Why Picking a Breeder Is Just as Important As Picking a Puppy
Excerpts of an article at AKC.org By Hilarie Erb
You want to add a new dog to the family and have decided on the breed. You are excited about bringing a puppy home, but now a different search begins — for the right breeder.
Adding a puppy to the family is a big decision to be made carefully, not impulsively. Selecting a responsible breeder, who conducts health testing and screens you to make sure you are a good fit for one of her dogs, is crucial. You are, after all, about to spend a substantial amount of money!
Knowing exactly what good breeders do that makes it worth the wait should help you make the right decision. Read on to learn how AKC Breeders of Merit go above and beyond to raise healthy, well-adjusted puppies.
Responsible breeders screen for health issues. Both parents should be tested. Each AKC-recognized breed has a national parent club that has health information on its website and a code of ethics for members.
After all this, there are still no guarantees. An honest breeder knows this. She already has a great deal of emotional and financial resources invested in her dogs, but if health testing doesn’t go well, the dogs will not be bred. If a breeder tells you that health screening is unnecessary and that her dogs are perfectly healthy, move on. Every breed has the potential for health problems.
Once the dam and sire have been chosen and have passed their health clearances, it is time to plan the actual breeding. Breeders often will spare no expense to make their chosen breeding happen. Sometimes this means traveling to or having semen shipped from destinations great distances away. Once the breeding has been achieved, a breeder waits to learn if it was successful or not, and if he is expecting puppies in the future.
During gestation, the dam will be carefully monitored. There may be sonograms, and later, x-rays to count the puppies. Knowing how many puppies to expect helps the breeder oversee a safe delivery. A breeder is always prepared in case a C-section is necessary to successfully deliver the puppies. .
After the litter is born, there is still a lot to be done. The breeder will make sure the puppies are thriving and the mother is doing well. The inhabitants of the whelping box (a special enclosure designed for mother dogs and their puppies) are watched closely. Puppy socialization starts right away, with the breeder carefully handling the puppies often. .
When the puppies are about two weeks old, their eyes open and they become more active. Every day brings more feeding, more puppy poop, more cleaning and laundry. When they start climbing out of the whelping box, it is time to move them to a bigger living area. At around 4 weeks, they start eating real puppy food, and the weaning process begins. The breeder steps up socialization to help develop well-rounded, confident puppies. .
While all this is going on, there are vet checks, vaccinations, and evaluations of the litter. The breeder will decide which puppy is the best fit for each potential buyer. Many breeders require potential puppy buyers to complete a questionnaire, so they can determine if the people who want a puppy are a good fit for one of their puppies. .
The road to healthy, happy puppies is costly in financial and emotional ways, but well worth it to breeders who want a good life for every puppy. .
Perhaps the most important aspect of responsible breeding is that many breeders take responsibility for every puppy they bring into the world for the puppy’s entire life. Many breeders will provide potential buyers with a contract that explains the breeder’s guarantees and policies, as well as the new owner’s responsibilities. .
See The original article in it's entirity at AKC.org. This article describes just a few of the things you should expect from AKC Breeders of Merit and Bred with H.E.A.R.T. breeders, who must meet stringent requirements. To learn the specifics, visit AKC website.
An article by a German Shepherd Fancier about Rescue
By: Donna Hetherington Jacot
All of you sneering at reputable breeders take note: if you walk through your local shelter, you will not find a single well-bred, reputably-bred dog in their kennels.
You will find pit bulls and poorly-bred labs and Chihuahuas and toy breeds with googly eyes and crooked legs. You¡¯ll find "designer" mixes and odd colors, but you won't find one from a reputable breeder, whose dogs have been health tested, temperament and conformation tested, pedigree studied, and preventative measures taken against known possible lifelong injury and infection.
Why won't you find one of our dogs there? Because our puppies are microchipped, they are registered and sold with a contract that states if the owner must re-home, then the dog comes back to the place it was born and to a breeder who truly cares.
When the well-bred dogs go extinct, you will wonder why.
Here is an answer: YOU !!!
All those dogs in rescue should have gone back to their breeders instead of into a kennel at a rescue.
I am all for buying from someone who wants to better the breed and not mix it to make a designer breed who will end up with double the health issues. I support good breeders 100%.
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