You have decided to bring a new puppy into your life. You are so excited and the puppy is so cute. You are ready to take one home with you. You have already purchased all the necessary supplies. You already have an appointment with your vet. You have figured out that you can afford to bring a new puppy home. STOP!
Make sure that you have done your due diligence and ask your breeder some important questions.
Questions to ask your breeder:
- Do the sire and dam have health clearances? All breeding dogs should at least have their hips x-rayed (OFA) and be cleared of hip dysplasia. Depending on the specific breed you have chosen, other clearances may be appropriate such an eye exam (CERF) or heart evaluation to make sure they are free of inheritable diseases.
- Are the sire and dam on site? Seeing the sire and dam will give you a good idea how the puppies will turn out in size, color, weight and temperment. If you don’t like the parents, there is a good chance you won’t like how your puppy will look when it’s an adult. It will also give you an opportunity to see that the parents are in good health. Sometimes the sire won’t be on site but ask to speak to the sires owner and get current pictures.
- Have the puppies been socialized? Having many positive experiences with people of different ages, gender, size and appearance in addition to other dogs will make for a better socialized puppy then one kept in isolation. Starting at 6 weeks of age, puppies need to be exposed to as many positive experiences as possible.
- Medical care. Has the puppy and mother been dewormed? All puppies are born with worms and both the mother and pups need a regular deworming protocol. Have any of the puppies been sick? If so, what was the diagnosis and have they been appropriately treated? Were they on any medications?
- Do they come with a health guarantee? What guarantee does the breeder offer? What will the breeder do if the puppy comes down with a serious illness or genetic problem? This is not a pleasant topic but one that needs to occur before you take your puppy home.
- What kind of contract does your breeder require? A breeding vs a limited registration contract. What is in it? Ask to see it before you go to pick up your puppy if possible. Some breeders will require that you spay or neuter your dog.