|Gray Dawn- Treader|
Don't Tread on- me
|Barked: Sat Nov 3, '07 2:46pm PST |
|ETA: since no one uses this thread anymore, I use it to educate by providing a link to it when people ask questions about breeding their dog or finding a breeder in Answers.
To start with, the reputable breeder puts the health of his dogs before plans for litters. Obviously, a good breeder does not abuse their dogs-mentally or physically. Also, a reputable breeder is in the breeding business for the love of the breed(s) rather than the money. If they are doing things the right way, breeding does not bring them much money anyway and I will show you why.
It's all about Quality
With their beloved dogs' health in mind, Good Breeders breed seldom. They don't care about the number of puppies either. (Remember: it's all about quality, not quanity!) Their dogs are given regular vet care, excercise, love, proper nutrition, and playtime. Responsible breeders check for signs of illness in each of their dogs once a month (Clan Duncan Sheltie calls this the "feelies"!), perhaps when the dogs are given their flea meds. They feel the dogs all over, checking for lumps, scars, ticks, etc. They also take a peek into the dogs mouth: make sure the teeth look good, breath doesn't smell ad, etc. The breeder also looks at the dogs' hineys and make sure all is normal there. Good breeders also compete in some kind of dog sport, such as dog shows, Agility, Obedience, Rally, Fly Ball or all of them! The breeders test their breeding stock for diseases common in the particular breed they breed. Female dogs should never be bred on every heat. Having puppies is tiring, and it also endangers the dog's live to a degree to have puppies. The dogs are never bred unless they are in peek health (and for female dogs, not bred after the age of seven). The breeder chooses the best stud they can find for the female. The puppies are health-tested as well. A good breeder will never sell a sick puppy; they will either keep it until it is well or keep it for life. A good breeder is honest, and NEVER sells the puppies until at least 8 weeks old. (The reason for this is that puppies need this time with their dam (breeder's term for mother dog) and littermates so they can learn proper canine manners.) Some think that selling a puppy past 10 weeks is equally as bad, but I see no cause for concern there. Do NOT be angry if the breeder you select keeps the best puppy for himself: the best puppy is the one that will be best for breeding, and by using that puppy the breeder will someday breed even better dogs. The here is why the breeder doesn't make much money breeding:Health testing costs a lot, and if things go wrong with the whelping and C-Section or something else is needed they spend even more money. Even the seemingly high prices breeders sell their puppies for doesn't make up for it sometimes!
The signs of a good breeder
Good breeders do all I mentioned above. Also:
They are as honest with their customers as possible.
They find the best homes they can for the puppies.
They are always happy to take a puppy back if things don't work out or the customer can't have the dog anymore.
They breed no more than 2 breeds.
They know a lot about dogs, the breed they breed, and know what they are doing.
They will try to improve the breed.
They have studied genetics. In Collies (and other breeds that can carry the merle gene) this is especially important, as breeding two merles (or merle-factored dogs) can result in what is sometimes called a Double Dilute (DD). These dogs, while beautiful, are usually sickly, deaf, blind, or all of these. A healthy Dilute is rare, but a vaulable asset to any breeding program. (Double Dilutes look mostly white with little or no coloring. Their fur is actually not white, but see-through like a Polar Bear's. If a DD is bred to a tri they will only produce merles. DDs should never be bred to merles or sables.)
Good breeders will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
In my opinion, good breeders should also support shelters and rescue. It shows they care!
Questions to ask a breeder
"When were the pups whelped?"
"Will they have to be eight weeks old before I can buy them?"
"Is there a waiting list?" (Some reputable breeders have these.)
"Have the parents and pups been health-checked?" (Including hips/eyes/ears. Insist that you want to see the papers that clear them. Puppies cannot be tested for hips because it requires x-rays and is not allowed to be done until two years of age.)
"Have the puppies had shots and been wormed?"
"Do you require them to be spayed and neutered unless I plan to show my puppy?"
"Have any of your other litters displayed genetic disease?"
"Can I return my puppy if I decide to?"
"Will you replace a puppy with severe health problems?"
"How long have you been breeding?"
"How many breeds do you breed?"
"How many litters per year do you have?"
"Do you compete your dogs in dog shows or some other dog sports, and have your dogs gained titles?"
Remember: if you ask a breeder if they test their breeding stock and they say something like "My dogs are perfect. No health testing needed", then get out of there and search for another breeder.
A look at a breeder's home
The home and kennels(if any) should be clean.
The place should smell good.
The dogs should have beds and toys.
The excercise erea should be both large and with no way for the dogs to get out.
There should be no poop cluttering the kennels or excercise ereas.
The dogs should appear healthy. Sicks dogs should be kept away from the healthy ones.
A puppys skin should look and smell clean.
Puppies' bellies should a little plump but not too over weight.
Puppies should be active and curious.
The dogs should be friendly.
Questions a breeder should ask you
Breeder should have questions, and a good breeder has plenty! They want to make sure the puppies get the best home that the breeder can find. The breeder will use your answers to decide whether the breed is right for you or not and whether you should have one of his puppies.
"Why do you want this breed?"
"Please describe yourself and your family."
"Please describe you ideal dog."
"Where will the dog live?"
"How many people and pets live in your house right now?"
"How will you physically and mentally excercise this dog?"
"Do you want a dog for competing in dog sports, just as a pet, or a show dog?"
"Have you ever taken care of a puppy?" (Puppies are blank ckalk boards and you do the drawing.)
"Will you use a crate?"
"Will you spay or neuter your puppy?"
"Would you allow me to help you choose the right puppy out of my litter?" (A breeder will choose the puppy that will best suit you.)
There may be other questions as well, but the above are the most important. Any questions, comments, or complaints? Just post in this forum or paw-mail me.
Edited by author Mon Mar 17, '08 1:55pm PST
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