your first words spoken, Â“HOW MUCH?Â” I doubt youÂ’ll get a nice reply! However, if itÂ’s anyone that doesnÂ’t care about their puppies, and eagerly willing to sell you one, theyÂ’ll immediately tell you Â“HOW MUCHÂ”, and by the way, Â“Can you pick them up today?Â”
2) So where do you actually look for your puppy?
After joining a breed club, talking with some of their members, reading breed books and the breed standard, researching the breed, pedigrees, and the dogs that are produced by the breeders, and going to a few dog sports in different avenues, youÂ’ll be able to find that right breeder youÂ’ve been looking for! It will be awhile to find that right puppy, but it will be worth all that waiting and searching.
3) So whatÂ’s the big deal about AKC anyway?
a.) Everybody knows that a good dog comes from a breeder that has AKC papers - right? WRONG!
AKC papers state that the dog is registered with them as a purebred. Nothing else! What it DOES NOT state: If the dog is worth breeding, healthy, the breeder is reputable, etc. Backyard breeders will push AKC papers as the most important part of the dog, because they donÂ’t have anything else to offer you. Anybody can breed 1 AKC papered male dog to another AKC papered female dog. Anyone can falsify registration papers by simply saying itÂ’s their own dog, or giving you papers on the wrong dog. The Internet is so widely spread with information. Any kind of dog breeder can use this for their own benefit, rather it be for good use, or too steal you blind. There are online searchable databases, pedigrees, and breedersÂ’ web sites. Anyone can say itÂ’s their own dog by saving pedigrees, registration and health numbers, including stealing pictures or kennel names of other breedersÂ’ dogs. You have to be very careful, use common sense, and be very selective when choosing a breeder.
4) Why are pedigrees important?
WeÂ’ve personally seen that most backyard breeders (BYB) don't care about actual pedigrees. However, others use it as a selling tool convincing you that the great-great-great grandsire in the sixth to seventh generation, was a famous German and International champion with Schusund, or however way they poorly pronounce the word. The correct word is Schutzhund, by the way! These people push how important AKC papers are, but donÂ’t have a clue to the value of what a pedigree really is to a reputable breeder. I'm not saying all BYB do this, but the majority of them donÂ’t even purchase a pedigree on their own dog, let alone the mate they chose too bred to. This alone tells you they didn't do their homework, have a goal, using the dogs as a tool, and understanding each dog in the pedigree, before pairing the two dogs together.
Most reputable breeders know pedigrees. They know the dogs of other breeders, past and present that make up our breedÂ’s ancestors. It also helps you to learn what is in a pedigree. Most reputable breeders put titles on their dogs before they breed them, to prove their worthiness in a breeding program. It helps you to know what these titles and abbreviations really mean. CH is Champion Â– usually conformation, but there are also agility, obedience, tracking, herding, and other types of champions. TD is Tracking Dog, CD is Companion Dog, and so on. Do familiarize yourself with other titles from different organizations besides AKC. For instance, CKC, UKC, SKC, UK, ADRK, etc. A championship from Canada can be know as a CAN CH, CKC CH, or just plain CH. Be careful and clarify all paperwork, because there are two CKCÂ’s. One is Continental K.C. and the other is Canadian K.C. You also need to ask many questions to verify each title, because many people can doctor up pedigrees as a selling gimmick, when the titles were never earned in the first place. However, do try to be sympathetic with those that do make honest mistakes that are reputable people in the breed, because word-of-mouth can sometimes be misspoken or misunderstood. It doesnÂ’t necessarily make them frauds!
5) Why all the fuss over paperwork and contracts?
When you visit a breeder make sure they have ALL the original paper work. Do ask for a copy of this valuable information from them. You can always check the paperwork to see if itÂ’s legal and correct. AKC should be able to help confirm papers and they do have a public database online. You can also search for online health records with OFA, CERF, and CHIC. Also ask for all certified titles, producing merits, critiques, litter registration papers, etc.
When purchasing a new puppy, there should be a written contract (A legal agreement between the seller and purchaser). The paperwork should be very clear and precise with every issue written in detail. If you donÂ’t understand the wording, ask questions. If you still donÂ’t understand, have an attorney verify the contract for you. You should also be aware that most breeders sell on a pet or show/work quality contract. It should have important information about spaying/neutering with limited registration papers, if itÂ’s a pet. For show and working quality, special guarantees should be offered to the purchaser. It should minimally cover subjects on: Hips, elbows, parvo, disqualifying faults, hearts, eyes, or sudden death. Not every breeder's contract is the same, but there should be basics to all of them, if they care anything for the breed and their puppies. Furthermore, there should be something stated about breeding: A conformation and/or working title should be earned, along with health tests, including an age limit, before thinking of breeding your new dog.
Be very selective with contracts. It could mean the difference in purchasing a puppy from a certain breeder. I know of many that want a puppy back out of your litter, or return stud services! These types of agreements can work if the breeder is reputable, if not, it could mean there just a puppy mill. Make sure to trust your instincts if Â“Red FlagsÂ” seem to pop up everywhere when looking over the paperwork. There are reasonable breeders that you can work with! So make sure you totally re-read and agree to every statement written in the contract before you sign. Keep in mind that some of these breeders do care deeply about the breed and may even want to co-own the puppy with you, even if itÂ’s a short time period.
