so you want to buy a puppy...

Daphney vom- Rommelfaenge- r

Barked: Sun Oct 28, '07 5:04pm PST 
A note from the author

This booklet of the author’s opinions and observations was compiled to help the first time puppy buyer purchase a healthy and happy puppy. Its intention was to help Rottweiler buyers, but can be used as a guide to help find responsible breeders of any breed.

Over the years, I have talked to a lot of people looking to purchase a puppy. They wanted to know the difference between a reputable breeder and a puppy mill. A reputable breeder has a reputation for quality, not quantity, who breeds dogs of sound mind and body. A reputable breeder breeds because they are striving towards the “perfect” dog according to the standard and to improve the dogs they are breeding; not just because they want money. I hope that I have remembered everything and this information helps you to purchase a happy healthy pet.

*Vom Rommelfaenger Rottweilers
Donna Rommelfaenger


This is not a booklet on the breed standard, nor is it a book on how to train your dog. Please refer to the included list of books to better educate yourself on the Rottweiler breed before purchasing a puppy.

There are more bad breeders out there than reputable ones. Do not jump into buying a puppy of any breed. Look around, do your homework, and talk to people who are actively working their dogs. A puppy is for life; pick the right breeder. You will be pleased that you have spent the time when you get home with your happy, healthy puppy. Who knows? You might even end up getting another pup from the same breeder; after all one is not enough!

Learn the origin and the purpose of the breed, and determine if your living situation is acceptable. Learn the known health problems of the breed and the family health history of your dog. Health history can be obtained through certifications from the breeder you select.And from going to

The parents of your puppy should be certified free of hip dysplasia at the least,Some breeders are also doing elbows,eyes, thyroid and hearts.Some breeds have other health problem,that the breeder should be testing for.Go to and look up the breed you are intrested in,and see what breeders are testing for. You may be asking, “Why do I need to check all this? I’m just buying a pet, not a show dog!” Would you buy a house without checking its foundation? I hope not! Say you buy this puppy (with no family or health history) for $350 or less; can you afford to spend thousands of dollars to pay for surgery to replace one or both hips, or to repair a blown out knee? Are you willing to change your life for a dog that is going blind? What if your dog has a heart failure or bleeds to death in its youth? Do you want a dog that needs to be on medication for the rest of its life? How much money are you really saving by getting your puppy from a cheaper “back yard breeder” rather than a reputable breeder?

Decide if you want a puppy and all the work of obedience and house training that goes with it; or would you like the pleasure of owning and giving an older dog a second chance on life? Do not look in the newspaper; good breeders do not advertise this way. Call your local kennel club or dog-training club for recommendations of members who own this breed. Network if you have to; most breeders are more than willing to refer you to other breeders if their puppies are not currently available. You may also call every veterinarian in your area for help. The vets know which of their clients have healthy dogs with stable temperaments.

If a dog show is coming to your area, check it out. You may find breeders entered in agility, conformation, or obedience. They need to keep themselves and their dogs
focused on the task at hand, so wait until they have finished showing their dogs before approaching them. After their class is finished showing, most owners will be happy to let you pet their dogs. Exchange phone numbers and make an appointment; this lets you meet their other dogs and gives the owner a chance to get to know you. A reputable breeder will not sell a puppy without knowing what kind of home it will be going to. Breeders are responsible for that puppy’s life and should not allow it to become just another dog in a puppy mill. If you choose a breeder that does not have a litter available, ask to be put on a waiting list. A reputable breeder will not breed until they have a list of pups that are spoken for.

Not everyone who shows dogs is a reputable breeder. Some breed to finance their showing. Some will even offer to show your dog for you. Breeders should never charge for showing their own pups. Make sure if they are showing your dog, they are not showing 3 or 4 other dogs. If they are, how is your dog supposed to win?

When you do go to look at puppies, they should be clean and active. Eyes, noses, and rear-ends should be clean and nails should be trimmed. Puppies should be wormed and current on all immunizations. A reputable breeder handles the pups a lot, and will know which one is right for you. A puppy is taught to socialize by having people handle them. This is easily done by supervised play between neighborhood children and the puppies.

Do not buy a female on a breeding contract; this is often another version of a puppy mill. Most of the time you will pay full price for the puppy, you will have to pay the stud fee (for the male of the breeder’s choice), and you will have to pay the vet bills during and after pregnancy. The breeder (or contract holder) will then take up to half the litter, as young as 8 weeks of age, and place them under the breeder’s kennel name! If the female dies in labor or all the puppies die you could still owe the breeder (contract holder) money for puppies you never had. It can get very ugly.

