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  • Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
    Results 11 to 14 of 14
    1. #11
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      annkie's Avatar
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      I think you already got some good info but I just wanted to add what I went through with our recent dog we got last Spring. I too was new to finding a dog from a good breeder. We got a Welsh Springer Spaniel after our chocolate lab passed. I started by finding a Welshie club online. On that website I was able to find a list of accredited breeders in my area (NE). I contacted 3 of them (I think) via email. But before I did that I checked out their websites and looked at the photos of their dogs. Just like you, I wanted a family pet. No plans to show. But I wanted a smart, biddable dog with good temperament (even keel). One of the breeders emailed me back saying he's got a litter to come on by. I don't know why but he came across overly eager and that turned me off. The other breeders required me to fill out a form with questions regarding life style, house, etc. Then I talked to them on the phone. One was a bit too far away from me and the littler was not "in the works" yet. The other breeder was within a good distance and the litter was already cooking So after about 2 phone conversations the breeder said she only takes down payments AFTER the puppies are born since anything can go wrong during labor. Once the puppies were born my family was invited to meet them when they were about 2 weeks old. That was another requirement of mine. I wanted to meet the dam and the puppies before placing a deposit. We met the breeder and the dam along with the pups. I liked the breeder. I liked her experience with breeding. I liked that the syre was a grand champion and that both of the parents had a good temper and health clearances (they were all recorded in a data base for me to pull up). Only after that first visit did we put a deposit down for a puppy. After that we had 2 more visits before we took the pup home.

      We still periodically check in with the breeder to update her on how the puppy (Archie) is doing. We signed an agreement that we will do the necessary health screenings for Archie when he turns 2. IMO that is a good breeder. She cared about her dogs because she only bred the best. She cared about who was acquiring the dogs by a thorough interview process and meeting in person. She did the picking of the puppies based on a personality criteria I described. She followed up after to see how Archie was doing and asked for photos. We actually met up with her and her breeding partner along with Archie's brother 4 months after getting him. So then I got to know a lot more about the breeder. We are very happy with Archie. He's a great dog! He was $1,700 and worth every penny.

      I forgot to mention this. Another thing that impressed me about my breeder is the condition and the environment of the puppies. They were all clean. They had a safe designated area within the breeders home. Once they were old enough she transferred them to her living room/kitchen area. She provided them with all kinds of toys, puzzles, sounds. etc to stimulate them. Her teenage daughters played with them daily. At our first vet visit the doc was very impressed with how socialized the puppy was. So that is very important as well. Ask about that stuff too.

    2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to annkie For This Useful Post:

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    3. #12
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      I live in southern wi. South of Madison by about 40 miles actually. In this area $1500 for a bench bred pup is pretty on par. There are variances in both directions and I don’t know what the hunting dogs go for either.


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    5. #13
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      You've had some really good input here. I'll add a couple more things. Sometimes the little "extras" that a breeder does are your clue they are breeding for the right reason. When the breeder is breeding for themselves, obviously they have a stake in how those pups are going to turn out. Some do Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) -- was called Super Puppy years ago. This starts at ~3 days old and is done daily for 2 wks or so. This is to stimulate the puppy's immune system, gets them acclimated to more stress in life. With labs, we are seeing more and more "reactive" and/ or overly sensitive lines. This isn't all genetic (though some certainly is!). The main proponent of the ENS program actually feels much of it is environmental but that could be that his breed is GSD too. Early Neurological Stimulation | Breeding Better Dogs

      Another thing to look at is if the breeder is deworming the pups on a set schedule, if they are training the pups to "potty" in a particular area (vs at random in their living quarters), are doing an appropriate vaccine schedule along w/ a detailed vet well check before the puppies leave, if they are microchipping the pup (that could save you as much as $50 off the bat), taking the pups for short car rides, teaching them to stand calmly for evaluation on the table, maybe even taking them to the local gun club, etc. Some start the puppies on live pigeons and take litters to get puppy eye checks as well. None of this is cheap nor "convenient" if you start to think about 8-12 puppies screaming in crates, lol (and ear protection doesn't really work-- I've tried!)! Anyhow, my vet always remarks how easy my puppies are to handle in their well checks, and I'm sure all of the handling and experiences they get as babies here helps. By doing all of this, a breeder also gets to know each puppy a lot better and can then hopefully match the right puppy to your needs, conveyed hopefully early on in the relationship.

      Anyhow, those are things that come to my mind. I do these things because it's how *I* would want my puppy raised. Now if i were just raising puppies to sell, I'd probably not really care... that's your problem once they are gone! But those types of breeders aren't going to be there for your needs, questions, concerns (and maybe brags!) later on either.

      As for health testing on the lines, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals - Companion Animal Research Center is the database you can verify all that info with. Personally, I'd want to see parents, grandparents and great grandparents w/ solid hip, elbow and eye clearances. Heart (echo) is becoming a big deal now too so would be nice to see a couple generations there as well. We use the DNA tests to ensure we won't produce "affected" pups, so all carriers should be bred only to Clear mates. Probably by now, you can see that it's become a lot more complicated to breed responsibly but stick w/ the right crowd and your odds of finding a great pup are high. Good luck! Anne
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    6. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to windycanyon For This Useful Post:

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    7. #14
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      Listen to WindyCanyon! That is exactly the description of what you want in a breeder. The little things like potty training, micro-chipping, and proper de-worming can save you a lot of aggravation down the road. Puppies treated this way act more confident and are already on the path to good obedience. After 15 years with my chocolate lab, I had forgotten how much energy you can expend working with a new puppy. Hopefully the folks here with way more experience than I point you towards your ideal puppy. Enjoy the search! Finding the right dog is half the battle and a lot of fun.

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