The ideal place to get the right dog for you is from a responsible breeder who cares about their breed. Breeders put a lot of time, thought and money into producing sound, healthy pups, and they want the best possible homes for those pups. A good breeder will honestly answer all of your questions and will have a myriad of questions for you as well.
There are no right or wrong answers. Be honest so the breeder can match you with the best pup for you and your family’s lifestyle. Remember that reputable breeders always have both their puppies’ welfare and your best interests at the top of their priorities.
Below are some questions you should ask and some questions you should expect to hear.
- Can you tell me how long you have been in the breed, and your particular interest in the breed? Do you take part in conformation showing, agility, obedience or other dog activities?
- Are the parents of the pups health tested, and if so what tests have they had?
- Are the parents CKC-registered? Will the pups be registered?
- Does the breeder use a contract that specifies all parties’ responsibilities and rights? Does the contract state the breeder is prepared to take back the puppy/dog if the owner has to relinquish the dog for any reason?
- Does the breeder guarantee the health of the puppy for a certain time and state what their policy is if an unforeseen health issue arises?
- When you go to see the puppies, will you be able to see mum with the pups?
- How old are the puppies when the breeder allows them to go to their new homes?
- Does the breeder give a “puppy pack” when I collect my puppy?
- How has the breeder socialized the puppies?
- Is the breeder a member in good standing of the Canadian Kennel Club and a member of the National Breed Club?
- Have you had dogs before (or this particular breed)? If so, how long did you own the dogs?
- Are you at work all day? If so, what plans do you have in place for the toileting and feeding of your puppy?
- Do you have a securely fenced yard?
- Do you have children (their ages)? Are you prepared to spend time teaching your children how to respect, handle and play with the puppy?
- Do you have other pets?
- How much exercise are you prepared to give to your dog?
- Have you thought about how much your dog will cost you in terms of vet fees, boarding kennel fees, grooming fees and other costs over the years?
- Do you and your family understand the commitment required to bring up a happy healthy pet, and to fulfil the dog’s needs for its lifetime?
- Do you (or family members) have allergies to dogs?
- What are your plans for your family dog?
Starting off on the right foot
Puppies start learning at a very early age, so take advantage of this time and begin training the day you bring your puppy home. Exposing your puppy to new people, places and dogs will instil confidence and let him know that you are in charge. A great way to accomplish this is to sign up for a puppy class.
The Caledon Kennel Association offers classes for puppies and show handling. Our club members are also an excellent source for the many other dog sports available.