You’ve done your research, learned everything there is to know about the breed of dog you want, and now you’re ready to take the big step and buy a puppy.
One thing to consider before taking this leap of faith is to consider adopting a puppy from a shelter or shelter. Many times purebred dogs are available for adoption. It will save you money and help save a dog that is in desperate need of a home.
If you’ve exhausted your resources and decided to find a breeder, you’ll want to consider a number of things, including whether the puppies are healthy and up to AKC (American Kennel Club) standards. The AKC website is a great place to find a reputable breeder. There are important traits a breeder should possess and various things a responsible breeder will expect of you as a future dog owner.
A superior breeder will keep their dogs in their own home, as part of their family, not outside in a kennel. It shows that their dogs are pets and not just a source of income. You will want to ask where the dogs spend the majority of their time and circle around that location. It must be neat, clean, spacious and well maintained. Dogs that are bred should appear healthy and happy. They should be eager to meet new people and not afraid of visitors. You should visit the puppy’s parents (if both are available). This will give you insight into their disposition and personality.
A high-quality breeder will be very knowledgeable about the breed of their dog, the health issues that breed may have, and the quirks that the breed possesses. The breeder should be knowledgeable about the genetic issues associated with the breed they are breeding. You also want to see that the puppy and the parents have been professionally evaluated for potential issues. You will also want to have a written contract guaranteeing that you receive a healthy puppy.
A strong working relationship with their local veterinarian is also a sign of a good breeder; However, you shouldn’t have to rely solely on their veterinarian. You’ll want to make sure the pup has complete veterinary records, including medical history, vaccination schedule, and deworming records.
A reputable breeder will ensure that you, as the puppy’s new parent, are instructed on how to care for and train your new puppy. They will also be available to advise you even after you bring your pup home.
A great way for you to make sure a breeder is up to the task is to ask for references from other people who have bought dogs from them. This will give you insight into the health of other puppies and whether this breeder really cares about the welfare of the puppies.
Dr. Shana Bohac is a veterinarian and owner of the Navarro Small Animal Clinic.