We are looking for our first puppy, help.

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We are looking for our first puppy, help.

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Old 02-08-2012, 09:14 AM
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We are looking for our first puppy, help.

Hello all dog lovers,

I am new here so I am not sure how everyone feels about mutts vs pures... I suppose this is a place to ask for help since it's a dog forum and I've read a few threads and everyone seem to be very helpful and supportive...

We (mostly me) are looking for a fluffy, small and healthy puppy. I love smaller dogs because I feel bigger dogs are more intimidating and smaller dogs are easier to care for (in terms of taking them around and living space).

I've done some research online. This past weekend, my husband wanted to go to Guitar Center (it's music instruments shop), but instead of going there first, I drove him to the pet shop first. We looked at some puppies. He's greatly fond of a puggle. I held a maltese and couldn't put it down. We ended up walking out of there without a puppy.

I then went home and do some research on the type of breed that we think would fit us best. I also research about breeders and where I should get the puppy from.

I've read so many negative things about puppy mills. I am not quite sure how to spot a unethical puppy breeder from an ethical, loving breeder. I couldn't find a local breeder around where I live so I have to depend on the internet. I found a breeder in PA and I've contacted the breeder.

The breed/mix I am looking at the moment is a Shichon (Zuchon). It is a hybrid between a Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise. If I can't and should not get a Shichon, I would love either a Shih Tzu or a Bichon Frise.

I wish I know a breeder and be able to come visit the place a few time before I bring the puppy home. Even better, I wish I can track the whole pregnancy process and know when the puppy is born... etc. After reading all these negative news about breeders... I got really upset. I was ignorant and I didn't know that these issues existed before... I understand breeding puppies is a JOB and a way for many out there to make a living, but, HOW COULD THEY IGNORE THE LIVING STATUS and WELL BEING OF THE PUPPIES AND THEIR PARENTS???

I can't help to think, what will happen to the parent dogs after their breeder are done with them....

So I've spoke to the breeder about a puppy I saw on the internet. She told me the puppy has been sold that day. (after getting of the phone with her, I did refresh the webpage and indeed the puppy has been marked SOLD.) I then ask her if she has any litter up for sale soon. I told her I am hoping to get one in mid March. She told me she has a litter ready to go in 2 weeks. She said she will contact me when they are ready.

I've looked at the puppies she have up online (they range around 6-10 weeks). The website where I saw the picture of the puppy is a broker website of some sort. The breeder told me when the puppies are ready, she bring them to that place to have their pictures taken so they can put them online.

I haven't asked the breeder yet but when she does contact me back, I plan to ask her if I can see the parents. This way I can get an idea where the puppy came from and the condition/health of the parents.

What I am deeply worried about are:

1. Does this breeder inbred the dogs?

2. Can I trust this breeder to provide me a healthy puppy to take home to be my companion for the rest of his puppy live hood and my life?

3. Can I trust that the appropriate and required vet care has been given to this puppy? (Even though it stated on the website that all the required shots have been given.)

4. I know as a buyer, I am protected under the Lemon Act, but I really do not want to go through the heartache of getting a puppy, puppy gets sick, takes puppy to vet, then contact breeder again and ask for refund or exchange or whatnots.....


Getting a puppy is not like saving up for a designer handbag... a designer handbag you can put it in the closet to collect dust, it only get ruin through wear and tear, it requires little maintenance, it can be given away if you don't like it anymore. Getting a puppy is a commitment... which you can't simply give away or pass on to someone else. That's how I feel. That's why I feel this great about of responsibility...

Please help me find a puppy.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:11 AM
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You will get many many opinions here and advice... heres my 2 cents.

Never adopt a dog from a breeder if you cannot visit their living conditions, if you cannot see their parents, etc. Never ever purchase a puppy online without being able to visit where they live. It IS hard to spot a puppy mill but this happened to me, I thought I had done tons of research... but instead i ended up buying a beautiful parvo puppy who died 2 days later and it was horribly devestating... please dont make that mistake.

I cant say it enough just make sure you are able to go onsite, see where they live, see their parents, make sure that what the breeder has told you about the puppies personality is true, and make sure there are no signs of weakeness, slugishness, extreme tiredness... etc in any of the animals.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:15 AM
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I forgot to add, No you cannot trust that they have had the proper vet care... most breeders, I have learned, do their *own* vet care which means the medicines may not be strong enough... if you do get one of these dogs, take it to your vet right away.

Lemon laws for puppies only cover something like 8-13 states in the US... your state may or may not be covered double check that your state is one of the lucky ones that is.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:23 AM
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Hi Gigi,

I am sorry to hear about your story... Did your baby get shipped to you or did you pick him/her up from the breeder?

I've checked that PA is protected under Lemon laws. I also know that the breeder is registered (but that does not mean much, right?). I was also able to dig up some legal documents regarding the breeder: his kennel was shut down once before for not meeting the requirements. Apparently he claimed (based on the documents I read) it took him almost 2 years to have another kennel built. He is up and working again since 2008.

I've called up a local Vet office yesterday to inquire about the shots and physical expenses and also what to do after I have the puppy home.

I worry too much, I think.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:41 AM
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Worrying too much is a good thing.

