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Old 08-21-2008, 03:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow Need tips on buying a dog from a breeder

My wife and I are wanting to add a dog to the family. We already have a breed selected (bull terrier). Im ready to start looking for a breeder and Im wondering what kind of questions I should be asking. Any tips on what to keep an eye out for would be great. Ive found a couple that are on the AKC breeder referral list which I would assume should be pretty reputable. I just dont want to end up with a sick puppy.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-21-2008, 03:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This might sound cold, but if the breeder will exchange your dog for a new one (or refund) in case of some type of medical condition, etc. Some deformities or illnesses can easily be missed until you get a chance to spend time with the animal at your home. Insurance & medical costs can be HUGE!

Over breeding in purebreds is a major concern imho. Allergies, physical or mental defects, etc. are all something to be on the lookout for.

Also ask if you could see the sire/dame. If the parents seem to be healthy and well adjusted, then I think it's a better bet that your dog came from a caring breeder situation.

AKC papers w/ a full vaccination record before you take posession of the animal.
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Old 08-21-2008, 03:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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From VeterinaryPartner Home Page - VeterinaryPartner.com - a VIN company!

-- What are the congenital defects in this breed? The breeder who says "none" or "I don't know" is to be avoided. That's a person who's not screening for what she doesn't know about, and you don't want to pay the price for her ignorance.

A good breeder tells you every remotely possible problem in the breed, from droopy eyelids to deafness to epilepsy.

-- What steps have you taken to decrease defects in your dogs? You want to hear words like "screened" and "tested" and "certified."

In breeds with the potential for hip dysplasia - that's almost every large breed -- look for PennHIP or Orthopedic Foundation for Animals certification. These are expert, unbiased evaluators who know exactly what to look for. Insist on documentation on both parents. And their parents, too.

-- Do you have the parents on site? May I see them? This is a bit of a trick question. You should always be able to see the mother -- unless she died giving birth -- but reputable breeders often don't have the father on hand. That's because the best match for any particular dog may be owned by another breeder, and the female was sent away for breeding.

As for the mother, she may be a little anxious with strangers around her puppies, but on her own you want to see a well-socialized, calm and well-mannered dog. So, too, should be the rest of the breeder's dogs. If you don't like the temperaments of a breeder's grown dogs, what makes you think you'll get a good temperament in one of the puppies?

-- What are the good and bad points of the parents, and what titles do they have? You may be looking for a pet-quality purebred, but you still want to buy from someone who knows what top-quality examples of the breed are -- and uses such animals in a breeding program. You want to see show and working titles all over that pedigree.

It doesn't matter if you go home and throw that fine pedigree in a drawer. Recent titles on both sides of a pedigree are the sign of a breeder who's making a good-faith effort to produce healthy dogs who conform to the breed standard.

-- Where were these puppies raised? How have you socialized them? "In the house" is the best answer to the first question. You want a puppy who knows what the dishwasher sounds like, whom you don't have to peel off the ceiling when a pan drops, who has set a paw on linoleum, carpet and tile.

Environmental socialization is important, but so, too, is the intentional kind. The best breeders make sure puppies have been handled by adults of both genders and by children.

-- What guarantees do you provide? You want to see a contract explaining the breeder's responsibilities should the puppy develop a congenital ailment. In most cases, such contracts state either replacement with a new puppy or refunding of your purchase price.

The contract also states your responsibilities, such as neutering your pet. You may also be required to return the dog to the breeder if you can no longer keep him. Such language is the sign of a concerned and responsible breeder.

Read and discuss the paperwork with the breeder. The best breeders offer contracts that protect not only the buyer and seller, but also the most vulnerable part of the transaction: the puppy.

hope this helps, and good luck
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Old 08-21-2008, 03:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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^ Sounds kinda like an expanded version of what I typed out.

Having been around shiba breeders and also a small amount of experience with showing dogs, the experiences seem somewhat universal when peeps are looking for a dog.

Puppy mills =
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Old 08-21-2008, 03:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey thats a great bit of info SI, thanks. Ive done the research on the breed and they dont have a lot of defects per se (hip displasia, nasal, ear, etc.) And price is not the concern. Our pets are family. But we dont plan on showing the dog so we dont need to mortgage the house either.
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Call every shelter around you first, they might even have the breed your looking for. They get seen by the vet have all there shots and are even fixed. The best part is you have the awesome feeling afterward that you rescued a life and a family friend that you couldn't live without. If it doesn't work out, or there is medical problems you can take them back at most decent shelters. Some even have a website that give a write up on the dog. I personally couldn't believe the quality of animals that rot in shelters for no good reason. I have two myself and would never trade them for any other dog.
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have always been a pet rescuer (is that a word?) Several dogs, several cats of various ages over the years. But we really want one as a puppy. The first couple days/months are so important for imprinting.


Edit: your pups are awesome!
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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get a puppy from a shelter

to many dogs and puppies in shelters who would love to come home and be part of your family.

might take a little longer to find the right one with a shelter but look at it this way -

you want to go out and find that special someone or just get a mail order bride?

yea yea yea - if she was really hot - the mail order bride


seriously - try the shelters too
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Shelter or Rescue groups. Dependingon where you live you may find lots of Bull terrier rescues.

I know outside of Philly there were a bunch of rescues (mostly for Pit bull or pit mixes) and you also may find if you get a Pit or Pit mix that there is a ban on them in your area. Check out the bottom of this page: Pit Bull - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Good luck though with your search!

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Old 08-21-2008, 04:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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try a rescue man! lots of dogs and ages and they pretty much know their medical conditions since alot of times they get a check up prior to being available for adoption.

I've gotten 2 great basset hounds and long haired chiuahua. all healthy little monsters. sure each had some sort of history(on basset doesn't like men) but its been a year and she gets along with all of us.
Try it out. might come across something you really like.
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