Buying or Rescuing a Puppy

Find out the best way to get a new puppy.

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- Is willing to take the puppy back if there is any problem or if you are no longer able to keep the puppy.

- Maintains good records of pedigrees and medical status.

- Provides you with contact information for previous buyers and the veterinarian caring for the litter.

- Is an active member of the breeds local or national club.

- Is willing to answer your questions and address your concerns.

- Helps you in picking the puppy from the litter that best meets your lifestyle.

- Is knowledgeable about the breed.

- Keeps the puppies until they are at least 8 weeks, or ideally 12 weeks of age.

- Tends to specialize in breeding one or two breeds, not several.

- Screens the mating dogs for genetic defects.

Good breeders provide new owners with paperwork that attests to the health and soundness of the litters parents and its pedigree lineage. They should give you proof of genetic testing done on the parents of the litter, including hip testing (Orthopedic Foundation of America), eye testing (Canine Eye Registry Foundation), and testing for other conditions, such as skin, blood and thyroid disorders. Each breed has genetic diseases to which it is prone. Do your homework before you buy a pup.

Relying on a Breed Rescue Group
Rescue groups cater to second-chance dogs-purebreds that have been abandoned, lost or unwanted. Finding a purebred through a rescue club is a viable option, especially for people familiar with that breed, says Dorothy Christiansen, founder and coordinator of the American Shetland Sheepdog Association.

This Lockport, Illinois, retired science teacher created the national rescue group for Shelties in 1996. Today, about 100 chapters work to find permanent homes for more than 2,200 Shelties per year. The American Kennel Club (AKC) provides a list of rescue associations by breed on its website. There are many reasons dogs are given up for adoption. Sometimes people use flimsy excuses to surrender their dogs to a shelter or to a rescue group directly, says Christiansen. We don't argue with these people. We would much rather have the dog and work with it in a foster home than have it be taken to an animal shelter.

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Janet   Bethlehem, PA

8/23/2009 4:56:51 AM

good article thank you

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