Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Very First Trip With Your Puppy

     The very first trip of a puppy’s life is also the most nerve wracking.  This is the trip from the breeder’s to its new home.  If possible, pick up your puppy in the morning.  It then has the whole day to get used to the new situation.  Ask the breeder not to feed it that day.  The young animal will be overwhelmed by all kinds of new experiences.  Firstly, it’s away from its mother; it’s in a small room (the car) with all its different smells, noises and strange people.  So there’s a big chance that the puppy will be carsick for the first time, with the annoying consequence that it will remember riding in the car as an unpleasant experience.
     So it’s important to make this first trip as pleasant as possible.  When picking up a puppy, always take someone with you who can sit in the back seat with the puppy on his or her lap and talk to it calmly.  If it’s too warm for the puppy, a place on the floor at the feet of your companion is ideal.  The pup will lie there relatively quietly and may even take a nap.  Ask the dog breeder for a cloth or something else from its nest that carries a familiar scent.  The puppy can lie on this in the car, and it will also help if it feels alone during the first night at home.
     If the trip is a long one, then stop for a break (once in a while).  Let your puppy roam and sniff around (on the leash!), have a little drink and, if necessary, do its business.  Do take care to lay an old towel in the car.  It can happen that the puppy, in its nervousness, may urinate or be sick.  It’s also good advice to give a puppy positive experience with car journeys.  Make short trips to nice places where you can walk and play with it.  It can be a real nuisance if your dog doesn’t like riding in a car.  After all, once in a while you will have to take it to certain places, such as the veterinarian or to visit fiends and acquaintances.
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Tips on Buying a Dog

     By now you must have an idea about choosing the right dog breed and where to find reputable dog breeders to get it.  I’m sure you’re aware of the consequences of getting a dog from a pet shop, if not check this out – here.  Though you’ve already thought about which dog breed suits your needs, your temperament and your own lifestyle, there’s still much to consider before you make your final decisions.  Think before you buy!
     Buying a dog is a very broad topic so I’ve decided to break it down to smaller topics.  These are the most common questions a dog buyer would want an answer and these are the same questions I had when I bought my first dog.  Just click on the link to get more details from that question.  Here it goes…

     If you want to be a dog breeder, definitely get a show-quality puppy (reminder:  be a responsible dog breeder).  The closest the puppy is to the breed standard, the better but usually more expensive.  Remember that no one, even the experts, can predict with accuracy what a puppy will be like when it grows up.  The puppy may exhibit show potentials, but six months is the earliest age for an exhibitor to select its prospect and know that a dog is destined in the show ring.  If you’re on a tight budget, a pet-quality puppy is preferable.  A pet is no different from their show type littermates in terms of health and attractiveness.

     It’s just a matter of choice.  A lot of dog buyers usually choose a female because they can be bred in the future but you will still need a stud dog (a bitch will not get pregnant by itself).  Not everyone wants to breed and would rather not mess with the discomforts of breeding so you can just get a male.  If you a want a pet, it is better to get a male so you need not worry about accidental pregnancy of a bitch (those bitches can sometimes get their own way).

     Those who are lazy to housetrain their puppies usually settle for an older dog but if you want to bring it up your way, a puppy is a better choice.

     Why not if you can afford it and you have all the resources to take good care of them.  You must be rich?

     Having children in the family is another consideration you have to take in buying a dog.  Check it out here.  Don’t forget to look for the dog’s records to make sure you’re not being misled.  If you opted to get a show-quality puppy, check the pedigree (a genealogy of up to 5 generations from where your puppy came from) to see if it has purebred champions in its background.  Also check the registration papers (not to be confused with pedigrees) to ascertain that your pup is registered with a particular kennel club (depends on what country you’re from).  Follow the advice of the dog breeder; they will give you the medical records so you can follow-up on their next vaccination shots.  At the very least, your puppy should never be younger than 8 weeks old.  Don't  get one younger than 8 weeks as the puppy may not have been completely weaned from its mother.  Lastly, make all the necessary preparations before you bring your puppy home.  Make it a pleasurable experience for your dog on its first day.

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Dog Buying Tips: Pet or Show-Quality Dog?

