How to choose a dog from a breeder

Knowing how to choose a dog from a breeder will make sure you find your new best friend for life ... photo by CC user Blanky on wikimedia

Looking at adopting a puppy soon, but seeking out a pure breed instead of what’s available at the local pound? This post will serve as a guide to those that are seeking to learn how to choose a dog from a breeder. It is a process that requires a lot of due diligence on your part, but doing your homework will vastly increase the odds of ending up with a dog breed that meets your requirements as perfectly as possible…

1) Is your breeder registered?

Before you even look at a single pooch, make certain that the breeder that you are buying from is registered with the appropriate authorities. This ensures that (a) the kennels in which the dogs are bred meet minimum acceptable standards for health, safety and humane conditions and (b) the breed bloodlines that they produce are as pure as they claim to be.

In this way, you’ll avoid supporting puppy mills (a breeder that churns out and raises dogs in squalid conditions in order to squeeze the maximum amount of profit out of the operation), and you’ll have a breed that you can show, as their papers will show proof of their genetic lineage over many prior generations.

2) What size dog is right for you?

Your second consideration should be the size of dog that you wish to adopt from your breeder. As badly as you want that Rottweiler, your postage stamp-sized condo might not be able to handle a dog that size, or even if you live in a decent sized residence, your budget may not be able to afford the quantities of food that you’ll need to purchase to keep him/her healthy. In either of these scenarios, a smaller dog (like a Beagle or a Shiba) might be a better choice if companionship is your only need.

3) Do you plan on being active with your new four-legged friend?

Your overall activity level should also be a key consideration when selecting a breed of dog. If you are sedentary, adopting a highly energetic Golden Retriever will end up tiring you out, and if you are active, getting a Bulldog or a Saint Bernard may disappoint you, as dogs of these breeds are often content to nap the day away.

4) Do you mind having a high-maintenance dog?

In addition to the expense that their upkeep entails, having a high maintenance dog can also burn up a lot of time spent grooming, vacuuming up after them they shed their coat for the second time that month, and giving them the exercise they need at the dog park.

If you are in a high pressure job that requires lots of overtime, having a breed like a cocker spaniel may not be the best choice, but a beagle might be, as its needs are lower in all departments, and they tend to be far more adaptable than many other breeds.