Monday, March 9, 2009

Chosing a Breeder that Breeds Properly Raised, Healthy Puppies

Once you have decided that you are ready for a puppy, you need to decide upon a source. There are many options available, and breeders are not the only choice.

Unfortunately today, there are all too many dogs in rescue centers, adoption facilities, pounds, kill centers, and shelters. If you have your heart set on a certain breed or type of dog, you may have a chance of finding one in a local shelter. I know a woman who has rescued two chihuahuas over a 10 year period from a shelter in her area. The adoption fees are generally much less than the "price" of a puppy through any breeder.

If you decide that a breeder is the choice for you, begin doing some research on breeders in your local area. It is not recommended to find breeders in distant areas, because you cannot see the puppies, the living conditions of the dogs, you cannot meet the breeders and see the interaction they have with the puppies, and there could be unforeseen issues, health concerns, or other problems. It is always best to visit the breeder on-site. If they won't allow this, there may be an issue. Likewise, expect that a breeder may wish to see the future living conditions of the placement homes.

The puppies' parents are good indicators of the possible temperament of the puppy you choose. Of course each puppy will have an individual personality, but if the parents are unhealthy or have aggression or depression issues, the breeder is may not have high standards of care. Look for a breeder who shares interaction with all of the dogs, not just the puppies. Puppies should not be overly timid or afraid, should display curiosity, playful behavior, a healthy coat, clean, clear eyes and ears, and a healthy appetite.