     Responsible dog breeders strive to maintain the desirable qualities in their breed.  Foremost in their mind is improving what they have already achieved as far as the breed standard is concerned.  The breed standard describes the ideal dog and those that come close to the breed standard are usually selected as show stock while the others are usually sold as pets.  Keep in mind that pet-quality dogs are no way less healthy or attractive as the show type specimens.  There may be some undesirable features like wrong color of the eyes, big ears, and misaligned teeth to name a few, which would be faults in the show ring.  These are called “flaws” usually detected by experienced breeders or show judges.  Show-quality puppies usually cost more than their pet counterparts even though they seem almost identical littermates.
     If you intend to show your dog, by all means buy the best you can afford and if you want to breed in the future, it is advisable to get the best breeding stock. It will not only save you expense but also less disappointment later on.  However, if you intend to get a pet, you can opt for the less expensive.  A pup, which is not show-material, or a grown up dog not used for breeding is occasionally available which offers an opportunity to save money.  Keep in mind that though your initial investment may be a bargain but with good food, proper care, and lots of love, you can raise your puppy to a healthy, socialized and lovable adult dog.
     Most breeders and sellers want to see their dog in loving, responsible homes; they are careful about who buys their animals.  Be prepared for some interrogation because they only want the best for the welfare of their dogs.   Read everything you can about the breed standard and don’t be afraid to ask questions to the breeder.  Listen to the breeder carefully about the finer points of show conformation.  Most reputable dog breeders will be willing to answer any questions you might have about their dogs and would be honest enough about each pup’s potentials.  Why would a dog breeder sell his potential show champion to someone who just wants a pet?  He wants his top-quality show puppy be placed in the public eye to reflect glory on him and of course, to attract future buyers.
     (This article is part of the series - Tips on Buying a Dog).
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Dog Buying Tips: Male or Female Dog?

     The decision whether to buy a male or female, a dog or a bitch, is entirely a personal choice.  A male dog is somewhat bigger and stronger than its female counterpart.  Compared to females, males display somewhat different character traits; they are more affectionate for instance.  These differences are more pronounced during their puberty stage, so a good upbringing is very vital.  Otherwise you may end up with a self-willed, strong dog that’s hard to restrain in the vicinity of a female in heat.
     A male tends to be more dominant in nature thus typically needs more leadership.  They will try to play boss over other dogs and, if given the chance, over people too.  In the wild, the most dominant dog (or wolf) is always the leader of the pack.  In many cases it is a male.  A bitch is much more focused on her master, she sees him as a pack leader.
     A puppy test is very important in defining what kind of character a young dog will develop.  During this test, you can easily see that a dog is more dominant than the bitch.  You can quickly recognize who are the bossy, the more adventurous and the cautious characters.  It is advisable to visit the litter a couple of times early on to find this out.  Try to pick a puppy that suits your own personality.  A dominant male dog, for example, needs a strong hand.  He will often try to see how far he can go.  You must regularly make it clear who’s the boss, and that it must obey all the members of the family.
     When bitches are sexually mature, they will go into season or estrus.  On the average, a bitch will be in season twice a year for about two to three weeks.  This is the fertile period when the bitch can become pregnant.  Particularly in the second half of its season, it will want to go looking for a dog to mate with.  A male dog will show more masculine traits once it is sexually mature.  It will make sure other dogs know what territory is his by urinating as often as possible in as many places as it can.  It is also difficult to restrain a dog if there’s a bitch in season nearby.  As far as care is concerned there is little difference between male and female.
     (This article is part of the series - Tips on Buying a Dog).
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Dog Buying Tips: Puppy or Adult Dog?

