I’ve been breeding Dachshunds for just over 5 years and even though it can be terrifying at times, it’s also rewarding. Providing families with a loving, happy, well adjusted pet is the most rewarding experience. Now many people will say, “don’t go to a breeder, adopt from a pet agency” – totally wonderful and selfless, but also a gamble. Most of the pets turned over to these agencies are great, but some come with a whole set of problems, and if you’ve got children or you’re not prepared for the commitment, don’t go there. What if your nine-year-old wants to show the dog in 4H or AKC events? They can’t do that with an unregistered dog.
Here are the things to look for.
· Allow you to visit your puppy in their home, usually by 5 weeks of age.
· Usually require a contract to be signed.
· Guarantee the health of their puppies on delivery.
· Make sure their puppies are well socialized.
· Generally won’t sell you a dog at Christmas time.
What, a contract and no Christmas puppies? What’s up with that? Let me explain a few of these. First of all I want people to know who I am and what conditions their puppy is raised in so they can duplicate it as closely as possible. It’s a benefit to you as the buyer to know that your puppy comes from a stable home with a healthy atmosphere. There’s nothing worse than having a new puppy come down with bordatella (kennel cough) because your breeder didn’t bother to vaccinate the litter.
Second, the contract protects you from the health issue, if written properly and also protects the puppy from being re-sold if the situation doesn’t work out. We breeders would much rather take the puppy back then have the owner sell it to a less that responsible home, or euthanize it for peeing on the rug.
Third, a well socialized puppy is a happy puppy and easier to train. How can you tell? When you visit your puppy for the first time, does she come up to you and ask for a snuggle or does she growl at you. Can you turn him over and pet his belly or does he protest and run away. Now not every well adjusted puppy will snuggle and let you turn them over. Sometimes they are just too busy to let you play with them, but they are generally very approachable and happy – with everyone. I take my puppies everywhere, even to work, from the time they are born. I have people in and out of the house all the time and encourage them to handle the babies. This helps the mom be flexible and confident as well.
Lastly, the Christmas thing. Puppies at Christmas are cute, but generally not well thought out and therefore often get returned to the breeder, turned over to an animal welfare group, or worse, abandoned. I WON’T sell at Christmas, but some breeders will – with stipulations.
All of this has an effect on your new pet’s temperament, trainability and personality. I hope this has been a helpful resource. Just make sure you ask your breeder questions. If you don’t get the answers you want, find another breeder. Also, don’t hesitate to contact the AKC if you feel a breeder is abusing their dogs, or is using disreputable practices. It only helps everyone.
Please feel free to leave comments and questions.