No I met the breeder halfway since she lived in another state.No sadly that doesnt mean much at all if they are registered. My breeder was also supposedly registered. Be very leary to make sure you get the healthiest happy puppy you can!

I would ask the breeder for several references so you can call and see what others have experienced through this breeder.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:42 AM
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Hello,

Glad you are doing your research. Honestly most breeders of crossbreeds are not the best breeders, and you won't get health guarantees on them. They are generally breeding for profit.

I would suggest finding a purebred that you like, then research it, contact the AKC, or local dog club for breeders, or contact the breed club ( if you picked Bichons) and they can give you a list of breeders.

The breeder should be asking you tons of questions! I breed smooth fox terriers, and when people contact me I ask them a ton of questions, they fill out a questionnaire, so I can keep it on file.

Most good, ethical breeders are breeding to better the breed. They will do health testing ( not a vet check, but hip,heart,eyes,thyroid,elbows, patellas and others depending on the breed), they will compete in AKC or CKC dog shows (american kennel club or canadian kennel club). They will offer a lifetime support and if you can't keep the puppy/dog they will take it back so it doesn't end up in the shelter system.

Talking about breeding for profit, sometimes I make money on a litter ( the most was about $500.00 which went right back into my dog acct for vet, shows and care) but I have also had litters where I lost money I lost $3500.00 on one litter.

On the subject on breeders doing their own vet work. A lot of breeders I know will give their own puppy vaccines, microchips and tattoos. I do. BUT it doesn't replace an actual vet visit. At 8wks ALL of my puppies go to the vet for their first checkup, the vet checks temps, hearts and general health. I do this as I can buy the same vaccines ( same strength no difference) at cost, and then my puppy checks are cheaper. Yes it is a cost thing, but the vet care is still there. If any puppy needs care they go to the vet immediately. I usually keep my puppies til they are 12wks , and they get a second vet visit then. As well as a vet visit being required by the new puppy owners once they get the puppy.

Although it is great to go and meet the breeder - I love meeting my puppy owners its not always a feasible thing. In Canada there are only 5 active breeders (or so) of SFT, so the chances of someone looking for one and being next to the breeder isn't common. I give references to all the buyers that can't meet us in person, and I require references and home visits (with some in the area I know) if I can't get out there myself.

At Gigi, I have replied to your post on your thread.

If you have any other questions let me know. Good luck on your search.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:25 AM
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A good breeder:
* Should want to do some sort of interview with you to make sure you are a good match
* Only breed a dog once a year (or maybe less) to let the dam recuperate
* Will have most or all of the puppies spoken for before they are born, possibly even before breeding the dogs
* Will let you come to their home to meet the parents
* Will have recorded proof from their vet of testing for breed specific hereditary health problems and will usually provide some sort of health guarantee to a certain age
* If the dog does develope health problems within the time of guarantee, the breeder should offer a refund. NOT a replacement puppy
* Should keep the puppies for no less than 8 weeks. Longer is even better
* Will never have their puppies available through someone like a puppy broker or a pet store

A good breeder is hard to find, but it's really worth the effort .

If you have a mix in mind that you are looking for, one option is to make friends with you local humane society. Pregnant moms are pretty common (either from dumping situations or puppy mill busts) and most HS's would be happy to keep you updated if you tell them you are on the lookout for a specific type of dog. They'll be happy someone so responsible is willing to wait and that a puppy will be spoken for.
I know one of the issues here is wanting a dog with good breeding, but at least this way you arren't supporting a mill or byb
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:33 AM
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Good points above except for 2 things.

Not all breeders will have both parents. I have bred my girls to boys from all over the world with artificial insemination, so I would only have pics/video of the male.

Also a lot of reproductive vets say that if you are only planning on breeding the girl twice, provided she recuperated well, and you didn't let her get skinny ( my girls get food at all times, and you would never know when they are nursing a litter as they don't lose weight), a back to back breeding is ideal for the uterus. I have done back to back breeding, but my girls usually cycle every 9-12months, are in fantastic shape and I have people on a waiting list, as well as myself , wanting to keep one of the puppies. Most breeders are breeding to keep something for the next generation.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:34 AM
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Wow thats a great list to go by!
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by instyle View Post
Good points above except for 2 things.

Not all breeders will have both parents. I have bred my girls to boys from all over the world with artificial insemination, so I would only have pics/video of the male.

Also a lot of reproductive vets say that if you are only planning on breeding the girl twice, provided she recuperated well, and you didn't let her get skinny ( my girls get food at all times, and you would never know when they are nursing a litter as they don't lose weight), a back to back breeding is ideal for the uterus. I have done back to back breeding, but my girls usually cycle every 9-12months, are in fantastic shape and I have people on a waiting list, as well as myself , wanting to keep one of the puppies. Most breeders are breeding to keep something for the next generation.
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It's true, I should have added a stud idendum

Hmm, I didn't know that.
Most of the reputable breeders I've known breed once a year or so because they are breeding the females for several years. They compensate by having multiple dogs so they have multiple litters, just not by the same dam. I guess it's a matter of asking about their breeding practices.
Obviously you are a very responsible breeder and by far more of an expert on the subject. I hope there was no toe stepping.
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