     After you’ve made a decision to get a male or female, the next question comes up. Should it be an adult dog or a cute little puppy?  Your household circumstances usually play an important role here.
     Of course, it’s great having a cuddly little puppy in your home, but bringing up a puppy costs a lot of time and effort.  In its first year of life, it will learn more compared to the rest of its life.  You must accept the fact that your puppy will keep you busy for a couple of hours a day, certainly in its first few months.  You won’t need so much time with a grown up dog.  It has already been brought up, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t need corrections from time to time.
     A puppy will no doubt leave trails of destructions in its wake for the first few months.  With a little bad luck, this will even cost you a number of rolls of wallpaper, some expensive shoes and a couple of socks.  Worst, you’ll be left with some chewed furniture.  Some puppies can even manage to tear curtains down from the rails but with good upbringing, this “vandalism” will quickly disappear.  You may not have to worry about this scenario if you get an older dog.
     The greatest advantage getting a puppy, of course, is that you can bring it up your own way.  And the upbringing a dog gets (or doesn’t get) is a major influence on its whole character.  Finally, financial aspects may play an important role in your choice.  A puppy is generally (much) more expensive than an adult dog, not only in purchase price but also in “maintenance.”  A puppy needs to go to the veterinarian more often compared to an adult dog for the necessary vaccinations and check-ups.
     Overall, bringing up a puppy costs a good deal of energy, time and money, but you have its upbringing in your own hands.  An adult dog costs less money and time, but its characters are already formed.  You should also try to find out about the dog’s background.  The previous owner may have formed its character in somewhat less positive ways.
     (This article is part of the series - Tips on Buying a Dog).
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Dog Buying Tips: One or More Dogs?

     Having two or more dogs in the house is not just nice for us, but also for the dogs themselves.  Dogs get a lot of pleasure from their own company.  Remember that they are pack animals.
     If you want two young dogs, it’s best not to buy them both at the same time.  Bringing up a dog and establishing the bond between dog and its master takes time.  Having two puppies in your household means you have to equally divide your attention between them.  Aside from that, there’s the danger that they will focus on one another rather than their master.  Buy the second puppy when the first is (almost) an adult dog.
     Two adult dogs can happily be brought into the home together, provided they’re used to each other.  If this is not the case, then they will have to go through that process.  It is usually best achieved by letting them get to know each other on neutral ground.  This prevents fights for territory.  On neutral territory, maybe a friend’s backyard where neither dog has been before, both dogs are basically equal.  Once they’ve gotten to know each other, you can take them both home, and they can sort out the hierarchy there amongst themselves.  In any event, don’t get involved in trying to “arbitrate.”  That is human, but for the dog that’s at the top of the hierarchy, it’s like having its position undone.  It will only make the dog more dominant in its behavior, of course, with all its consequences.  Once the hierarchy is established, most dogs do get along fine together.
     Getting a puppy when the first dog is somewhat older provides a positive effect on the older dog.  The influence of the puppy almost seems to give it a second childhood.  The older dog, if brought up well, can help with the upbringing of the youngster.  Puppies like to imitate the behavior of their elders.  Don’t forget to give each dog the same amount of attention.  Give the older dog enough opportunity to be peaceful and quiet.  The older dog wouldn’t want a very enthusiastic youngster running around its feet most the time.  Additionally, a puppy needs to sleep a lot and may have to put some brakes on it once in a while.  The combination of a male and a female requires special attention and it’s good idea to get a second dog of the same sex.  This will avoid a lot of potential problems.  Spaying (female sterilization) and neutering (male castration) is, of course, one solution, but it’s a last resort.  A spayed or neutered animal will loose its ability to reproduce.
     (This article is part of the series - Tips on Buying a Dog).
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Buying a Puppy? Think First!