NEVER buy a puppy from a pet store or over-populated breeder just because you feel sorry for the dog. Many of these puppies are mass-produced in kennels. The people who participate in mass-production of puppies care nothing for the health or quality of the mothers or their puppies. These dogs are meant to be an income; the only way to stop dogs from being thought of in this way is to eliminate the demand.

Do not buy a puppy from someone who kennels their dogs and pups outdoors, or if they have more than one litter to choose from. Dogs are pack animals and should be living with their pack leader (owner), not a 6 x 12 cage. These people should be running a zoo not breeding dogs. Do not buy from someone who breeds oversized or mini versions of this or any breed, or who breed rare colors. These rarities are not rare; they are faults! Reputable breeders will only breed dogs that fit within the breed “standards”.

A bad breeder cannot even say the word Rottweiler, let alone give you any information on the breed. After you have done your own research, call one of the advertisements in the newspaper to test their knowledge. If it sounds like you know as much or more about this wonderful breed, hang up. The breeder should have years of experience and insight and should sound like it! Watch out for these terms in newspaper advertisements:

“Vet Checked” – What does this mean? All pups should be wormed and up-to-date on immunizations, as well as have had a general check up before being sold!

“Pure-Breed” – A seasoned breeder would know the word is pure-bred! If there are no registration papers for the pup, how do you know for sure?

“Champion Blood Lines” – Unless the parents are titled, this is worthless. In a 5-generation pedigree there are 62 dogs. Some breeders will tell you how great your puppy’s great-grandfather was because he was a champion, but what about the quality of the other 61 dogs?

“German Import” – You should know that the German breeders keep the best dogs in Germany for them to breed from. Hundreds of dogs are shipped to the U.S. every year and only a few are high quality.

“Hips Checked” – Hips cannot be tested free of hip dysplasia at 8 weeks of age. They are still growing. No breeder can guarantee that your dog will not have hip dysplasia, but they should only be breeding dogs who are certified free of hip and elbow dysplasia. You should get a copy of the parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents certifications at the least.

“Parents on site” – The reason people breed to their own males is to keep the cost down. If you don’t have a stud fee to pay you make more and you can breeder every time the female comes in season. Reputable breeders breed to males that will help them improve their lines; not just because he is close or cheaper.

“AKC registered”—The American Kennel Club is just a registry of pure-bred dogs. It means that your dog’s parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were registered with the AKC. It does not mean that the dogs are healthy or that they even fit the standard for your breed.AKC is the main registery,then UKC for (American Pit Bull Terriers).CKC Canadian Kennel club is for dogs born in Canada(or dogs from the states shown there).CKC Conntinental Kennel Club is a registery of puppy Mills.Dogs that can not be AKC registered are registered here.

Other good information:
A Rottweiler is a working dog. Therefore, every Rottweiler being bred should have a working title. It is every breeder’s duty to breed the total dog. Beauty is nothing without brains! Working titles come in many forms; obedience,Rally, tracking, agility, carting, herding, weight pulling, or the sport of Schutzhund.

A reputable breeder has no more than one litter per year; they breed when they need a new dog to show. Reputable breeders do not breed their females every six months; every other year is best. Females over 7 years should not be bred—they should be enjoying life, not raising puppies. Breeding too often and for too long is not healthy for the mother or the pups. People who do this are looking at the financial end rather than quality of life!

A reputable breeder has a contract with every dog or puppy they place. This is to ensure that their pups are cared for properly. The breeder is responsible for every pup they produce and should be able to account for each they have placed. A reputable breeder will be able to give you names and numbers of puppy owners as references. They may also keep in touch with their pups through birthday cards, Christmas cards, etc. I love it when I get pictures of dogs I have placed; it lets me know I have placed them in the right home.

A reputable breeder is another source of knowledge. You should be able to call with any question you have; no question is “too dumb”. If your breeder has no time for you after you buy a puppy, do not refer them to anyone else. A reputable breeder is like grandma and grandpa.

Owning a Rottweiler is not for everyone. If you have the time and energy to put into this breed you will have a wonderful, loving pet. Please have your pet spay/neutered. Too many pure-bred dogs are in shelters and rescue programs. Don’t allow your pet to add to these numbers.

Books on the Breed

The Professional’s Book of Rottweilers by Anna Katherine Nicholas (TFH)

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Rottweilers by Richard Beauchamp (Alpha Books)

The Complete Rottweiler by M. Freeman (Howell)

The Rottweiler Experience by J. Klem and S. Rademacher (Howell)

Training Your Rottweiler by Barbara McNinch (Barrons)

How to Train Your Rottweiler by Liz Palika (TFH)