Adopting a dog can be a great and selfless way to get a pet but it may not be the right choice for you. If getting a dog from a shelter is not right for you whether you are looking for a specific breed or just want to make sure you are raising a dog from it’s puppy stage then looking of r a reputable breeder is important. When you get a puppy instead of rescuing a dog from a shelter you can make sure that you are in charge of housebreaking and other habits and not have to break bad habits.
What to look for in a breeder
Finding a responsible breeder is the best way to buy a buy. You should visit the premises and make sure it’s a healthy environment. Don’t buy a puppy without first seeing where it and its parents were raised and housed. Don’t believe what the breeder has told you and make sure you see it with your own eyes.
Many responsible breeders won’t just sell the dog to the first person that shows up with money. If this is happening it may be because they are a puppy mill or someone that is breeding a dog just to get some extra money.
One of the reasons to not buy a dog from a puppy mill is because these dogs usually will have poor health and temperament problems. These problems won’t be discovered right way and can these problems can cost a lot to treat. Dogs that have been bred in puppy mills may become aggressive due to not being socialized early or have issues with potty training.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has a checklist that can help you find the right breeder. The right breeder will allow you to visit and shows you the areas where the puppies have been. These areas are clean and well maintained. The right breeders keep the dogs, as a responsible person would not in cages that are overpopulated and filled with dirty pee pads. Breeders will only breed a few types of dogs and have knowledge on the breeds. They may always have puppies available and keep a waitlist or may be able to refer you to other responsible breeders. Not only do they provide a clean environment for the puppies but also take care of psychological needs of the dog by providing socialization and exercise. They will encourage you to spend time with the puppy’s parents especially the mother when you come for a visit. They will encourage multiple visits and wants the entire family to meet the dog. They will even provide references from other families who have purchased their puppies. They will offer help on care and training with the puppy and even after you take the dog home they are still available.
A responsible breeder will require you to explain why you want the dog and show that you will be able to provide care for the dog along with training. They may ask to provide proof from your landlord if you renting that are allowed to have a dog. It may seem like you have to jump through some hoops but by using a responsible breeder you are not supporting puppy mills. You should sign a contract that you swill spray or neuter the dog and that you will return the dog if you are unable to keep them at some point in their life.
It’s important to ask plenty of questions about the breed and the puppy. There should be no dumb questions and you see how the breeder reacts. The breeder should be patient with your questions and explain things clearly. Breeders are supposed to want their dog happy and if they are responsible they will take the time to listen to your question. Here are some questions you can ask:
- Are the puppies socialized?
- Have the puppies gotten any of the vaccines?
- Has the puppy visited the veterinary?
- Have any of the puppies in the litter been sick?
- What is the puppy currently eating?
- How is the puppy at relieving? Do they use fake grass or real grass?
- Have the puppies been dewormed?
- Any information about the family history you can provide?
Be aware of pet stores
Most of the time pet stores are selling puppy mill puppies even if they are saying they are not. You have to be careful at pets stores unless they are just sourcing animals form the local animal shelters, which many are not. If you must buy from a pet store read some of the language doublespeak that is on their website and figure out what it really means.
Don’t believe promises of home raised dogs on the Internet
Puppy millers will pose as small family breeders online or in newspaper ads. These use legitimate looking ads with the promise that the puppies are home or family raised and really make it look like the puppies came from somewhere nice but this is why its necessary to see where the puppies have been raised.
Avoid buying a puppy mill puppy in order to rescue them
If you think you are actually rescuing a puppy mill puppy by taking it home with you it just leaves open space for another puppy and more money in the pockets of the puppy mills. While you may give the dog a nice life and treat it right they are still profiting off this purchase and will continue breeding and treating the dogs inhumanely.
If you see something that does not seem right contact the Humane Society of the United States. They have worked with local authorities to help rescue puppy mill dogs. If you see someone treating dogs inhumanely contact local animal control authorities instead of buying the puppy.