    The question comes up in almost every family at least once: “Should we get a dog?”  Dogs are affectionate, good and loyal companions, and puppies are fun to watch.  Apart from that, they have a high “cuddleability factor”.  Wait a moment before your emotions carry you away.  Think before you buy.  Never decide to buy a dog on impulse, even if it’s love at first sight.  Bringing a dog into your home means a lot of changes for the whole family.  You’re actually adding a new member of the family.  Your new housemate must be walked, needs daily care and can’t live on air.  Moreover, it costs time and energy to turn a puppy into a well trained, socialized dog.
     There are plenty of reasons for a family not to buy a dog.  On the other hand, there are fewer reasons to actually do so.  Firstly, never buy a dog as a toy for your children.  Only buy one if you, yourself, want to because a child is absolutely not able to bring up a dog alone and take responsibility for it.  Once you’ve made up your mind to get a dog, then you must carefully consider what sort of dog suits your family situation.  Always keep the following points in mind:
  • A puppy will often whine at night certainly for the first few days.
  • A puppy must be housetrained.  It will certainly foul the house for several weeks (and this can go on until it’s four or five months old!)
  • Housetraining and bringing up a puppy costs time and effort.
  • A puppy must not be exerted to its maximum for the first year of its life.
  • An adult dog must be walked at least three or four times a day, whatever the weather.  At least one walk must be thirty minutes to an hour.
  • With a dog in the house, you can’t simply go away for a weekend.  Either you take it with you, or you have to find someone to look after it.
  • A dog is a pack animal.  It’s not good for it to be left alone a lot.
  • Caring for a dog doesn’t only cost time and energy.  You will reckon with costs between $500 and $1000 a year (vet bills, dog license, food and other expenses).
     Now what?  Still decided to get a puppy? Come on!  I’m not trying to discourage anyone from getting a puppy but I just want to let you know that owning one is not easy but it’s very much worth it.  Check what breed suits your personality, your lifestyle and your temperament.  Make sure you choose the right dog breed, check it out here.  Be aware of the consequences of getting a puppy from a pet shop; get one from a reputable dog breeder.  Next on my list are other things to consider in choosing the right dog for you like what gender, puppy or adult, pet or show quality and others.  Make sure don’t miss it by subscribing via email or rss feeds.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Be Responsible Dog Owners

     Dog ownership comes with great responsibility, not only to our dogs but also to the neighbors and the community in general.  Imagine yourself being the talk of the town because of your irresponsibility.  Not only it is a reflection of what kind of people you are but you may not imagine what could happen to your dog if you let it loose outside your home without supervision.
     For the sake of your dog’s safety and well being, don’t allow him to wander onto the property of others.  Keep him confined at all times to your own yard or indoors where he won’t become a nuisance.  Consider what dangers lie ahead for an unleashed dog that has total freedom of the great outdoors, particularly when he is unsupervised by his master.  There are cars and trucks to dodge on the streets and highways.  There are stray animals with which to wrangle.  There are poisons all around, such as toxic plants and shrubs, which, if swallowed, could prove fatal.  There are dognappers and sadistic people who may steal or bring harm to your beloved pet.  In short, there are all sorts of nasty things waiting to hurt him.  Did you know that if your dog consumes rotting garbage, there is the possibility he could go into shock or even die?  And are you aware that a dog left to roam in a wooded area or field could become infected with any number of parasites if he plays with or ingests some small prey, such as rabbit, that might be carrying these parasitic organisms?  A thorn from a rosebush imbedded in the dog’s foot pad, tar from a newly paved road stuck to his coat, and a wound inflicted by a wild animal all can be avoided if you take the precaution of keeping your dog in a safe enclosure where he will be protected from such dangers.  Don’t let your dog run loose; he is likely to stray from home and get into all sorts of trouble.
     Spare yourself some troubles.  Trains your dogs, take care of them and most of all love them.  Be responsible dog owners.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dog Tips: Train Your Children How to Handle Dogs

