Once you feel confident the breed you have chosen will suit your lifestyle and commitments, it’s time to find a breeder, and hopefully a new addition to your family will be forthcoming in the near future.
No doubt you have already taken a considerable amount of time considering which breed is right for you, the amount of exercise and grooming required, the size of the adult dog and the cost to keep, the reasons for selecting your chosen breed and some of the activities in which you and your family would like to participate.
You may have attended dog shows to help choose your breed, but did you talk to breeders and exhibitors with the view to the actual purchase of your new family member? Breeders are always on hand at shows to answer questions. They are the best source for obtaining a healthy, well-raised and well-bred puppy.
Breeding quality dogs of sound mind and body is taken very seriously and many hours are spent comparing dogs and pedigrees before decisions are made regarding matings. Responsible breeders will always consider the advancement and improvement of the breed before breeding a litter. Some people are purely motivated by profit and only breed to produce puppies for sale. Look for other litters on the premises of both your chosen breed and other breeds. Ask when the next litter is planned.
The responsible breeder will help you with your choice and selection of a puppy and will be willing to provide ongoing support and advice as your puppy matures. They will also answer more indepth questions about the finer details of the breed.
Responsible breeders care. They raise happy and healthy puppies. This should also be reflected in the condition and temperament of the adults living on the premises. Their living quarters should be clean and all dogs should appear to be well cared for. The puppies should also be clean, well conditioned, lively and friendly.
Responsible breeders should proudly show you all the dogs on their premises, and allow you to handle all the puppies in a litter as soon as they have been weaned. The mother of the puppies should be in good condition, clean, happy and active. If the father lives elsewhere you could ask for the owner’s contact details or to see photos of him.
Most breeds have some hereditary conditions. Ask about test results and scores of parents and other members of the family, and whether there are other potential health problems to be watched for. Be wary of those who deny any such conditions exist in their breed. Also ask whether the breeder is prepared to have the puppy checked by your own vet and whether you can return your puppy if any health problems eventuate.
Puppies should not leave their breeder until they are 8 weeks old. They should have been treated for worms from approximately 2-3 weeks of age, and have had their first vaccination at approximately 6-7 weeks of age. Vaccination records, a copy of the pedigree, and a puppy
care and diet sheet should be available to you when or before you collect your puppy.
Responsible breeders should ask you questions! After all, you are the potential owner of their baby who they have put so much time and effort into breeding, and raising. They will want to know why you chose this breed, how you propose to care for your puppy, what facilities you
have prepared for him to live in, whether your premises are secure, whether he will be required to spend time alone, how your children feel about your new family member, ..... and more!
Dogs West can provide you with details and dates of shows and events and contact details for breeders and breed clubs. All Dogs West members are bound to adhere to a Member’s Code of Ethics relating to the keeping, welfare, breeding and selling of dogs.