You want to check whelping records. A good breeder writes everything down. They keep track of which order the puppies were born. How they looked, what sex, how much they weighed, when did they get vaccinations, worming, when they started weaning, litter registration numbers, etc. The more a breeder gives information, the more they care.
6) What about supply and demand?
Reputable breeders can assist you to find the right puppy for you. Breeders will not always have an available puppy when you want one. Some will place you on their list, while others will direct you to another breeder. Just call or e-mail them to ask for assistance, references, or referrals. Do take into account that most good breeders have their puppies sold before the litter arrives and breed occasionally.
7) What do I ask a breeder anyways?
Good questions to ask the breeder: Why did they have this litter? How long have they been breeding? How long have they been in the breed? What do they intend to improve in this breeding? What are the weak and strong points in the sire and dam? Are there any hereditary problems in the parents or grandparents? What is your breeding program? Do you have your litter evaluated by an outside person? What type of puppy testing do you do to rate your dogs? How do the puppies interact with one another? There is a great deal of answers needed when picking out a sound puppy for your family.
Also ask for phone numbers from past puppy buyers, unless this is their first litter. You can call these puppy buyers and ask them anything you want. You'll be amazed at the responses.
8) How do I ask them a question?
Don't be too vague with your questioning. For instance, Â“Does the sire and/or dam of this litter have hip problems?Â” You may get a response like: Â“OÂ’ no are vet said are dogs hips are fineÂ”. Instead ask, Â“May I see the OFA health certification records of both the sire and dam of this litter?Â” Make sure you are detailed with your questions and the breeder is detailed with their answers. If they seem like they are, "Beating around the bush" and not answering your questions directly, restate the questions. If you still don't get the information that you want, don't purchase anything from them. They could be hiding something or donÂ’t know enough to be breeding a litter of puppies. Basically, if your head is spinning in a daze and your ears are ringing from listening, after talking with a breeder that supplied you with quality information, itÂ’s usually a good one to hold onto!
9) Why visit the breeder?
A clean safe environment doesnÂ’t give germs a fighting chance to live. ItÂ’s the best living conditions for small puppies. ItÂ’s detrimental that you insist on seeing where the puppies were whelped and are currently being raised. Check to see if itÂ’s clean, with your own eyes, and not stinking with urine or feces. Is there food in the area where they are defecating? Puppies or should I say dogs, don't care when they are hungry, they will eat anything, no matter if invested with bugs or not. But this doesn't mean that itÂ’s good for them! Is there excessive diarrhea or vomit? These are signs and symptoms of ill puppies. How about worms or fleas? Look out for parasites; they are tattletale signs of ill health. Check the condition of all the puppiesÂ’ eyes and ears. Are they clear, bright, and clean of odor? Are the puppies vibrant with life or limp and cold?
ItÂ’s a very good idea to look at the adults that had the puppies. Most of the time you will only be able to view the dam, since most reputable breeders donÂ’t use their own stud dogs. Look at the femaleÂ’s health, this is extremely important! She is caring for the babies 24/7, and if she has any health problems, she can give these same problems to the entire litter. How is her temperament and does she take care of her puppies? If the parents are not available, do ask why they are not.
If this is not an option because youÂ’re shipping your puppy, at least ask for video/DVD recordings, and pictures, of what I listed above.
10) Why do breeders talk so much, or seem so rude and controlling?
Reputable breeders will lecture and ask you more questions than you will ask them. Be glad they want to know about you, and your personal life. This is how they get to know you, and to see if their puppy is going to a good home. Sometimes their questioning may seem rude, or redundant, but in a strange way this is a very good sign that they care about the breed. A breeder can tell which puppy from the litter is right for you. The breeder has been with the puppies since day one. They have great knowledge of their personalities. If you want a sweet easy-going companion, the breeder will know right away the perfect puppy for you. If you want one with some spice and vinegar to its personality, they will know whom to pick. If your looking for that special show-dog, theyÂ’ll know which dog is promising for success in the breed ring.
If youÂ’re a first time buyer of the breed, or to dogs in general, it is crucial that you tell the breeder the truth about everything! DonÂ’t put icing on the cake with grand stories that you want to work the dog in Schutzhund. You might be in a heap of trouble later with a very high prey driven and work addicted dog! Truth helps them pick the right puppy for you. You might not care for the actions of a breeder, because usually the biggest puppy is what everyone wants, but the breeder is looking at the entire spectrum to make you happy. Please give the breeder a chance to tell you why each puppy has its own characteristics. It will also give you the knowledge for future purchases when picking a puppy.
Understand that any reputable breeder, that cares anything about the breed and their puppies, will buy or place the puppy with someone else, if youÂ’re not happy with it. Don't use this as a crutch for getting out of your puppy after youÂ’ve purchased it, understand that someone will always take care of this beautiful creature if you can no longer do so. If they donÂ’t, theyÂ’re not the right breeder to deal with!
Written by: Jo Ann Lewis Â– Von Stallog Rottweilers