Getting a new dog, especially if it is your first pet, is an exciting time. In fact, it can be so thrilling that it is all too easy to be caught up in it all, and not take any time to check out the breeder from whom you are buying your puppy.
Buying a dog from an unethical dog breeder can prove to be a costly mistake. The dog may grow up to have severe behavioural issues, or even worse, acute health problems. Before going ahead and purchasing your puppy, it’s worth being as level headed as you can, and to bear the following in mind about your dog breeder:
Will the breeder let you visit?
If a breeder is unwilling to let you visit the place where they breed dogs, this should be a cause for concern. It may mean that the environment where your puppy is being brought up is unsanitary, which could mean health problems from the get-go. A breeder that cares about their dogs will want to see how you get on with the particular breed before selling you a puppy. Visiting your dog will also allow you the opportunity to see how it has been socialised.
Is there a contract?
A reputable dog breeder will usually ask you to sign a contract guaranteeing that you will look after the health and wellbeing of your dog. This will usually include a clause to ensure that it is regularly vaccinated, and that it will be spayed or neutered if it is not shown. It also means that you could receive a refund should the dog develop a major health issue. Most of all, a contract shows that the breeder wants to ensure that the dog is in good hands when it is sold; it shows they care.
Does the breeder keep records?
Lots of trustworthy dog breeders will keep notes on the history of your puppy to enable you to understand its behaviour and any health issues. At the very least, the breeder should have the dog registered and have impeccable vaccination records.
Will the breeder offer advice?
A dog breeder should help you become familiar with your new puppy. They should be able to give general advice about the breed, your dog’s temperament and, if it is your first dog, be open to being contacted further down the line for advice.
In short, do as much research about the breeder as you can. A trustworthy breeder should be able to answer any query that you have.