So you’ve decided to get a puppy. Great! Choosing reputable dog breeders are just as important as choosing the right breed. Genes play a big role when it comes to having a physically and mentally sound puppy dog. Don’t just purchase your dog from anywhere. You might think that you are getting a good deal and saved a few bucks by buying your puppy from a random ad that you came across, but what happens when a few weeks later you find out that your dog has a serious health issues that will leave your wallet empty and your heart broken? Or that cute and cuddly 4 pound puppy a year ago is now an eighty pound adult dog with a temper problem! Choose the right breeder and you’ll be thankfully in the long run.
How to Choose Reputable Dog Breeders?
First thing is first. Never purchase a puppy without visiting the breeder. Reputable breeders genuinely care about their dogs and shouldn’t be willing to give away their puppies before meeting the potential owners. Second, visiting a breeder also gives you the opportunity to see if the parents are raised in a proper household.
Don’t be surprised if the breeder drills you with questions about the breed, your lifestyle and your home. They will want to make sure that their puppies are going to well prepared owner and to a safe and loving home. Remember, a breeder that questions you is a breeder that really cares about their puppies and is more likely to have raised and bred healthy and well tempered dogs.
Good Breeder Checklist – The breeder should…
Have had the puppies born in the premises that you visit
Not allow you to take the pups until they are at least 7 weeks old
Be happy to answer all the questions you have
Ask you lots of questions about your lifestyle, experience with dogs etc.
Be knowledgeable about the breed and explain some of the issues (good and bad) about the breed
Be a member of the breed club
Have had the puppies socialized with other humans and possibly other animals
Be willing to take the puppy or dog back if you are unable to keep it to avoid shelters
Be willing to show you health certificates and pedigrees
Not have more that one (max two) breeds available
Have the parents of the puppies living with them indoors
These are just basic steps that will help you decide if the breeder is reputable. The most important question you should ask yourself is whether or not you feel comfortable with the breeder. When you visit the breeder and meet them as well as the adult dogs and puppies, you will be able to get a feel for the breeder. If you are comfortable with the visit, the next step is learn how to select the right puppy from the breeder.
A Note About Pet Shops and Classifieds
It is strongly recommend not to get a puppy from a pet shop. Most of the time puppies found at pet shops are purchased from puppy mills. For those of you that don’t know what a puppy mill is, it is basically a chicken farm for dogs. The owners of these puppy mills are unethical and the dogs are raised in sub-standard conditions with the sole purpose of breeding. As a result, the puppies are often full of health problems which can put a huge dent in your wallet in the long run. Not to mention that these puppies are usually not properly socialized and are often taken from their parents too early. By buying from pet shops you give reason for these unethical breeders to keep doing what they’re doing, and in the end it’s the dogs that suffer.
Classifieds and personal ads may be just as bad a puppy mills and contain many back yard breeders with the sole purpose of making money with little or no regard for the dogs. In conclusion, breeders are your best bet of getting a lifelong companion.