Common Ground Dog Training Garden
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Trainers Diary On Training Her Own Puppy-1st Step-Getting The Right Puppy
If you want to own a pedigree dog, I recommend to all of my clients that they get a puppy from a reputable breeder, never, god forbid, a pet shop. Pet shops are selling you "puppy mill" puppies. Their poor parents are often confined for life and used as breeding stock. The are often un-groomed, matted, filthy, and kept in tiny unsanitary crates. The puppies often have problems being house trained because they are forced to live in their own mess. Their breeding is done with no thought given to breeding great puppies. Close relatives are often bred, dogs with genetic defects are bred, they don't care about the puppies temperament. It is all about the profit. It really is a cruel business that no dog lover should contribute to by buying a puppy from a pet shop. If I could wave a magic wand, poof, pet shops would all be outlawed. Here is a link to learn more about puppy mills: http://www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/puppy-mills
So how do you find a reputable breeder? Once you do thorough research into the right breed for you, and you find a breed that suits your lifestyle and activity level, contact your local AKC breed club. Here is a link to a breed selection quiz: http://www.selectsmart.com/DOG/
Never pick a breed by it's looks, "pretty is a pretty does" applies here. Having a dog that suits your lifestyle is much more important than what your dog looks like. Your local Breed Club will know who is expecting a litter and steer you in the right direction. Then start making phone calls. Good breeders often have requirements that you must meet. Don't regard this as a bad thing, it means they care where their puppies end up, and want to be as sure as they can be that you get the right puppy for yourself and your family. Let the breeder choose the right puppy for you if you are a first time dog owner. They know their puppies and can pick one that will be the best match for you. They will have done health checks and certifications on the parents. These tests are run to ensure that there are no genetic defects that the parents might pass down to their puppies. Different breeds have different genetic problems, so do your research on your chosen breeds possible genetic problems.
My chosen breed is Standard Poodles. They suit my lifestyle as they are really smart, and super easy to train. Being a professional dog trainer, and dealing with many problems with clients dogs every day, I like easy, peasy in the personal realm. Poodles don't shed at all, that is the job of my four cats, and they do their job all too well. Poodles do require grooming, but for me that is okay, they are always clean and welcome on the furniture.
Go to the breeder and meet the parents. Sometimes the sire (daddy dog), may not be there. If he is nearby, meet him, as well as meeting the dam (mommy dog). Make sure they are friendly, clean and well cared for. They should be included in the household, not holed up in a garage or basement. Any breeder with dogs who act shy or aggressive should be crossed off your list. They can pass these traits down to their offspring.
Some breeders show their dogs, others do not. Both types of breeders are fine with me. I always look for good temperament first and foremost. I don't show my own dogs, I just want a great pet free from any genetic defects with good confirmation. Confirmation means how their physical bodies meet the breed standards, in other words, how well they are put together physically. This is another thing you should research so you know what you are looking for.
Show breeders will often have "pet quality" puppies for sale. They are usually a bit less expensive. These are fine, they just don't absolutely meet the perfection of the breed standard for the show ring. As long as they have no defects that would cause them to be unhealthy or unsound, if you want a pet quality dog, go for it. Often a breeder will want your "show quality" puppy to be shown. This can involve a lot of expense hiring a handler, paying ring and travel expenses. Sometime your dog needs to go live with the handler for a while, sometimes not. You can also attend handling classes yourself and show your own dog if this is something you would like to do.
Seems like a lot of work, right? If you want to have a great dog that is suitable for you, please, do the research. The payoff is a great, healthy dog that is the right one for you, your family, and your lifestyle.
This will be a continuing series about how I am training my new puppy. Please hit the RSS feed button, or subscribe, so you can follow the progress, trials and tribulations, of my new puppy, Tulip. Wishing you the best, as always.