GREAT! Now you can begin the search process. This one can be a bit tricky, but with a little knowledge and patience you'll do just fine.
WHERE TO LOOK
This can be relatively easy if you know where to look. It will take some research and being on the alert. Many cities and towns have radio stations that offer a "Buy, Sell and Trade" show either on a daily basis or a weekly one. You can tune in to one of these regularly and probably find someone locally who may have a dog or puppy for sale or give away. Also, you can check your local pet shelters where you may find just the right pooch for you. There is usually a small fee to pay, however.
Check bulletin boards in restaurants, gas stations, truck stops, retail stores, etc. Many provide a place to hang posters where locals can advertise. There are also scads of online websites that offer either puppy/dog finding services or breeder websites. Some of these services are free, but many require paying a fee to join.
The akc.org website offers a free list of possible AKC breeders in your area. Of course, all AKC breeders do not use the AKC website to advertise because of the cost to them, so ask around. Ask your trusted friends, relatives and local veterinarian if they know of anyone in the area that may have puppies or dogs for sale. Newspapers and weekly shoppers also usually provide a section with pets for sale. Some work places either offer a free weekly shopper or bulletin board where employees can advertise. Also, some credit unions offer a free member shopper in print and online.
These are just some places that you can use to begin your search for that adorable canine friend that you've been wanting.
PET STORES!!! YIKES!!! MOST OF THESE PUPPIES COME FROM PUPPY MILLS!!!
(Although some are comfortable with this option........I would NEVER recommend this option!!!)
Once you've located either a breeder, private party or pet shelter, asking the right questions will go a long way in making a successful choice.
Here are just a few:
1. Ask about the temperment of the parent dogs.
2. Ask if there are any genetic health problems within the pedigree. Some breeds are more prone to genetic issues.
3. Ask the age of the parent dogs. The mother dog should be no younger than 2 years old when whelping her first litter. The father dog can be at least 6 months of age to sire, but preferrably older.
4. How many litters has the mother dog whelped? Is she bred at every "heat" cycle? It is usually advisable to let the mother dog rest at least through one heat cycle between litters.
5. How many female breeding dogs(bitches) does the breeder own? If more than "ONE" this may be the first tip off that you are talking to a "puppy mill" owner.
6. If you are wanting to purchase an AKC registered breed, ask whether the parent dogs are registered and whether the available puppies will have AKC registration applications at the time of pick up. Is so, will the puppy be sold on a "Limited or Full" registration? Typically, most are sold on a "Limited" AKC registration. This is a way that the breeder can control their breeding program and also limit the possibility of interbreeding in your area. This is a good thing because you know that the breeder is really interested in the welfare of the puppies they are raising and want to contribute to the betterment of the breed. A "Full" registration means that the puppy can be used to breed AKC registerable puppies. They are usually quite expensive and harder to find.
7. Ask for references from others who have purchased puppies/dogs from them.
8. Get the name and phone number of the breeders veterinarian and call them to see if he/she would recommend them.
9. Ask whether the puppy or dog is up-to-date on immunizations and wormings, etc. Has he/she had any illnesses and were they successfully treated? Up-to-date on heartworm medication and flea/tick control?Will you receive documentation of these?
10. Ask if the breeder can either email or snail mail you some photos of the parent dogs and their living environment. Can you view them in person? Some breeders allow visitors while others do not for many different reasons. First, it can somewhat upset or make the dam uneasy and nervous. This can affect the unborn puppies. Second, in some areas there is a high incidence of puppy and dog thief so breeders may not be willingly to let you come out to view in person until you've made a security deposit of some kind on a dog/puppy. Third, they may have unclean or unhealthy living conditions for their dogs, so they DON'T want you to see it. Fourth, It may be a puppy mill. This is why you need to get references from others who have purchased puppies/dogs from them. Ask the references about the breeder and their breeding practices.
11. Are the parent dogs healthy, get plenty of excercise and live in a clean environment?
12. Ask about the color, size and temperment of the puppies and their parents. Ask the breeder to send you pictures of puppies or dogs that have come from this sire and dam. Is this what you are looking for in a dog or puppy?
13. Ask how much the dog or puppy will cost and how much of a security deposit the breeder requires to hold a puppy for you. When is the balance due? Will you get a written receipt with the date of balance due and amount? Sometimes breeder's ask more for either females or males, but alot of them time they are the same price.
14. When will the puppy/dog be available for pick up or delivery? If you are having the puppy/dog delivered...by what means will this take place? Are there extra costs involved? If you are buying a puppy ask how old he/she will be at pickup date. Eight weeks old is usually a sufficent age for pickup, however, some breeders are inclined to wait until up to 12 weeks of age. Others will let puppies from 6 or 7 weeks old go to their new homes for one reason or another. Have the breeder explain his/her reasons. By all means avoid a breeder who will let you take a puppy home before at least 6 weeks old (very) minimum!
15. Can you return the puppy/dog to the breeder at any time if you are unable to care for the animal?
16. Does the breeder offer a solid purchase agreement/contract outlining the proper care of the dog/puppy and the responsibilies of both parties?
17. Can you contact the breeder at time after purchase with questions or concerns about the puppy or dog?
These a just a few questions that you should ask anyone that you planning to purchase a puppy from. Of course, you may think of others, but these are just basic questions that will help you make a wiser choice. If the breeder, pet shelter or private person is hesitant to answer any of theses questions, then find a different one. Any reputable breeder, person or organization that really and truly cares about the health and welfare of animals will be glad to answer these questions. Be prepared for them to ask you quite a few questions in return, so that they can be certain they are placing the dog or puppy in the right home and living environment.
Of course, if you have opted to take on a mixed breed, the owner or pet shelter may have limited information about the animal. A mixed breed can be an excellent choice, it's just whatever you prefer. But, remember...........It's like the lottery..........You take your chances and hope you win.............
*Answer to last weeks "What Dog Breed Is This?" German Shepherd Dog. In the Herding Group. Originated in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1899. Derived from old breeds of farm and herding dogs. Fast, Stealthy, Loyal, Intelligent, alert, good companion, excellent guard, used in police work, very energetic and needs plenty of excercise, good with children once relationship is established, makes good farm and family dog. This breed shows some alooftness not lending to immediate or indiscriminant friendships. Should not be hostile but be approachable, unless trained as guard. Puppies should not run up to greet newcomers or prospective new owners. They are cautious at first, then will warm up to newcomers. This is a large breed dog with males reaching up to around 100 lbs. Very muscular and strong. AKC acceptable colors: Black and Tan, Black, Black and Red, etc. Colors should be strongly marked not washed out sables, blues or whites.
"WHAT DOG BREED IS THIS?" It is the # 4 AKC registered dog breed in 2008.
Please Post your answer and comments...........Thanks!
To find quality pet supplies "click" on the bluff.com or Petsmart banner link on this page!!!