     Being a responsible dog owner, it is a serious concern to know about getting a new dog with small children around.  In my previous post, we’ve learned how to handle dogs and children.  As an adult, we must understand that dogs and children must never be left unattended.  Unless you want disaster, you must never assume that a child knows how to handle a dog responsibly.  Accidents may happen so always keep an eye on your kids and your dogs.
     Just as a puppy needs to be trained when it joins the family so are the children need to learn how to handle them.  You must teach your kids the following:
  • To respect the dog from the beginning.  A puppy is a living thing, and not a toy you can do what you want with; handle the dog calmly; learn to understand the dog’s language; what is it saying when it growls or wags its tail? 
  • A child must also learn to recognize when a dog is frightened; never to hit or pester a dog; if a dog feels pain, it will bite; how to cuddle the dog; to leave the dog in peace when it’s asleep or in its basket; not to call commands or to call the dog’s name when it’s not appropriate; to let the dog come to it, rather than walking towards the dog; never to run up behind a dog; never to run towards a strange dog to hug it or give it something to eat.  A dog may perceive a child running towards it as a threat, so approach it calmly.  Always ask the owner first if your child can hug the dog or give it a treat. 
     Children are always proud of their newest acquisition.  Before you know it, all their friends have been invited to come around and admire their puppy on the first day.  However understandable their enthusiasm is, you must temper it.  Prepare the child properly for the arrival of its new housemate, and make it clear that the new member of the family is of flesh and blood, and not a cuddly toy.  It’s vital for the puppy to get the chance to get to know its own family first, so wait a few days with all those visitors.  Children can be wild and agile, and a puppy can easily get frightened.  Teach children to behave as calmly as possible with a puppy.  Even if patience is not always a strongly developed feature of a child’s nature, they must use it with their puppy.  They have to learn that the puppy needs to learn too.  Hitting and shouting are out of the question (not only for the children!).
     Somewhat older children can help to feed and care for a dog.  An adult must accompany this, as a child is not in a position to take care of bringing up a dog alone.  You can add tasks, as the child gets older.  Of course, children will want to flaunt their new dog, but a word of warning is due here: a child must be mentally and physically stronger than a dog before it can take it out without an adult!
     Adults that are afraid of dogs often transfer their fear to their children.  They will then hide screeching behind their mother or father, and then be consoled for the fact that they’re afraid of that awful beast.  It is better, though, for parents to suppress their own fear and teach their children how to approach a (strange) dog.  This also helps safeguard the child.  A child running away from a dog shrieking in fear can make a dog aggressive or awake its hunting instincts, but if a child behaves normally and calmly (hands always held low!) nothing will normally happen.
     I am not an expert when it comes to this matter, just using my experiences and lots of common sense.  I will gladly appreciate any comments and suggestions so we can all have a wonderful family with dogs and children around. 

Dog Tips: Handling Dogs and Children

     Children and dogs are the subject of many a sweet snapshot, but also some of the gruesome stories.  Many of these stories need never have been told.  A dog won’t bite a child spontaneously, but it will bite to defend itself if it feels threatened.  In most cases the dog ends up taking the blame, but often this is actually the fault of the adults, the dog’s keepers and the parents of the child.  They must tech their child how to behave with a dog, and it’s also their job to bring up their dog consistently and to protect it against children that are still too young to understand the nature of a dog.
     If you’re thinking of taking in a dog while you also have a baby (or are expecting one), think about what you are about to do!  Just like a baby, a puppy needs lots of attention in the first few months.  Think about housetraining, socialization and upbringing.  After looking after a baby, will you still have the energy left to give a puppy all the attention it needs?  Think about the drawbacks too, both of a baby and of a puppy.  Imagine you have a baby that cries a lot, costing you precious sleep.  How will you react when the puppy then does its business on the carpet, just when you were pleased to be able to sit down for a few minutes?  A puppy may also be sickly at the beginning and will need extra attention.  Do you still have the time and energy to be able to care for it?
     Whether it’s a good idea to get a dog at this time strongly depends on the situation.  Someone who is experienced with dogs will view it differently to someone who is getting a dog for the first time.  And there are also advantages in getting a puppy while there’s a baby in the house.  By the time the baby is a toddler and starts to crawl, the dog is practically grown up.  Dog and child grow up together and are completely used to each other.  Relating to the dog can also be a valuable contribution to a child’s development. 
     Even when dog and child grow up together, there can still be potentially dangerous situations.  A toddler may crawl up behind the dog.  The toddler looks on with wide eyes as the dog keeps walking away, but the dog hates it.  It goes to its basket in the corner of the room, and starts to warn the child by growling.  The baby now finds the dog’s noises even more interesting and tries to touch it, at which moment the dog bites.
     Within the family, the dog is at the bottom of the hierarchy.  A young child is certainly not in a position to put a dog in its place.  Only in the presence of the parents will a dog recognize the higher position in the hierarchy that the children around it occupy.  Apart from that, small children are unpredictable and they still don’t always understand the consequences of their actions.  A toddler wants to investigate its surroundings.  If it pulls a dog’s ears or sticks its fingers in its eyes, the dog will make a noise.  The toddler doesn’t understand that it’s hurting the dog; it’s much more interested in pulling harder.  Even the trustiest dog will eventually turn on the young explorer if this goes on too long.  Try to avoid this kind of situation by never leaving young children alone with a dog!
     It only takes common sense in dealing with these situations.  You need not be an expert.  Just as a puppy must be trained when it joins the family, the children also need to learn a thing or too.  You must never assume that they know how to handle a dog responsibly just like that.  Watch out on my next post for more dog tips on handling dogs and children.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Responsible Dog Breeders versus Puppy Mills

