Pella Chronicle

Pets

October 19, 2012

HOW TO FIND A REPUTABLE DOG BREEDER

Pella —

Millions of households across North America have one or more pets residing within. Of the furry friends completing families, nearly half are dogs. While many prospective pet owners are now adopting dogs from overcrowded shelters, there are still those who prefer raising a purebred dog with a confirmed lineage. The best method for getting a purebred dog is from a highly regarded private breeder.

There are different avenues for purchasing a purebred. Because of convenience and proximity to home, one of the first places people look are area pet stores. While there are many reputable pet stores, many more rely on puppy mills to stock their animals. According to The Humane Society of America, pet stores do sell puppy mill puppies in spite of what they may tell prospective customers. That's because most private breeders follow a code of ethics that includes a refusal to sell dogs to commercial sources of distribution. Some puppy mills are USDA-licensed and provide "papers" on the dogs. But licensing doesn't mean that the facility is operating properly. In fact, some still operate despite facing violations.

The only way to ensure a pup is free from genetic disorders or parasites or has been tested for diseases such as giardia and brucellosis, as well as confirm that a dog will have a certain temperament, is by working with a private breeder. Many breeders are diligent in their careful breeding of dogs to produce offspring that are both healthy and true to the characteristics of the particular breed.

However, there are some bad eggs among breeders. Finding the best breeder requires some careful consideration.

* Go to a dog show and speak with some of the owners of champion dogs to find out if there are any breeders offering dogs for purchase. Another avenue is to visit the American Kennel Club(R) Web site and search the Breeder Referral page.

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