Beginning your journey for a new dog

Beginning your journey .

If your quest is for a family pet and not for breeding or showing, than an excellent place to start would be with your local Humane Society. These animals are in desperate need of a good home. Adopting a pet is ultimately saving a life, what could be more rewarding than that?

Another route for adoption are breed rescues and clubs that are ‘breed specific’.
They are easy to find via the internet and they often have available information on their animals history. Such as; where they came from, their temperament, their habits, age, if they are good with children or other pets etc.
If you have decided that it is a ‘puppy’ of a specific breed than it is to a breeder that you must go.

Searching for a breeder.

Many dog breeders by definition are unscrupulous and unethical. Unfortunately the ‘good’ ones are the minority, but they do exist.
It’s comparative to finding the ever elusive needle in a haystack, but with patience and good researching a conscientious and caring breeder can be found.
Be prepared and do your home work, learning as much as possible about the breed of your choice. Always consider your lifestyle when deciding. Just like humans some dogs can be much more demanding and higher maintenance than others.

Where to begin

Now is the time to practice patience if you are lacking in this area. Jumping at the first cute puppy encountered could lead down a path intermittent with vet bills and disappointment.

You can also be directed by clubs that are ‘breed specific’ they as well can be found on the internet and through the American Kennel Club registry. Through them you can find breeders and rescue organizations.

What or whom to avoid

Breeders that advertise continuously in newspapers and magazines. These kind of breeders have an ongoing supply and are either ‘puppy mills’ or ‘puppy brokers’. Both of which are extremely undesirable because they are in it for a fast buck and unconcerned about the health and welfare of their animals.

Pet stores offer animals that are either the remnants of a litter that a breeder was unable to sell, or they are acquired from a breeder that breeds specifically to sell to pet stores. Again you are running into ‘puppy mill’ breeders.

Contracts that require you to give a ‘puppy back’ out of your first litter when purchasing a female or maintain ‘stud’ rights on a male.

Claims that a puppy is ‘show quality’. There is no way of discerning if a puppy is show quality, unless it is several months old (at lease six) regardless of its pedigree.

’Tight’ line breeding, this is when close relatives are bred together for example; a mother and a son, littermates ( sister to a brother) or father to a daughter. This type of breeding is done to preserve all the quality characteristics of a bloodline, but it also doubles up on all of the bad genes and health problems.

Breeders that offer no health guarantee on their animals. For example; the puppy you purchase ends up with a genetic heart problem. Ethical breeders will either refund your money or offer you another puppy as a replacement.

Pups that are sent home with a buyer before at ‘least’ eight weeks of age. It is against the ‘law’ in many states. A law that has been implemented for a very good reason. Pup’s are too young to leave their mother before this. Health certificates cannot be acquired from a vet until all series of shots and worming have been completed. And this happens at the eight week mark.

What to expect from a good breeder.

You will be educated. Health and behavior issues will be addressed for their specific breed. Diet requirements and brands of food that are best suited will be discussed.The standards of their breed are explained while faults that may be apparent in their pups are pointed out. Responsible breeders will either give away or sell a pup at a greatly reduced price if it displays an obvious fault. But it is contiguous with the agreement that the pup is to be spayed or neutered. Honesty, as a rule is upheld by these breeders.

You will be invited to tour their facility/home and find that the living conditions are clean and comfortable. You will not see crates stacked on top of one another or animals confined in small crates or quarters.There will not be a large number of animals or several different breeds.

Highly reputable breeders may have a waiting list and nothing available until a later date. However, it is well worth the wait.
These individuals will not breed their females back to back (every heat) and will not breed them period,
until they reach a certain age.(usually the on second or third heat)
Also, they will discontinue breeding them after they have had a few (3-4 MAX) litters.
Normally these breeders will only have one to two litters available a year even if they have several females.

Ask for recommendations. Good breeders have no problem with recommending another breeder if they do not have anything available or what you are looking for. They will not slander others, but advise you of what to be cautious of.

Now you have the basics. Let me conclude with a reminder that a puppy or an adult dog is a big responsibility. They need plenty of attention and care not unlike having a child. When cared for properly they can be quite an added expense. Puppy’s will require training and patience. This is something to consider seriously before taking on the added responsibility of a pet. If you are prepared and ready for an addition to your family. You will have a very rewarding experience and a new friend

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