Finding the Right Dog Breeder
By Steven Hawkins
If youâ€™re in the market for a purebred dog, youâ€™ll need to find a breeder from which to purchase the animal. This can often be as easy as opening the classified advertising section of your local newspaper, but youâ€™ll want to be sure that the breeder youâ€™ve chosen is reputable. There are several ways to help ensure that the breeder youâ€™ve found knows his stuff and is reliable, professional, and trustworthy.
Ask for References: Any good breeder will be able to provide you references of clients he has worked with in the past. These will be people who have purchased a puppy or utilized stud services and will be happy to share their experiences with you. Choosing a breeder that was used by someone you know is a good choice as well. If your friend or family member was happy with the service and treatment he or she received from the breeder, the odds are good that you will be as well.
Prepare to be Asked Questions: A good breeder will have as many questions for you as you have for him, perhaps more. Good breeders work to ensure that the dogs they breed are placed with the correct people. They may ask whether you have children, what size home or yard you have, and numerous other questions to help them let you know whether the dog youâ€™re seeking is right for you and your family. A breeder that doesnâ€™t ask these types of questions may be looking just for the money from the sale of the dog and is probably not the sort of breeder you want to do business with. A good breeder always has the best interest of both the dog and the clients in mind.
Guarantees: A good breeder will have had the puppies checked for potential health risks before ever selling the animal. Some problems, however, simply are not detectable until later in life. If you purchase a golden retriever pup, for example, and six months later discover that it has hip dysplasia (a genetic defect in the animals hip joints, it is often nearly undetectable until the animal is several months old), a good breeder will issue a refund to you, no questions asked. Genetic defects like this are avoided by the use of selective breeding (hip dysplasia in dogs has between a 25% and 85% chance that it is genetic in origin), but sometimes a pup will display the disorder even if there is no trace of it in either parentâ€™s history.
Other Sources: Aside from looking in the newspaper of on the internet for a dog breeder, breeders can be found through veterinarianâ€™s offices, pet supply stores, and at dog shows. Dog shows are a very good choice since the breeders that attend these events are often showing one of their dogs or are there to see the performance of one that they bred and sold in the past.
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