When in the market for a new dog, there are two routes you can take: a dog that is a mixture of two or more breeds, sometimes known as a “mutt,” and a pure breed dog. Pure breed dogs are ones that have been bred by a breeder and whose lineage has been carefully engineered to make sure that no other breeds have been involved in the ancestry. There are many different reasons why one would want a pure breed dog. Some people like to show pure breeds at dog shows, while others just enjoy certain aspects of that particular breed. When buying a pure breed dog, it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure that not only will the breed be right for you and your family, but also to ensure that you’re getting a quality dog.
If you are unfamiliar with the breed or have never owned a dog of that variety before, it’s always a good idea to ask questions about certain qualities of the breed to make sure it will be a good fit in your household. For instance, you should ask how large the dog will become. If you live in a small house with not a lot of room to run around, a larger dog may not be the best choice. And speaking of room to run, you should also find out how active the breed is and how much exercise it needs. Nothing is more unhappy than a Border Collie living in an apartment. Another concern is how protective the dog will be toward its owner. Some breeds form a close bond with their owners, and while this is usually considered to be a good thing, it can get to the point sometimes to where the dog will attack, or at the very least, growl at anyone who gets near the person.
Other questions involve what to expect while raising the dog. For instance, are there any health problems that are typical in this particular breed? Certain types of breeds are prone to afflictions such as hip dysplasia, while others can have chronic eye problems such as cataracts. While this is probably not a deal breaker if one genuinely enjoys all the other qualities of the breed, it’s good to know what you can possibly expect when owning a dog of that type.
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a specific breed, it’s time to choose a breeder, and there are questions you should be asking the breeder as well to make sure you’re getting a healthy dog and are not supporting a puppy mill where the dogs are bred in inhumane conditions. One question to ask is how many litters the breeder has at the same time? If it’s a number that sounds high, then the breeder may be more interested in turning a profit than caring for the dogs. Also, if there are multiple litters, are they separated with the individual dogs identified? This is important if you’re going to register your new dog with an organization such as the American Kennel Club, because the dog’s parents and the rest of its lineage must be identified on the paperwork.
Also, ask if the breeder is involved in that breed’s community such as with dog clubs, or even going to shows. If the breeder truly cares about the dogs, he/she will be actively involved with the breed to continuously learn. Finally, make sure the breeder cares about what kind of home the dog is going to. Don’t be offended if the breeder grills you, makes you fill out an application, and does a site visit to your house. That is a good thing! The breeder who is only out for a profit won’t care about where the dogs end up, and will thus be one who cuts all the corners he/she can in an effort to increase the profit margin. The end result will be an unhealthy dog at best, and outright animal abuse at worst. So make sure you have to prove yourself to the breeder to determine if it’s a good one.
The process of buying a pure breed dog can be an arduous one, but in the end, it is worth it. Pure breed owners have an advantage in that once they know everything they can about the breed, they will know what to expect out of the dog and there won’t be too many surprises. The key is to ask as many questions as you can beforehand, not only about the breed, but mostly about the breeder to determine if it’s the right place to adopt the next member of your family.