Breed Success in your Puppy Search
The numbers will make any pet lover blanch with disgust, anger,
and sadness. The Humane Society of the United States calculates
that as many as 500,000 puppies every year are sold in pet shops,
and that many of these pet shops buy their pets from the worst
breeders—so-called puppy mills. What do these puppy mills (and
kitty mills) have to do with you if you’re on the market for a
new furry companion? You know what you’re doing when it comes to
buying a purebred, right?
Truth be told, puppy mills are largely responsible for even
harsher statistic: as many as 25 percent of all purebred pups
suffer from genetic difficulties because of bad breeding. And as
knowledgeable as you think you are about buying a dog, you could
come across one of these poor pups and not even know it.
That could mean that you spent hundreds, if not thousands, of
dollars on a pet, only to have it succumb to a birth defect and
maybe even die at an early age. Even if this worst-case scenario
doesn’t occur, buying from the wrong breeder can also land you an
animal that picked up diseases because of the intolerable
conditions at the breeder. That could lead to additional
thousands spent on vet bills.
Why leash yourself to such heartache? There’s no need when there
are so many great and trustworthy breeders out there, who can
pair you with a loving new puppy.
To find the right breeder for you, start local. Your best bet is
to find breeders within driving distance. That way, you can visit
the actual breeding facilities. And while there, be sure to scout
out for the following characteristics that all best-of-show
• A litter of dogs that play, smile, and show all the other signs
of being happy and healthy. Take notice, too, that the pups are
sociable to the breeder, you, and their brothers and sisters.
• More demand for their dogs than they can handle. Usually a long
buyers’ waiting list at a breeder is like a wagging tail on a
puppy—a good sign.
• A discerning eye for customers. Good breeders should ask you as
many questions as you ask them, on topics such as your reasons
for wanting their dog, your past pet experience, whether you have
enough space at home, and who in your family will be responsible
for daily puppy care.
• The willingness to show you the puppy’s parents during your
visit if you provide the right answers to the above questions.
• A wealth of knowledge on the dogs that they breed, including
specific advice on the breed’s standard and temperament, to
satisfy all of your questions and concerns.
• A health guarantee in writing that shows exactly what
vaccinations the pup has had.
• The friendly advice about what future vaccinations you should
give, along with the best ways to train and care for the puppy.
• A guarantee, again in writing, this one stating that the
breeder would be willing to take back the dog if you cannot keep
it at any time.
• The care and thoughtfulness to keep in touch for some time
after your purchase, to check on the dog and offer further advice
If you keep your eyes peeled and your ears perked for these signs
of a good breeder, you won’t have to rely on luck or a good
reference in finding the right puppy (though those don’t hurt
either). You’ll learn soon after you bring your new pal home that
you made the right choice, and over time, your family and pet
bond. Your pet will live a long, healthy life as part of your
Donald Lee is the public relations manager for
Buysellcommunity.com. Buysellcommunity provides free classified
listing services. Buy, Sell and trade: auto, computers, household
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