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Buying a puppy

There are many different ways to purchase a puppy. Because this puppy will be a family member you want to make sure you invest wisely. If adoption isn’t for you then do your homework on the breed you would like to purchase. Make sure that breed is a good fit for your family.

Once you have decided on a breed, you want to buy from a responsible breeder. Why does it matter if the breeder is a backyard breeder or a professional one? Physical & mental health. Certain breeds are prone to certain diseases or bone issues like hip dysplasia. A good professional breeder will have a health certificate on the parents and will be breeding for the best example of the breed, meaning temperament and health. If you buy from a backyard breeder you will most likely not have any guarantees on the health of the puppy and most backyard breeders breed for the money they can make or because they want to have puppies from the dogs they love so much. Either way you may have inner breeding issues, health issues and worst mental health issues. With the rise of backyard breeding and puppy mills I see so many dogs suffering from OCD, ADHD, Anxiety just to mention a few. How do you find a good breeder? Ask your veterinarian go to the AKC registry or check with your local Kennel Clubs.

If you choose to buy off Craigslist or go online. Ask the breeders how long they have been breeding? Do they breed multiple breeds or just the one you're looking for? How many times a year do they breed their dogs and how many dogs do they have? The dog should only be breed once a year at the most. Most good breeders will breed every other year or just breed their dog twice then retire her. Do the parents have health certificates and are their hips, elbows OFC certified (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals)? If you're buying from a breeder call and ask questions first and ask the breeder to email you a copy of the parents pedigree so you can check for inner breeding.

Do this before looking at the puppies because once you see those cute little babies you may not make a logical choice. Always ask to meet the parents, you want to look for shy or aggressive behavior, what kind of relationship does the owner or breeder have with their dogs? Are the dogs mainly outside or are they inside? These questions matter because if a parent to the puppies is shy or aggressive this trait can be passed down genetically to the puppies. If the breeder or owner mainly have the puppies outside then they are not invested in properly socializing the puppies to people sounds sights and smells which is crucial between 6 to 16 weeks of age. Most likely they are in it to make money.

Whether you buy from a breeder or a private person always go to the home or facility so you can see for yourself what kind of environment the puppies are in. If a breeder or owner asks to meet you someplace other than where the puppies live, don’t buy a puppy from them. Most likely they are puppy brokers.

What is a puppy broker? They buy the puppies from the puppy mills for $10 -$20 dollars then sell you the puppy for $500-$2500 or they sell to pet stores. A lot of times the pet store is the puppy broker. That’s why you never buy from a pet store. Never buy online without seeing the facility and never let the breeder pick the puppy for you. If you have to buy a puppy across the country then you need to drive out there see the facility and pick out your own puppy and drive it back home.

What is a good price to pay for a puppy? First lets be clear. Designer dogs are not purebred dogs, there is no breed standards in place. They are overpriced mutts, in fact you can find anyone of them in a shelter any day of the week. Designer dogs: Maltipoo, Shihpoo, Chiweenie, Cavapoo, Chipoo, Morkie, Puggle, Schnoodle, Yorkiepoo, Pompoo, and Buggs. People tend to buy any designer breed that is mixed with poodle because a poodle does not shed and it is a hypoallergenic dog. The problem with these designer breeds is it takes several generations of a designer breed bred with the same designer breed before you can get the non-shedding and hypo-allergenic benefits. It’s not something that should be done by amateurs.

This has become big money business for these so called breeders and especially the pet stores. Most stores or breeders will ask for anywhere between $1200.00 - $5,000 for a designer pup leading you to believe that you are buying something special. Mass producing mixed puppies is not special - it’s irresponsible. The only time you should pay that kind of money for a dog is if you are buying a well bred dog with health certificates and AKC or UKC championships (always ask for proof of Championship). If you are buying from a local backyard breeder this means a AKC or UKC papered dog but no confirmation showings then you can expect to pay between $300 -$800. If you are buying from a backyard breeder that does not have papers on their dog you should never pay more than $250. The Goldendoodles & labradoodles are very popular but again are not accepted by AKC or UKC at this time.

The true doodle breeders are very upset with the backyard breeders taking a lab & breeding it with a poodle then calling it a labradoodle. It has taken them years to perfect the breed they are trying to establish and the backyard breeders are taking advantage of the public that does not know the difference. So next time you or a friend are in the market to buy a puppy think about a purebred rescue first. If that is not an option do your homework and invest wisely.

Let's work together to put these puppy stores & mills out of business! Adopt don’t Shop!

Valerie Masi
Best Paw Forward