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Bailey the Chinook as a puppy

Bailey the Chinook as a puppy

These are questions to ask before you go see any puppies, because once you are looking at and petting the pups, it is almost impossible to walk away.

Knowing how your puppy has been raised (hopefully indoors) and socialized to people, places and things are critical to the decision process.

When you get your puppy, take it to visit your veterinarian right away to make sure your puppy is as healthy as possible. The more you know about your puppy, the better. Like most things, knowledge is power.

Things to Ask the Breeder

  • How many years have you been breeding dogs?
  • How many years breeding this breed of dogs?
  • Is this the only breed of dog you have available?
  • How many litters have you bred?
  • Can you supply a customer or reference list?
  • If the breeder answers truthfully, you should have an idea if these breeders are legitimate or a professional breeder. Pet stores probably won’t know these answers because their puppies generally come from a commercial supplier.
  • Do you show your dogs in AKC, UKC, IABCA? Ideally your breeder is showing their dogs for an objective outside opinion.
  • Which dog clubs do you belong to?
  • How many dogs have you bred or owned and what titles have they achieved? (For more information on titles go to UKC or AKC .)
  • Some examples of titles include:

CH (Champion in conformation)
CD (Obedience title)
CDX (Obedience)
UD (Obedience)
UDX (Obedience)
OTCH (Obedience)
TD (Tracking)
TDX (Tracking)
FH (Tracking)
JH (Hunting)
SH (Hunting)
MH( Hunting)
FC (Hunting)
ScH I; ScH II, ScH III (Schutzhund)

Good breeders are usually actively competing or participating with their dogs. Pet store puppies usually do not come from breeders that are working and competing with their dogs.

Ask about the Parents

  • What are the AKC or UKC registered names of the Sire (father) and the Dam (mother)? Both parents should have registration papers. When in doubt, check the details with the registering club.
  • Why did you chose to breed these two particular dogs to each other?
  • Are there some particular physical characteristics and personality traits that you are attempting to improve in your breeding line?
  • Were these dogs bred because they are excellent examples of the breed with excellent temperaments or because the breeder was looking to make some quick money?

Ask About Health

  • Which of the following genetic tests/clearances/certifications did you obtain on the parents?

OFA (Checks for hip and elbow dysplasia) If their information was sent in, you can check this on the Internet.
CERF (Checks on eyes)

Ask About the Litter

  • What is the name and phone number of the veterinarian that has seen and cared for the puppies?
  • At what age will your puppies be ready to go to their new home? (Pups should stay with their mothers for a minimum of 7 weeks, this helps their social development with dog interactions.)
  • What is the price based on? You may hear any of the following responses: Pet Quality, Show Quality, Breeding Quality. If you are told they are show or breeding quality, ask how the breeder has determined this. What is their experience showing dogs? Are there lots of dogs with titles and clean health checks?

Ask About the Contract, Guarantee and Registration Papers

  • Does the breeder require that puppies not intended for breeding be spayed or neutered?
  • Do you have your transfer copy of the registration papers? (AKC puppy papers are blue.)
  • Do not pay extra for registration papers, this is a violation of kennel club rules. Notify the registering kennel club if this happens.
  • Is there a money back or replacement puppy guarantee?
  • Do you unconditionally take back any puppy/dog of your breeding? Anytime?
  • Ask specifically what the breeder will do if your puppy is very sick. Will they treat it or euthanize?
  • What conditions must the buyer satisfy?

This should get you started on the right path to puppy ownership. As with any companion animal, be certain you are ready, willing and able to commit to a lifetime of care. Dogs should not be disposable.

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