Buying a Puppy? Did You Know…
By Sally J. Terroux (reprinted with permission)
Over 50% of the puppies raised in the U.S. are raised by people who never have another litter.
Relatively few of these people are well informed, prepared for the experience, and do a good job.
They don't usually stand behind their puppies. Very few are equipped to take adequate care of all
puppies until they can be placed in good homes, regardless of how long that takes. Another large
percentage of puppies are raised by "puppy farms" that sell numerous litters of many breeds, or
sell to retailers for resale.
That leaves a relatively small percentage of puppies being raised by experienced people who are
dedicated to one or two breeds and raising puppies for reasons other than maximum profit. Not
all of these breeders are knowledgeable and conscientious.
How Do You Identify an Experienced, Conscientious Breeder?
1. When you inquire about a puppy, the breeder will interview
you. You know they will not sell you a puppy simply because
you want one and have the money to pay for one. They want
to know that you can house and raise their puppy
appropriately and that their puppy will have one permanent
home for his entire lifetime.
2. You will talk to and buy the puppy from the breeder who
raised the litter and owns or co-owns the mother (or the dam).
Conscientious breeders don't trust other people to screen
puppy buyers for them and would never offer a puppy as a
prize or for an auction. Their puppies don't cost any more
because there is no "middle-man." All puppies will have had
at least one DHLP and Parvo vaccination and a worm test or
3. The breeder will know the ancestry of the puppies. Not just
parents, but grandparents and beyond. Not just titles and
colors, but strong points and weak points of personality and
4. The breeder will tell you what genetic screening (such as
OFA X-rays) is necessary for that breed, will be willing to
discuss problems and show proof of genetic screening. Eve