People get dogs for a variety of reasons. Some are strictly for indoors and companionship. Others are working dogs or serve a purpose such as protecting your property. There are appropriate ways to go about finding your perfect pet and deciding whether to buy from a breeder or rescue from a shelter. Saving abandoned or abused dogs from shelters can have its rewards yet when your dog is a business investment it’s better to seek out a quality breeder.
Understanding What Type Of Dog Fits Your Needs
Understanding what type of role your dog will play within your family or farm is important in choosing an appropriate breed of dog. If you’re looking for a family dog it wouldn’t hurt to check the local shelters and rescues. You can save a dog’s life and give it purpose where it might otherwise lose hope or be put to sleep. Puppies are frequently seen in shelters due to inexperienced breeders not realizing a litter of puppies is a great responsibility. Whether you’re looking for a lap dog or a guard dog checking the shelters is a good place to start.
If you’ve done your research and know your dog’s role, you’ll want to determine what types of breeds you’d consider owning. You can call the shelters ahead of time to see if they have any of those breeds ready for adoption. Next, you’d visit the shelter to learn more about that potential adoptee. Sometimes the dog will have a back story and could fit right in with your family. While other times the dog has been through a lot and will require some extra care and concern, or has no back story at all. You’re the one who will be responsible for the dog so make this decision wisely. It’s easy to want to sympathize with the dog’s situation but don’t let the “feeling bad” be the major factor in choosing your new pet unless that’s the reason you went to the shelter in the first place.
Working dogs, herding dogs, and great farm dogs can be found in shelters. Sometimes they’ve worked a farm and their owner passed away. There are many extenuating circumstances that may lead to a dog being in a shelter. You should consider looking in a shelter first and foremost as it’s a good human characteristic to want to help reduce the overpopulation in shelters and rescues. Maybe the dog ate one of the farmer’s chickens and you own cattle so it would be a nonissue. Think outside the box and save a life if you can.
Breeders And Quality Working Dogs
There’s a huge difference in breeding for money and breeding for quality. Back yard breeders or those inexperienced in breeding are hard to differentiate from a quality breeder if you’re not equipped with the proper knowledge. A quality breeder would be registered with an association that sets breeding standards and by laws they must follow. In the United States, the most prevalent breeding association is the American Kennel Club or AKC.
When people hear AKC they automatically think of dog shows and competitive sporting events for dogs. What they don’t realize is the major role the AKC has played in setting size, job capacity, registering pedigrees, and all around standards that breeders must meet to claim association with them. Being an AKC recognized breeder doesn’t always ensure you’re dealing with a great breeder but it will tell you they’ve taken serious steps to be recognized in that way.
Not all dogs from the same litter will be quality working dogs. Depending on what job role your dog will play, the characteristics you desire it to have, and what is available might differ. The first born in a litter is usually the top choice in its purpose for having been bred. Show dogs, for example, would require it to be the best quality of its breed. It’s the same with working dogs. The first born may be the strongest while the second born might be the smartest. Knowing what you’re looking for helps to make the decision less burdensome, or random. If you are uneasy or unsure of your decision, don’t make one. Puppies are cute no matter what and our excitement at getting one can cause us to make decisions that aren’t well thought out. Be smart!
Expect to pay a good price for a well-bred dog from an AKC breeder. The standards they follow require them to have a spay/neuter agreement, up to date vaccinations, and health records on the dogs pedigree as far back as 4 generations. A newer breeder may only have records on the parents of the litter. Asking for these records or asking the breeder directly will give you an idea of how long they’ve been breeding dogs. A good breeder will allow you on their property to see the environment your dog was born into and would have the parents on site for viewing.