So you've decided what breed is right for you, congratulations! But your work is not yet done. Where you go to get your dog is just as important as what kind of dog you get. A good starting point when looking for breeders is the Breeder Directory or the breed club.
When purchasing a puppy from a DOGS Victoria breeder, you should always check that their membership with DOGS Victoria is current. Member of this organisation and bound by its Code of Practice for the breeding and welfare of puppies, and also confirms that they are able to provide you with registration papers for your new purebred puppy.
A responsible breeder is the best source for a well-bred, healthy dog. The breeder will carefully select the parents of each litter to emphasize desirable attributes and minimise faults in their progeny.
Some people breed dogs only to produce puppies to sell. These individuals have no regard for the advancement of that breed; they are motivated solely by profit.
Responsible breeders will never breed a litter without considering the advancement of the breed. Each litter should improve the quality of breeding stock, resulting in healthy puppies with improved breed soundness, that is, physical and mental health that are an advancement toward the ideal.
Another good reason to buy a puppy from a breeder is that it gives you the opportunity to interact with the puppy's siblings and dam, also possibly the sire. You can, therefore, form a general impression of what the future holds for the puppy you take home.
Buying from a breeder means that you are part of an extended family. Most breeders expect a call if the dog has a crisis at any stage in its life, so they can help you understand and cope with the problem. This can be especially comforting for the first time dog owners who can't even imagine what kinds of questions they'll have in the future.
Visit as many breeders as possible for your breed. Examine the premises to make sure they are clean and that the dogs appear to be well cared for. Puppies should be clean, well fed, lively and friendly, without any signs of illness such as runny nose or eyes, skin sores, or dirty ears or fleas. Ask as many questions as you have and expect thorough answers. The breeder will also have questions for you as they will want to ensure their puppies are going into loving, responsible homes.
You should see the dam (mother) of the puppies and she should be friendly, in good condition and well cared for. You should ask to see the sire (father) of the puppies. He may not live at the same place but if he lives close by, you should arrange to see him. If there are known hereditary diseases which affect that breed you should ask to see certificates which show that the sire and dam have been tested for those diseases.
How much does a puppy cost?
This is not the time to hunt for a bargain. Your new puppy will be a member of your family for his lifetime, so you'll want to make a wise investment. Ask breeders and breed club members to get a rough idea of prices, but don't make decisions on price alone - more expensive isn't necessarily better. Make sure you find the right dog for YOU.
And remember, the price of the puppy is just the beginning of the costs. You will need to care for, feed, groom and maintain your dog’s health with regular veterinary visits throughout its life.
What you should expect from the person who sells you a puppy:
A vaccination certificate which shows vaccinations given, when the next ones are due, and evidence of the puppy's age (it is against DOGS Victoria's Code of Practice to sell a puppy under eight weeks of age).
ANKC Registration Certificate (papers)
When it was treated for worms and how often it needs to be treated in future
A feeding chart
Information on the puppy's likely nature, temperament, size and care requirements.
Details of any hereditary diseases or health problems which are known to affect the breed.
- Information on responsible pet ownership, in particular care and welfare of the puppy, the time and facilities required for proper management (socialisation, exercise, adequate fencing, sufficient space and proper shelter)
DOGS Victoria is committed to ensuring that when it comes to puppy sales and purchasing, members are following the Codes of Ethics and Practice that the organisation adheres to. If you have experienced any issues when you have tried to purchase a puppy from a breeder who is a member of DOGS Victoria we would like to hear from you. Please contact the office on 9788 2500.