Buying A Puppy?

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More Recommendations For A Great Buying Decision

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Get a vet checkup for the puppy immediately after you buy it.

Most breeders don't get vet checkups for their puppies. If they did, you would end up getting your own vet check immediately after you buy it, and you would end up paying for one visit in the price of the puppy and another one after. You want your vet to check for any kennel diseases or congenital defects. You also want to get the final shots and you want your vet to get familiar with your puppy. The sooner you get your vet check after you get the puppy, the better the chance you have to work out any health issues with the breeder. If you keep the puppy for a month or so, then find out it has pulmonary or respiratory defects, you will be in a much worse negotiating position with the breeder. Find out right away, within a day or two, and work out any issues right away. If you haven't become very attached to the puppy, yet, you can make a more rational decision.

Get a contract with a refund for health issues.

This is a tough one. Most breeders want to give you a health guarantee with no refund. They will only give you a puppy from a future litter. You will not want to wait for six months to a year, and be subject to his choosing the replacement puppy for you. Your negotiating power evaporates when you hand over the cash. Get a contract that states how health problems will be handled. You will want the option of getting a refund if he doesn't have another puppy you want. Write a contract by hand if necessary.

Get your papers before you leave with the puppy.

You can avoid the hassle of trying to get the papers from the breeder by insisting on getting the papers up front. Ask the breeder when you call if they have the papers ready. If they don't, find someone else. It's an added headache you don't need. When the breeder doesn't have the papers and it's time to sell the puppies, it can mean either the breeder is disorganized or that they are having difficulties with the registration organization. If they don't have the papers yet, they may never get them. Good luck getting your money back!

Take someone emotionally uninvolved with you to see the puppy.

Take someone who has no stake in the decision with you to see the puppy. Take a sibling, a parent or a friend. Give them veto power. If they say no to your buying that puppy, back away from the purchase. Take them aside and listen to why they are uncomfortable. Making a good decision to buy a puppy means putting aside emotions and looking at facts. Someone uninvolved can be a great help in doing just that.

Don't buy from the first one or two breeders you visit.

A good decision means getting as much information as possible. Making a decision not to buy from the first one or two breeders you visit makes sure that you have the opportunity to see more puppies and gives you the opportunity to see different breeders and kennels. You may miss out on the greatest puppy in the world by going not buying on the first visit, but chances are that seeing several other breeders will help you find a better breeder and a better puppy.

Don't buy a puppy without planning.

Planning the purchase of a puppy is very important. Too many people go from deciding to buy a puppy to the classified ads on the internet. This is the way to disaster. Go from the decision to buy a puppy, to doing research. Find out about your breed and see a dog show to find out about other breeds and groups. Visit as many breeders as possible. Decide whether you will be able to keep the dog indoors, whether you will have a fence and how much room the dog will have to live. These affect the breed that is appropriate for you. You can increase the radius from where you live by advanced planning. Increasing from a radius of a one-hour drive to a four-hour drive will greatly increase the number of breeders and puppies you have to choose from. Advanced planning will let you schedule a visit with a breeder combined with other travel such as a vacation.

Buy from a breeder who has only one breed.

Breeders who are devoted to the betterment of their breed almost always have only one breed of dog. Those who are in it for the money usually have several breeds. When a breeder has multiple breeds, he must keep them caged or penned separately all of the time to prevent cross breeding. There is no need to deal with these breeders. Find someone else.

Decide beforehand whether you want full or limited breeding rights.

There are generally two ways to register a dog, full or limited registration. Full registration means that the dog can be bred and its puppies can also be registered. Limited registration means that the dog is registered, but it's offspring cannot be registered. Breeders of champion lines of dogs use limited registration to keep the number of competing lines to a minimum. Limited registration is also used to protect breeds from inferior lines of dogs. Breeders can decide which of their lines of dogs can be continued and which cannot. If you are intending to get your dog spayed or neutered, you can accept a limited registration, if you are planning to breed your dog and register the puppies, you must have full registration rights.

Visit a breeder before he has puppies ready to sell.

If you plan in advance to buy a puppy, it gives you an opportunity to visit breeders whether they currently have puppies or not. If you find a breeder with the quality of dogs that you like, with breeding standards that you are comfortable with and a clean and healthy kennel, you can leave him your name and number. He will put you on a list to be called when he next has some puppies. This gives you a great advantage over people shopping the classifieds and needing to buy a puppy today. You will get to choose your puppy before the ads are even run.

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