Thursday, 13 June 2019

Puppies - what makes a good breeder?

It’s coming to the time of year when our Puppy Classes start to get super busy, so we know lots of people are starting to think about getting a puppy now.

People are often advised to buy their puppy from a ‘Good Breeder’, but what does that really mean and why should you?

I wanted to share my thoughts on what I think makes a 'good' breeder

Why does picking a good breeder matter…aren’t all puppies a blank slate?

Puppies do not go to their new homes as blank slates, by the time your puppy is ready to come home with you they’re already half way through their critical period of socialisation.

And there’s not just socialisation to consider; genetics, time in the womb and what the puppy has been learning from the breeder, mum and litter mates, will all influence your puppy’s future behaviour.

Here’s an interesting article on genetic potential v environmental influences from Paws Abilities Dog training 

Most people know to avoid puppy farms but do you know how to spot one?

Everyone may have a different idea of what makes a good breeder - Here’s what I think makes a good breeder

A good breeder will want to vet potential puppy owners and ask a lot of questions about lifestyle, why you want a puppy and lots more. It may feel like you’re being tested, but don’t let this put you off, it’s a good thing! Some breeders may ask to pick the puppy for you, usually because they want the right puppy to go to the right home.

Some breeders may ask you to sign a contract and a good breeder will always want to take a puppy back or be involved in the rehoming process if you can no longer care for your puppy/dog

What you can check when you’ve found a breeder

·        Parents temperament

A good breeder of pet dogs will only breed from dogs that have sound temperament. If the breeder won’t let you meet and interact with the parents that should raise concerns, find out why. If it’s because the mum is scared or aggressive towards people that should be a red flag and you should be willing to walk away.

If you meet the parents make sure they have the qualities you want in your future dog; sociable, friendly, relaxed, keen to approach even when the puppies are present.

·         Health tests

Parents should be screened for any hereditary health conditions, to reduce the likelihood of passing on preventable conditions to the next generation.

The Kennel Club has a list of the main conditions which should be screened for within most breeds 

This should include cross breeds e.g. Cockerpoo parents should be screened for Poodle and Cocker Spaniel health conditions.

·         Early life & where are the puppies kept

This really matters, your puppy’s period of socialisation starts at 3 weeks and finishes somewhere between 12-16  weeks,  that means that most puppies spend the first half of their socialisation period with the breeder.

Your puppy should be safely introduced to novel and new experiences including; people, other dogs, animals, sounds, surfaces, sights, objects while they are still with the breeder.

You can check if your breeder follows a protocol like PuppyCulture or The Puppy Plan 

Why we support good breeders

All of the Well Connected Team have at least one rescue dog, in fact we currently have 11 rescue dogs between us!, so you can tell we support the rehoming of dogs from rescue organisations.

But, we also support good breeders, breeders who put the welfare of the dogs first, place their dogs in appropriate homes and provide new owners with the support they may need to navigate the often tricky world of dog ownership.

If  you're thinking about adding a new puppy to your family and want some extra help with finding a good breeder or how you can prepare for your new puppy we can help! 

Borrow my Brain: For soon to be owners  - 30 minute dedicated support call 

Borrow my Brain: for soon to be owners

Happy Training 

Clare and the gang

P.s. Facebook Live on Puppies coming soon (more details to follow) – send us your questions now so we can answer them during the live session

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