New Best Friend Part 1: Using a Breeder
You’ve made the big decision to adopt a puppy and decided that a breeder is right for you. Congratulations! You’ve taken the first big steps towards bringing a new family member into your life. What comes next is not a small task; making an informed decision on a dog breeder requires some work, but it’ll pay off with a healthy, happy puppy.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
When choosing a breeder, the best thing you can do is meet with them. In times of COVID, this may not be possible, but a responsible breeder will take time to speak with you and answer any questions you may have. Make a list of questions about their breeding history, specifics on the breed you’ve chosen, the lineage and health history of the parents, and anything that comes to mind. Take this opportunity to learn about raising a puppy of that specific breed and get to know the breeders.
If you cannot visit the breeder’s facilities in person, ask for a Zoom call instead. Ask to see the parents, the breeding facilities, and be prepared to ask questions at this time. The American Kennel Club is a valuable resource to start the process of finding a reputable breeder.
IS THIS THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOU?
When I was choosing a second puppy to accompany my one-year-old high-energy Labrador retriever, who was bred from hunting stock and used for the same purpose, I had the idea of adopting a Bassett hound. In reading more about the breed, I quickly realized that bringing a lower-energy breed into a busy household would be disastrous; for both the puppy and for us!
Question your choices as you learn more about the breed. I personally find Bassett hounds to be devastatingly cute, but my active lifestyle is not a good fit for that particular breed. Make your decision based on important points such as: the presence of children, activity level of your household, ability to afford and mentally deal with genetic issues in the future, and amount of time you will spend exercising, training, and playing with your puppy. Sometimes the possibility of health issues in the breed you’ve chosen will be too much. Until you’ve adopted your new pup, you can always change your mind and decide to adopt through a rescue.
Stay tuned for New Best Friend Part 2 where we explore adoption and fostering.