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Buying a New Dog? Read This First

There are many ways to acquire a new dog or puppy. If you are seriously considering acquiring a dog, please read this first.

1. Consider NOT buying a dog or puppy from a pet store (unless the store is holding a dog adoption). Dog or puppies sold at pet stores could have bad diseases (both infectious and hereditary) and the majority could come from puppy mills. Dogs from puppy mills are usually raised in extremely poor and inhumane conditions that you would NEVER want to see a dog in. Reputable breeders typically do NOT supply pet stores with animals. Reputable breeders usually only breed their dogs a couple of times a year and can usually sell their healthy dogs by themselves, through word of mouth, etc. For more about puppy mills, click here.

2. Try to adopt a dog from your local SPCA, Humane Society, or Rescue Organization. You will find both mixed breeds and purebred dogs and puppies. All of these organizations are typically very helpful and will help make sure you choose the right dog for your lifestyle. For a list of rescue groups, look here. For a list of SPCAs, look here.

3. If you want a purebred dog, buy only from a reputable breeder. And please DO NOT take the breeders word that they are a reputable breeder. Do some investigation and research. Please read below for tips on finding a reputable breeder.

Tips on Finding a Reputable Breeder who Breeds Healthy Purebred Puppies and Dogs
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What is a reputable breeder? They test for genetic and common diseases for their particular breed, they minimize inbreeding, and they typically only have a few litters of puppies per year (so they can provide the appropriate environment and health care for puppies).

A. Where do you find a reputable breeder? The following is a good starting point, but still do all of your own research and do not take the breeder's word that they are reputable.  The AKC Breeder Referral website provides both breed organization and breed rescue group information for the particular breed you are seeking. Also search on the Internet, using a search engine like http://www.google.com, for breeders, breed organizations/clubs, breed rescue groups and/or local kennel club groups in your area.

B. Do NOT go look at the puppy or dog first. The first step should be contacting the breeder on the phone or via email. If you see the cute, adorable puppy first, then you will not want to do any additional research!

C. Ask the breeder to email, fax or mail the puppy's pedigree (if it's not made up yet, have them fax the mother and father's pedigree. A breeder that does not agree to this should be a warning to you and you should be very wary of such breeders. There may be a high occurrence of inbreeding in the puppy which could greatly increase the dog's risk of a bad hereditary disease.

D. When buying a purebred dog, there are hereditary diseases associated with each pure breed. Do some research and find out what hereditary diseases the purebred of your choice could possibly have. There is a list of heredity diseases by dog at SiriusDog.com or find a specific dog breed book.

E. Once you know what hereditary diseases your favorite dog breed may have, ask the breeder if they have tested the puppy's parents for these diseases. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! If the breeder thinks this idea is foolish, claims their breed does not have hereditary diseases or does not know what you are talking about, go elsewhere to purchase your dog! If they have tested the mother and father, then ask for them to email, fax or mail the test results to you. Any reputable breeder should be perfectly willing to do this and not get defensive about it. You would be surprised how many dog breeders have no idea of the hereditary diseases they might be breeding into dogs. If you get too fed up with this whole process, either keeping looking or consider getting a mixed breed. The hereditary disease risk lowers considerably when two breeds are mixed to produce a mutt.

Note: If the mother or father is less than 1 or 2 years old, the test for a hereditary disease may be ineffective. Check with your local vet first to see how old the mother or father has to be before they can be checked for a particular disease.

F. If the breeder has sent you the pedigree and health certificates (including checks for hereditary diseases) then definitely go look at the puppy or dog BEFORE you buy him or her. You'll want to make sure the puppy looks okay.

Examples of Ethical Dog Breeders
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Kaye Kids Poodles, San Diego, California
Tiara Standard Poodles, La Jolla, California

If you know of an ethical dog breeder and would like us to include them here, please feel free to send us an email.






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