Once the decision to adopt a dog has been made, it’s not always clear how to go about finding that future companion. It might be tempting to go to the first kennel that you come across, but unfortunately not all kennels do things the way they should, and some kennels might deserve the label “puppy mill” instead. There are criteria to take into account before choosing your breeding. We will detail them in this article.
Should you choose your puppy necessarily in a breeding?
First of all, you should know that there are not ONLY breeders to adopt a puppy. There are also associations, shelters, pet shops: the structures to meet your future dog are diverse, you just need to know how to distinguish those to trust and those to avoid. It all also depends on what you are looking for.
If you are not necessarily looking for a purebred dog, aim instead for an animal protection association (SPA for example) or a refuge, there are a lot of dogs in need who are just waiting to find a loving family. Not only might you meet a dog that is a perfect match for you, but you will also save an animal.
If you are absolutely looking for a particular breed, then you can turn to a kennel or a pet store, as there is rarely a purebred in a shelter.
Pet stores can be interesting, but the prices are generally quite expensive and the farms that the stores partner with are not always the best. Pet stores are therefore not to be avoided absolutely, but do your research well beforehand.
For shelters too, do your research before choosing one. There are some who take great care of their animals and, on the contrary, others where many practices need to be reviewed.
What criteria should you really pay attention to before choosing your puppy?
You now know that you should not choose a breeder just any old way. But how do you choose it exactly? Here are some basic criteria to watch out for:
Preferably choose a farm close to you
If there is something that is essential, it is that you will have to go and visit the kennel before making your final decision, and several visits are always better than one. If the kennel is close to you, you will be able to make these visits with less inconvenience of transport, and moreover, if you have finally adopted a dog in a nearby kennel, you can easily return to the kennel in case of problem.
Pay close attention to the environment in which dogs are raised
There are many criteria to take into account in the environment of a farm. First of all, it is necessary to ensure the cleanliness of the premises, with so many dogs, the environment must be impeccable. Otherwise, diseases or parasites can spread very easily.
Space is also to be taken into account. Both indoors and outdoors, puppies and parents must have enough space to roam outside and be comfortable while being able to rest indoors.
Learn about socialization and the release of animals
This is a criterion that we do not necessarily think of immediately but which is nonetheless important. A dog that has been locked in an enclosed space from birth will tend to be afraid of a lot of things, and from fear it can unfortunately result from aggression, which is a defense mechanism in dogs. So ask the breeder if the dogs (including parents and puppies) go out regularly, for how long daily, etc. If when you arrive at the kennel you see several dogs and puppies outside, wagging tails and looking happy, that’s a good sign. If, on the contrary, you see a small handful of puppies outside that barely move and their tails down, beware.
Dogs also need to be used to humans, and in the right way. You will see it quickly anyway when approaching the puppies: if they come towards you happily or wag their tail and lick your hand, it is a good sign. If, on the contrary, they stay in a corner and do not dare to approach you, be careful, but do not amalgamate, some dogs are just naturally timid. Also talk about it with the breeder, ask him how he deals with the puppies, how often he sees them, etc.
Make sure that it is indeed a breeding and not a traffic
Unfortunately, these methods exist. Some so-called breeders receive puppies, often from Eastern European countries or others, and sell them at prices often defying all competition. These methods are still detected quite quickly. It is often not possible to see the parents, which is compulsory in a kennel. As much the father may not be present in a regulatory breeding, and belong to another breeding to avoid consanguinity, but the mother must be present. In addition, the puppies resulting from these traffics are often too young to have been weaned (weaning is done from eight weeks) and are generally in poor health.
Take the trouble to discuss with the breeder
It is important to understand the state of mind of a kennel to speak with the breeder. If he asks you several visits before leaving you a dog, or if he is trying to find out how you are going to educate the dog, in which accommodation you live, if there are children, etc., it is a very good sign, that means he wants to know where his dogs are going, what will happen to them. So he loves them and worries about them. On the contrary, a breeder who is ready to sell you a dog on your first visit without asking you questions will surely be more someone who is there to make money and who does not give much importance to those who should. be his proteges.
Check mothers’ condition
The state of health of the mothers speaks volumes about the breeding. If all the females are pregnant, none is resting, and they look exhausted, beware. Also ask for a state of health tests. Take the trouble to ask the breeder about the frequency of fertilization of the breeding females on his farm. If he doesn’t tell you about rest time, avoid this breeding which is probably a real puppy mill.
Essential documents to adopt a puppy
Have you found a good breeding that suits you and you are ready to go looking for your future companion? Very good, but make sure that the breeder gives you certain documents which are essential for the acquisition of a puppy:
- the tattoo card, or, much more common now, an electronic identification card, which corresponds to the number of your dog’s microchip,
- an invoice or proof of sale,
- the health record (or European passport), with the stickers that prove the compulsory first vaccinations of your puppy,
- the birth certificate, or the provisional pedigree, it may happen that the birth certificate is delivered later (the litter declaration number must be entered on the deed of sale),
- the veterinary certificate before transfer,
- information documents about the dog, its health, its needs, and its education.
If you have found a breeder who meets all these criteria, who are a guarantee of quality, and who provides you with all the necessary papers, while ensuring the future life of his puppy, who provides you with advice and who will be available in the future for the slightest questions or problems that you may possibly encounter, you certainly have a very good breeder, all you have to do is meet your future companion and welcome him to your home as he should.