So, you’ve decided that a breed dog is the way to go. You’ve read all the information on the net and you’ve decided on the breed. Now you’ve set up a date to meet the breeder who had 5 puppies for sale, but has informed you that she only has the one puppy left. You’re desperate to get your hands on that last puppy.
Breeders are a special “pardon the pun” breed onto themselves. You may want to get your new pet home…. or at least out to the car….but hold on…not so fast.
1. You will likely meet your pet in the breeder’s home. Puppies are like people. They fare best if they come from good homes. You should have checked out the breeder’s credentials so now you can check out the puppy’s home life. Some of the other puppies may still be there so you may get to see how social your puppy is. Also, the puppy’s mom will be there. Is she healthy, jumping around her brood, fleet foot and cheerful?
2. Ask to see both mom and dad. The breeder expects it. Oh, and the breeder will likely be insulted if you don’t treat the mom like the Belle of the Ball. “Mom” may be quite scruffy having just been through dog-birth, but you will get in the breeder’s good grace if you give “Mom” lots of compliments. Like, “I hope Prince looks just like her when he grows up. She’s so beautiful.”
3. Expect to be interrogated. Don’t be insulted by the questions. The breeder doesn’t think you’re an ex-con. He (or she) is looking for the best home for their puppy.
4. Don’t worry about the person holding onto the puppy very tightly and glaring at you. That’s the Breeder’s daughter and Sparky (her name for Prince) was her favorite. (Oh she is going to cry when you leave but you’re tough —right?)
5. Expect to sign some papers. You will get some papers in return. Don’t say, “But I don’t want to show the puppy, I just want a pet.” Doesn’t matter. The breeder is very proud of the puppy’s lineage.
6. If a dog steals your purse—as one did when I got my puppies—you should find it amusing— you’re in for a lot more of that kind of behavior. If you don’t find it funny, you may not be ready for puppy ownership.
Now it’s your turn:
1. If the breeder doesn’t provide you with vaccination papers — think that odd, think that very odd. Ask for them. Leave if they don’t have them. And when you do get them, keep them handy and bring them to your vet for all your visits.
2. Ask the breeder what’s special about this breed. What should you know about it? Mentally check the information the breeder gives you against the information you’ve already checked out on your own.
3. Now that you have the puppy in the car…(Yes, the daughter has stomped up to her bedroom crying)….and your wallet feels lighter.
4. If you haven’t already stocked up on food and dog poop bags….better do so now.
5. Enjoy your new puppy.
Oh, and expect the breeder to check back with you again and again….send pictures to provide reassurance. In about a year …or two, the breeder will have learned to trust that you are doing right by Sparky. I mean Prince, of course.