Your Guide to choosing the right dog and the right place to find it!
I was in Melbourne last weekend for a family visit as well as fit in a game of footy.
While there my sister got me up and we took her dog Ziggy to the park for a run. Plan was Ziggy ran while we got a good walk in. Ziggy is a whippet and can really fly when he feels like it – loves being chased but the one dog who may have chased him and given him a run for his money just wasn’t into the idea at all.
While walking we got chatting about her plans to get another dog. She had a mini Labradoodle who unfortunately died way too early and she now wants another dog. Her ideal dog is a German shepherd. Lisa is doing all the right things in researching the breed, finding a breeder and then waiting for the available puppy.
If you are planning on buying a puppy you have two options really in my opinion.
- A rescue dog – there are many breeds and many mixed breeds
- A Pure Breed from registered breeder.
- PLEASE DON’T BUY FROM A PET STORE– the dogs/cats generally come from either backyard breeders or puppy/kitten mills where the animals are kept In terrible conditions and bred continuously until they just cant do any more and then discarded.
Rescue is the ideal for many people as they can often find a dog that suits them, they have a bit of history on the animal and all the work is done – vaccinations and desexing which is included in the cost. The cost is also a lot less than you would pay in a pet store or from a breeder. You will know if the dog is social, timid, come from an abuse home or been abandoned or lost.
There are some people, however, who just want that pure bred pet and if so I thoroughly recommend going through the national association for recommended breeders for the dog/cat of your choice.
Today’s blog will be on dogs with cats to follow in next blog. The general rules apply to both, however there are some differences in what to look for so for consistency dogs are first.
First thing is you must know what kind of dog you want and that it will fit with your lifestyle – no point dreaming of a life with a Great Dane if you live in a studio apartment in the middle of the city. It’s not practical and cruel to the dog.
If you are a busy professional or an older person, you also don’t want to get a dog that requires daily big walks or runs.
If you have small children and/or small pets like cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits – you want to get dogs that are not born to hunt as they could attack the smaller animals.
If you wish to buy from a breeder then please do your research. Just because someone is registered, doesn’t mean their credentials are what they should be.
You can get a list of registered breeders for the type of dog you want from the national association -https://www.purebredpups.org/breed_registry/6/australian_national_kennel_club.aspx.
Get into forums, ask around and you will soon find people who know of people and can recommend (or not) a breeder they have had experience with.
Research the dog breed, find out what genetic disorders may apply and ask each breeder you enquire to what the results from testing are.
Large dogs have a lot of hip dysplasia issues and are tested for hip scores. This is very important – you don’t want your dog to become lame and have a reduced quality of life. A good breeder will have good lines in the family so this issue will be rare if ever occur. If a breeder is reluctant to share scores, move on.
Don’t buy online – it is easy to put up pictures that show happy, healthy puppies and a nice clean kennel. This is the same for online classifieds. Good breeders do not need to advertise. They generally have waiting lists and interview you to see if you are suitable parents for one of their puppies.
Meet the parents – Don’t ever buy from a breeder who insists on meeting you away from the place they breed from. If you cant meet the parents of the dog and be able to meet other dogs from the same family, move on. A good breeder will welcome potential parents to come by the kennel and see the dogs and interact.
The best indicator of a dog’s health, behavior, temperament and overall life expectancy is the kennel line. If parents/grandparents and other adult dogs in the direct line have lived long, healthy lives then it’s a good indication the breeding line is good and you can generally expect to have your chosen pup for many years.
Assess the socialisation and training program of the breeder – are the adult dogs people-friendly and well trained? Have the puppies been socialised with other pets and children? Are they used to being handled? If the breeder alerts you to a puppy being timid or a scaredy cat, I would be a bit hesitant as this would indicate they don’t have enough time to dedicate to their dogs and that isn’t good enough for a breeder charging thousands for a dog.
Don’t jump at a “bargain” – from current reading and discussions on the subject, quality dogs from good breeders range from $2500 + up to $6000 or $7000. A lot of money! If you see someone advertising for well under the average asking price be very wary (for a start they are advertising!).
Ask questions – an honest and quality breeder will welcome these questions, as it will show you know your dogs and have done your research.
Find out answers to the following questions:
- Find out breeders basic obedience training for the puppies.
- How many people handle the puppies daily?
- How many kids/men/strangers play with the puppies daily?
- Have pups been exposed to loud unexpected noises/shouting/ kids crying/lawn mowers/people fighting & yelling loudly (on TV)
- What is the house-training/chew toy training program?
Remember, a quality breeder will be interviewing you, not the other way around so they will want to know their pups are going to a good home that will care for them and love them every day of their long and healthy lives. If you both have the same ideal, you will be one of the chosen pet parents and then it’s time to go through your house and “puppy-proof” it for the big arrival… but that is another story.
For all your puppy needs – toys/beds/collars/leads/bowls and more … come over to the store and have a browse. If you dont plan to get a dog/puppy right now, thats fine.. it has to be the right time but perhaps a friend/workmate/family member or neighbour has been chatting about it. Pass this article on to anyone you think might benefit.