Buying a New Dog? Read This First
There are many ways to acquire a new dog or
puppy. If you are seriously considering acquiring a dog,
please read this first.
- Consider NOT buying a dog or puppy from a
pet store (unless the store is holding a dog adoption). Dog or puppies
sold at pet stores could have bad diseases (both infectious and
hereditary) and the majority could come from puppy mills. Dogs from puppy
mills are usually raised in extremely poor and inhumane conditions that
you would NEVER want to see a dog in. Reputable breeders typically do NOT
supply pet stores with animals. Reputable breeders usually only breed
their dogs a couple of times a year and can usually sell their healthy
dogs by themselves, through word of mouth, etc.
- Try to adopt a dog from your local SPCA,
Humane Society, or Rescue Organization. You will find both mixed breeds
and purebred dogs and puppies. All of these organizations are typically
very helpful and will help make sure you choose the right dog for your
- If you want a purebred dog, buy only from a
reputable breeder. And please DO NOT take the breeders word that they are
a reputable breeder. Do some investigation and research. Please read below
for tips on finding a reputable breeder.
on Finding a Reputable Breeder who Breeds Healthy Purebred Puppies and Dogs
What is a reputable breeder? They test
for genetic and common diseases for their particular breed, they minimize
inbreeding, and they typically only have a few litters of puppies per year (so
they can provide the appropriate environment and health care for puppies).
Where do you find a
reputable breeder? The following is a good starting point, but still do all of
your own research and do not take the breeder's word that they are
reputable. The AKC Breeder Referral website provides both breed
organization and breed rescue group information for the particular breed you
are seeking. Also search on the Internet, using a search engine like http://www.google.com, for breeders, breed organizations/clubs, breed
rescue groups and/or local kennel club groups in your area.
Do NOT go look
at the puppy or dog first. The first step should be contacting the breeder on
the phone or via email. If you see the cute, adorable puppy first, then you
will not want to do any additional research!
Ask the breeder to email,
fax or mail the puppy's pedigree (if it's not made up yet, have them fax the
mother and father's pedigree. A breeder that does not agree to this should be a
warning to you and you should be very wary of such breeders. There may be a
high occurrence of inbreeding in the puppy which could greatly increase the
dog's risk of a bad hereditary disease.
When buying a purebred dog,
there are hereditary diseases associated with each pure breed. Do some research
and find out what hereditary diseases the purebred of your choice could
possibly have. There is a list of heredity diseases by dog at SiriusDog.com
or find a specific dog breed book.
Once you know what
hereditary diseases your favourite dog breed may have, ask the breeder if they
have tested the puppy's parents for these diseases. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! If the breeder thinks this idea is foolish, claims their
breed does not have hereditary diseases or does not know what you are talking
about, go elsewhere to purchase your dog! If they have tested the mother and
father, then ask for them to email, fax or mail the test results to you. Any
reputable breeder should be perfectly willing to do this and not get defensive
about it. You would be surprised how many dog breeders have no idea of the
hereditary diseases they might be breeding into dogs. If you get too fed up
with this whole process, either keeping looking or consider getting a mixed
breed. The hereditary disease risk lowers considerably when two breeds are
mixed to produce a mutt.
Note: If the mother or father is less than 1 or 2 years old, the test for a
hereditary disease may be ineffective. Check with your local vet first to see
how old the mother or father has to be before they can be checked for a
If the breeder has sent you
the pedigree and health certificates (including checks for hereditary diseases)
then definitely go look at the puppy or dog BEFORE you buy him or her. You'll
want to make sure the puppy looks okay.