By: Alicia Sexauer
Congratulations on adding a new canine family member, here are some helpful points for navigating where to get one.
Before bringing that new pup home, make sure you take time to evaluate your lifestyle to figure out exactly what sort of dog you’re looking for. A high energy dog may not enjoy Netflix and snuggles, while a more laid-back dog isn’t gunning to go on early morning runs. Remember breed is no guarantee of temperament, likes, and dislikes, it’s best to get to know the individual animal.
We believe in rescue critters (as our own household can attest), you can not only find a great dog, you’ll feel great about helping a homeless animal find a loving home. Most pets lose their homes due to owner-related problems like cost, lack of time, lifestyle changes, or allergies, not because of something the pet has done.
If adoption isn’t for you, please don’t purchase a puppy from a pet store/website. These puppies tend to come from mass breeding facilities—i.e. puppy mills . When buying a dog from a breeder, support one who has their dogs’ best interests at heart.
Lynn Vellios, an AKC Bouvier des Flandres breeder in Wildwood, MO shared helpful points, “Health checking, years of success with producing great dogs, good buyer communication, unprecedented amount of knowledge in all facets of their breed, and a good potential owner screening process..”
Lynn shared red flags to watch out for, “No health testing, low pricing, no knowledge about showing/grooming, multiple breeds, no affiliation with a kennel club, all-breed club, or a specialty club, doesn’t register/microchip their dogs, has copious complaints logged in about their business practices, has dogs from a wide variety of breeders not a lot that they produced, is not somehow working towards a championship with the AKC for one of their dogs. Puts bows in their dogs hair to sell. Does not have a website, only uses pay pal. Only uses Facebook.”
The AKC site has a page for pet owners who have their heart set on a pup from a breeder. Also, some breeders actively look for retirement homes for their adult dogs. Whatever decision you decide to make when acquiring your furry friend, make sure to do your homework first.