“Mommy, where do puppies come from?”
|June 1, 2011||Posted by woofhausen under How-to guides|
Today’s vote by Toronto’s city committee to restrict the sale of cats and dogs in pet shops to only those who are certified breeders, humane societies or registered charity and rescue groups is the first step to preventing the breeding and sell of puppy mill and back yard breeder animals.
For most looking for a pet, we go into stores and online sites with the warmest and sincerest of intensions to find a furry companion to love and share a home with. However, few of us know the issues that come with irresponsible or ignorant breeding practices, and the consequences to prospective pet owners.
Improper and careless breeding can created dangerous and costly genetic problems unknown (and possibly ignored) by uneducated breeders. This in turn, for the new pet parent poses significant problems in the future, such as illness, physical limitations, temperament issues that may result in a the dog being surrendered to a rescue group or worst, euthanized.
How do you know you are dealing with a responsible breeder?
Here are some questions to ask:
Are you a member of the Canadian Kennel Club?
The Canadian Kennel Club is a non profit organization that works to promote and encourage responsible dog ownership and the interests of pure breed dogs. However, in the world of designer pooches (Shi-poos, Puggles, etc), there is no such organization to help discern or certify these types of newly created breeds. So know the breed you are looking and where it sits with in the guidelines of the CKC. If it is considered a pure breed, CKC will offer a listing of registered breeders. If the breed you wish to own is not, read up online and be sure to scout a few before making a purchase.
Do you offer any sort of health or temperament guarantees?
A responsible breeder would have ensured their sires and dames are of healthy bloodlines and as much as possible eliminate any genetic health issues that can come with the breed. Breeder should regular test for structural, or other genetic issues associated with the breed and be able to offer documentation the sires and dames are of healthy genes and thus produce healthy puppies.
A responsible breeder will also require you to sign a contract that details the guarantees with the puppy they sell you. Read through that carefully. A good breeder should be willing to provide some sort of exchange should later on your puppy show genetic defects not disclosed before purchase. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals does testing for genetic defects such as hip-dysplasia, eye problems, and cardiac issues and will provide documentation for clean bill of health for breeding sires and dames.
A no-breeding clause is common for responsible breeders to include in their contracts or as a separate contract. This is to help protect the integrity of the breed such that regular Joe Shmoe will not be able to use such a puppy for backyard breeding or puppy mill purposes. If you wish to purchase a puppy with intent to breed, there are separate arrangements that can be made, likely with the breeder.
May I meet the parents?
The parents of the puppies may sometimes be offsite, but the dame usually would be available. If the dame shows signs of aggression (hiding, or growling) or unfriendliness to people, that is a sign that there may be temperament issues (imagine that in your home!)
If I have problems with the puppy after I purchased it, can I call you?
The breeder better say yes to this, and be happy about it! Otherwise start running the other way. A good breeder will know and be proud of the puppies they produce. They will want the puppies to thrive in a new home.
A good breeder is a great source of information on your puppy and should look to match the right puppy with the right family. Each breed comes with strengths and characteristics that will do well with certain lifestyles, households, etc. And even puppies from the same litter will have slightly different temperaments. The breeder should be able to advise you on some of the basic personality of the puppy, learn a bit about you and help you choose one that will fit in with your life.
Anyone that sells and runs or does not want contact after purchase is made likely to be a backyard breeder or puppy mill operator.
References from past customers
A good breeder will have happy customers they can refer you to call and chat with. If they are hesitant to give you any, then that is a sign they are not a responsible breeding operation. References also gives you an opportunity to help you ask questions about owning this breed of dog, simply as new pet parent. A happy dog owner will be more than willing to offer helpful hints and share their experiences.