So where should a puppy come from?
Morning all! I thought this morning that a continuation of yesterdays post might be a good idea. I'm sure many people thinking that the easiest place to obtain a puppy was a store were left with their hands in the air saying "okay, where do I get a puppy from then?" If you want a puppy and a purebred then you go to a breeder. I'll discuss rescues and shelters tomorrow.
Let's say you've decided on a golden retriever like the rest of the people on your street, just kidding although they are about that popular. Okay so it's a golden you want, now what? You pick up the newspaper, WRONG put it down good breeders rarely if ever put an add in the paper, they don't have to. Typically a good breeder has a long waiting list of people who want their puppies. Go to your internet and punch in Golden Retriever Club of America or Canada and start there.
All breeds have major area clubs, infact when I'm looking for a breed to photograph I always go to the Southern California branch and start there. If there isn't a branch because it is a much more rare breed then go to the Whatever CLub of America. There is typically a page for breeder referral, some have the actual names of breeders and some have a form to fill out that will be returned with the information you need.
While you are on the site, check out all the pros and cons of this breed especially in the health department. Every breed has their own list of health issues that "good breeders" will be testing for. It is very important that you know what these are so you can ask if their dogs are tested for them.
If you do go to see puppies or adult dogs who might be having puppies in the future ask to see the health certification in writing. Ask if the breeder has a list of people who have gotten puppies from a past litter that you can call and talk to, this is really useful.
Do not limit yourself to one breeder, talk to many and you will get a more well rounded education on your breed. A good breeder will tell you the good and the bad of the breed. You may actually walk away thinking that maybe this is not the breed for you. Great, better to find out now than after you've had the puppy for 6 months. If everyone did all of this research there would be a whole lot less "dumped dogs."
Do not buy a puppy that has been brought to you for "convenience" sake. If you can't see where the puppy was raised or meet Mom there is something fishy going on. I have been called out on several cases for aggression issues in the past. When I ask where the puppy came from the people explain their story telling me about only seeing Mom tied up in the backyard because she was too aggressive to meet people. Hmmmm, good idea to buy a puppy from this Mom? I think not.
Also be aware that even the best of guarantees is never a 100% guarantee. There is no real guarantee on life and even the best of breeders have health and temperament issues come up now and then. My youngest dog Luke has epilepsy, he came from a very good breeder with all of his tests done and in writing but poodles are prone to this disease and he has it. So we have learned to deal with it.
You must also understand that after talking to a "good breeder" that you may be left with the the feeling of inadequacy, thats noraml. Truly "good breeders" do not let their puppies just go home with anyone. Normally you will be given a questionnaire and need to have open communication with the breeder until they feel comfortable that your family is a suitable one for one of their puppies. But this is the kind of concern you want from a breeder, that tells you that they really care about what happens to their dogs offspring.
And be patient, rarely do you walk in a door and bring a puppy home that day. It does happen if you arrive at just the right time when the puppies are ready to go but more often you are on a list or have several weeks to go before you bring home your puppy. But believe the wait it worth it.