What To Look For In A Breeder
May 20, 2012 in General
Getting a puppy is a life changing experience, and a commitment that may span over a decade. You may prepare for your dogs future by buying it collars and food bowls, but one of the best ways you can prepare for your puppies future is to pick the right breeder.
A Word On Puppy Mills
Horrible treatment and mass breeding is not the only thing puppy mill puppies are known for. They are also known for severe health problems that could cost you thousands, as well as behavioral and training problems. While over-breeding—and poor breeding stock—is a part of this, environment is also a big part of it. The first few weeks of a puppies life are crucial for how they look at the world.
- Ask pet stores where they get their puppies from. If they won’t give you a specific name, they probably got it from a puppy mill. You want to hear, “So and So Rescue” or “Such and Such Breeder”, along with a phone number to verify. If they won’t give you a specific name and a phone number, don’t buy it.
- While there are reputable breeders who breed more than one breed, most of them don’t. Avoid any breeder who advertises multiple breeds of puppies available, as they are likely to be a puppy mill.
Who ever you choose as a breeder, by far the most important thing to ask is how they socialize their puppies. If you don’t immediately get a response about running vacuums, introduction to different types of flooring, nail trims and other things they may encounter in day to day life as a pet, run away. Behavioral problems are the #1 reason why healthy animals are destroyed, and early encounters like this make everything else so much easier.
Another important thing to ask your breeder about is how they introduce the puppies to potty training. If they’re allowed to poop indiscriminately, house training is going to be a thousand times harder than if they’ve already started paper training. (Think about it, all the puppy has ever known is…it’s okay to just let the bowls go. There’s no inhibition at all.)
If your breed is known for any health concerns (and every breed has at least one health concern) ask your breeders what they do about it. If they don’t seem concerned, you should be concerned. A good breeder will guarantee their puppies health, and may even have a contract requiring a minimum level of care from you. Don’t be offended if the breeder requires a contract, it’s just another sign the breeder cares.
Last but not least, find out if one or both parents have titled at anything, in anything. (Any sport, any discipline, regardless of whether or not they are registered dogs or not.) While not absolutely necessary, this is proof that the parents are trainable, and intelligent.