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Old 02-23-2007, 07:07 PM   #1
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Default I want a puppy, but where do I begin?

I want a puppy, but where do I begin?

1. Pick your breed. - To first narrow your choices of breeders down, you have to choose a breed that you would like to live with for up to the next 20 years. This should be a breed that requires your level of experience and understanding of training(ie: don't pick a hard to train breed if this is your first dog). It also should be a breed that fits your ability to excersize a dog. Do not get a bulldog if you'd like a jogging partner. Size is an important issue as well. If you are only 110 lbs and 5'1”, a great dane might not be the best choice for you. Remember, dogs get old, and eventually you are going to have to help them by picking them up when they can no longer jump onto a bed, into the bathtub, etc etc etc. Coat management should also be taken into consideration. Do not get a long haired dog if you would not like to spend hours grooming a dog every week.

2. Breeder, shelter, or pet store? - You have to ask yourself what you want in a dog. If you'd like to show, you will need to buy a quality dog from a breeder. If you want a pet, dogs adopted from the shelter make wonderful pets, though they can and sometimes will come with their behavioral problems. In every litter of dogs from reputable breeders, there will always be “pet quality” dogs that can also be bought. I myself absolutely love rescue/shelter dogs, but there is an uncertainty that comes along. You never know if health issues will spring up later in life, but if you go with a reputable breeder, health problems are less likely. No matter what your intention of your dog, pet stores should be avoided at ALL costs. No reputable breeder will sell their dogs to a petstore. Pet stores often do not treat their animals kindly, do not give the puppies the proper socialization and training they need, and only help to feed the money hungry BYBs that are hindering the quality of lives for so many dogs, as well as breeds as a whole.

3 Find a breeder! - Once you have narrowed down your choice of breed, it is time to start researching and looking for a reputable breeder! To do this, I recommend visiting the breed's National Breed Club website and locating breeders in your area. If a breeder is a member of the breed's National Breed Club, it will be more likely that they are responsible, respectable dog breeders that have only the breed's and individual dog's welfare in mind.

Once you have found a few breeders that you are looking into, call them on the phone and make arrangements to meet them to speak with them further. When I look for a breeder, friendliness is something very important to me. I want a breeder that I can come to for all sorts of questions and know that all those questions will be answered in a way that will not leave me feeling sore or threatened. When asked questions about their breeding practices, as well as their breed, a reputable breeder should be perfectly comfortable and willing to share loads of information with you.

A reputable breeder should be very concerned about their puppies and their futures, never wanting to risk sending them to a home where they will only later be dumped in a shelter when the family no longer wants it. Just some of the many questions that YOU should be asking them include:
Do you health test? What health tests do you do?
Do you prove your dog's breeding worthy? If so, how?
Do you keep records of your dogs?
Will you allow me to visit your home and dogs?
How are you trying to improve the breed?

All of these questions should be answered with some variance of “yes”. Responsible breeders always health test, and perform all the health tests that is required for the breed. They should also prove their dogs' in some way, whether that be the show ring, natural instinct/ability, or sometimes things such as therapy work. Breeders should also keep records of the dogs, as well as all the owners they sell to. I've even known some wonderful breeders that would periodically check up on new owners, just giving them a little phone call to make sure things are going alright. And lastly, a good breeder should always be willing, and even encourage you to, make a home visit to see their property and dogs.

If the breeder doesn't health test, doesn't prove their dogs in some way, and doesn't wish for you to make a house visit, this is a sure sign that they are a BYB and you should run far, far away. (BYBs often do not health test, do not prove their dogs, do not have any knowledge on breeding in general, and often are only it it for the money, or other irresponsible reasons.)

When talking to the breeder, not only should you be asking questions about them, but THEY should be asking about YOU. Good breeders will ask you some or all of the following questions:

Have you ever had a dog before? If so, what type of dog? How long did you have it?
Are there children in the family? How many? What ages?
Do you live in a house or apartment? If an apartment, does the landlord allow dogs?
Do you have other pets?
Do you have a fenced yard?
What do you do for exercise?
Do you know the dog laws in your community? .
Do you plan to obedience train this puppy?
Are you aware of the costs involved in veterinary care, including spaying and neutering, purchasing a good quality dog food, boarding the dog when you are away, annual license fees, etc.?

I hope that this has been of some help to you. Good luck in your search for your new companion!

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Old 02-23-2007, 07:09 PM   #2
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Very good post & great share. Thanks
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