     A couple bought a cute labradoodle (labrador and poodle mix) puppy from a pet shop. They took the puppy home but after only two days, the dog became lazy.  It won’t even eat, doesn’t bark and it doesn’t even move at all.
     So the couple decided to take the dog to a local vet. The vet looked at the dog and then laid it on the floor. He then brought a cat into the room and set it beside the dog. The cat crawled all over the dog for several minutes.  Ran around the dog four times before the vet finally picked up the cat and put it back in its cage.  The vet then turned to the couple and said, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but your dog is dead... That'll be $375.00."
     "What?.. $375.00?," screamed the outraged man. "Do you expect me to pay you that much just to tell me my dog is dead?"
     The vet replied, "It's only $25.00 for the office visit and $350.00 for the Cat Scan."
     Funny? Maybe not…  A lot of uneducated dog buyers suffer the same fate as that of the couple.  They could be well-meaning couples looking to have a pet puppy they can call their own.  I can’t blame them, they didn’t know.  If only they knew where the puppies of pet shops came from, they may have opted to get one from a reputable breeder.
     There are many reasons why you should not buy a dog from pet shops.  Pet shops are the leading distribution network of dog farmers or in other words – puppy mills.  These are irresponsible dog breeders who are only after the money and don’t even care about the puppy’s welfare.  We’re all knew the importance of choosing the right dog and must not be deceived by these breeders.  Pet shop owners may say their puppies came from reputable dog breeders.  Think again, responsible dog breeders don’t sell to pet shops.  Always ask for a documentation and if needed, do a background check on the breeder.  A dog breeder usually screens their would-be buyers and some even visits the puppy long after the sale to make sure their puppies are well taken cared of.  Do pet shop owners do that?  I guess not. 
     Puppies from puppy mills are difficult to train, usually shy due to lack of early socialization.  Behavioral problems like being aggressive usually occur. Genetic abnormalities are usual due to improper breeding programs.  Puppies have poor health because of the unsanitary living conditions and lack of veterinary care.  The list goes on, and on, and on.  Bottom line is, don’t patronize pet shops.  Get one from a responsible dog breeder; it’s worth the sweat.  This way we can stop puppy mills!

Dog Breeding Business: Be Responsible Dog Breeders

     Dog breeders making profits out of their business are getting bashed for telling the truth that indeed they’re making money from dog breeding.  A lot of dog breeders are so passionate about dogs that they think dog breeding should not be a business in the first place.  Check out websites with dog forums, you’ll find out what I’m talking about.  Check out other articles as well about dog breeding.  True, there are lots of dogs ending up in shelters but not because of responsible dog breeding.  Let’s not try to generalize that because a dog breeder earns from dog breeding, he is already irresponsible.  Dog breeding requires a capital, where would a full-time dog breeder get the money if he doesn’t make a profit?  What will finance his breeding program without the money?  Not to mention that the breeder and his dogs needs to attend conformation shows and other dog trials.  Other expenses include vet visits, quality dog food and expenses related to maintenance of the kennels.  Keep an open mind, dog breeders need to make money and they need this to produce good quality puppies you and I can enjoy.
     So what contributes to the increase in dogs ending up in dog shelters?  A lot I should say, it’s a combination of uneducated dog owners and “irresponsible” dog breeders. Not everyone knows what a puppy mill means: they’re irresponsible dog breeders making a profit without any breeding programs.  Their puppies are usually sold in pet shops.  All they want is to produce as many puppies as they can to make more money and dispose these puppies, usually at a very low price. They don’t even care about the welfare of their dogs; their living conditions, the food they eat, their medical needs.  More often than not, puppies from puppy mills have genetic problems that may pose danger to would be owners. Sad to say, a lot of dog buyers still patronize these irresponsible dog breeders’ especially uneducated buyers.
     It saddens me to look at dog forums where a responsible dog breeder get bashed for telling the truth that dog breeding is a profitable business.  I agree that there are lot dog breeders that are only after the money but let’s not generalize and be open-minded.  Instead, let help educate the buyers about the dangers of getting puppies from puppy mills, how to choose the right dog and how to be responsible dog owners.  Let’s also educate the breeders how to be a responsible dog breeder.  Maybe, just maybe, there’ll be no more need for dog shelters.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Guide in Dog Breeding Business

