What steps should be taken when deciding on who and where to buy a new puppy from when giving the little pup as a Christmas gift or a birthday present?
The first step is to make sure that the person or family really and truly wants a new puppy, and is totally prepared to assume the responsibilities. The second step, and equally important, is to make sure that you are getting the right breed of dog for the right person.
All breeds are not for all people. No two dogs are ever exactly alike, and temperament and behavior characteristics vary tremendously within the different breeds. Many a retired couple has wound up with a loud, whiny, hyperactive little terrier who would have been far better off in a home filled with active children. Situations like this can easily be avoided with a little advanced preparation and a little research having been instituted.
Do Your Research & Look Past The Puppy Stage
Most buyers have a particular breed in mind before they set out to purchase their puppy. But their preferences are frequently based on how “cute” that type of puppy is, without much thought to what it will grow into.
Regardless of what your breed preference is, it would be wise to have one or two alternates in mind so you can make comparisons between them. It is quite possible you could be in love with a Great Dane on Sunday, but find yourself falling in love with a Chihuahua the following Tuesday.
Dog Shows Are Invaluable For Getting To Know Different Breeds
One of the best places to begin making breed comparisons is at a dog show. There, you’ll be able to see some of the best specimens of many breeds and how well they behave under adverse conditions.
Watch the dogs perform in the obedience rings. Watch the dogs working under control of their handlers. Talk to the exhibitors on the sidelines and get some first-hand information from them. Most professional breeders carry business cards and would be most happy to have you drop by their kennels for a closer look at their particular breed.
A word of caution: Always call beforehand or make a definite appointment whether you have spoken to the breeder personally or obtained his name from your local veterinarian. Never march into a candle unannounced. You may be surprised if you do. You may not be allowed to go through the kennel, handle any of the dogs, or for that matter, even see any of them. There are many good reasons for this and it does not mean that the breeder is hiding anything. It might be feeding or grooming time, or they may be in the process of cleaning the kennels, or preparing to leave for a dog show.
The Best Places To Find A Professional Breeder
The best place to find a professional breeder is in the breeder and classified advertising section of dog magazines or at dog shows. Then too, readers are usually members of their breed’s specialty club, and even various dog training clubs. The Yellow Pages of your telephone book will also yield the names and addresses of a variety of breeders. Many professional breeders list their names with local veterinarians who are always willing to pass their information along to you.