Deciding to open up your family to adopt a dog is a huge decision. There are many things to take into consideration along the way. We all would like to rescue pets from local shelters and the ASPCA; however, many of these dogs come with health issues and temperamental problems due to poor breeding. If having a purebred dog is important to you and your family, be sure to do your homework prior to choosing a breeder.
Why Opt For a Purebred Dog?
There are numerous reasons people decide to pay large sums of money for their purebred dog including:
- Predictable Appearance and Temperament
- Activity Level
- Personality and Disposition
- Potential Health Concerns and Life Expectancy
Once you determine which dog would be the best fit for your family and your lifestyle, it is time to look for a specific dog breeder.
Positive Traits In a Dog Breeder
We have all heard of horrific puppy mill stories. Saving a few dollars by opting for the least expensive puppy is not a good idea. You want to research your breeder as thoroughly as you research your new car or your new dentist. Animals are sensitive to energy. Therefore, if you are adopting from a high-stress and violent environment, you may end up with a nervous and emotionally scarred pet.
Kind and responsible are two of the main traits you want to see in the breeder. It is vital to visit the facility ahead of time and see the puppies and their trainers in action. Making arrangements strictly online or over the phone could lead to a potential disaster.
Find A Breeder Who Specializes In the Breed You Desire
If you have no idea how to hone in on a particular breeder, check your local kennel club. You can also use the internet to direct your search. There may be a local breed representative in your area that has recommendations of reputable breeders to choose from. Remember that you may have to make a special trip to actually visit the breeder. Alternatively, ask your vet if they can recommend a reputable breeder.
Ask Thorough Questions
Once you find a breeder, speak frankly. They have much experience with this particular breed so ask them to explain the pros and cons of adopting this particular dog. A reputable breeder should be registered by a nationally recognized organized purebred dog registry such as the AKC or American Kennel Club in the United States. Before arranging an adoption, ask the breeder the following questions:
- Can I visit your kennel? When would be a good time?
- How many years have you been breeding?
- Do any of your litters get sold to pet stores?
- Do you offer any health guarantees?
- How much does the puppy cost?
- Can you provide any vet references?
Inspect the Kennels
On your pre-adoption visit, really inspect the facility. Do the dogs look well taken care of? Are there lots of fresh water and food dishes? Are any of the kennels over-crowded? By viewing the environment, you will be able to determine a lot about who lives and works there.
Meet the Puppy Parents
Taking note of how the Sire (father) and the Dam (mother) regard you when you are around their puppies is useful information. It is common for them to regard you with watchful and protective eyes; however, they should not show aggression when you approach the litter. You can ask to view the parents separate from the puppies as well to see how their temperament is. Choose another breeder if their attitudes are less than ideal.
And now for the fun part of the visit…sit and hang out with the puppies. See how calm or aggressive they behave. Note if there is any biting, growling, frequent urinating. Hopefully there will only be lots of love and affection.