     Dog breeding is serious business, it may not be for everyone but if you have lots of knowledge about dogs and you love being with dogs, it can be a profitable business.  Like any business, dog breeding has its own challenges.  It may not be an easy-to-get-rich scheme but it can be very rewarding so long as you have the passion with dogs and the right attitude towards your business.  Any business starts with planning and before you buy your dogs, it would be wise to assess yourself if you’re fit to this kind of business.  You may want to check how to start a dog breeding business to set your mind and expectations in my previous post.
     The only way to stand out from other professional breeders is to learn about the breed you’ve chosen.  Check out the qualities of a responsible breeder.  Educate yourself about the breed standard and learn everything about dog breeding - nothing beats a knowledgeable breeder.  If you don’t have a dog yet or is planning to get one, check the criteria in choosing a dog.
      Before you breed, you need to make sure that your dogs are of good breeding stock.  You need to have a good breeding program, check the bloodlines in the pedigree.  Know your dog’s faults and find a mate that will compliment these faults.  Always go for the breed standard.  Never breed for pet quality puppies, it goes without saying that show quality puppies fetch a higher price.
       Be a member of dog communities in your area like American Kennel Club (AKC) and register a kennel name.  This will keep you posted in the breed trends and by getting a kennel name; you can advertise your dog breeding business.  Participate and join in local breed clubs to have a good relationship with other breeders and to be updated in dog breeding news and info.  You may also want to participate in dog shows sanctioned by these clubs.  Puppies born out of champion parent command a higher price.
      Keep all the necessary dog records like pedigrees, medical history and others updated all the time.  Potential buyers may take a look on these to check the quality and health of the puppy they’re getting.  Always keep your kennel and the dogs clean, you don’t want potential buyers walking away covering their nose. 
      Dog breeding is a continuous learning process.  This article is just a guide and you still need to learn a lot like taking care of your beloved dogs.  Things like dog health, dog grooming, dog training, taking care of pregnant dogs, dog-birthing process…. Still a long journey, but at least you can start now.  Prepare to educate yourself and watch out for my next post.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

How to Start a Dog Breeding Business

     A lot of people are asking, “Will I make money from dog breeding business?”  In any business endeavor, as long as you put your heart, mind and body coupled with your best effort, everything will succeed.  Dog breeding business is of course no exception.  I’m sure not everyone will agree that dog breeding can be a good business.  In fact, most Internet articles about the topic discourage making a profit out of dog breeding.  Before you continue, let we warn you to please keep an open mind as you read along this article otherwise, if you’re too sensitive – stop and go somewhere else.
     A lot of breeders are making a lot of money out of dog breeding and the fact that you keep reading this article despite the warning; you must have an idea that it is indeed a good business.  A business is any recognized enterprise designed to provide goods and/or services to consumers thus dog breeding can be classified as such.  Like any other business it requires planning, determination, skills and lots of patience.  I hope in my own little way, I could help you make the best out of your dog breeding business.  Let me say that there are good and bad breeders much like good and bad businessmen.  To give you an idea of the qualities of a responsible breeder – click here.
     A good business starts with a proper mindset.  You have to assess yourselves whether you are ready to take on this endeavor and be a responsible breeder.  Check the following:
·        Are you ready to take risks, experiment, make mistakes and learn new things?
·        Do you have the necessary skills to do the undertaking?
·        Are you willing to take accountability on what might happen?
·        Do you have the patience to know that money does not come instantly and usually takes time?
·        Are you willing to work hard and finish what needs to be done?
·        Are you a problem solver?
·        Do you know the true value of what you are doing?
     Being a responsible dog breeder, money is not the prime motivation.  Money flows naturally without actively seeking it.  The dog breeding industry frowns on making a profit out if.  Most responsible dog breeders would tell you that to produce a litter of quality puppies’ just breaks even against the expenses.  A lot of them failed in this business not because they don’t have the passion and knowledge about dogs but because they lack knowledge in the business aspect.  Yes, dog breeding is a passion.  You have to love being with dogs and if you don’t have the passion, look for another business.  I would say that in order to succeed, you have to have a combination of both – a business sense and the passion with dogs. 
     Watch out for my next posts as we go along the details on how to do it – how to be a successful yet responsible breeder.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where to Find Reputable Dog Breeders

