When it comes to getting a new dog, many people automatically think about going to a breeder. After all, who knows more about dogs than breeders? However, the truth is, not all breeders are created equal. Some are reputable and responsible, while others may be nothing more than puppy mills. So how do you ensure that you get the right dog from a good breeder? Keep reading to learn how to find a happy, healthy dog that’s just right for you!
How Do I Find a Good Breeder?
Doing your research is absolutely vital. Talk to friends, family, and your veterinarian about good breeders in your area. Once you’ve compiled a list of potential breeders, take the time to visit their facilities. You should always be able to visit the breeder’s home, and if they don’t want you to, it’s a sure sign that something is wrong.
It would help if you also asked to see your puppy’s parents. Unfortunately, you might not be able to see the male dog since not everyone keeps breeding pairs. But if you can’t see the mother, something is wrong, and you should look for another breeder again.
Asking lots of questions is also crucial in this process. You should find out about the breeder’s experience, what type of health testing they do on their dogs, and what the living conditions are like for the dogs.
Should I Get References?
You absolutely should get references! A good breeder will be more than happy to provide you with references from previous buyers. These references can give you insight into what it’s like to work with the breeder and what the quality of their dogs is like.
Obviously, if everyone you talk to expresses satisfaction with the breeder, that’s a good sign. But if you come across more than a few people who had bad experiences with a particular breeding facility, it would be best to look elsewhere.
How Much Should I Pay for My Puppy?
If you’re looking for a purebred puppy that’s registered, you should assume that you will pay more than you will for one that is not registered. However, if you want a show dog or a performance dog, it will likely be a great deal more.
It also depends on the breed, and here it’s often a case of supply and demand. A rare dog breed will almost always cost more than one that’s more common.
Responsible breeders aren’t just breeding dogs for profit, but they still need to cover their costs. That’s why a dog from a reputable breeder will cost more than one from a pet store or shelter.
Be patient. Good breeders often have a waiting list for their puppies. This is because they carefully screen buyers to ensure that their puppies are going to good homes. So if you’re set on getting a dog from a particular breeder, be prepared to wait a while.
The process of finding the right breeder may take some time and effort, but it’s worth it to ensure that you end up with a healthy, happy dog.
Should I Buy a Puppy From a Pet Store?
You should never buy a puppy from a pet store! Pet stores are in it for profit, and they almost always source their animals from bad breeders.
What Is a Puppy Mill?
This is a commercial dog breeding operation that places profit above the welfare of the dogs. They often mass-produce puppies for sale through pet stores or online. The conditions are almost always cramped and unsanitary, and the dogs are typically not well socialized. This can lead to health and behavioral problems later in life.
That’s assuming that the puppy reaches the “later in life” stage. Unfortunately, many puppy mill dogs have health problems that lead to premature death. They can also cost you a fortune when it comes to veterinary care.
You will hardly ever get a healthy puppy from one of these breeders or from a pet store. A pet store may offer you a health guarantee, but it’s won’t be worth the paper it’s written on.
Should I Rescue a Dog?
There are many benefits to rescuing a dog from a shelter or rescue organization. Dogs in shelters often come from loving homes that have been forced to give them up for one reason or another. They are typically well socialized and have had all their shots. They also tend to be more affordable than buying a dog from a breeder.
The downside of rescuing a dog is that you often don’t know much about its history. This can make it difficult to predict how they will behave, so rescuing may not be right for you if this is your first dog.
You also might not be able to learn much about any health issues your rescue dog may have. Unfortunately, the rescue facility will only be able to tell you as much as they know about the dog’s condition so that you won’t get a full health guarantee.
If you are set on getting a specific breed of dog, your best bet is to find a reputable breeder.
How Do I Choose a Breed of Dog?
When choosing a breed of dog, it is important to consider your lifestyle and personality. For example, some breeds are better suited for active people, while others prefer a more relaxed environment. It is also important to consider the size of the breed.
Small breeds are usually better suited to apartment-dwellers, while big dogs do best with a lot of space in which to play. But, of course, there are always exceptions. Some small dogs are very active, and some large breeds can be quite lazy.
Another important factor to consider is how much grooming the breed will require. For example, some breeds need to be groomed daily, while others only require weekly brushing.
Once you have decided on your chosen breed, it is time to start looking for a reputable breeder.
How Can I Narrow Down My Choice?
Dog shows are great places to meet many different purebred dogs. A kennel club or breed club puts on a dog show, and when you visit dog shows, you’ll also meet a lot of people who are highly knowledgable about a particular breed.
Once you’ve narrowed it down, contact local breed clubs. Members will usually be more than happy to have you visit their dogs and can also be very helpful in assisting you with identifying reputable breeders in the area. If there are no local breeders, members can also help you to determine how far afield you’ll likely have to go to find one.
How Do I Find the Right Puppy?
If you’ve learned about dog breeds, found a responsible breeder, and you’ve visited the breeder’s facility, you’re halfway there already! Now it’s time to go about bringing the right puppy home.
The puppies should be well socialized and should have all their shots. The breeder should also provide clearances to show that the puppies have no genetic defects or serious health issues.
Now you need to pick the puppy that is best for you from the litter. Watch how the puppies interact with their mother and the rest of the litter. It would help if you chose a “middle of the road” puppy -- you don’t want the one who’s bullying his littermates. As he matures, he could be difficult around other dogs.
