Archive for the ‘Breeders’ Category

Finding a Reputable Dog Breeder

Adopting a dog is a huge responsibility. When you close your eyes and picture your new pet, what do you see? A sweet dog cuddled on your lap? A jogging companion? A frisky pup playing with your children in the backyard? Chances are you’re not dreaming of an aggressive digger, a destructive chewer or an eternal yapper.

Save yourself frustration and heartbreak by researching dog breeds to find the one that will fit in best with your family. Things to consider include size, temperament, exercise needs and grooming requirements. Once you’ve zeroed in on the type of dog you want to adopt, start your search at a shelter or rescue organization. According to the Humane Society, one in four dogs in U.S. shelters are pure-bred. You may also find a mixed breed at a shelter that fits your family’s needs.

If you don’t find the right dog at a shelter, you will need to find a reputable dog breeder to ensure you adopt a healthy, well-adjusted puppy. If you buy a dog from a backyard breeder, puppy mill or an Internet selller, you may end up facing genetic health issues that can cost thousands of dollars in vet bills.  A great place to start is by asking friends, groomers, pet store owners and vets to recommend breeders.

When researching, the Humane Society suggests looking for a dog breeder who:

•  Raises puppies in a clean, spacious home environment, not in cages

•  Only breeds one or two types of dogs

•  Breeds for quality, not quanity

•  Doesn’t have puppies available all the time but keeps a list of interested buyers for the next litter

•  Has puppies that are healthy, active and don’t shy away from visitors

•  Shows you where the dogs spend their time and encourages you to meet the parents

•  Explains in detail potential genetic problems and provides documentation that the parents and grandparents have been tested and don’t have genetic problems

•  Offers guidance for the care and training of your puppy and will be available for assistance after you take the puppy home

•  Provides answers to your questions easily and efficiently

•  Provides references from others who have bought puppies

•  Releases the puppy at the right age, typically 9 to 12 weeks

•  Provides individual records of vet visits

•  Provides you with a written contract and health guarantee that allows you to see the vet you choose

•  Has no complaints on file with the Better Business Bureau or the local SPCA

In addition, a reputable breeder will require the following:

•  Information on why you want a dog, who in your family will be responsible for the puppy’s daily care and training and where will the dog spend most of his time.

•  Proof from your landlord or condominium board (if applicable) that you are allowed to have a dog

•  A veterinary reference

•  A signed contract that you will spay or neuter your dog unless you are actively showing him

• A signed contract stating that you will return the dog to the breeder should you be unable to keep him at any time during the dog’s life

If the potential breeder does not meet these requirements, walk away. Your dog will be with you for the next 10 to 20 years, so it’s important to take your time now to find the right one.