Speaking to a breeder about 11mo old rough collie they have available. Questions to ask???

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Crazy cat lady- aspiring to be a- dog mom
Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 4:09pm PST 
I have located an 11 mo old rough collie(female) that a breeder has available. Have already been in contact with the breeder about what I'm looking for (city/condo dweller, have cats, want a dog I can take to work, running etc). The next step would be a phone interview.

The breeder says the dog is extremely sweet, wonderful temperment, very active (like all pups her age) but can settle down (off switch). Both parents are very biddable(?) and she would expect nothing less from this pup. She spends time indoors and is housebroken but it sounds like that is the extent of training.

My two concerns right now are how she would be around cats (no cats on their ranch). And, I think she has been primarily an outdoor/kennel dog. Would she be able to make the transition to a solo dog/city life?

I'm guessing a dog at this age is pretty trainable/adaptable?

In addition to asking about health questions what else do I need to ask? why the dog is available? breeder contract? diet (I believe currently raw)? Do I ask about the other siblings?

Also, if I go to meet the dog are there certain things I should look for other than a healthy appearing dog with a good disposition? how it interacts with the other dogs? breeder? Should I ask to meet the parents?

The breeder raises collies, dalmations, and papillions and travels all over for agility as well as showing (agility seems to be the focus right now). From what I can tell from her blog/web page appears reputable and very active in the dog community.

They are in Southern Calif and I will be driving down tomorrow for the holidays so the timing is good and I can possibly avoid another trek down south puppy

Any tips on what to ask/look for would be appreciated.

Edited by author Thu Dec 20, '12 4:10pm PST

Star BN RN- RA

Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 5:36pm PST 
biddable is basically a way of saying the dog is eager to learn and to be obedient.

For the cats you would want to ask if the dog has every seen a cat and how she reacted. You would also want to know about prey drive, if it has a strong prey drive (chases every bird/squirrel/other small animal and not able to be called off) then it might not be a good fit for your cats. However given that the breeder has paps I would ask how the pup is with the paps..they are small animals so if the pup is good with them she will most likely be okay with your cats.

You would want to ask if the breeder thinks the dog will be okay as an only dog? is she comfortable without other dogs around or does she become timid when alone (this will be something you can evaluate better when you visit).

Most young dogs and even older dogs are very willing to learn so long as proper training techniques are used.

Health questions are important, ask her if there is a place where you can see her pedigree online (most breeds have a pedigree database with health info and causes of death of previous dogs, im not sure if collies are one of them but it cant hurt to ask).

You need to ask why the dog is available, it could be that it was a show prospect the breeder was growing out and decided not to show, a family not ready for the activity level of a puppy, or the dog could have some issue like separation anxiety.

Ask about a contract, if there is one what is required on your part. Does the dog need to be fixed (if not already), does she go back to the breeder should anything happen at a later date, is the breeder going to be a co-owner, etc.

Ask what she feeds and if she is opposed to a raw diet, some breeders are very picky about what their dogs eat.

You could ask about the other siblings, just simple things like how big was the litter and if any of the siblings are competing in anything, I would not be to interested in siblings...the parents and the actual dog (since she is 11 mos old she will have her own personality) are more important.

Should you visit you want to see healthy dogs with good temperaments, the breeder should trust all the dogs she is breeding with strangers who are coming into the house. Ask to go outside and play with the dog, this way you can see the yard and the kennel facility.

You want to watch how the dog interacts with everything, other dogs, breeder, you, any wildlife that runs through the area while you are there (if is normal for the dog to want to chase but she should be more interested in seeing the people and should easily be called off whatever the wildlife is that caught her attention..in other words she should not be more interested in chasing a squirrel then playing with people when they talk to her)

You definitely want to meet the parents (if possible..some breeders will use stud dogs for the father but the mother should be on-site) and grandparents (if they are alive), see how they react to strangers and the other dogs.

It is good that she has a good reputation and people love her dogs and that they seem to be of sound temperament.

Good luck and I hope it works out way to go