You also don’t want the pup who’s cowering in a corner of the breeding pen not interacting. This could also lead to behavior problems later on.
If you have kids, take them to meet the puppies and let them be part of the decision. You want everyone to be happy with the family pet!
Will a Dog Breeder Take My Puppy Back if Something Goes Wrong?
It’s important to ask a breeder if they will take a puppy back if something goes wrong. Some breeders have a strict no-return policy, while others are more flexible. If you’re not sure what the breeder’s policy is, it’s best to ask before you make a purchase.
Some things that could go wrong include health problems, behavioral issues, and not being a good fit for your family. If the breeder is unwilling to take the puppy back, you may be stuck with a dog that you can’t care for.
Before you purchase a puppy, make sure that you’re comfortable with the breeder’s return policy. That way, if something goes wrong, you know that you’ll be able to get your money back or get a replacement puppy.
It would also be wise to research your purebred dog’s various health conditions that could develop later in life. Your dog breeder is not going to want to be held responsible for health conditions that are known to be breed-specific. There is a wealth of information online about breed health, and licensed veterinarians can also be a good source.
It’s pretty basic. First, there are many breeds, so settle on one. Next, by going to professional dog shows, you can get an idea of what your puppy will be like when he becomes an adult dog. Then find the right dog breeder. Finally, rember that a reputable breeder will want you to visit your pup’s parents -- often, a good breeder will even refuse to sell you a puppy if you don’t visit!
Of course, if you’re getting a puppy from another state, visiting might not be possible. However, a reputable breeder will at least want to talk with you on the phone in a situation like this. I’d suggest that you do this by video call -- that way, you can be sure you’re dealing with a good breeder because they’ll welcome the opportunity to show you their litter and their breeding stock.
Expect to pay a good dog breeder a fair price. A quality breeding program comes with costs, and although breeders. Always avoid bad breeders and stay away from pet stores. Most reputable breeders will not sell dogs to pet stores or online.
Other Common Questions
I don’t want to leave you with a new puppy and a ton of questions, especially if you’re new to dogs. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the questions new owners often have.
How Can I Tell if My Puppy Is Purebred?
If you’re getting a puppy, one of the first things you’ll want to do is make sure that the puppy is purebred. There are several ways to do this. The easiest way is to contact the American Kennel Club (AKC) and give them the puppy’s registration number if the dog breeder has provided one. Then the AKC will be able to you have a purebred dog.
You can also ask the dog breeder for proof of pedigree. A reputable breeder will be able to provide you with a three-generation pedigree from the American Kennel Club or a similar organization. This pedigree will show you the dog’s ancestors and confirm that the puppy is, in fact, purebred.
Of course, you can always tell if a dog is purebred by looking at it! Purebred dogs tend to have very specific physical characteristics that are unique to their breed. If you’re not sure what to look for, you can always seek veterinary advice.
You can also read the breed standard for dogs on the American Kennel Club website. But, of course, many puppies look much the same, so it won’t be until your dog enters adulthood that this method will be effective.
How Many Vet Visits Does a Puppy Need?
Most puppies will need to see a veterinarian for vaccinations and routine check-ups two to three times during the first year of their life. However, this may vary depending on the breed of the dog, whether or not the dog is spayed or neutered, and the age of the puppy when it’s first taken to the vet. Older dogs, for example, may only need to see the vet once a year for their annual check-up.
It’s important to take your puppy to a licensed veterinarian as soon as possible after you bring him home. This will help ensure that he’s healthy and up-to-date on his vaccinations. It’s also a good opportunity for you to ask the vet any questions you may have about caring for your new puppy.
What Is the Best Way to Potty Train a Puppy?
The best way to potty train a puppy is to start as soon as possible and be consistent. Puppies learn best when they’re rewarded for doing something right, so be sure to praise your puppy whenever he goes potty in the right place. You can also use a special treat or toy to help him learn that he’s being good.
Of course, accidents are going to happen, so don’t get too frustrated if your puppy has an accident indoors. Instead, just clean it up and move on. With time and patience, your puppy will learn where he’s supposed to go to the bathroom.
How Much Exercise Do Puppies Need?
Puppies need a lot of exercises, but they also need time to rest and recover. A good rule of thumb is that puppies can handle about five minutes of exercise for every month of age. So, a three-month-old puppy could handle about fifteen minutes of exercise, while a six-month-old puppy could handle about thirty minutes.
Remember to start slowly and increase the amount of exercise gradually. Puppies are still growing, so too much exercise can be harmful. Also, make sure that your puppy has plenty of time to rest in between bouts of exercise.
What Is the Best Way to Socialize a Puppy?
Socialization is important for puppies as it helps them learn how to interact with both dogs and people. The best way to socialize puppies is to expose them to as many different people and animals as possible in a positive way. This means taking your puppy to the park, on walks, and to dog-friendly stores and restaurants. It’s also a good idea to have friends and family members over to your house so that your puppy can meet them.
Just remember to go at your puppy’s pace. If he starts to get overwhelmed or scared, take a break and try again later. With time and patience, most puppies will learn how to be comfortable around both people and other animals.
The Final Word
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it! I wish you many years of happiness with your new furry friend.