     Finding a dog breeder seems really easy but to find a “reputable dog breeder” is another case.  Not anyone that can put two dogs together can be called a dog breeder.  There are qualities of a reputable dog breeder that must be considered.  A reputable dog breeder considers the best interest of the dog, their breed and their potential buyers foremost in their mind.  Not all dog breeders do that, in fact, a lot are just after the money, money, money and more money.  Now where to find these reputable dog breeders, here are some suggestions…   
     In general, it is always best to contact the kennel clubs (American Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, Australian National Kennel, The Kennel Club of UK, Philippine Canine Club, and others), breed organization or breed clubs to locate one. The club maintains a list of reputable breeders that they can refer to you. It is also highly advisable to visit dog shelters like PAWS and adopt a pet.  Adopting a pet dog is highly recommended not only you can save money but also you help the dog community by providing dogs a family they can call their own.  These organizations maintains a website and just click on the links to go there.  After getting a referral from them, burn the phone lines, ask questions and if necessary, visit the kennels. 
     Another good venue to find a reputable dog breeder are the dog events organized by these organizations.  Check the website or call the dog show organizer about dog show schedules in your area.  Dog related events showcase a lot of reputable breeders.  Be very courteous though when approaching a breeder, more often than not, these dog breeders/ exhibitors feel somewhat pressured and tensed because of the dog shows’ hectic schedule.  It’s not a good idea to waylay someone on the way to the show ring.  Be polite to ask when it will be more convenient to talk to them.  Collect as many business cards as you can and plan a visit after the dog show is over. 
     Other references to look for are your veterinarian, dog groomer, dog trainer, and maybe your friend who knows something about dogs.  Somebody must know somebody that knows somebody, eventually leading to the right direction.  Lastly, the local newspaper classified ads and the Internet are full of dog breeders selling puppies.  Words of caution though, check the qualities of a reputable dog breeder before you make a purchase.

Qualities of a Reputable Dog Breeder

     Choosing a dog of your dreams is a long-term commitment requiring a lot of patience, planning and research.  Not all dog breeders are reputable dog breeders and should be carefully screened to get the best possible puppy.  Not anyone that can put two dogs together can be called a breeder.  Dog breeding is a passion and it takes a lot of responsibility.  Any dog breeder looks exactly like any human being and that makes it hard to differentiate which one is a crook and who’s a responsible dog breeder.
     Reputable dog breeders should be knowledgeable about the dogs they’re breeding and about the breed standards…and if when asked about the breed standard they’re breeding then they looked at you poker faced – walk away. They should know what a breed standard is and if they don’t, they should not be breeding dogs in the first place.  A reputable dog breeder is not after the money rather; they’re after the pup’s welfare.  A good breeder doesn’t produce volumes of puppies and they don’t sell in litter lots and to pet shops.  They carefully screen potential buyers to make sure of the pup’s welfare so be ready for some questioning as well. They should be open for kennel visits and should you find the place unsanitary, cover your nose then run away.  They should be active in the advancement of their particular breed by joining conformation, obedience trials and other dog events.  They should be honest to discuss the good aspects and faults of the dog.  Remember that there’s no perfect dog.  Records are very important and the breeder should have it handy.  The dogs’ papers should include the pedigrees of the puppies and least of the dam (if he/she doesn’t own the sire) and medical records properly signed by a licensed vet. You have to make sure the puppy is of good health, properly socialized and that the breeder should provide recommendations for further health and training needs.  A reputable dog breeder should provide you with a written contract and bill of sale and should offer a health guarantee.  You don’t want a cute little pup only to find out it’s sick when you get home.  It happens… a lot… so be very, very, careful.  They should be willing to give you references from their previous buyers and talking to these references will help you judge the character of the breeder.  Worst-case scenario, the breeder should be willing to take the dog back if you’re unable to care for it and should be readily available for advice during the dog’s life span.
     So… is there still a reputable dog breeder out there?  I should say a lot, you just have to go out and sweat it out.  Watch out for my next post about where to find reputable dog breeders….

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